Soprano Alexandra Flood and pianist Alex Raineri presented the first of a series of recent studio concerts for Opera Queensland (OQ) in 2019. That program was very well received, offering a mixture of operatic hits and favourites. This second recital by the duo gave us both an interesting concept and a more esoteric program, the lesser-known repertoire having predominantly two aims: firstly, to uncover how different composers have treated female singers, while celebrating the virtuosity of the female voice; secondly, to look at a musical journey from West to East and how Eastern musical themes have influenced the Western classical tradition.

Alexandra Flood

Celebrating the female voice was apparent in each of the songs that were chosen, clearly with virtuosity in mind, but there were less obvious connections in the ‘Eastern promise’ theme. Both Ravel’s Asiefrom Shéhérezadeand Rimsky-Korsakov’s Eastern Songhad clear links to oriental music, while others offered links such as Jake Heggie’s Japanese-inspired Water Stone (Noguchi), and Peggy Glanville-Hicks’ 1945 song cycle set in China, but without...