Donna Roche, soprano in her debut Coffee concert at Christ Church Cathedral, got a glorious standing ovation for a wonderful programme, linking sparkling Weder, popular operatic tunes, powerful bel canto style arias and tunes from musicals.
At first her smile was hesitant but as the applause grew she smiled and smiles and talked to her audience and to her baby son, Sam in a most endearing fashion.
Dressed in orange and gold she radiated a growing confidence as she sparkled in a Mozart song and switched to an expressive but sad tone for Puccini’s un Bel Di Vedremo, two popular Mario Lanza songs –I’ll Walk with God and Because were strong and crowd pleasing and the Nina Rota theme Parla Piu Piano from The Godfather created a wonderful enthusiastic reception for such an auspicious debut. By the time she got to the Impossible Dream and the Carmen song Habanero, you knew by the tingle down your spine that this was something special.
When she excelled on Wallace’s In Happy Moments, there was a surge of applause through the audience and she swept that audience into rapture with two powerful arias O Mio Babbino Caro (for her Dad in the front row) and Nessun Dorma.
No wonder the ovation was so strong and heartfelt.
Damien O’Brien accompanied her on piano with style and clarity and young violinist Marian Power provided three quality solo pieces to add to the occasion.