Max von Schillings MONA LISA
with the American Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, New York
Tenor Paul McNamara was in ardent ringing voice, utterly believable as the besotted lover of Mona Lisa. The last words of the opera are his. Friday night his cries of “Mona Lisa” as the couple walk away were thrilling.
Dramatically, the opera feels static in several scenes, but there are plenty of arresting
moments, like the love duet between the title character and Giovanni de Salviati, her admirer, rendered by the tenor Paul McNamara. He also imbued the Lay Brother’s opening monologue
with dramatic subtlety.
New York Times
Paul McNamara sang the lay brother and Giovanni with extraordinary power and intensity.
His ringing high notes and his fervent acting lent extra passion to the love duet with Lisa.
In a performance of intense power and commitment, tenor Paul McNamara scored a great success as he met the Wagnerian demands of the role of Giovanni; his vocalism made a strong impact in the Hall.
Oberon’s Grove (Blog)
Paul McNamara, who sings Parsifal and Tannhäuser in Germany, possesses a grainy tenor that rose superbly to the worldwelllost intensity of both Mona Lisa’s lover, Giovanni, and the puzzled, moralizing friar of the epilogue. His instincts were right, and his line yearning when yearning was called for.
Mr. McNamara had a strong instrument, starting in the baritonal register before opening up the upper notes in the role of Giovanni. A mature singer, Mr. McNamara still conveyed passion and youthful ardor in the big Act I love duet.