Bavarian mezzo soprano Stefanie Iranyi was a seamless addition for three operetta arias. The frivolity of Kalman’s In the mountains (Die Czardasfurstin) was expressed with foot-stomping gypsy abandon; Lehar’s When I hear the sound of the cimbalom (Zigeunerliebe) revealed the fabulous richness of her lower register, while in Lehar’s My lips kiss so hotly (Guiditta) Iranyi’s phrases sighed and stretched seductively.
Iranyi’s smooth classical sound was transformed by breathy vibrato, sliding between notes and a throaty vehemence for Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm, Someone to Watch Over Me and The Man I Love. In both the operetta and Broadway numbers Iranyi’s personalised touches were closely supported by Fisch revealing the shared musical vision between singer and conductor who are partners on and off the stage.
Fisch led Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue from piano in a display of musical camaraderie with his orchestra. Fisch’s fast tempo and plentiful use of the sustain pedal smudged some piano detail and the orchestra was less cohesive without the conductor on the podium. But Fisch’s energy was infectious and the orchestra came striding noisily along for the ride with vibrant brass chords and a gloriously long opening glissando from clarinettist Alan Meyer.