From the opening bars, the dynamic classical duo consisting of coloratura soprano Alexandra Flood and pianist Alex Raineri capture the audience’s attention. Flood’s flawless execution and powerful control of the voice and Raineri’s dexterity and fine musical balance form the perfect opening for Opera Queensland’s intimate studio concert series.
Flood and Raineri formed the duo ensemble just 18 months ago, yet they have been able to set themselves up on the international competitive stage, both together and as individual artists. Their choice of lesser known composers is both refreshing and eye-opening, with music by Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franco Alfano as an unexpected delight among the familiars like Debussy, Fauré, and Rossini.
It is a beautiful balance between singer and pianist, with the two musicians seamlessly supporting each other and highlighting each other’s strengths. The pieces chosen ‘organically’ by the pair (as explained by Flood) are an accumulation of works that they both love to perform. Under Raineri’s fingers the piano tickles the ears with its own melodies, complete and individual, while Flood’s vocal maturity masterfully handles the complex operatic dynamic of their repertoire. The voice and the piano move apart, then come together, with the combination of pianistic and vocal dexterity like two brooks that flow in and out of each other on their shared journey.
This bright, conscientious duo are a delight to watch, and their music skills and stage presence is of the highest quality. You can see Alex Raineri perform with the Southern Cross Soloists, while Alexandra Flood’s busy European schedule still allows her to shine in Australia appearances.
Alex Raineri is the artistic director of Brisbane Music Festival running from 22 November to 18 December. Alexandra Flood’s next Australian performance is ‘Midnight in Paris’ in Melbourne 23 November, in recital with pianist Konrad Olszewski.