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The Girl With Orange Lips

Posted on

The Girl With Orange Lips

Current Status:
In Season
Dawn Upshaw

We gave it an A

Only five years ago, at age 26, the willowy, Nashville-born Dawn Upshaw was doing walk-ons at the Metropolitan Opera; even then she had amassed a following for her enterprising recital programs and the sweet radiance of her vocal style. Now she is an international star, and the enterprise and sweet radiance remain. Last year Nonesuch recital, including a meltingly beautiful rendition of Samuel Barber’s ”Knoxville, Summer of 1915,” was a resounding critical favorite; now there’s a new disc of comparable merit. Again, the repertory is marvelous chosen in The Girl With Orange Lips: Among its highlights are flavorsome, exotically tinted song cycles of Ravel, Stravinsky, and the contemporary American Earl Kim (whose haunting, elegant cycle ”When Grief Slumbers” includes the disc’s title song). There is a quality of intelligence in Upshaw’s work that goes beyond the silver beauty of her singing; she has, in little time, become one of the most cherishable of artists, and this disc helps to explain why. A