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Gaston Rivero at Carnegie Hall
- Cultural and Classical

This article is sponsored by Caffe Taci! Great opera, great food!

Music Performance Reviews

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

Gaston Rivero, Tenor
Yana Eminova, Soprano
Piano Accompanist: Iya Fedotova
Los Acustilocos

Performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
881 Seventh Avenue
NY, NY 10019

Music Director, Nancy Heath
Host: Reid Westergaard

Produced by Classical Productions
Benefit for Michael Lynch Foundation
and Children of Firefighters

June 6, 2003

In a Program of operatic solos and duets, from Verdi's Rigoletto, Gounod's Faust, Verdi's La Traviata, and songs by Rachmaninov, Gaston Rivero and Yana Eminova eloquently lit up Weill Recital Hall tonight for relatives, friends, special guests, and Opera Impresario, Leopoldo Mucci of Caffé Taci (See Caffe Taci Review/Candids), Tenor Gaston Rivero, from Uruguay, was first place winner in the 2002 Classical productions Professional Division Vocal Competition. His father, Carlos Rivero, was lead tenor at the Colon Opera Theater in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his grandfather, Ramon Olivera, was first violinist at Sodre Theater in Montevideo, Uruguay. Gaston Rivero studied music at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires and received a Master's Degree at the Colon Opera Theater. (Classical Productions Notes).

Soprano Yana Eminova, from Volgograd, Russia, was also born into a family of musicians. She graduated from Volgograd State College of Arts with a degree in conducting, and she received her Master's Degree in conducting and voice from Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. Yana Eminova is a laureate and grand prize winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and winner of many other esteemed competitions. She won first prize in the Puccini Foundation Competition in New York in April, 2003. (Classical Productions Notes).

Iya Fedotova, from Russia, graduated from the Ural State Mussorgsky Conservatory in Sverdlovsk, Russia, as a concert pianist, teacher, and concertmaster with a major in piano. Iya has performed on concert stages with many well-known artists, as well as in the United Nations. Four nights each week, Iya can be heard at Caffé Taci, on the opera nights, as well as on her piano solo night. Iya can be seen at Taci, playing with extreme skill, as singers give her sheets of music with individual notes and instructions, and she plays with expertise. (Classical Productions Notes).

This was a joyful event, with the passionate and clear vocalizations of Gaston Rivero and the sweet songbird, Yana Eminova. Mr. Rivero sang with piano and sometimes violin accompaniment, with a perfect accent, changing costumes, and tremendous poise. When the violin accompanied him, the acoustics were not perfect, as he sang O Souverain, O Juge, O Pere, by Massanet. In fact, as will be mentioned later in this review, Mr. Rivero and Ms. Eminova were best appreciated without additional instrumental accompaniment, beyond the piano. Ms. Fedotova is the quintessential accompanist, plays to perfection, with just the right tone, mood, and volume. Mr. Reyes' violin was not necessary for Mr. Rivero's wonderful operatic rendition.

Ms. Eminova's songs in Russian, French, and Italian were evocative and enchanting. The gowns worn by Ms. Eminova were exquisite, with satin or folk designs. Ms. Eminova creates the sound of raindrops in Spring. She is lovely to watch and her singing is a joy to hear. Her porcelain features and intense theatricality merge with her voice to give the audience a most satisfying operatic experience. She can endlessly extend her vibrant tones.

Mr. Rivero has class and charisma. His voice resonates with warmth and romance. He is an opera personality to watch. In fact, he can often be heard at Caffé Taci, with Ms. Fedotova on piano accompaniment. Ms. Fedotova can also be heard on Thursdays at Taci, where she performs classical piano solos and accompanies Flamenco dancers, as well.

Los Acustilocos performed in the final section of this Program, along with Mr. Rivero, in folk renditions of Argentinean songs, as well as in American music, such as Bernstein and Gershwin. It was impossible to hear this wonderful tenor over eleven musicians, on saxophone, percussion, trombone, guitar, flute, Latin percussion, bandoneón, trumpet, violin, piano, and trombone! Mr. Rivero sang without a microphone and would have been better served, had he sung a medley of Carlos Gardel songs, with only the esteemed Ms. Fedotova as accompanist. Or, Los Acustilocos, a nicely talented group of musicians, could have played a series of vibrant Latin songs, without operatic vocalizations. However, this is Weill Recital Hall, not the Copacabana.

I look forward to hearing Mr. Rivero and Ms. Eminova again soon. They are both Divas with bright futures. Kudos to both. And, Kudos to Iya Fedotova.

Dr. Henri Delbeau at Caffe Taci
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Caffe Taci Singer
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Jerry Gudino, Caffe Taci Manager
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Roy Innis, National Chairman, CORE, and Regular Caffe Taci Opera Fan
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Leopoldo Mucci, Owner of Caffe Taci, and Gaston Rivero, with Special Guests
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Caffe Taci Singers
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Roberta and Leopoldo
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Caffe Taci Singers
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at