Concerts’ Association members were expecting to see Pagliacci this April but due to Visa problems the show had to be replaced. Luckily for Village audiences Fernando Varela, most recently of Forte fame on America’s Got Talent, was available to complete the 2013/14 series. Too many tenors this season, no, Varela is very different from the previous show, The Texas Tenors. He has a glorious voice and can fill an evening’s performance quite masterfully.
Varela has a beautiful voice, great breath control on the long sustained notes, facile in Spanish, Italian and English, a lush sound, rich and inviting. He just comes out and sings and lets his voice sell the show. There are no flashy production numbers, just a man and his incredible talent. He does use modulation to higher keys to keep his audience enthralled and engaged and it works.
Writing this review has sent me scurrying to YouTube to see some of Varela’s performances with Forte. Seeing him as a solo performer was different but very gratifying. I have to admit I was flipping channels one night and happened to catch the first performance of Forte on America’s Got Talent and couldn’t turn away. It was awe inspiring. Villagers are very fortunate Varela was available to bring some of his magic to the Woodlands stage.
Guesting with Fernando Varela is Winnepeg, Canada native, Sierra Noble. Noble’s 's music grabbed the attention of the television industry in recent years. Her music has been heard in hit TV shows such as; One Tree Hill, (Possibility and I Can See), Life Unexpected, (Possibility), Switched at Birth (Human After All and I Can See), and most recently, Parenthood, (Human After All). Noble provided Varela with time away from the stage to catch his breath and prepare for another set. Noble’s compositions are light ballad’s telling the story of her life. If Varela provides the meat of the performance then Noble is the fluffy confection you’re not sure you have room for, but will partake in regardless.
There was a masterful pianist traveling with Varela that treated the audience with his version of Rhapsody in Blue. I never could catch his name. That leads me to my one complaint about last night’s show. The sound, the canned orchestration was too hot and made it sound blaring and muddled at times. I'm sure this will be addressed for the final three performances. Ms. Noble tended to mumble when she talked and I couldn’t catch all of her words and Mr. Varela didn’t wait for the audience to stop clapping and his words were lost in the clapping. To the lost named pianist, bravo.
The evening moved quickly and I was surprised when it came to an end so quickly. Varela’s concert was full of music for every taste and Village audiences need to get out and enjoy the final concert of the Concerts’ Association 2013/14 season.
Coming next season, Smokey Joe’s Café, the Depue Brothers, the Many Characters of Peter Peterkin, Adam Trent Illusionist and Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway. Memberships are available now.