David Portillo and Jennifer Aylmer are a smash in St. Louis’ “Cosi”
David Portillo returns to OTSL with his crystal clear tenor voice and also joins in the fun displaying some excellent acting skills.
Jennifer Aylmer just about steals the show with her brassy, bawdy rendition of the maid, Despina. Not only is this perky soprano a delight in her manipulation of the two ladies, but she gets to don disguises as well- an addle-brained doctor and a less than competent judge. She is remarkable.
-Stage Door St. Louis
Jennifer Aylmer’s clear-voiced Despina was a work of comic art, every aspect of her vocalism and character perfectly in tune. She took charge of the stage whenever she occupied it in a first-rate performance. The women definitely ruled in this “Così.”
Their lovers were worthy of them, though. David Portillo brought a perfect Mozartian tenor and solid acting ability to his memorable Ferrando.
Tenor David Portillo and baritone Liam Bonner make a great “Mutt and Jeff” comedy duo as Guglielmo and Ferrando. Mr. Portillo has a very impressive head voice, which he uses to great effect in the more dramatic moments in the second act, while Mr. Bonner’s instrument is clear and powerful voice throughout its range. They blend nicely in their ensembles.
As the indispensable Despina, Soprano Jennifer Aylmer steals every scene she’s in, especially when Despina is passing herself off as a doctor or lawyer. Ms. Aylmer has terrific comic chops and a voice to match. It’s hard to imagine this role being done better.