One of the best surprises last year was my first diva-experience. Patricia Linhart’s faculty recital at UC-CCM was hysterical, moving, and flat out fun. And so I knew I wasn’t going to miss this year’s edition.
Linhart, affectionately known as “The Diva” by her students and friends, is a vocal instructor at CCM and I’ve been told by more than one student that “she’s the reason CCM sounds so good.” An opera-performance graduate of CCM herself, she has a classically trained voice but it’s her wickedly funny personality that makes her a star.
Accompanied by the incredible Julie Spangler on piano (her work at last week’s Pops concert as an arranger, pianist, and B-3 Hammond organ slayer was remarkable), Pat shines on comedic numbers like “Craigslistlieder,” “Painting My Kitchen,” and her unlisted encore number. Her passion was evident with beautiful renditions of “Out of This World,” “After the Waltz is Over,” and “Children will Listen.” I loved her dedication to another local diva, Sherry McCamley, as she sang the William Finn song, “Why do High School Teachers Make Me Cry?”
But for me, it was the fantastic Beatles cover of “Eleanor Rigby” where we got a full taste of what this concert is really all about. Joined by marvelous cellist Luke Dumm, guest vocalists (from Linhart’s studio) Samantha Pollino and Hannah Kornfeld, and Spangler on piano — and vocals — this was my personal favorite. Also sharing the stage was James Bunte on saxophone and his jazz licks helped set the tone for this afternoon affair.
I can’t think of a better way to spend my Sunday afternoon. And I’ll be there again next year to see what Linhart and Spangler do next.
Next up at CCM is the annual fundraiser, “Moveable Feast,” this Friday. Tickets are available here.