The soloists were quite good even though they had some warm up issues. Ms. Rottsolk really improve over her performance and she was startling at the end. Only Mr. Daniels, the countertenor had some difficulty through out. He was challenged particularly in the lower parts of his range. It is difficult for countertenors also because at time, if they are not careful, their performances can approach sounding (and acting) a bit like "Annie" on Broadway. Nevertheless, these soloists should have made Mr. Handle proud.
AMC did have some problems with the space and the audience. This is no reflection on the performance but it can detract never the less. The first irritant was a woman two rows in front of AMC that had a hacking cough throughout the first section. She hacked and she hacked- apparently it never occurred to her that she might be annoying others and that stepping out would not have been worse than listening to her rip her vocal chords. This was in the balcony, so if she did annoy, it certainly would have been for fewer people than if she were coughing up her lungs in the nave seating. What was even worse was that she had a Bluetooth earpiece on. Really? Was she that important? AMC feared that in fact she might receive a call and just started talking. Ugh. The second irritant is that St. Phillips' has a set of bright spot lights that illuminate the top of the interior. Unfortunately they are placed right in line with the final row of the balcony where AMC was seated. They could be constantly seen out of the corner of the eye. These were certainly part of the house lights, but they were never dimmed.
But, this indeed was a wonderful performance. ABO music director Julie Andrijeski never fails to hit a home run with her group.The standing-room-only crowd was hearty in its applause.