Nemzer was outstanding; he commands the stage and his voice is incredibly strong. Moody also has a fine, if less domineering, voice. Evan Koons, James Eder and Bonnie Frauenthal were very fine singers with great comedic timing, and they did not need to resorting to slapstick to be funny. Emily Harmon, playing Xerxes' fiancee, seemed less comfortable with the Baroque flourishes and breath control required by the music. The dancers were a nice addition, but they were frequently not together. Mr. Gomez, though, has wonderful extensions and he seemed truer to the music's beat.
Overall this was a great performance and a real tour de force for Nemzer. The Pittsburgh Festival Opera is a summer delight. They are tackling the Ring Cycle over the next few years. Kudos to the company!
(photos: Patti Brahim)