It was a cold and windy Thursday at Americana at Brand, Glendale, for the Glendale Renaissance Orchestra’s inaugural concert of their four-concert series. Still, that didn’t deter an eager, though somewhat thin, crowd from turning out to see the orchestra’s first performance that presented an hour of music with vocal stars soprano Dale Kristien and tenor Joseph Pokorski, all led by its conductor, Steven Goldstein.
The chilly temperatures caused instrument pitch and intonation difficulties and numb fingers for the musicians of the orchestra in spite of well-placed space heaters provided by Americana at Brand. Of course, outdoor concerts always present challenges for musicians. Add to that the poor sound mixing and mediocre speaker system and the result is not what you might hear at the Alex Theatre. The wind and cold worked against the singers as well — their voices showed signs of strain almost from the start.
Kristien and Pokorski began by offering a sampling of “Phantom of the Opera” tunes, hallmarks for both singers. The power of their voices is obvious but maturing voices tend to lose some flexibility and that seemed limiting here in addition to the swirling winds. Wonderful stage presence on the part of both guest artists won over the crowd easily and applause was generous.