Abigail Dueppen, as the determined Blonde, was, by contrast, a brighter-sounding soprano whose best moments featured her sweet upper range.
This Candide’s standout performance is by far that of Pittsburgh native Abigail Dueppen, who dazzles with her performance as the ditzy-happy Cunegonde. Her rendition of “Glitter and Be Gay” quite literally stopped the show on Sunday with a prolonged – and fully merited – round of vigorous applause.”“At first glance Cunegonde seems quite simple and predictable,” Ms. Dueppen said of her character. “However, if anyone was put through her circumstances in real life, I highly doubt they could ever maintain her optimistic outlook.” Dueppen certainly infuses her Cunegonde with more than enough verve to offset the character’s surface simplicity.
Abigail Dueppen sparkled and shone as Cunegonde, her every note a gem, her every gesture and attitude just right for role of a vacuous bubble-head who triumphs adversity by not understanding what that word means.
Yet the beauty of Candide is Bernstein’s music, and the opportunity for singers to really sing. “Glitter and Be Gay” is the soprano’s ultimate showcase, and as Cunégonde, Abigail Dueppen seems to relish every belted high note.
The High Priest (bass Daymon Passmore) places Leïla upon a rock overlooking the rugged coast. ‘Sing,’ the villagers implore. ‘Sing, again.’ Dueppen does, with magnificent control and impeccable diction, soaring through Bizet’s coloratura. Her luscious soprano, lithe frame, and piquant stage presence bespeak a major talent.
Abigail Dueppen makes Leila a credible blend of mystery, trepidation and passion, her soprano notable for its delicacy in hushed and tender moments and its brightly ringing tone in more effusive outpourings.
Joshua La Force and Abigail Dueppen bring fine voices and attractive personalities to lovers Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum — his smooth, robust tenor and her bright, clean soprano making all their vocals a treat.
This goofy tale tells of KoKo (Alistair Donkin), Lord High Executioner in the city of Titipu, Japan, vying with Nanki-Poo (Joshua LaForce), disguised son of the emperor, for the love of Yum-Yum (Abigail Dueppen), fresh out of school and not as innocent as an ingénue should be...Especially appealing is soprano Dueppen’s yummy Yum-Yum, pure of voice and nuttily confident that she must be the most beautiful girl in all Japan.