Irish Mezzo-soprano, Tara Erraught, is one of opera's chosen

Bel canto. Translated as 'beautiful singing'. Yet beautiful singing isn't simply singing beautifully. The technical aspects - legato, trills and leaps, messa de voce, breathing, position and support of the voice - take years of practice and a lifetime to master. Many hope to be called, but few are chosen to be its exponents. Irish Mezzo-soprano, Tara Erraught, is one of opera's chosen. In Mezzo Masterpiece #2 - Tara Erraught, Irish National Opera showcase bel canto singing and Erraught's talent, with Erraught revealing why she is taking the world by storm.

Produced in partnership with the Office of Public Works, Mezzo Masterpiece #2 also showcases the iconic St. Patricks Hall, Dublin Castle. Within whose walls Fergus Shiel conducts the Irish National Opera Orchestra in a rousing performance of Bellini's sweeping overture from I Capuleti E I Montecchi, (Romeo and Juliet) to get the evening underway. Bold, brash, and deliciously bombastic, hearts are set to racing and expectations raised. As if a gauntlet is being thrown to Erraught, daring her to follow. A brief respite as Irish National Opera's Executive Director, a debonair Diego Fasciati, outlines the evening, and Erraught takes up the challenge. By the time she concludes the exquisite short aria, Se Romeo t'uccise un figlio, followed by the impassioned, and unannounced, La tremenda ultrice spada, you are helplessly spellbound.

Simply put, Erraught is simply extraordinary. Her singing conveying the lyrics, everything that lies beyond them, and something uniquely her own. Her voice, a magnificent instrument, shows amazing virtuosity, which, under Shiel's expert baton, traverses the height and depths of her emotional and vocal registers with ease. With Dopo L'oscuro Nembo, from Bellini's lesser known, Irish based opera, Adelson E Salvini, Erraught gives voice to the heartache words can only point to, leaving you curious to hear the full opera. Rossini's rarely heard aria Ah, Se È Ver Che In Tal Momento from, Il Barbiere Di Siviglia finds Erraught buoyant, soaring to musical and emotional crescendos then diving to endearing diminuendos.

Rounding out the evening with a trio from Rossini, Erraught returns with Bel raggio lusinghier from Semiramide and Assisa a' pie d'un salice from Otello. The latter highlighting the silken harp skills of Dianne Marshall. Finishing with the delightful Tanti Affetti from La Donna Del Lago, aptly translating as 'so many emotions' Erraught reminds you why her star is shining so brightly

Whether singing joy unconfined or heartbreak by the numbers, Erraught is simply divine. As in lNO's magnificent La Cenerentola, Erraught is wholly immanent and utterly transcendent, displaying power and precision in the service of passion, with a youthful vulnerability that belies the wisdom in her voice. Indeed, to listen to Erraught is to listen to miracles.

Mezzo Masterpieces #2 featuring Mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught performing a bel canto selection was streamed live from St. Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle on November 15 at 8.00pm and is available online for fourteen day after.

Chris O’RourkeThe arts review