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The Rake Series
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Conceit And Consequence (Rake, book 5) by Aishling Morgan
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A Saturday, Aug. As the Faustian contours of W. Then, his voice scoured and chastened into wonderstruck purity, Oglesby bid an aching graveside farewell to Anne Trulove the refined soprano Meigui Zhang , the faithful lover he repeatedly betrayed. Musically, the spirt of this playfully allusive and emotionally varied work came across, whether in witty flyaway Mozart quotations, chortling brass asides, mournful string effusions, or the deftly woven ensembles that kept bursting into bloom.
It was as if the sequence of Hogarth paintings and drawings that inspired the piece had been translated directly into notes and rests, flats and sharps, melody and harmony — all of it brightened with Stravinskian color and texture. The marriage of music and text is about as good as it gets. Dramatically and theatrically, things got off to an uncertain start in this Merolini mounting.
Zhang, lovely and affecting, was clearly too good for the undeserving patsy she adored. Later on, in a pensive and piercing aria after Rakewell has been spirited off to London for his plunge into dissipation, Zhang scored one of the high points of the production.