At the front of “Venus and Adonis,” Doug Dodson (countertenor) gave the Beall Concert Hall audience a Cupid who was irreverent, flamboyant and downright cheeky. It’s the kind of character acting that only works when the singer has absolute mastery over his instrument — mastery revealed by such nimble execution and piercing clarity that one can hear straight through the music and experience the human effect of the communication. Dodson’s excellence — his virtuosity — made his technique transparent, thus allowing the audience to interact directly with John Blow’s musical imagination.
Doug Dodson inhabits the alien mind of Perforated so effectively that you wonder what he would have done with one of the other roles – oh, didn’t I tell you? Loose, Wet, Perforated is a story that ends with the characters rotating roles and beginning all over again.
The title character, a rooster (countertenor Douglas Dodson, in bright, pellucid voice throughout), first appears in the guise of the legendary castrato Farinelli, full of 18th-century roulades and graces ... Dodson delivers a twittering, show-stopping aria: weighty philosophical critiques rendered into a fanciful clucking, chirping patois.
Photo courtesy of Aldeburgh Music
Dodson possesses a beautiful, ringing, and agile countertenor.
Doug Dodson’s distinctive countertenor had the agility and flexibility for the drama of the recitatives and the Baroque rhythmic thrust of the call for remorse and repentance.
Douglas Dodson’s unusually sparkling countertenor made listening to this rare male voice – often difficult for novice opera-goers – a delightfully theatrical experience.
The very sweetness of countertenor Douglas Dodson’s sound ... bore witness to the line “Music for awhile shall all your cares beguile” in his performance of the eponymous composition. Moreover, Dodson was so well attuned to his text that his delivery recalled a sonnet well recited, his physicality illustrating but never overburdening his words.
Douglas Dodson plays the Rooster and shows off a brilliantly textured counter-tenor voice ... as the opera moves on, he is able to flex some wonderful vocal muscle and impresses with his later scenes.
Douglas Dodson (countertenor) gave a beautiful rendition of David. The role is often perceived as flat but [conductor Scott Allen] Jarrett makes a case for the difficulty of being the outsider at court. Dodson’s performance was not flat; his aria, ‘Impious wretch, of race accurst!’ was an exercise in barely controlled wrath and modeled the fury, the power, of a countertenor crossed. [Tenor Matthew] Anderson and Dodson together captured the friendship between Jonathan and David, the tenderness and affection evident in their voices and glances.
Countertenor Douglas Dodson brought strong, beautiful vocalism, a fine sense of musical line and spot-on intonation to “But who may abide.”
With mezzo-soprano Carrie Cheron, from Guerilla Opera's production of Pedr Solis. Photo by Liz Linder Photography
Three visitors from ‘the World’—ranging from deep bass (Tom McNichols) to a vivid countertenor (Douglas Dodson), with a fine baritone (David Kravitz) in between—became an almost-comic trio as they fruitlessly importuned Simon to use his wealth to rescue the fast-deteriorating planet.
Countertenor Doug Dodson makes for a sleazy Perforated, inserting sappy pop-inspired scoops into his angular vocal line and breaking out in manic, cackling repetitions of a single pitch.
[Dodson’s] long runs were excellent and his particular decorations ... were remarkably agile. Some countertenors tend to hoot in the upper register; Douglas avoided this with such a pleasant pleasing tone, so pure and easy on the ear.
With a vigorous continuo of only cello, therbo and organ as backing, Douglas Dodson’s agile countertenor, bright sonority and dazzling technique in “Laudate Dominum in sanctis eius” provided one of the evening’s vocal thrills.
Countertenor Douglas Dodson sang offstage, his voice haunting in its unearthly beauty.
Douglas Dodson brought a ... warm, well-controlled countertenor voice and a fine sense of Handelian style to the role of Argante.
[A] rooster (the impressive and uninhibited countertenor Douglas Dodson) and a compulsive shopper and/or stripper and/or Earth Mother (Guerilla’s equally uninhibited general manager, soprano Aliana de le Guardia) are having it out in a sandbox filled with Cheerios ... I can’t entirely explain this—but I believed it, [and] was gripped by it.
From Lowell House Opera's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo courtesy of Lowell House Opera
As Oberon, Douglas Dodson was a commanding presence ... His voice is supple and, when in full cry, clarion-like ... As an actor, Dodson was alert and properly devious in devising the traps and snares for the hapless humans and even for his Queen Tytania ... and then managed well the gradual transition to contrition as he saw the ignominy to which Tytania had sunk in her involuntary obsession with Bottom.
The stand-out singers were Victoria Botero (Titania), Jay Carter (Secresie/Phoebus), and Douglas Dodson (First Fairy) ... Having two stellar countertenors on one stage was amazing and their voices were in great form ... Dodson sang his acrobatic aria, ‘Hark how all things,’ with aplomb and in his duet with Botero was balanced, restrained, and lovely.
With soprano Aliana de la Guardia, from Guerrilla Opera's production of Gallo. Photo by Liz Linder Photography