“One fortissimo
after another”

Rennie Sparks, Shemekia Copeland, and Jessie Mueller and singing together during the Chicago Voices Concert © Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune

essie Mueller, Michelle Williams, Matthew Polenzani, Shemekia Copeland, and Renee Fleming singing together at the Chicago Voices Concert © Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune

How wise of Fleming, musical director Doug Peck and colleagues to have opened the night with Chicago blues diva Shemekia Copeland igniting “The Battle Is Over (But the War Goes On).” Blessed with the most enormous instrument in the cast, Copeland offered an object lesson in what rousing Chicago blues is all about. Even the vast expanse of the Civic Opera House could not quite contain her mighty alto, the singer piling up one fortissimo after another without a hint of strain in her voice (nor any indication that she had given birth to her first child last Christmas Eve).

By Howard Reich, in the Chicago Tribune, after the Chicago Voices Concert at the  Civic Opera House in Chicago on Saturday, February 4.

Read the full story by Howard Reich and see more photos by Nuccio DiNuzzo in the Chicago Tribune.