Adelaide Cabaret Festival – José Carbó

Jose Carbo My Latin HeartJose Carbo, known in Adelaide for his State Opera Figaro and a scene stealing spot at the Christmas Proms opened his latin heart with the music of his native Argentina in a tribute to that most sensuous of dance forms, the tango. Astor Piazzola is the soul of tango music and many of his tunes both sung and played were the core of the program.

Carbo explained that as an opera singer he couldn’t give the music an exact tango style but his warm voice, impeccable diction and breath control was both elegant and eloquent.

That elegance extended to the dancing of Adrienne and Andrew Gill, tango champions, who performed with an exquisite sense of line and empathy with the music, each sweep of the foot carefully times to the vocal line. What was missing was the actual heat of tango, the idea that dancing might, as the Methodists feared, lead to something more intimate. The Grigoryan brothers played their arrangements with the flair and ensemble they have worked on for years. Watching their hands was as enlivening as watching the feet of the two dancers, all perfectly in step and style.

Their feature performances were movements from Piazzola’s ‘History of the Tango’ given with panache.

Despite Carbo’s enthusiasm, the Piazzola ‘Ave Maria’ was nowhere near as engaging as his opening song ‘Uno’ or his impassioned and mesmerising ‘Oblivion’ sung in French. Throughout the care of his tribute and the sincerity of his delivery made this a memorable occasion. There is the CD as a reminder.

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