The Telegraph / A Touch of Class [ 2002 ]
Lee-Alison Sibley (soprano) and Shashi Puri (piano)
were twin jewels in the crown at a concert
at the Taj Bengal on November 23, where they
were accompanied by the Calcutta Foundation
Orchestra. The orchestra are now more in tune
than ever in recent memory, due in no small part
to the intensive coaching they
have received recently.
Saturday's concert put together the best
of old and new:
Puri is probably Calcutta's best performing
pianist, while Sibley's more recent
enrichment of our musical scene allows one to look forward
to local song recitals after a very long time. What is all the more
remarkable is that although both are actually accomplished
performers of classical music, they were able to take
popular music seriously enough to dare to have fun with it.
Sibley's vibrancy perfectly complemented Puri's composure: together
created a warm musical glow which recaptured the never-never
land of all our yesterdays, and gave us hope
for our tomorrows. 'Over the rainbow'
set the tone for a nostalgic evening, with its encouragement of dreams;
charmingly anecdotal in style, Sibley's acting out
of 'The Man I love', 'I could have danced all night'
and 'Don't rain on my parade' showed her twin persona
as actress and singer.
The final song, 'White Christmas'.
had the audience singing along, evoking the spirit
of Christmases past in our now much-changed city; Christmases
to come, we hope, will likewise revive
the spirit of old Calcutta by this new
and very welcome, touch of class.