A Pair of Fashion Victims

Dmitri and Renée, taking their bows at a "special recital" held Saturday night at Lyric, an event staged in honor of ex-manager William Mason. While both singers exhibited vocal élan and admirable musicianship in daring arias and riveting duets as disparate as Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Massenet's Thais, which soprano and baritone either sang solo or in tandem, their appearances, however, were hard to fathom. Dressed in a black longsleeved top sprinkled with dusts of sequins that morphed into a ballerina's bouffant tulle skirt, Fleming looked like a middle-aged debutante positively giddy at the prospect of receiving her first kiss. Her paramour, meanwhile, had his own fashion statement to make, albeit one that should not have come out of the closet. Hvorostovsky may have been an imposing presence—I half-expected this playboy to grab Renée by the arms and ravish her body—but his swashbuckling costume of black Nehru-inspired silk shirt and skin-tight trousers was as flamboyantly outré as his vocal projection. I'm surprised that this Siberian Fabio did not consider donning a highwayman's cape to go with his Errol Flynn get-up.