CBF 2019: Family Concert — Leonard & Rasmus

Leonard & Rasmus

            How do you have fun bringing music to young families? Through a party with bugs! Carmel Bach Festival did just that the morning of Saturday, July 20, 2019. They filled the stage at Sunset Center with musicians from the Bach Festival Orchestra, Chorus, and a few local musicians. After 6 years of fun, the gang really knows how to capture the audience. We follow Leonard and Rasmus on adventures as they explore the world through music with an engaging story created and directed by Suzanne Mudge. Narration is provided by Bach Festival Artistic Director Paul Goodwin. The whirlwind of music, puns and costumes entertains young and old alike. This year, the subject was bugs.

We followed Leonard as he learned to control his temper as the action of “Flying off the Handel” unfolds. He needed help completing a science project about insects. Rasmus helped as the wonderful horse always does. We were introduced to a fly, played by local Adam Skerritt, a professor of Entomology played by Rebecca Mariman, along with a ladybug, a beautiful Monarch butterfly, and a spider. What fun everyone was having, both in the audience and on stage! Mixed in were 10 musical numbers. We were treated to a bit of Handel from the oratorio Israel in Egypt to a sing-along of a Beatles hit, Penny Lane. 

We stretched our vocabulary with Bioluminescence and Pollinator, stretched our ears with Dusk Over the Marsh by Ernst Bacon played by Sharon Sparrow, and stretched our imagination with a March Past the Kitchen Utensils led by percussionist Kevin Neuhoff. What would a show about bugs be without a bumblebee? The brass section treated us to a Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Tying in much of the theme were excellent illustrations created by Delia Dever. Kristin Ditlow tempted the piano students in the audience to learn a lovely Bela Bartok piece titled, “Diary of a Fly” and provided piano accompaniment for several of the musicians. In the end, the science project was completed with all the observations of insects being made while the musicians and audience enjoyed great music.

            Finding a way to introduce people to music is a special interest of this writer. I love telling stories that help people to understand a composition or composer. The combination of musical excerpts and dialogue with Leonard and Rasmus was fun! From the instruments strolling down the aisle, the crazy story teller, the puns and jokes, to the smiles and giggles of all, this concert was an Adventure! I look forward to more Discoveries with Leonard and Rasmus aided by the talented and capable musicians and guests of the Carmel Bach Festival.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Bach Festival, Classical Era.
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