Author Archives: Jeff DeMarco

Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe in Mountain View

Saturday night’s audience at the Mountain View Center for the Performing arts was delighted and enchanted by the Lamplighter’s splendid performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Iolanthe.” Stage director Barbara Heroux was completely on her game, giving us a production that was a glorious romp from beginning to end. All the elements were just right, from the sets to the costumes to the lights. Add to that the top notch dramatic and musical talents of the cast, and you have the recipe for a hit.

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Archived in these categories: Opera


Carmel Bach Festival – “Concert Fantastique”

French Image for Concert Fantastique

The first week of this year’s Carmel Bach Festival ended with a bang with the presentation of “Concert Fantastique.” Artistic director Paul Goodwin led the Festival Orchestra through an audience pleasing selection of rousing French works from the late Baroque through the early 20th century. The word that continually came to mind during the evening was “big.” There were aspects of all the pieces that were bigger than life, bordering occasionally on the bombastic, and I use that term completely non-pejoratively.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Orchestral


Carmel Bach Festival – Mélodies Françaises at All Saints’ Church

Holly Chatham

In keeping with this year’s French theme, the Carmel Bach Festival presented an afternoon of French art songs from the 19th and 20th centuries on Thursday at All Saints Episcopal Church. Mélodies Françaises is a delightful mix of contrasting styles and approaches put together by pianist and accompanist Holly Chatham, who gave informative and amusing introductions to each set of offerings. Ms. Chatham is an extraordinary musician, with an excellent feel for the piano. Even more importantly for Thursday’s concert, she is an accompanist extraordinaire, perfectly matching, balancing, and supporting the vocal soloists from the Festival Chorale.

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Archived in these categories: Piano


Rivalry and Ridicule: Lully, Charpentier and the “Italian” controversy

 Daniel Swenberg, theorbo

This season’s Wednesday Afternoon Chamber Concert from the Carmel Bach Festival is called “Rivalry and Ridicule: Lully, Charpentier and the ‘Italian’ controversy.” It is another ingenious and immensely enjoyable concert put together by theorbo player Daniel Swenberg. One of the most wonderful things about the Carmel Bach Festival is the way in which the performers are mixed and matched for the chamber concerts, giving  audiences an opportunity to get to know and understand the different talents and personalities in an almost intimate fashion.

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Archived in these categories: All Saints' Church, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Chamber music, Strings, Vocal ensemble


Inside the Music: French Beginning to End

I love Tuesday nights at the Carmel Bach Festival. They tend to be eclectic, informative and just plain fun. Of course, all of this is icing on the cake in a concert that features the superb musicianship and flexibility of the festival participants. This year’s offering of “Inside the Music: French Beginning to End” was no exception. In my opinion, it was one of the best programs to date in this wonderful series. Narrator/Dramaturge David Gordon outdid himself with his well-researched and usually humorous bon mots to transition between the musical offerings.

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral