Author Archives: Lyn Bronson

Fiddler on the Roof at Santa Catalina

Bailey Belleci Brewer as Tevye

A large audience turned out Friday evening for the opening night of Santa Catalina’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, which will be running for four performances during the next two weeks. The stagecraft for this production was ingenious in the way it used modular units on stage (the back of each unit representing parts of a different scene), which could be joined and then moved easily, quickly and silently in between scenes. It worked brilliantly. Stage lighting and sound management were likewise effectively managed and enhanced each scene. Director Lara Wheeler Devlin deserves a lot of credit for making all the complicated elements of this production work so well together. Musician Chris West also deserves kudos for the way she kept the nine musicians in the pit totally coordinated with the action on stage.

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Archived in these categories: Dance, Vocal, Vocal ensemble

Carmel Music Society opens its new season with pianist Olga Kern

Olga Kern

Presented by the Carmel Music Society, Russian-American pianist Olga Kern made a triumphant return yesterday afternoon to Sunset Center in Carmel. Kern was elegantly dressed in a flowing red designer gown for the first half of the recital and in a flowing silver designer gown for the second half. Not only did her appearance make quite an impression, but so did her stage presence. An engaging smile and a charming manner when speaking to the audience won us over before she even played a note.

Peter Thorp, President of the Carmel Music Society had added some new technology to the afternoon’s recital. A video camera suspended over the piano keyboard projected a view from above of the pianist’s hands during the performances onto a screen over the stage. Thus, we could enjoy a side view from the audience plus a video top view of the pianist’s hands.

After a warmup performance of a rarely-heard Beethoven set of Variations on a Theme by Salieri, Kern settled in to perform one of the greatest works Beethoven ever composed for the keyboard, the Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53, known as the “Waldstein.” We heard a masterful performance of the first movement that held our attention throughout Beethoven’s presentation of compelling musical ideas, its powerful development section and satisfying recapitulation and coda. The brief second movement, Adagio Molto, served as an introduction to the concluding Rondo that was capped off by the Prestissimo finale. Kern brought a lot of charm, vitality and easy virtuosity to her performance of this sonata and made it look easy in the process.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Carmel Music Society, Classical Era, Piano

Monterey Symphony Season Opener

Christina Mok

The Monterey Symphony will open its 74th season Ovation with The Roman Carnival by Hector Berlioz and Antonín Dvorák’s Romance for violin and orchestra, featuring concertmaster Christina Mok.This delightful, single-movement work was commissioned to serve as an annual musical tradition for the Provisional Theatre Orchestra in Prague. Based on a theme from the second movement of his fifth string quartet, Romance is a lovely interplay between the violinist and the orchestra. Other iterations of the melody were presented in his later works—it was an obvious favorite of Dvorák’s!

Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique takes the mercurial, and often tragic, life of an artist and sets it to music. The title underlines not only the fantastic musical fireworks that take place on stage, but also a fantasy Berlioz was demonstrating. Written as an homage to unrequited love—the result of too many unanswered love letters—Berlioz uses the voices of the instruments to explain his emotions. The work travels through the artist’s life, culminating in his own funeral in the wildly intense final movement.

Concerts will be at 8:00 pm on Saturday evening, October 19, and 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 20 — both concerts will be in Sunset Center Theater.

One hour prior to the performance there will be a pre-concert lecture in the Hall of Sunset Center.

For tickets call (831) 646-8511.

Archived in these categories: Event Previews

Aptos Keyboard Series — pianist Anna Dmytrenko

Anna Dmytrenko

                                                                                                                                                                          At 3:00 pm on Sunday, October20, the Aptos Keyboard Series proudly presents highly acclaimed Ukrainian-American pianist Anna Dmytrenko in a recital at St John Episcopal Church, 125 Canterbury Drive, in Aptos.


Wagner-Liszt  —  Isolde’s Liebestod

Robert Schumann —Waldszenen, Op. 82

Nikolai Medtner — Sonata Tragica in C minor, Op. 39 no. 5


 Sergei Rachmaninoff  — Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42 

 Sergei Rachmaninoff —  Preludes Op. 23, Nos. 1-5 

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Archived in these categories: Event Previews

Chamber Music Monterey Bay — Juilliard String Quartet

Juilliard String Quartet

At 7:30 pm on Sunday, October 26, Chamber Music Monterey Bay will be presenting the famed Juilliard String Quartet in a concert at Sunset Center in Carmel. The program will consist of Mozart’s String Quartet, K.458, Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet No. 3, and Brahms String Quartet Op. 51, No. 2 in A Minor.

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Archived in these categories: Event Previews