- Pianist Chetan Tierra — Return of a Native Son
- Opera San Jose — Die Fledermaus
- Santa Cruz Symphony — Souvenir de Florence
- Danko Druško — Newly Appointed Director of Youth Music Monterey County
- The Joy of Modern & Traditional Music
- Hidden Valley Ends its Master Artist Series with cellist Mark Kosower in recital
- Celebration Choir: Walkin’ Together — Changing Our World
- Elastic Brio: Menlo’s Overture Concert
- Pianist Ko-Eun Yi at the Aptos Keyboard Series at St. John’s
- Masterful: [email protected]’s Concert Program V
- Sonorous Sweep: The Romantic Revolution at Menlo
- CBF 2019: Virginia Best Adams Masterclass Showcase
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Author Archives: Sarah Morris
Vienna in the 19thcentury was having a love affair with the waltz, and Johann Strauss II’s 1874 operetta (a pre-cursor to today’s musical) satisfied this desire in an excellent way. Having learned from his conductor/composer father, Strauss II knew exactly how to employ his techniques as a serious composer and how to incorporate the dance tunes of the day into his works.
Act I opens with a fun scrim of a newspaper clipping intended to be read by the audience to give them background on the wide number of characters they’re about to meet, created by set designer, Charlie Smith. The scrim gives way to the Klimt-style home of Mr. and Mrs. Eisenstein, and the action begins. The number of characters and the farcical nature of their relationships is quite dizzying at times, but by the end of the first act, Elena Galván as Adele, Maria Natale as Rosalinde and Eugene Brancoveanu as von Eisenstein are the clear main characters all hoping for a secret bit of fun at the expense of each other. The trio ‘Oh dear, oh dear, how sorry I am’ is acted brilliantly by all three. Robyn Tribuzi’s choreography in this song is gleeful and witty, a sneak-peek of much more to come in the dazzling second act. The short trumpet solo was particularly of note, played with a lovely, dark tone.Read full story
What an imaginative and extraordinary way to spend Wednesday night, April 3, in San Francisco. I had the privilege of attending a performance by Third Coast Percussion at Herbst Theater presented by San Francisco Performances.
Having recently released its newest album, ‘Perputulum’, Third Coast Percussion is, if they haven’t already, becoming a force to be reckoned with. ‘Perpetulum’ is a joint venture with Philip Glass, its latest commissioned composer. Glass has never before written for percussion alone, and TCP thought it was time. They premiered the West Coast performance of the piece written last year (2018) last Wednesday at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco to a very receptive, but not sold out crowd. In the spirit of musical convergence, Glass leaves the cadenza between the second and third movement mostly up to the performers.Read full story
Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci was written just over 125 years ago, and with a duration of only about 65 minutes, is considered a very short opera. While usually double-billed, the choice to perform it on its own was a nice surprise and perhaps the reason more children were in the audience.
The resident company and orchestra were on point and did justice to this truncated opera. Baritone Anthony Clark Evans, as Tonio (the fool in the acting troupe) opened the performance stating, ‘I am the prologue’. There were some members of the audience who gave him a standing ovation for his opening dialogue. He was exquisite and completely captivating and it is surely a sad fact that we won’t be seeing him again this season. Setting the scene, the character of Tonio explains the roles of the three men vying for the attention of Nedda, sung by Maria Natale: her husband, Canio(Cooper Nolan), part of the company, Tonio(Evans) and Silvio(Emmett O’Hanlon), her secret lover. Setting the scene, the curtain rises and we watch the scene play out, ‘on the stage’ and ‘off it’. The line between the ‘real life’ lives and the parts they play on the stage are blurred throughout the opera, eventually leading to a blow up in front of the whole town during a performance. Read full story
From September, 15-30, Opera San Jose is presenting Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio. First performed in 1782 this opera is still amusing audiences today. When the curtain opened, set designer, Steven C. Kemp’s attention to detail was immediately apparent: a large Turkish palace painted over every inch in intricate paintings, landscaped greenery and fig trees. Decked out in a pith helmet, the lead tenor, Matthew Grills, made his company debut in quite a lively, comical way. Running around hiding from the guards outside sultan Pasha Selim’s palace, he runs into Osim, played by Ashraf Sewailam. Both singers are perfectly suited for these comedic roles and their rapport was wonderful. One slight drawback to the quick banter was that the singers tended to get slightly ahead of the orchestra in the fast recitative sections. Read full story
“In The Blue Room with the Kronos Quartet”
This annual tradition has really gained quite the following as part of the Cabrillo Festival. David Harrington, the first violinist and typically the speaker for the group, guessed that it was back in 1978 when they first collaborated with the festival. The San Francisco based group has always maintained strong political views and this concert was no different. They opened with a short piece by Egyptian composer, Islam Chipsy. Zaghlala, loosely translated as meaning blurred vision cause by strong light in the eyes, was full of glissandos and fast passages. Perhaps this choice of piece was a nod to the song and dance man in charge at the moment distracting from the real issues at hand. Friend of the festival, Missy Mazzoli, was up next with a piece named ‘Harp and Altar’ for string quartet and recorded sound. The recording began as low vocal intonations and grew stronger into full words, which began to overpower the sound of the quartet and eventually overtook them in prominence. Read full story