Opening Night at Carmel Bach Festival 2017 – 80th Anniversary

Paul Goodwin, Artistic Director & Principal Conductor

In the words of Mr. Goodwin: “As we celebrate our 80th birthday I have endeavored to expand the breadth of the Festival, incorporating as many musical tastes as possible under the ever inspiring umbrella of Johann Sebastian Bach.” Thus it is that we are witnessing this season the Carmel Bach Festival continuing to evolve and bringing us works as distant from the Baroque as Philip Glass, Gustav Mahler, Frank Martins, Richard Rodney Bennett, Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, John Corigliano, Jerome Kern, Keenan Boswell and Leonard Bernstein.

It was an auspicious day for the opening night: the weather was sunny and mild, the opening night concert was nearly sold out, there was an art sale benefit going on in the Chapman Gallery, the Tower Music ensemble was as impressive as ever, and, as usual, there was the inimitable David Gordon delivering another one of his impressive lectures preceding the opening night concert. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Carmel Bach Festival, Choral, Orchestral


DIVA — Aria Women’s Chorus

Sean Boulware

On Sunday, June 11, at First Presbyterian Church in Monterey, Aria Women’s Chorus presented DIVA – a program of Broadway’s best with some classic light opera thrown in as sprinkles on the top. We heard many fine voices of all ages performing with featured soloists in most numbers. Under the direction of Dr. Sean Boulware these women present the true joy of singing in an ensemble. Overall on a scale of 1 – 10, this afternoon’s presentation was a 12! Handling twenty-three songs with their myriad musical personalities was no mean feat.

Michelle Galindo continues as the consummate pianist on all of the arrangements that were not prerecorded. Framing this delicious mélange was “Shine” from the musical Billy Elliot, and “And All That Jazz” from Chicago. Billy is the young son of a Welsh coal miner who winds up being a dancer – definitely unlikely under the circumstances. This number really set the stage for all the glitz that followed. “And All That Jazz” perfectly tied up the afternoon’s selections with a musical bang. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Choral, Opera, Piano


Salute to Sal! A Farewell Concert at the Carmel Mission!

As expected it was a amazing sendoff! The Carmel Mission was packed to the gills, and into many six-seat-capacity pews were squeezed one or two additional music lovers — this was the largest audience I can ever remember seeing at the Mission. It was the first of two “Farewell Concerts” celebrating Sal Ferrantelli’s 36 years with I Cantori, and, sadly to say, marking his retirement from the group. Ferrantelli has nurtured and developed I Cantori over the last three and a half decades into a professional ensemble that has consistently presented performances on the highest artistic level of choral music that spanned many centuries. It has also often included his own compositions written for I Cantori.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Baroque, Choral, Classical Era, I Cantori, Romantic Era, Strings, Vocal ensemble


Ensemble Monterey’s Splendid Season Finale

John Anderson, Ēriks Ešenvalds, & Cheryl Anderson

Last night at Cypress Community Church on Highway 68, we heard a concert that was as impressive as it was satisfying. There were moments when there appeared to be “a cast of thousands” (as Hollywood impresarios used to boast) for the musicians included Ensemble Monterey’s Chamber Orchestra in combination with Cantiamo Cabrillo and the Cabrillo Youth Chorus — in between the works on the program it often took five minutes just to get people on and off. The significance of the evening’s concert, the World Premiere of Ēriks Ešenvalds new work, “Sunset in My Hand,” commissioned by Ensemble Monterey, was heightened by the presence of the composer himself, whose warm and congenial personality was observed at intermission as he strolled around the lobby enjoying conversation with anyone who approached him. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Choral, Concerto, Orchestral


Luminous: Pianist Beatrice Rana in Recital

Having donned the mantle of her compatriot Maria Tipo, young Italian piano virtuoso Beatrice Rana played two successive evenings – under the aegis, respectively, of San Francisco Performances and the Steinway Society the Bay Area – which fully demonstrated her luminous, often explosively volatile yet sensitive talent. At the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, on Friday, April 7, Ms. Rana proffered her current specialty, Bach’s 1741 epic Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, played as a single-work recital. On Saturday, April 8, Rana appeared at Le Petit Trianon, San Jose, for a program of Bach, Debussy, Francesconi, and Liszt. Those who attended often listened agape at the voluptuous, startling sonorities Rana wrought from her instrument, revealing a musical personality auditors – as they left the Petit Trianon Theatre – compared to a new Martha Argerich. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 21st Century, Piano, Romantic Era