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


Ensemble Monterey — The King Shall Rejoice

Director John Anderson

The Season Finale of Ensemble Monterey was a wonderful collection of regal music. The title for this concert is taken from the last piece offered: Handel’s Coronation Anthem. Included in the program material was a graphic featuring “The Fab Five.” This refers to 5 composers who wrote mostly in the 18thCentury with one work from the 17thCentury. I attended the Saturday evening concert on April 27, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church in Monterey, CA. The day was a lovely Spring day, so the room grew warm as the evening progressed. Still, I thank the church for opening their doors and sharing the good acoustics of their space.

As is the custom of Ensemble Monterey, Conductor and Artistic Director Dr. John Anderson offered his insights prior to the concert as a short talk with question/answer session. This opportunity to learn about the music and performers is so vital. Dr. Anderson has a gift for conveying information that engages those literate in music while being accessible to those just beginning their musical journey. It makes concerts more enjoyable when the audience is as attentive and engaged as they were Saturday. These talks along with the excellent printed program are gems we should encourage and take advantage of regularly. 

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Archived in these categories: Baroque, Chamber music, Choral, Vocal, Vocal ensemble


Chanticleer Christmas at the Mission

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For 40 years the exquisite blend of the voices of Chanticleer have entertained, recorded and traveled the world. This eloquent and elegant group brought A Chanticleer Christmas to the Carmel Mission Basilica on Friday, December 21st. Founded in 1978 by Louis Botto and named for the “clear singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, they were first known for interpretations of Renaissance music. However, this group is as likely to also include jazz, folk, and contemporary choral works. 

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Archived in these categories: Choral, Vocal ensemble


Madregalia Christmas Concert in Monterey

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On Saturday, December 22, at 8pm Madregalia presented a Christmas concert featuring polyphonic choral Christmas music, including “This is the Record of John” by Orlando Gibbons, along with two double choir pieces, Hodie Christus natus est by Giovanni Gabrieli and Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland by Michael Praetorius, as well as two Latin American pieces from the 1600’s, among others. The Pastyme Consort consists of such antique instruments as violas da gamba and violins, recorders and harpsichord, and special guests playing Renaissance drums, dulcian (an early bassoon), and well-known local traditional Jalisco harpist, William Faulkner. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Strings, Vocal ensemble


Camerata Singers – To Pauline – With Love

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The Camerata Singers, under the direction of John Koza, presented To Pauline,…with Love on May 12 at First Presbyterian Church, Monterey. This bittersweet occasion to bid farewell to Pauline Troia – exemplary pianist, accompanist for 30+ years – was a terrific program of choral jewels. With the likes of Aaron Copland, Daniel Brimsmead, Randall Thompson, John Rutter, Moses Hogan along with arrangements by Josephine Poelnitz and Craig Hella Johnson all represented, some of the finest and most enduring works of choral repertoire were presented. Troia chose many of these selections as some of her favorites through the years. However, this was definitely a “working” tribute to Troia as she was most expertly busy at the piano. She continues to make the keyboard music look and sound effortless. Read full story

Archived in these categories: 20th Century, Choral, Classical Era, Piano, Vocal, Vocal ensemble