Lamplighter’s Production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers

I am always amazed at how fresh William S. Gilbert’s humor continues to be in this day and age. Even though it was written over one hundred years ago, the writing in “The Gondoliers” is always delightful and at times hysterically funny. This was made abundantly clear in the current Lamplighters production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s twelfth operetta, which I had the good fortune to see this past Sunday afternoon at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Opera, Vocal ensemble

Madregalia presents “Twelfth Night” – Renaissance Music for Christmas

Director Jeff Demarco & the Madregalia Singers

Hearing the Madregalia Singers presentation of “Twelfth Night – Renaissance Music for Christmas” at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Monterey last night was my first opportunity to observe the artistic craft of Jeff DeMarco, whose work with “Madregalia” and “The Pastyme Consort” has been much admired. I would have preferred to have one of our other reviewers more conversant with choral music cover the concert, but since they were unavailable, I was the last man standing.

Being by profession a pianist deeply immersed in “the truly expressive music of the 19th century,” leaving my comfort zone to hear music from the 15th and 16th centuries initially left me feeling about as out of place as a gunman at a garden party. But early on, some magic happened. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Vocal ensemble

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

Camerata Singers feature works by John Rutter

John Rutter

The March 5th Camerata concert was truly a Rutter extravaganza as programmed by John Koza, Artistic Director and Conductor. While the REQUIEM was the focal point of the second half of the program, there were more works by John Rutter and others. Rutter has gained a reputation of having his works truly accessible for choirs of all ages and strengths. An added bonus was the number of young musicians featured. The March concert has become the program including the Camerata Futures. This is the seventeenth year of auditioned high school students rehearsing along side the adults in the group. By the overall sound of the group, these young singers were more than holding their own. Speaking with a couple of them afterwards also proved that it was fun for them as well. Read full story

Archived in these categories: Choral, Vocal ensemble

Carmel Bach Festival 2016 Grand Finale — Best of the Fest

Paul Goodwin July 2016

The program of the final concert of the Carmel Bach Festival is always a surprise. Members of the audience entering Sunset Center have no idea what works will be performed, for there is no printed program. However, our Emcee for the evening, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival, Paul Goodwin, is constantly onstage to inform us of his choices of works that have been heard durning the previous two weeks at various venues around Carmel. Except possibly for Dramaturge David Gordon, there could be no more endearing host at a concert than Paul Goodwin. He is charming with his intelligent and witty comments that enhance and enlighten us at every step along the way.

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Archived in these categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Baroque, Carmel Bach Festival, Chamber music, Choral, Classical Era, Harpsichord, Oboe, Opera, Orchestral, Romantic Era, Strings, Violin, Vocal ensemble, Woodwinds