Live Music

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Re: Live Music

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:05 am

You can get tickets through any TicketMaster outlet. They're all over, so there should be one near you.
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Re: Live Music

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:19 am

The San Diego Choral Arts Ensemble (aka the group I'm going to Europe with) is performing twice this weekend: July 12 at 7pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 645 Chestnut St, Escondido, Ca, and July 13 at 4pm at St. Andrew's By The Sea Episcopal Church, 1050 Thomas Ave, San Diego(Pacific Beach), Ca. Admission is free will donation.

This is the same program Selma reviewed, and the sopranos have been duly chastised. ;)
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Re: Live Music

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Jul 15, 2003 8:23 pm

B.com has posted the San Diego Choral Arts Ensemble's European tour schedule on the Beethoven's Backyard section of the website. Thank you so much, Y.R.H. and b.com! :D

<small>[ 07-15-2003, 09:24 PM: Message edited by: operatenor ]</small>
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Re: Live Music

Postby OperaTenor » Sun Nov 23, 2003 12:03 pm

bttp.

Saw two shows over the weekend. San Diego Lyric Opera production of Pirates of Penzance, and LA opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor, as part of a splinter group of Random(The Great Carouser, Piqaboo, and yours truly).
Reviews to follow when time permits(unless GC beats me to the punch.).
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Re: Live Music

Postby dai bread » Sun Nov 23, 2003 1:35 pm

I agree about the difference that singing without the music in front of makes to the sound. The choir my father was in years ago never sang with their music- they memorised the lot.

Our concert scene is winding down for the year. "Messiah" is about all that's on the calendar now, so I shall read your posts with envy.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: Live Music

Postby The Great Carouser » Mon Nov 24, 2003 3:34 pm

Originally posted by operatenor:
[/i], and LA opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor, as part of a splinter group of Random(The Great Carouser, Piqaboo, and yours truly).
Well, here goes! Went to see the LA opera's production of Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti this past Saturday. Let me start by saying everything they say on the web link about Ms. Anna Netrebko is true and more. She was technically faultless, at times performing sitting and once lying on her back. She was always audible and in control of a voice that has a sweet roundness at even the highest tones.

Did I mention she can act? Granted I'm at the opera for the music but as a former actor it doesn't hurt to see someone go about the business of performing and showing something beyond their costume and musical ability.

The rest of the cast was up to the event. Jose Bros is an able Edgardo. I particularly enjoyed the work of Franco Vassallo (Enrico) and Vitalij Kowaljow (Raimundo). It would be interesting to hear Mr. Kowaljow do Prince Igor or Banquo in Macbeth.

"Well, some review" some of you are thinking to yourselves, "this cultural 'hayseed' finds himself at 'the opera' with his mouth opened in awe and gives us a page full of 'wonderful mahvelous!' as if this was the definitive performance of the definitive opera." Read on MacDuff, this critic drop not down.

We sat at the rear of the orchestra stage right. While we were able to move to a more central location in our row when it became apparent the seats weren't occupied we were still located under the overhang of the mezzanine/balcony. Let me make clear I could hear every note the orchestra played and with one notable exception everything the singers sang. (In the opening scene Normanno's first part was swallowed by a combination of the chorus, his blocking, and perhaps our location.) I could not feel the music. It was like listening to a wonderful performance on an excellent audio system with the volume control stuck on 2. The house had swallowed the dynamism.

I consider the sextet that closes the second act (first act in this production which only has two although the opera is full length) ("Chi mi frena in tal momento") to be one of the most beautiful and powerful pieces of classical music I've been priveledged to hear long before I knew it was from this opera. I can still listen to either of the two Caruso renditions of this piece that have been preserved (as I am listening now) and find myself moved to tears by that combination of passion and sound that great music and great performers (or a great performance) can reveal to us if we are lucky. I get this from a computer without an excellent audio hookup and yet I'm moved by the experience.

I listen to Lucia's first moments on stage (Regnava Nel Silenzio.....Cuando Rapito In Estasi.) This is very beautiful, melodic music and I can be moved. I just listened to Maria Callas doing this piece in Milan in 1956 and although I don't find her voice as appealing as that of Ms. Netrebko I am moved because I can feel the passion and the power of the music here. I couldn't feel this at LA opera. I could see the singers working and hear them but the power of the music and the performances was swallowed by the hall. Next time at this venue either much better seats or perhaps much worse ones in the mezzanine as opposed to engulfed by it.

The sets and costumes were first class, the direction was unobtrusive and save for the opening problem allowed the production to flow.

Not being an Italian speaker it was actually disadvantageous for me to read the subtitles. An example being during Lucia's mad scene which begins with her singing beautiful lyric music about "scattering her remains when she is gone."
Sometimes its better not knowing what they put in that flavorful dish you're eating :) .

Could this have been the opera which inspired the famous Benchley(?) quote about opera being the place where when someone gets stabbed they don't die, they sing?

<small>[ 11-24-2003, 03:44 PM: Message edited by: The Great Carouser ]</small>
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Re: Live Music

Postby Jeff Dutton » Mon Nov 24, 2003 4:12 pm

Saturday evening was one of the most enjoyable concerts I have ever attended.

Gary Schocker, flutist, was the guest artist. One of the pieces he performed was his own composition, "Green Places", accompanied by the South Dakota Symphony. Very enjoyable. I was able to meet him briefly at intemission. My daughter, a second year flute student in college had participated in a Master Class by him the day before. She ended up buying 3 of his CDs.

After the intermission, the Symphony performed Symphony No. 5 by Shostakovich. Wow! I'd never heard it before, and NOTHING beats attending a live performance the first time you hear a great piece like that! I was totally blown away! My other daughter is a violinist in the Symphony, so I had lots of extra little goodies that added to my evening.

The concert was directed by Delta David Gier, who is a candidate for the open position of Music Director of the South Dakota Symphony.

Jeff
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Re: Live Music

Postby Platypi007 » Wed Nov 26, 2003 5:13 pm

I recently attended a concert at my (very recent) alma mater (I graduated in May) of a tenor who graduated from there a few years before I got there. The school is a small private college in southern mississippi by the name of William Carey College and the tenor is Don Frazure who recently made his debut at the Met in a supporting roll in Parsifal.

Now, I may be a bit biased, being a graduate of Carey myself, but this man has an absolutly WONDERFUL, rich tenor voice and wonderful stage presence.

His program included some Schubert lieder (I'm a bit partial to schubert lieder, also), most particularly Der Erlkönig. The entire audience was in awe at his performance of this piece. It was absolutly amazing. One of the most wonderful musical moments I have ever experienced.

If any of you live in the Nashville, TN area he will be singing with the Nashville Symphony in January when they perform Britten's War Requiem, I'd highly suggest going. One for the work, if you have not heard this work you MUST hear it, it is wonderful; and two to hear Don Frazure.

<small>[ 11-26-2003, 05:16 PM: Message edited by: Platypi007 ]</small>
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Re: Live Music

Postby 1st_oboe » Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:47 am

I went to my first opera tonight. Ok, it was a rock opera, but hey, it still has opera in the title, right? It was the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" show.

The story itself I felt was very well written. The narration berween songs was very poetic and brought about many emotions. I must admit, when the plot got to the typical sad-part-before-it all-comes-together, I had tears in my eyes. I was truely (sp?) moved by it.

The music was amazing. 2-3 guitars, 2 keyboardists, 1 bass guitar, 1 huge drumset, 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, and various vocals. All I can say about the music is; wow. For anyone who even remotely likes loud rock music, this show is a treat. Same thing goes for classical music fans. They played several more pieces after the opera, including Beethoven's 5th (I can't help but wonder what B would think if he heard that version...)and Carmina Burana (I know I spelled it wrong...). There was also a lot of Tchaikovsky ('Mad Russian Suite' and 'The Silent Nutcracker') in both the opera and afterwards.

The lighting was outstanding. There were 5 different colors of lasers, along with probably a million dollars worth of different colored stage lights all over the place. Even more outstanding were the flame machines used during the Beethoven. They were shooting fireballs 20 feet into the air, I could feel the heat from them from my seat in the front row of the nosebleed section (can't imaging being on the drummer's platform, he was all but surrounded by them...)

I know this doesn't quite go with the theme of the board, but they did play some form of Beethoven. ;)

If you're a rock fan, or simply a classical fan who wants to see something a little different, go see this show. There are two different TSO's, one on the east, and one on the west, there's most likely a show near you.

;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

5/5 winks (Deviating from my 'no English horn, automatic one-wink deduction' rule on this one)


Next week: TUBACHRISTMAS in Boise!!! (My 7th year.)

I also strongly recomend looking this one up too. THere are tubachristmases all over the country, so there's bound to be one near you. If you want to hear christmas carols played on all low brass (who wouldn't want to hear that? ;) ) check it out. It's usually a free show. Boise tubachristmas plays in the awesome echo chamber that is the Rotunda of the Idaho state capitol building. You can still hear the TC concert echoing from last year ;) )

Cheers!
Aaron "yes, I play the tuba too" Rynearson
Insert creative phrase here.
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Re: Live Music

Postby EJA » Thu Dec 11, 2003 3:54 pm

I had the remarkable opportunity last night to hear Paul Jacobs play Bach's A minor, G minor, and D major fugue; a Bach Sinfonia; a Bach organ trio; and a Handel G minor organ concerto; among other things. In 2000, at the age of 23, he played all of Bach's organ works in an 18-hour, marathon session in Pittsburgh. Now 26, he is a professor at Juliard. This guy is phenomenal! Don't miss an opportunity to hear him play.
– EJA

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Re: Live Music

Postby rwcrooks » Thu Dec 11, 2003 4:52 pm

I saw the Trans Siberian orchestra last year and am going again this year. What mannheim Steamroller did to Christmas music a decade ago, the TSO does to Mannheim Steamroller.

The show is totally jaw-dropping. :D
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Re: Live Music

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Dec 11, 2003 4:58 pm

Performed with the San Diego Choral Arts Ensemble at St. Gregory the Great Catholic church in Scripps Ranch on saturday evening, then at St. Andrews by the Sea Episcopal church in San Diego on Sunday afternoon.

This weekend:

12/12 & 13 - Rancho Bernardo chorale performances of "The Magic of the Season" at 7pm both nights.

12/14 - 7pm performance with a men's ensemble - Voce! at Pioneer church in San Diego.

12/20 - Mideval evensong at st. Bartholomew's Episcopal church in Poway at 5pm.

12/24 - Multiple Christmas Eve services at St. Bart's, starting at 2pm.

12/22 - rehearsals begin for SDO production of Turandot.

Tis the season....

<small>[ 12-11-2003, 05:01 PM: Message edited by: operatenor ]</small>
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Re: Live Music

Postby bignaf » Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:08 pm

WOW!
Turandot!!! how about our expedition to dig Turandot out (of her grave)?!? I Love Turandot!!!
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Re: Live Music

Postby barfle » Fri Dec 19, 2003 8:02 am

I saw Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa last night. The Kirov Opera was performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. From my $75 nosebleed seats, I must say I was impressed with the music and spectacle, although finally getting the story turned out to be a disapointment (like soooo many opera stories, I'm afraid). There was one scene where I'm sure there were 60 people on the stage. Lots of orchestra, chorus, soloists, and dancers - WOW!!

My wife said that a halfway decent editor could have cut a full hour out of the show (which runs over three hours of performance time, and there were two intermissions), but I don't know what I would have cut out.

We had seen the performance before (in 1984), but it was in Russia, the program was in Russian, and there were no English supertitles, unlike last night, so about all I got from that performance was that a lot of people died and they sang about it. The only sympathetic character in the show was Maria (soprano), who has to be forgiven for her foolishness because of her youth, although she had a young and equally foolish suitor who wasn't a bad guy himself, but picking sides between two nasties means you're picking a nasty, no matter who he is.

One particularly memorable scene has Mazeppa's former friend Vasily gloating about how the Tsar's torture chambers will make Mazeppa writhe and squirm. The music seems almost gleeful through that aria, and I noticed several people chuckling about that.

And thanks, Eric, for playing the Cossack Dance this morning! ;)
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Re: Live Music

Postby rwcrooks » Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:02 am

1st_oboe,

Well, we saw the Trans-Siberian Orchestra last night, and the show was great.

As to your musing about what would Beethoven think if he saw this version of the 5th. I think that if he were alive today, he may well have written this version! The fireballs were new this year, and very impressive.

From what I could see, they had 4 guitars, 2 keyboards, drums, 3 cellos, 6 violins, a narrator, 3 female vacaolists and 4 male vocalists. And used evryone one a great rendition of Carmina Burana.

This is just a fun concert to go see. :)
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Re: Live Music

Postby thornhill » Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:55 pm

This past Sunday:

John Eliot Gardiner
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists

performing:

Handel: Coronation Anthem No.1 - Zadok the Priest
Mozart: Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339
Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass, Hob. XXII: 11

at: Orange County Performing Arts Center

The choir was superb. Their projection was quite powerful and impressive, almost overwhelming at times (if you closed your eyes you would have never guessed that the choir was made up of only 24 people including soloists). At the same time there always was a high level of vocal delineation. Never was balance between them and orchestra a problem.

The Nelson Mass came off the best - one of Haydn's top 5 best works. Gardiner was particularly unforgiving in the Kyrie. The period brass and timpani greatly worked to the advantage of the music in its darker passages.
Well - There it is
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Re: Live Music

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:41 am

Turandot opens at the San Diego Opera this Saturday evening. Performances run Jan 24, 27, 30, Feb 1 and 4. For more info, look here.

<small>[ 01-21-2004, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: operatenor ]</small>
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Re: Live Music

Postby The Great Carouser » Sat Jan 31, 2004 10:37 pm

I went to see SD Opera's performance of Turandot starring OT, other notables, and David Hockney's absolutely stunning sets. I was particularly impressed by the direction. Co-ordinating the amount of people involved in many of the scenes (the cast is large enough that what is actually a rather large stage looks small and crowded)and yet positioning the principals where they command the audiences' attention is difficult enough with a small amount of people. The 'blocking' was superb.

I found the principals to be generally in good voice. OT said Calaf was better than he'd been in the past. I found his voice dark, and emotive but thin. Liu it seems had a cold. She had a little trouble at the start of 'Signore Ascolta' but covered well and I'm sure it went unnoticed by most. Her voice has a little more vibrato than I'd prefer. Turandot has a tough job. She has no 'pretty' arias and generally proclaims everything until the penultimate scene. This Turandot was on note but I found little to distinguish her. I'd think the plum soprano role would be 'Liu" so I'm missing something in my ignorance. The program notes claim "(t)he role of Turandot is the soprano voice-type stretched to its absolute limit in terms of vocal range and expressivity." Maybe, but not what I heard. Mediocre performance or hype in the program or some combination? Perhaps when I hear more different versions I'll have a better idea.

Ping Pang and Pong are good and the chorus acquits itself well. Puccini saves some of his best melodies for them.

I still prefer La Boheme and Madama Butterfly to this work. The program waxes on about the orchestration and other technical 'triumphs' and perhaps as I grow with this form of music I'll appreciate those things more but after a really smashing first act, the opera goes downhill in act two. Ping, Pang, and Pong are fine but the scene where Calaf meets the Emperor and Turandot, and answers (finally!) the questions lacks the focus and punch of Act 1.

Act 3 is better but I find it difficult to empathize with anyone save poor Liu. That's the problem with this opera for me. Turandot is just a spoiled, sick woman and Calaf is no better, or at least little better. They deserve each other! OT once told me that Madama Butterfly is the only opera where the lead tenor isn't the 'good guy'. I think he was speaking with tongue in cheek but if he was serious he can add Calaf to the short list. The man didn't care how many died he wanted what he wanted and nothing or no one could stand in his way.

Bizet's Pearl Fishers is next in SD then off to LA in March for Die Frau Ohne Schatten by R. Strauss. Interestingly, it seems Puccini was studying Strauss' operas around the time he wrote Turandot , particularly Salome and Elektra . I wonder if the classic Greek influences there led him to expand the role of his Chorus?
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Re: Live Music

Postby bignaf » Sat Jan 31, 2004 10:47 pm

there is no hype re: Turandot's role. must be bad perfomance. Turandot has great melodies to sing in "In Questa Regia" like the great line at "mai nessun Mavra". listen to Sutherland and Nilsson.
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Re: Live Music

Postby piqaboo » Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:56 pm

I saw Turandot at SDO same night as GC.
I agree with his assessment re the staging, sets, blocking. I give high points to wardrobe (tho I disliked ping/pang/pong's costumes exceedingly).

I hope OT posts a shot or two from the show, where you can see the rather dramatic makeup job done on the chorus members!

A couple of great effects: revealing Turandot hidden in her tower, when she condems the prince of persia. Also the executioner sharpening his blade on a giant spinning whetstone -whenever blade touched stone, the stone gave off sparks and smoke.

I wish I had kept my program to give you the names of the folks involved. OT, perhaps you can fill in where I lapse?

Musically: the chorus sounded rich and full. The kids sounded good. Anna S. (Turandot) has a big strong voice for what struck me as hard music to sing, but I didnt much like her singing (She has rave reviews for previous shows so this could be my ignorance speaking )<probably is, see following: The Green Room declared Anna Shafajinskaia "one of the finest Turandots in today's roster of international superstars">. She is a dramatic actor, and brought clear emotion to the role with her movements and expressions as well as her voice. It is not a sympathetic character. Even when she bares her soul and you learn she's not so much deliberately wicked as scared to death, her surrendor ing to "love" makes no sense.

I got the feeling that Dario (Calaf) sang his heart out Friday. He has less power than any of the other leads, but I thought he sang well. He looked exhausted after completing an enjoyable Nessun Dorma. The final note was quite short in his rendition, where I expected him to savor it. He is not an actor, he's a singer. One person commented that he didnt seem to be in the same production as the other leads.

(Liu) was more audible even singing from a bent kneeling position.Another fine actress.

(Timor) did a great job of wrenching our hearts as the dead Liu is carried off stage.

And the baritone of P/i/a/o/ng was yummy. I really enjoyed his vioce in performance as I had in the rehearsal I attended.

OT was all the way front, stage right for Act 1, surrounded by women. It must be rough. Those were some great eyebrows, OT! :)

All in all, I enjoyed this opera. But, I think the Turandot suicide rewrite makes a ton more sense. I agree with GC, that Liu is the heroine.

<small>[ 02-02-2004, 03:54 PM: Message edited by: piqaboo ]</small>
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