Weekly Magazine

NEW THIS WEEK

JEWEL THEATRE COMPANY offers Next to Normal and It Can’t Happen Here. BALCONY SESSION features Monterey Symphony violist Sarah Lee (pictured) on Friday afternoon. LIVE FROM THE LOT Sunset Center hosts Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra live in the north parking lot. SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE hosts guitarist William Coulter and cellist Barry Phillips. LIVING JAZZ’S CALL AND RESPONSE, an intimate talk with Terri Lyne Carrington, moderated by Allison Miller, Sunday afternoon. FOR DETAILS AND LINKS, CLICK HERE

INTERVIEW WITH CRISTI MĂCELARU

CABRILLO FEST music director on German television and with the West German Symphony Orchestra. Click HERE and be sure the sound is turned on

JAKE HEGGIE’S NEW OPERA PODCASTS

BAY AREA COMPOSER of operas Dead Man Walking and Moby Dick launches a new in-depth series, Sing LOUDER, with guest opera stars. Click HERE

MUSIC@MENLO EXPLORER SERIES

FAMED CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL online streaming starts October 25. Click HERE 

PARIS OPERA RETHINKS BLACKFACE

A QUARTER of its staff called for a major shake-up of how it deals with race in the opera and its ballet. Click HERE

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL MUST DIVERSIFY

INTERNATIONAL festival ordered to diversify its programming in the current atmosphere of racial justice. Click HERE

NOW HEAR THIS: BECOMING MOZART

CANADIAN pianist Stewart Goodyear joins conductor Scott Yoo at his mostly Mozart-inspired Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor. For the event, Yoo teaches Goodyear how to conduct from the keyboard. Goodyear also improvises his own solo cadenzas, just as Mozart did more than 200 years ago. The Mozaic festival orchestra consists of topnotch hand-picked musicians (not least the locally well-known cellist Jonah Kim) who perform in various SLO County venues including the unique Serra Chapel in Shandon, east of Paso Robles. To watch the full episode click HERE

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

NEW FROM Music@Menlo Live, baritone Nikolay Borchev and pianist Wu Han perform Schubert’s ultimate song cycle, Winterreise. Performances and new recordings of this 24-song masterpiece always call for fresh attention. When Schubert shortly before his death at age 31 performed Winterreise (Winter’s Journey) for his devoted circle of friends the feedback was decidedly mixed, owing to the dark sentiments of Wilhelm Müller’s verses and the visionary far better than glove-like fit of Schubert’s music. (The composer assured his friends that they would come to love them “best” among his 600-plus songs.) The tone for the whole collection is set right at the start: “As a stranger I arrived, as a stranger I depart again” accompanied by a dirge on the piano. A chill wind haunts from the first song to the last, “There behind the village stands a hurdy-gurdy man, and with stiff fingers he cranks as best he can.” Even so, there is great variety as the narrator expresses fear, longing, despair and even hope. So many of Schubert’s songs can easily be taken out of context by Lieder singers, frequently sung as encores. Indeed, many in Winterreise could be as well, yet they rarely are; Winterreise in its entirety is held as sacrosanct. Borchev began his career at a very young age as a principal at the Bavarian State Opera. After several seasons in Munich, he spent two seasons as a member of the Vienna State Opera. With both companies he sang numerous main roles of his Fach including Papageno/Die Zauberflöte, Guglielmo/Così fan tutte and Figaro/Il Barbiere di Siviglia. An exceptional musician, he developed an extensive repertoire within just a few years and, thanks to his vocal and artistic qualities as well as his stage presence, has established himself as a regular guest of the world’s most important operatic, concert and recital venues. Wu Han is co-artistic director of Music@Menlo and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has also appeared several times for the Carmel Music Society. While Schubert rarely heard his music performed, including many of his late masterpieces, Winterreise was in fact published in 1828, the year of his death. Here is a welcome new account by a splendid singer and a superbly sensitive piano partner. SM

PRODUCING OPERA IN LOCKDOWN

PHONING IT IN: Eight Songs from Isolation by eight different composers who are forced to put the drama in the music. Quelle idée! Click HERE

TIME FOR A TRUMP OPERA?

SF CHRONICLE music critic Joshua Kosman imagines so. “…the entire Trump presidency, might seem at first glance to be ripe for an operatic interpretation. There was something undeniably theatrical about the [recent] proceedings, so why not add vocal music to the soundtrack?” Click HERE

EDDIE VAN HALEN, 1955-2020, SCARY GENIUS

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor