Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

MONTROSE TRIO to play intense Shostakovich, Arensky, Haydn in Carmel. SOPRANO LEBERTA LORÁL conducts a vocal master class at CSU Monterey Bay. BARITONE DANIEL BELCHER sings at UCSC. YOUTH MUSIC MONTEREY’S Chamber Players (right) at Hidden Valley, a benefit performance. APRIL IN SANTA CRUZ opens at UC Santa Cruz (click HEREESA-PEKKA SALONEN’S Karawane  (see/hear above) in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. SANTA CRUZ BALLET THEATRE dances at Cabrillo College. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events, click on the display ads, left, or on our CALENDAR

NEW S.T.A.R. FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE

MAY 15 IS DEADLINE for the next round of scholarship applications to be received. Scholarships available to Monterey County graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue their interest in the performing arts in the future at community or four-year colleges. The scope of qualifying educational activities is wide. For details, click HERE  

OPEN STUDIO MIXER

WEDNESDAY, APR 3, 6-8PM, at Open Ground Studios, 1230 Fremont Blvd., Seaside. Sponsored by Arts Habitat. 

MAX’S ULTIMATE SEASON

MONTEREY SYMPHONY music director since 2004, Max Bragado-Darman will take his leave following the just-announced 2019-20 “OVATION” season. The years have flown by and now you can expect to hear some of Max’s own favorites. Concertos include Mozart’s No. 27 and Brahms’ First, with returning pianist Kun Woo Paik, and Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D with returning Judith Ingolfsson. Symphonic favorites include Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique, Tchaikovsky’s Third and Shostakovich’s Fifteenth in its regional premiere (with podium guest Oleg Caetani), Sibelius’ Second and Mahler’s First. Also look for Strauss’ Don Juan, Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.   

MOST BEAUTIFUL PUCCINI ARIA YOU’VE NEVER HEARD

SOPRANO GOLDA SCHULTZ with the Munich Radio Orchestra and conductor Ivan Repušić.

 

BLACK POWER IN LA; JAZZ AT NEW YORK’S NEW SHED

LAST FRIDAY, the Broad Museum (pictured above) opened its new show, “Black Power 1963-1983,” with a gala party that closed an entire block of Grand Avenue. This Friday the Shed opens on West 30th as New York’s newest performance space, the brainchild of film director Steve McQueen (Twelve Years a Slave). To learn more, click HERE  and, to discover the true Gullah origin of Kumbaya, HERE  

BEETHOVEN’S FIDELIO BEFORE FIDELIO

THE FIRST PRODUCTION of Beethoven’s only opera was staged at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in 1805. A subsequent version, that compressed the three acts into two, debuted the following year. Beethoven’s first librettist was Joseph Sonnleithner; another further version tightened the libretto. At the time, both were titled Leonore after the original author, Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, whose own operatic version, with music by Pierre Gaveaux, trod the boards of the Théâtre Feydeau in 1798. Bouilly’s libretto, in French, served several other opéra-comique (with spoken dialog) versions, among them one by Ferdinando Paer whose was known to Beethoven. At long last, we have a deep look into the original, claimed by Bouilly, a lawyer at the time of the Revolution and Reign of Terror, to be based on a ‘ripped from the headlines’ true story.

This production by Opera Lafayette, was filmed in February 2017 at the Gerald W Lynch Theater, John Jay College, New York, and features a fine cast of principal singers and a period instrument orchestra conducted by Lafayette’s founder, Ryan Brown. A performance of Fidelio takes more than two hours. Here, Gaveaux’ Léonore is all of 82 minutes; this is a plus because it keeps the action in motion at a brisk clip. Moreover, and tracking the same sequence of events as the Beethoven, it actually sounds like a preliminary version of Fidelio, not least by inclusion of two valveless horns in the orchestra. (It even contains a large ensemble scene that previews the famous quartet in Fidelio.) The title character is sung with both fragility and authority by soprano Kimy McLaren, Florestan by tenor Jean-Michel Richer, Roc (the jailer) by bass Tomislav Lavoie and the hopelessly smitten Marceline by soprano Pascale Beaudin. Baritone Dominique Côté is the evil Pizare, tenor Keven Geddes is Jacquino and bass-baritone Alexandre Sylvestre, with only the slightest of parts are the very end, is Dom Fernand. The Lynch Theater is an intimate space which gives all the characters highly defined presence. A slight hum perturbs the sound but is easily ignored. SM     

LA LLORONA

THE WEEPING WOMAN of Mexican legend, 

 

FRESH REVIEW

PIANIST ALEXEY TRUSHECHKIN at Aptos Keyboard Artists. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

VIOLINIST ELMAR OLIVEIRA returns as a guest of the Monterey Symphony. HIROSHIMA comes to CSU Monterey Bay. EDWIN HUIZINGA plays at Santa Cruz Baroque Festival. MONTEREY COUNTY DANCE THEATRE in King City premieres The Nightingale, a new ballet with music by Steve Ettinger.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor

 

 

Weekly Magazine

Superbloom, Soda Lake, Carrizo Plain Nat’l Monument, March 21

THIS WEEK

PIANIST ALEXEY TRUSHECHKIN plays for the Aptos Keyboard Series. ESPRESSIVO Chamber Orchestra performs in Santa Cruz. NEW MUSIC program at Cabrillo College. VOCALIST MARISELA (the Latin Madonna) comes to the Fox. ZAKIR HUSSAIN & THE DRUMMERS OF KERALA play the Rio. THE BAND celebrates 50 years on the road. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events, click on the display ads, left, or on our CALENDAR

THE RENAISSANCE HOT TICKET

RENAISSANCE CONVENT CHOIRS led the charge. You should have been there. Click HERE

 

‘WE WERE ALWAYS BUSY IN FEBRUARY’

GETTING COMPOSERS OF COLOR into the symphonic canon. The ‘gospel’ according to Thomas Wilkins. Click HERE   

OKLAHOMA! GUNNING FOR GUNS

REVIVAL SHOOTING at illegal firearms. Click HERE  

GREAT BIG STORY

IBEYI: THE DIAZ TWINS 

Daughters of Latin jazz legend Miguel Angá Diaz and French-Venezuelan singer Maya Dagnino. Click HERE  

MILESTONES

CONDUCTOR MICHAEL GIELEN dead at 91. Led the Cincinnati Symphony from 1980 to 1986. Click HERE   

CELLIST GEORGE NEIKRUG dead at 100. Performed under Leopold Stokowski; made a legendary recording of Bloch’s Schelomo in 1960. Click HERE  

 

THE TWO FACES OF JOSEPH MARX

THE AUSTRIAN COMPOSER whose music disappeared before and after his death in 1964, was praised as an exemplar of new music in the early 20th century by no less an authority than the famous German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler. These CDs were originally released on the now-defunct ASV label and have just resurfaced in the Naxos catalog. Volume 1 contains the “devastatingly gorgeous” Nature Trilogy, performed by the Bochum Symphony Orchestra. (The same orchestra and conductor, the American Steven Sloane, also perform the world-premiere recordings of Marx’s Old Vienna Serenades.) Marx’s lush, beautifully crafted late-Romantic music has unjustly languished in both recordings and the concert hall. Fortuitously, Naxos has begun to remedy this situation. The Natur-Trilogie is a richly impressionistic work in three parts that brims with lyrical passion, portraying the moods of Marx’s native landscapes while displaying his subtle feel for harmony and orchestration. This is unambiguously the work of a nature ecstatic. Arnold Schoenberg laid a foundation for ‘post-Romantic’ music in which tonality was blurred to the border of atonality by chromaticism, in other words tonal ambiguity. This style was taken up and carried forward by Alexander Zemlinsky—Schoenberg’s brother-in-law, among others. (Gustav Mahler was an enthusiastic supporter to this generation.) If you love sensual washes of sonority and impressionistic moods, this music is for you. It calls to mind the opulent music of Zemlinsky, Franz Schreker, Frederick Delius and some of Debussy’s late orchestra music, like Jeux. Heady company to be sure. Of the Nature Trilogy, I find the last, Spring Music (1925) the most energetic and closest in character and style to Delius. Nothing about Volume 1 could prepare you for Volume 2, a totally retro return to the classical forms and baroque dances of bygone eras—even though the three works, Old Vienna Serenades, Partita in Ancient Style and Symphony in Classical Style—were composed in the 1940s. Marx may have been the author of his own musico-historic demise, yet the mother lode of his art will remain relevant to fans of both his faces, like me. SM   

THE WHITE WOMEN WHO BANNED PUEBLO INDIAN DANCE

WHEN THE BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS actually had that power. See image, top of the page. Click HERE  

DANIEL CASTRO PLAYS THE BLUES FOR YOU

 

FRESH REVIEWS

BREAKING THE CODE at the Colligan in Santa Cruz. Click HERE

PIANIST WU HAN in Carmel, HENRY MOLLICONE’S MOSES in Los Angeles. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

MONTROSE TRIO to play Shostakovich, Arensky in Carmel. BARITONE DANIEL BELCHER to sing at UCSC. APRIL IN SANTA CRUZ series begins. ESA-PEKKA SALONEN’S Karawane in Santa Cruz and Watsonville.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @PerfArtsMtyBay

Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor