Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

BRIAN GANZ plays an all-Chopin recital in Santa Cruz. (See review of a new Chopin biography below*.) MONTEREY SYMPHONY hosts acclaimed flutist Carol Wincenc. SANTA CRUZ COUNTY YOUTH ORCHESTRA features soloist Xander Lee (pictured) at UCSC Music Hall; program includes world premiere of Hawwah for Korean instruments and orchestra. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET opens at Mountain Community Theater. BODYTRAFFIC contemporary dance company from LA at CSUMB’s World Theater. ARIA WOMEN’S CHOIR sings music about women. For links to these and other live performance events, click our CALENDAR or on the ads, left.

NICO MUHLY’S MARNIE

TWO METROPOLITAN OPERA ‘ENCORE’ TELECASTS TOMORROW, WED, NOV 14, 1PM & 6:30PM, CENTURY CINEMAS, DEL MONTE CENTER, AND REGAL CINEMA, PACIFIC AVE., SANTA CRUZ.  Read Alex Ross’s review, ‘Escaping Hitchcock,’ of this new production HERE  

FRYDERYK CHOPIN: A LIFE AND TIMES

*ALAN WALKER publishes a ‘magisterial’ new biography. Click HERE  

MONTEREY COUNTY GIVES

ONE OF THE GREAT SUCCESS STORIES for non-profits in Monterey County is the partnership between the Monterey County Weekly newspaper and the Community Foundation for Monterey County that benefits 169 non-profits in Monterey County, including 34 listed under Arts & Culture. Matching grants and challenge gifts make all these ‘boats’ rise with the ‘tide.’ Contributions are receivable through December 31.  

INEXPLICABLE AND INEXCUSABLE

PAMB’S CALENDAR this week is loaded with performances of live music and theater, including performances at Cabrillo College and UC Santa Cruz. But where are all the high schools whose performances and productions just now culminate their fall semesters? Or, to put it another way: just try to find them. The fact is those music, dance and theater programs simply don’t bother to notify the media. Are Carmel High, Harbor High, Monterey High, Pacific Grove High, Monte Vista Christian High, Notre Dame High, Aptos High, Santa Cruz High, Watsonville High, Seaside High, Salinas High, Stevenson High in Pebble Beach too ashamed of their students’ efforts to use the media? The Western Stage at Hartnell takes care of itself, but other performance events at Hartnell are kept totally under wraps. Same with CSU Monterey Bay. Same with Monterey Peninsula College, except for its theater company. Virtually all high schools, public and private, in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties have completely failed to service a media mailing list, even if they have one. Most inexplicable of all is the Millennium Charter High School at Sherwood Hall and the Monterey County Office of Education which has touted itself as a performing arts high school. How hard can it be to maintain and use a mailing list? Or, as suggested above, is the real reason those of us willing to spread the word are kept in the dark. (PS Thank you Santa Catalina School.)  

ELSA CON, 1949-2018

PHILIP PEARCE joined theater colleagues to remember and celebrate this remarkable and determined stage personality. To read his remembrances, click HERE

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND

ESPECIALLY FINNISH CELTIC at the BBC Proms.

 

A STRANGER IN THE MAGIC KINGDOM

WALT DISNEY AND DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH, 29 October, 1959.

 

COMPOSER ALMA DEUTSCHER

ONE YEAR AGO, at age 12, she played her own violin concerto with Symphony Silicon Valley. Here she performs it in July 2017 along with the premiere of her Piano Concerto in E-flat, with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra at the Carinthischer Sommer Festival. She’s now 13 and brilliantly talented with masterful compositional technique, if plainly derivative of 19th century middle European models. If she’s to outgrow her prodigious youth as a composer she will need to be guided into the 21st century. Otherwise, her reputation will ultimately depend on her talents as a performer, which are formidable. Here are both works.

 

RHAPSODY IN BLACK

THE LIFE and music of Roy Orbison. By John Kruth.

HE WAS BLESSED WITH a set of pipes that Elvis Presley claimed were the best in the business. His eyes hidden behind his perpetual Ray-Bans, Roy Orbison stood perfectly still onstage, singing songs of devastating heartbreak. Bob Dylan compared him to a professional killer, claiming the intensity of Orbison’s operatic tenor was enough to make him “drive off a cliff.” Neil Young stated, “It’s almost impossible to comprehend the depth of his soul. There’s something sad but proud about Roy’s music.” And Bono later claimed he was not only enthralled by Orbison’s “angelic voice,” but considered “In Dreams” to be “probably the greatest pop song ever written.” Orbison’s singing has inspired everyone who has heard it, from Springsteen to k. d. lang, and laid the very foundation for goth. While fascinating from a pop culture standpoint, it is Orbison’s life’s journey that makes a great story that has yet to be told to its fullest. Rhapsody in Black doesn’t shy away from or trivialize the personal pain, alienation, and tragic events that shaped Orbison’s singular personality and music. Roy Orbison wasn’t merely a singer but a sonic alchemist who, in the end, transformed unfathomable human misery into transcendent melody and platinum records. Rhapsody in Black contains interviews with over 20 people who worked closely with Orbison throughout his life.

IT WAS

CHELY WRIGHT, loved in Nashville for all the right reasons, then hated in Nashville for righteously hypocritical ones.

 

FRESH REVIEWS

SUDS at the Colligan in Santa Cruz, and THE DROWSY CHAPERONE in Salinas. Click HERE

SOPRANO CA JORDAN with Santa Cruz Chamber Players. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

RAY BROWN QUINTET with Eddie Mendenhall at Kuumbwa. BRUCE HORNSBY plays Carmel. COMEDIAN DANIEL TOSH in Monterey. TANDY BEAL’S JOY! at UCSC. SPECTACULAR VARIETY SHOW at Hidden Valley.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor