Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

HIDDEN VALLEY MASTERS’ FESTIVAL presents jazz flutist ALI RYERSON (above) hosts her Jazz Flute Club Night and an oboe recital by ELAINE DOUVAS, principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. MERMAID MADONNA: TALES OF A CRISIS opens at Center Stage in Santa Cruz to tell the story of the Syrian refugee crisis. SOFYA GULYAK performs for Aptos Keyboard Series. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events, click on the display ads, left, or on our CALENDAR

SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINT AT PACREP

ACTOR VINCENT SERRANO, who appeared in recent productions of the musicals Mamma Mia and Billy Elliot, last week e-blasted everyone connected with Pacific Repertory in recent years with accusations of explicit sexual harassment by actors and producers of both sexes, with graphic descriptions. PacRep spokesperson Julie Hughett told us by phone the matter has been referred to their attorney. We offered Serrano the benefit of the doubt by email, even suggesting that he may have overreacted, and got this reply, “You have your opinions and I have my experiences as they are one to go through. But thank you for reassuring your judgment. I’m not the only one dealing with these sort of grooming tactics at the Golden Bough theatre and Forest theater. I’ve witness multiple inappropriate gestures and comments made to other cast members who are under the age and this type of abuse will not stop even if people choose to think otherwise.” 

DANCING TO THE MUSE OF EARTHQUAKES

MOON RIBAS dances to the beat of the Earth. A self-described cyborg artist in Barcelona. Click HERE

DANCING IN SYRIA COULD BE DEADLY FOR MEN

AHMAD JOUDEH was born in a refugee camp in Syria. At the tender age of 8, he discovered the magic of dance. Click HERE   

WHY IS PUBLIC FUNDING OF THE ARTS SO PROBLEMATIC?

FRANÇOIS MATAROSSO ruminates on “the tinnitus of my professional life.” Click HERE  

WHY ARTISTS ARE SO EASILY EXPLOITED, PART 2

GEMMA TIPTON investigates for The Irish Times. Click HERE

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

DER FREISCHÜTZ is a German language Singspiel—a play with spoken dialog and singing—that emerged in the 18th century at the behest of Joseph II, the Emperor of Austria, to encourage composers to bring their own vernacular to the opera stage. His National Singspiel functioned from 1778 to 1783, the year after it had produced Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). Despite its brief five-year existence, the precedent was set. Mozart would return to the style with Die Zauberflöte in 1791. Beethoven’s Fidelio followed in 1805, Weber’s Der Freischütz in 1821, and numerous reiterations through the 19th and 20th centuries. But Weber couldn’t have known the impact Der Freischütz would have, especially on Richard Wagner who recognized a dimension of romanticism, especially the supernatural, that he would make his own. (Even Beethoven was surprised and impressed by “the little mannequin.”) This new DVD video release was recorded from two performances in 2017 at La Scala in Milan, which is not only the premiere house of Italian opera but only rarely where Singspiel would reasonably be expected. All the principal roles are taken here by German-speakers from north of the Alps. The veteran opera conductor Myung-Whun Chung took charge on the podium, with stage direction by Matthias Hartmann, set designs by Raimund Orfeo Voigt, video direction by Jean Pierre Loisil. This opera (Singspiel) has comedic bits, like The Magic Flute, and a faltering betrothal when Max (tenor Michael König) suddenly loses his gift as a sharpshooter—which is what Freischütz means—and gets help with magic bullets that cannot fail to find their target offered from Kaspar (Günther Groissböck), arias for the two women, the lovesick Agathe (Julia Kleiter) and the busybody Annchen (Eva Liebau) and ends with all parties and chorus agreeing praises for ‘doing the right thing’ and punishing evil, like the finale to Mozart’s Don Giovanni. But the theatrical high point is the ‘Wolf Glen at midnight’ scene in which Kaspar casts the bullets and calls for the satanic blessing of Samiel (Frank van Hove), which in live stagings like this one, and recordings is usually amplified for effect. If you like the supernatural, the romantic and a touch of comedy in your operatic experience then this is a good place to start. SM

iTUNES IS DEAD, R.I.P.

FROM LAST WEEK, Brian Barrett reporting for Gear. Click HERE  

BYE BYE BLACKBIRD

 

THE MAN WHO MADE THE OJAI FESTIVAL ‘COOL’

THE VISIONARY Thomas W Morris, who branded an indelible mark on the Southern California music festival in tiny Ojai, is stepping down. Click HERE  

HEATWAVE

 

NEXT WEEK

SMASH MOUTH on the beach in Santa Cruz. CÉCILE McLORIN SALVANT & SULLIVAN FORTNER at Kuumbwa. BEYONCE’S all-female band reunion, and SEPTETO ACAREY at the Fox in Salinas. JOHN MAYALL at the Rio. LITTLE WOMEN, THE MUSICAL at The Western Stage.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor