I CANTORI DI CARMEL introduces Tom Lehmkuhl (see below) in concerts at Carmel Mission. HIDDEN VALLEY STRING ORCHESTRA plays rare works for a ‘transfigured’ season led by concertmaster Roy Malan, in performances in Carmel Valley and Santa Cruz. SMUIN’S CHRISTMAS BALLET (above photo by Keith Sutter) returns to Carmel with new works. A VERY CHERRY CHRISTMAS opens at Carmel’s Cherry Center. Lots of music at UC SANTA CRUZ plus the CABRILLO SYMPHONIC CHORUS at Holy Cross. For links to these and all the other live performance events, click our CALENDAR
WHAT THE DICKENS?!
OUR PHILIP PEARCE weighs in on A Christmas Carol. Click HERE
PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE
EVEN ON THE PHONE, Tom Lehmkuhl, the new conductor of I Cantori di Carmel chorus, projects a deeply sonorous baritone. But unless you’re a chorus member, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to hear it in musical action. (He was engaged to replace Sal Ferrantelli, longtime and popular leader who retired from the post last spring.) Since 2013 Lehmkuhl has been director of choral music at Carmel High and Middle Schools. Though a native of Walnut Creek, his route to Carmel has been anything but a straight shot. To read more, click HERE
SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL IMPLODING?
EDITORS DON MILLER AND WALLACE BAINE ARE OUT. Miller is also out as editor of the Monterey Herald. Both papers are owned by Digital First Media. For an alarming explanation, click HERE
REVIEWS IN BRIEF
THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SHOW (abridged)
MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY THEATER’S comedic production runs riot through Dec. 17 at Park Hall in Ben Lomond. The “Holiday Fruitcakes” of MCT push all the seasonal buttons, while sparing neither race, religion, politics nor sexual-orientation in this “Prairie Home Companion”-style entertainment of familiar holiday songs that come with freshly-butchered lyrics. The interactive “Twelve Days of Christmas” is a highlight…or an outrage. Plus no end of shtick in place of the listed Cleveland Castrato Choir, Muslim-American Ramadancers, Cirque du Sleigh and North Piddle & Happy Bottom Panto Players, all staged in the round. The “St Everybody’s Non-Denominational Universalist Church” production features ‘principals’ Karin Babbitt, W Scott Whisler and Jackson Wolffe (pictured) who certainly burn calories in their calisthenic cavitations. A troupe of eight and a band of five add further fuel to the fire. Leave the kids home; come for the laughs. And please accept stage director Kathie Kratochvil’s “Happymerrychristmakwanukkahanzukkah to all!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. (Actually, I couldn’t have said it at all.) SM
TANDY BEAL & CO. AT SANTA CRUZ CIVIC
“JOY!” is the name of a circus program that played five times on the weekend. It included hosting and solo skits—clowning, juggling & bike—by Pino & Razz, two Beal alumni (pictured) and Cirque du Soleil solo artists, (hula hooper) Natasha Kaluza, who wound up keeping 20 hoops going at once, rhythmic gymnast Saki and her dance troupe, Ethiopian foot juggler Etmolagn Hailu Getachew and young Mongolian contortionists Khulan Myagmyagmabsurmen and Huslen Zorgoo. Live music and sound effects were provided by the talented six-member, acapella SoVoSó, inspired by Beal’s collaborations with Bobbie McFerrin. There were audience-interactive bits and Beal herself appeared in the stage-filled starry night scene. Pino (Diane Wasnak) did a crystaline pantomime of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This weekend “JOY!” moves to the smaller Hammer Theatre at San Jose State. Circus at its intimate best! SM
ROWLAND REBELE, major Santa Cruz philanthropist and Symphony supporter weighs in on Daniel Stewart and the Symphony’s all-orchestral program at the Mello reviewed HERE on Nov. 21: “Your description of what Danny did with all three pieces last Sunday enlivened them again for me.”
OPERA SUPERSTAR DIES AT 55
DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY taken by brain cancer. Click HERE
HVOROSTOVSKY’S THRIUMPH AT THE 1989 Cardiff Singer of the World competition.
JOSHUA KOSMAN’S comment in the Chronicle last week on John Adams’ new Girls of the Golden West. Click HERE
MAKING MUSIC THE OLD WAY, PART 1
REVIVING THE AULOS from ancient Greece. Click HERE
CAMERATA SINGERS OF MONTEREY COUNTY perform in Salinas and Monterey. Much more music from CABRILLO COLLEGE, including Cantiamo!’s “A Concert for a Winter’s Eve” in Carmel and Santa Cruz.
Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor