Weekly Update

Obituary-Elegy-for-lost-verbiage-3570x1680

ELEGY FOR LOST VERBIAGE

THE ECONOMIST’S obituary editor, Ann Wroe, laments all the words to be deleted from the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) in 2016 by spinning them into a yarn about a cobbler at a snooty cocktail party. Click HERE

US SENATE PASSES “ESSA” BILL, S.1177

AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY supported “Every Student Succeeds Act” putting public school music education on equal footing with other Common Core subjects. The National Association for Music Education provides perspective. Click HERE

KUSP’S ACCELERATING ‘CONTINENTAL DRIFT’

PRESENTER JIM EMDY sent this to Bruce Bratton’s online column: “Emdy, host of KUSP’s, “The Opera Show” for many, many years emailed to tell us…“effective December 7th all weekday classical block has been deleted, replaced by local jazz from 8 to 11pm. Classical is relegated to Sunday 7 to 10 am and evening 7 to 9pm.”. Jim says, “I will continue on KKUP and expand my exposure there.” Bratton adds, “This makes one wonder what is happening at KUSP. Santa Cruzans flock to The Cinema 9 to see/hear the live telecasts of The Metropolitan Operas, Miriam Ellis’s S.C.O.S.I. (Santa Cruz Opera Society Inc.) has an amazing loyal following yet, KUSP’s killing of opera doesn’t seem too community minded…what is somebody trying to prove??”

SCHWARZENEGGER’S HORAArnold in Sacramento

YOU COULDN’T make this up. Norman Lebrecht just found out about it, though it took place five years ago. Click HERE

THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER

THORNTON WILDER’S libretto was made into an opera by the great mid-20th century German composer Paul Hindemith, famous for his contrapuntal skill and propulsive urgency. Like the play, the one-act 49-minute opera concentrates tbridge hindemithhe characters of two interrelated families over a span of 90 years, from mid-19th century to the Vietnam War, and relives them through old memories and succeeding generations. A dark door of the set is the portal to death as one generation passes into the next. The new Bridge Records recording, live at Alice Tully Hall in New York, with soloists and members of the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein, reveals yet again Hindemith’s unique skill of keeping music and words in clear focus. While there may not be many take-home tunes—you hear God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen in the introduction—his best skills emerge in the ensemble pieces, especially a big sextet “We talk of the weather.” He also displays a deft touch for the joys and sorrows of the characters, many themselves assigned to the same cast of eight singers. The new CD won Best Opera Recording of 2015 as adjudged by Limelight Magazine.

CALENDAR ITEMS

INCLUDE SPECTORDANCE Holiday Performance and Nutcrackers, performances by two companies, one each in Santa Cruz and Monterey. Plus, South Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir to finish the year at Sunset Center on Thursday. Click HERE

PERFORMING ARTS PEOPLE

THANKS TO the ESSA law, things are looking up for public school music programs. James Paoletti, educator and executive of the Orchestra in the Schools (OITS) has sustained an invaluable 25-year legacy. Click HERE

Scott MacClelland, editor