MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Don Pasquale and Andrea Chénier at San Francisco Opera

brownlee-as-ernesto

In addition to Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber, I reviewed September’s other two productions at San Francisco Opera: a winning Don Pasquale (in which Larry Brownlee made his company debut) and a weak Andrea Chénier. The review is online at Musical America (subscription required):

SAN FRANCISCO—Was it merely coincidence or a cleverly tucked-away reference by way of programming? Regardless, San Francisco Opera opened its new season with a trio of operas in rotation … »Read

Filed under: Lawrence Brownlee, Musical America, review, San Francisco Opera

Mark Morris Dance Joins Silk Road for Layla and Majnun

2d6c2ed6-89ae-11e6-938a-4ee085261bf6-1560x1144My Seattle Times preview of the latest show from Mark Morris Dance Group, in collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, is now online:

The world-renowned choreographer (and native Seattleite) Mark Morris teams with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble for a new work of music and dance based on the Middle Eastern story <i>Layla and Majnun</i>.

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Filed under: choreography, Mark Morris, Seattle Times

Miller Theatre’s Salute to Steve Reich

Happy 80th to Steve Reich!

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Tomorrow’s sold-out concert at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre opens the season with a focus on Steve Reich.

The program includes two somewhat lesser-known works, both variations: Daniel Variations and You Are (Variations).  Here is the program essay I wrote for the Miller Theatre:

“The function of music is to refresh the spirit and stimulate the mind.” Alluding to J.S. Bach’s title page to the third part of his Clavierübung, Steve Reich once contributed this response to a question about the function of contemporary music.

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Filed under: Uncategorized

San Francisco Opera’s Dream of the Red Chamber

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Pureum Jo as Dai Yu (c)Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

My review of the world premiere production of Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber at San Francisco Opera has now been posted on Musical America (behind paywall):

SAN FRANCISCO—By its very nature, opera is a medium well-suited to synthesizing widely varied traditions into fascinating new hybrids. Dream of the Red Chamber, which received its world premiere production by San Francisco Opera in September, seeks to adapt one of the most beloved works of Chinese literature to the musical and theatrical dimensions of Western opera.

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Filed under: Musical America, review, San Francisco Opera

RIP Sir Neville Marriner (1924-2016)

Gramophone looks back over the long, influential career of a master:

Sir Neville Marriner’s natural habitat for the past half-century has been the recording studio. With the Academy of St Martin in the Fields he has made hundreds of recordings of a breadth of repertoire that few other conductors (even the equally eclectic Herbert von Karajan) achieved…. His performances of music of the Classical period … were characterised by the vitality and energy of which Murray Perahia speaks.

From Tim Page’s obituary:

The decision to name the ensemble the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields was a practical one.

“It was the place where we gave our first ever concert back in 1958, so there’s significance in that,” Mr. Marriner told the London Daily Telegraph in 2014. “But the real reason we took the name was that the vicar let us rehearse there for free so long as we publicized the church. That was the deal. And it was his idea that we should be an ‘academy’ rather than the ‘chamber orchestra’ we’d originally planned to call ourselves.”

 

Filed under: music news, obituary

Musical America‘s New Artist of the Month: Pablo Rus Broseta

Here’s my profile of the highly talented conductor Pablo Rus Broseta for Musical America. He’s the featured new Artist of the Month for October 2016. Congratulations, Pablo!

It’s a couple days before the season officially begins with an ambitious program, and Seattle Symphony Associate Conductor Pablo Rus Broseta is monitoring the sound balance from the hall during the first full rehearsal. A lot is at stake. Following the glitz and good will of the SSO’s gala opening a few days ago, this concert represents a sort of manifesto of the orchestra’s programming philosophy under Music Director Ludovic Morlot.

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Filed under: conductors, Musical America, Seattle Symphony

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