CCMN: Britten and turkeys and Hanukkah and Advent…

autumn gourds

Vocal focus from CCMN*

Lauri D. Goldenhersh’s Weekly Highlights

With a big anniversary for Benjamin Britten, the looming Thanksgiving festivities and the clear start of the holiday concert frenzy, this week marks the start of the pell-mell ride to the new year. We’re covering events into early December here, as I’ll be out and about next week.

The biggest chunk of Britten 100/LA festivities hits this weekend, as Ben’s 100th birthday would have been Friday, 11/22.  Offerings include two concerts by NOVA VOCAL ENSEMBLE and a series of concerts helmed by LAO music director JAMES CONLON, who is a very, very busy guy at the moment. His week includes a sold-out event at St. James in the City, two performances of the ‘War Requiem’, ‘Falstaff’ and ‘Magic Flute’ shows at the Music Center, and a concert performance of ‘Falstaff’ in Orange County.

Speaking of which — be sure to catch the Shakespeare/Verdi mashup and the visionary German production of ‘The Magic Flute’ at LA OPERA — both running now.  We tweeted from the dress rehearsal Wednesday night — check Twitter for #LAOMagicFlute for details.  I’ve never heard so many “ooos” and “aahs” and spontaneous laughter from an opera audience.  We’ll have more on the blog later, too.  A 7th performance of the Mozart has been added, so get your seat while you can.  For details and tickets, click here.

The first of the season’s ‘Messiahs’ are here, as LOS ROBLES MASTER CHORALE brings together a skilled chorus and promising soloists, all under the baton of LESLEY LEIGHTON.  Two performances — Saturday 11/23 and Sunday 11/24..  Get details and tickets by clicking here.

For more oratorio wonderment, go to Pacific Palisades on Sunday, as their Presbyterian church presents Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ in the afternoon.  With the Chancel Choir, orchestra and organist FRANCES NOBERT, led by music director JAMES VAIL, the concert features baritone MICHAEL MCCLISH as Elijah, as well as tenor JONATHAN MACK, alto LAUREL SANDERS, soprano MARIANA RAMIREZ and soprano CAROL STEPHENSON.  This highly anticipated concert is free and in a beautiful setting, and somehow ‘Elijah’ seems perfect for the lead-up to Thanksgiving.  For more details, click here.

Once the turkey naps are over and Black Friday has subsided, get your Hannukah on with  Handel’s ‘Judas Maccabeus‘ from PACIFIC CHORALE and the ORANGE COUNTY SYMPHONY.  Soka Performing Arts is also welcoming the fabulous NY POLYPHONY to their beautiful space.  Get info on these and more on the calendar.

As a music community, we have a great deal to be thankful for, and never is SoCal’s cultural bounty more evident than during the holidays.  So, happy Thanksgiving, feast well on food, drink and music, and of course, thank you for supporting live singing!


Lauri D. Goldenhersh


(Updated:  This column, as it appeared this week in CCMN, included reference to a performance of ‘Ceremony of Carols’ that was in our notes, but no longer appears on local calendar.  Sincere apologies for the error.)

For details about these and many other vocal events, go to, now the largest centralized resource for classical vocal events in SoCal. Be sure to send your event info to so we can include you!

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*This post echoed from Lauri’s 11/14/13 column in the Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter. The original is a text-based email newsletter, and images, links and details may differ here.

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