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Vocal focus from CCMN*
Southern CA Vocal Events

Lauri D. Goldenhersh’s Weekly Highlights

Choral music brings out the big guns this weekend, as the Southland’s two largest pro choruses perform a total of five of my very favorite composers: LA MASTER CHORALE offers two performances of music by Eric Whitacre and Arvo Pärt at Disney Hall on Saturday and Sunday, and PACIFIC CHORALE sings works by Giuseppe Verdi, Herbert Howells and Francis Poulenc, with one performance on Sunday in Orange County. These five composers encompass all that is right and profound about choral music, with rich chords and staggering beauty. PC’s concert is also the debut of their new director, Robert IstadROBERT ISTAD (pictured), who will take over when John Alexander retires next year. (Congrats, Rob!) If you don’t have tickets to at least one of these concerts yet, run.  See the calendar or the orgs’ websites for more details.

Speaking of fabulosity, the unforgettable mezzo JOYCE DIDONATO comes to The Broad on Saturday. DiDonato is one of the world’s most famous and most outspoken divas, with a personality that sparkles through every role. The concert is sold out, of course, as it’s an intimate venue with limited seating, so it’s a good time to call friends and see who’s holding. (Good luck with that.)  Read about it anyway

Two of LA’s revered church directors join forces for Mendelssohn’s Elijah this weekend, as DR. JAMES SMITH and GREGORY NORTON bring together the choirs Westwood UMC and First UMC of Santa Monica (where the concert is held) for a free concert of one of the most beloved masterworks in the repertoire. The choral juggernaut features baritone PATRICK BLACKWELL as the prophet, and a bevy of fine soloists from both choirs: sopranos STEPHANIE ASTON, BARBARA SMITH and JESSICA MIRSHAK, mezzos ERIN WOOD and KIRK GARNER, tenors MATTHEW MILES and WILLIAM TRABOLD and baritone MICHAEL TURNBLOM. Conducting of the combined choir and orchestra will be shared between Smith and Norton, which is unusual, but no doubt well in hand. Again, the concert is free, with voluntary offerings accepted.  Get details

Finally, the long-awaited Ariadne auf Naxos has arrived from PACIFIC OPERA PROJECT, and starts tonight. (See a scene from the dress rehearsal above!) The company is on a winning streak, with more than two dozen sold-out performances in a row, but we hear there are still a few tables and seats left for performances here and there.  Learn more on their website

Schedule note

Next week’s column and our the Next 7 newsletter will cover two weeks, right through Memorial Day weekend and all the way to June 4.  If you have vocal events scheduled for that period (or even the week after), please send the information NOW to this email address.  We’ll have our summer publication schedule (generally every other week, starting late June) with the next issue, as well.  Thanks!

For those graduating this weekend (or popping buttons as proud teachers and family members), big congratulations!  Hope everyone has a great week — as always, thank you for supporting live singing!

Lauri D. Goldenhersh

CORRECTION:  Sincere apologies to Patrick Blackwell for the auto-correct error in the CCMN newsletter this week.  His name has been corrected here, with deep regrets for the snafu.

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*This post echoed from the weekly vocal events column in the Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter. The original is a text-based email newsletter, so images, links and details may differ here.


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