Ending in the middle

Vocal focus from CCMN*
Southern CA Vocal Events

Lauri D. Goldenhersh’s Weekly Highlights

There’s something electric about this transition between spring and summer, when the heat is building up, the main season is wrapping up, and tunes are swirling through Southern California like a frenzied last gasp. It’s an annual ritual that is easy to relish, with no end of options to keep us all busy and artistically gratified.

For vocal music buffs, one of the most obvious signs that summer is here is the arrival of the annual festivals. SONGFEST took residence at the Colburn School in late May, and they’re continuing to offer many concerts and master classes which are open to the public, and available for free or for just a small fee. But don’t let the price fool you: these are high-quality concerts featuring very talented emerging artists alongside well-known masters such as SANFORD SYLVAN, PETER SELLARS, SUSANNE MENTZNER, JAKE HEGGIE and JOHN HARBISON, to name just a few. Learn more by clicking:

The 70th ANNUAL OJAI MUSIC FESTIVAL, led this year by the inimitable PETER SELLARS, starts today and continues through the weekend. This world-class tradition makes the most of the quaint little town to the north, and can result in a lovely and unforgettable day trip, if not a whole weekend. Watch especially for appearances by vocal ensemble ROOMFUL OF TEETH and the world premiere of ‘Josephine Baker: A Portrait’ by TYSHAWN SOREY, with the composer on piano and drums, and performances by ICE and soprano JULIA BULLOCK. These are just a couple of quick picks, however — you won’t want to miss a thing. See the full schedule and get your tickets by clicking:

MUSIC ACADEMY OF THE WEST starts officially in Santa Barbara on 6/13, but there are other things on the calendar here and there throughout the year — it’s well worth adding your email address to their mailing lists. In this year’s Summer Festival, watch particularly for THOMAS HAMPSON in recital on 6/22, the world premiere of MATTHEW AUCOIN’s opera, Second Nature on 6/28, masterclasses throughout the summer, and of course, the annual Marilyn Horne Song Competition on 8/4. That’s just a taste — dive in by visiting their website.

As for individual events in the next week, look for CELESTIAL OPERA’s Carmen in South Pasadena, with four performances between now and 6/17. Two other presenters are straying from their usual beaten paths, such as CENTER STAGE OPERA’s Musical Champagne Brunch (instead of their regular and very popular dinners) and MEISTERSINGERS’ Coffeehouse Soirée CD fundraiser. Both of these are on Sunday 6/12.

Exploring great sacred masterworks, PASADENA MASTER CHORALE serves up two performances of Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’ on Saturday and Sunday in, of course, Pasadena.

Similarly entrenched in the sacred, PACIFIC CHORALE has concocted a program called ‘Cathedral Echoes’, led by artistic director JOHN ALEXANDER. Consider this a sort of pre-tour peek, as Alexander and the Chorale will travel to Budapest and Vienna over the summer, and gear up for that exciting journey with this performance, featuring guest organist ANDRÁS GÁBOR VIRÁGH, visiting from St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest. The diverse sacred program is unusual for the ensemble, and our spies tell us that the repertoire is “indescribably lush”. Sounds like a good place to start.

As our “week” ends on Thurs 6/16, a very unusual work begins at LA OPERA, with the world premiere of DAVID LANG and MARK DION’s Anatomy Theater, presented at REDCAT in Downtown L.A. If you like shows like ‘CSI’, ‘Criminal Minds’ or ‘Making a Murderer’, this could be just the operatic experience for you. With mezzo PEABODY SOUTHWELL as an 18th-century English murderess and also featuring fach- and genre-defying TIMUR (formerly Timur Bekbosunov), the talent in the room will be overwhelming. This gritty show is definitely not for kids, or for those with delicate sensibilities. But the adventurous heart won’t want to miss it. Ticket sales have been brisk, and an additional date has been added on Monday, 6/20.  Get yours

Schedule note

After this week, Lauri’s List will be publishing annual newsletters and vocal round-ups approximately every two weeks through the summer, instead of each week. Be sure to send us any event announcements and press releases as early as possible, so we can include your information. Watch the Singerpreneur blog for the complete schedule — we’ll post it next Wednesday, 6/15.


Thru 6/12 — La Bohème, LA OPERA — remaining performances conducted by GUSTAVO DUDAMEL

Check out our live tweets from this week’s dress rehearsal by searching for #DudamelatLAO on Twitter

Coming up

unSUNg starts a little later this year, with concerts July 10, July 31 and August 21. Our fourth season is as diverse and fascinating as the last, and we’re very excited about the programs we have planned for you. We’ll have details and tickets available next week. For general information about the series, click:

Well, that should keep you out of trouble. (Uh-huh.) As always, thank you for supporting live singing!

Lauri D. Goldenhersh

Check out the Lister Calendar: http://www.laurislist.com/calendar
Send us your event info: events.la@laurislist.com
Subscribe to e-news from the List: http://www.laurislist.com/enews
For the latest issue of Next 7, click: http://www.laurislist.com/Next7
Singerpreneur blog: https://www.singerpreneur.com


Featured images:  Graphic combines pics by Mayumi Ueno and  David Jones / Free Images

*This post echoed from the weekly vocal events column in the Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter, serving nearly seven thousand music fans all over Southern California. The original is a text-based email newsletter, so images, links and details may differ in this enhanced version.

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