Lent, weather and time flying

Something strange comes together this week, as the rain, snow, and hail bring much-needed precipitation (and flood alerts) to SoCal, often with surprises in tow — including the shocking realizations that not only are we already two months into 2023, Morten Lauridsen is celebrating his 80th birthday this year, with hopefully many to come.

With Ash Wednesday taking place a few days ago, we are now in the Lenten season, and church musicians will see a shift in repertoire as well as mood. Some of you may be giving something up between now and Easter, and we wish you well with that time-honored ritual. But it’s also very clear that spring is on the way, and this über-transitional time gives us a chance to reflect and dive into change with exuberance and joy.

Music highlights

The week’s coming events are diverse themselves, as well as honoring diversity: watch for the UCLA perfs+conference events starting Sunday, centered around a groundbreaking and purposeful cantata by Dave Brubeck. Tickets to the two performances are free, feature some of the Listerhood’s favorite artists, and not to be missed. (That’s our featured event below, and we’ll send a separate nudge tomorrow morning, so you can be sure to get your seats.)

Opera buffs have several options to choose from, whether it’s light opera in Malibu from Pepperdine Opera; classic Mozart from LA Opera; a master class at Chapman University with the beloved Lawrence Brownlee; or a variety of operatically-inclined fare from the emerging-artists in the Fox Singers, a professional core that serves The Verdi Chorus, which is one of SoCal’s longest-standing choral orgs.

If you can, don’t miss the nationally-hailed continuation of Kate Soper’s Romance of the Rose in San Pedro, with the production from Long Beach Opera that has been chosen as a New York Times critic’s pick and is getting impressive reviews from critics all over. (It’s sure to sell out!)

For some choral music that sheds new light on our racial history, catch the Wagner Ensemble in their performance of Michael Dawson Connor‘s Slave Letters on Sunday. These are intuitive settings that are sometimes raw and powerful, and should be performed more widely.

Feeling Dickensian? Head to Riverside on Sunday for a benefit Evensong from Raincross Master Chorale, as part of the IE’s epic Dickens festival. (Now that’s a mashup!) Tickets are just $10, and support scholarships for young singers within the chorale.

Don’t stay home!

We know the weather is terrible, but get out your umbrella, warm coat and galoshes, drive safe, and get to some great music this week.

…and save the date!

The schmooze initially set for Monday has been postponed to March 13, in the hope that we’ll all be a little less waterlogged by then. (But we’re not postponing it again — put that date in your calendar!) Join us at our favorite gathering spot in Pasadena, and bring your promo materials for whatever you’re working on, so we can discuss over pizza, artisan lemonade and navy bean soup. We want to hear from you!

See you soon!

Originally published as part of Next7 — Vocal events through 3/2/23

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