Holiday Glory Galore

 A quick roundup of Christmas services If you’re not already singing somewhere for Christmas this year, you won’t want to miss some of the best music of the season.  There’s something particularly warm and inspiring about traditional carols, a special concert or a seasonal piece such as Britten’s unique and evocative Ceremony of Carols.  Here are … Read more

Singing Paul and Mary (sans Peter)

Although the dramatic and memorable music of Paul Hindemith is performed less often than one might expect for a composer of his monumental stature, a quick look at his publisher’s website shows that no fewer than 40 major performances were scheduled in seven countries in December 2011 alone, and that’s just the concerts they know … Read more

Christmas Lessons

    We feature events at St. James’ in the City fairly regularly in this space, and with good reason: under the leadership and superb musicianship of director and organist James Buonemani, this church has consistently presented some of the best music in town for more than a decade. Nestled in the crook between Hancock … Read more

Pianomania — Catch it quick…

Take a break before the next wave of schedule craziness hits, and catch a documentary that delves into someone else’s: Pianomania is getting raves in Europe and awards in the US, as it follows Steinway’s chief technician in Vienna as he tries to match specific pianos to world-famous concert pianists and the works they must … Read more

If composers were crops…

The arts, like farmers, are more and more focused on local sustainability nowadays, and the results show similarities beyond rhetoric: smaller entities are flourishing and offering innovative products, and the trend toward nurturing nearby artisans brings good things for all involved. This weekend’s new music offering in Long Beach is a prime example of what … Read more

RIP Salvatore Licitra, tenor

We occasionally provide a sort of link round-up of memoria and obituaries when the online press is particularly focused on the loss of one prominent musician. Recent episodes of this have included eminent composers Milton Babbitt and Peter Lieberson, and although we choose the subjects of these round-ups based on ever-evolving criteria, this incident is quite unusual in … Read more

Growth industry in the jungle

Although ‘El Canguro’ is literally translated as ‘the kangaroo’, the title of this new opera refers to a pregnant young woman, and the story tells of a corrupt adoption system that used the creation of life as an economic game.  The topic is best explained with the librettist’s own words: My first exposure to the … Read more

‘Yeomen of the Guard’ in Sierra Madre

– by Elyse Cook (08/27/11) The Yeoman of the Guard is the darkest, and perhaps most emotionally and musically powerful, of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas. Set in the Tower of London the plot revolves around Colonel Fairfax, who is wrongly accused of sorcery by his cousin and sentenced to death. Within an hour of his execution, … Read more

Katie Campbell, ‘End of the Beginning’

Katie Campbell at Boston Court, 7/30/11 CD Release Party – End of the Beginning by Amy Engelhardt Katie Campbell is a freshly uncorked bottle of champagne.  The excitement of the initial pop, the giggly bubble as it pours into a glass, the raised eyebrows when you lift the potion to your lips, and the fizzy … Read more

Rave: ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ in Santa Monica

Did you make it to ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ this weekend? Hi, folks — This is a prime example of why I don’t do real reviews on this site: I’m way too biased, and prefer ‘Raves’, where I can gush without restraint. Pacific Opera Project‘s latest offering, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, was great fun and a rare … Read more

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