Archive for the ‘west side story’ Tag
In the midst of the embarrassment of riches jcm partook in this year, above all, it was the year of the art song, “Hasa Diga Eebowa,” and contemporary american opera (and THIS without even having seen Moby Dick ;-(. This was particularly good news for art song and american opera, as it’s more the norm to bemoan their demise these days.
In capturing the highlights of the year, the performance and production were weighed most heavily, but in the case of new material, the script and score were of course considerations. Oh, and who can help some personal biases slipping in? Not jcm (ie: West Side Story = the greatest show ever written)! SO, here goes…
1) Sandrine Piau, (Susan Manoff, piano) CalPerfs, Hertz Hall
It was as if a gentle, gamine spirit had landed for just an hour or two, gracing us with her rare magic. She left us transfixed, susceptible to the whims of her potent storytelling. The program was studio-ready in its refinement and attention to detail, yet never bland or white-washed. She uses her lyric instrument to full advantage, painting a broad palette of tones and expressions. The very satisfying program featured french, german and english sets of Fauré, Bouchot, Chausson, Mendelssohn, Strauss and Britten, followed by a generous set of encores: “Voyage a Paris,” “Clair de lune,” and Strauss’s “Madchen Blumlein.”
Karina Gauvin, (Michael McMahon, piano) Weill Hall at the Green Music Center
The Bay Area has been given a great gift in the form of the new Green Music Center. In structure it is reminiscent of the great Musikverein of Vienna. It is nearly all wood, which is visually rich, and acoustically perfect. In a word, intoxicating. This was the inaugural recital of the hall’s vocal series. They programmed very well, especially as Karina’s Bay Area appearances are rare. Highlights included: “Le Printemp” by Hahn, “Phylidé” and “L’Invitation au Voyage” by Duparc. For her encores, she performed Weill (ie: Weill Hall) and the Scottish “Ae Fond Kiss.” The latter was deeply satisfying. Her english diction is stunning, and her textual delivery particularly soulful. On a personal note, her sister and mother were in the audience, just a few rows in front of me. She shared that this was the rare performance they were able to attend, and dedicated a song to her sister. A special night indeed.
2) The Book of Mormon, National Tour, Curran Theatre
It takes you by the balls, and won’t let you go. I’ve rarely seen the kind of go-for-broke commitment from a cast as this. 21 year-old Grey Hensen, who played Moroni and Elder McKinley, as well as Jared Gertner as Elder Cunningham stole the show. I live for Gavin Creel, but oddly he seemed not to embody the role as much as to act it. Surely he’s settled into it by now, or will fully by its UK West End run. The first 20 minutes have to be the most perfectly crafted portion of almost any Broadway show I’ve seen LIVE. You know…those laughing-and-crying at the same time moments? The vocal power in the ensemble numbers was very impressive. Having an 8 year-old behind us in the audience made the profanity and vulgarity seem even more raucous and saucy.
Thank goodness today is the final day of The Omniscient Mussel’s contest. I’m feeling the need to race off to #OperaPlot 12-Step after this week (it’s insanely addictive)! I want those tickets to Ireland so bad, I can smell the shamrocks.
Now, cross your fingers with me, and pray that hunkentenor (Jonas) chooses right! In my next post I’ll share my favorites from ALL the entries (there are some doozies), and then follow up with the actual prize winners. But for now, here’s my second round of tweets…
My Final 13 Entries
“Ice Ice Baby” [Jenufa]
My head says Turandon’t! But my heart says Turando! [Turandot]
“It Takes a Village (To Ice a Child)” [Jenufa, variation]
“It Takes a Village to Raze a Child” [Jenufa]
“Kaiser & Kaiserin Plus 8″ [Die Frau ohne Schatten, variation]
AsAlbaniansTheyKnew/BothSistersThey’dWoo/AudiencesAgelessHijinksDothTickle. [Così fan tutte]
Irish ♀ + Breton ♂ = ♥ death [Tristan und Isolde, variation]
My dazzling beauty, vast pleasure palace & pearly fioriture weren’t enough for “The Six Tenors”? Screw love, revenge is sweeter! [Armida]
A cautionary tale about eloping with Papa Smurf, honeymoon feng shui & baggage. Behind door #7? “The Real Housewives of Hungary” [Bluebeard’s Castle]
“Women Are Like That/Thus Do They All/The School for Lovers/Tit for Tat/Fiancée Swap/Such Are All Women” (Call it what you will!) [Così fan tutte]
Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered, but mum’s the word…smooch, smooch, glub, glub. [Rusalka] (via Gil)
“Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was freak like me? Don’t cha, don’t cha?” [The Threepenny Opera]
I ♥ NY [West Side Story]