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Showing posts from June, 2014

The Grand Premiere of La Traviata at the SF Opera

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Okay, the first thing I will do is apologize about writing this review almost a week after the premiere actually happened. But nonetheless, I think it is necessary to write about such an event. (I want to mention that I went to the dress rehearsal of Kern's Showboat and didn't write anything on it because I was too lazy.)
The set itself was very colorful and attractive. The costumes were beautiful and made the production very nice to look at. The set designer is John Conklin. Cabell, Violetta, had beautiful rich tones in the lower register of her voice rather than in the higher one, which to me seemed quite strange considering the fact that Violetta is a role for a lyric soprano. Her high notes were enticing nonetheless, but they didn't seem as those of a soprano. Her dramatic manner of singing added to the unfortunate character of Violetta and helped the audience understand the adversities the fallen woman was forced to face. When Cabell and Stoyanov (Papa Germont) were si…

Opening Gala Concert of the 2014 San Jose International Piano Competition

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The 15th annual San Jose International Piano Competition proudly presents Opening Gala Concert at the Le Petit Tianon Theatre. Pianists Stephan Móller, Namik Sultanov, and Antonio Pompa-Baldi, performed pieces by Beethoven, Schubert-Liszt, Amirov, Scriabin, Brahms, Debussy, and Lyapunov.

Stephan Móller prizewinner at the 1985 International Beethoven Competition in Vienna, mainly focuses on Viennese Classics, especially Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas. In addition, he concentrates on Franz Liszt's paraphrases of Wagner opera scenes and Liszt's transcriptions of Beethoven Symphonies. Móller assisted Herbert von Karajan and other conductors at the Salzburg Festival, during the years of 1983-1989. He is currently piano professor at the University for Music and performing Arts Vienna and is currently the president of the Vienna International Pianists Association.

Móller, performing Beethoven's 6 Bagatelles, Op. 126, performed with lots of expansive passion. The moment he set f…

Who Is That Lurking Around The Corner? Could It Be Mack The Knife?

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Waffle Opera presents The Threepenny Opera ( Die Dreigroschenoper) directed by Ted Zoldan. The English translation was by MIchael Feingold. The piece being originally in German was based on Elisabeth Hauptmann's German translation of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera. The music direction was by Ben Malkevitch.

Weill's The Threepenny Opera has a lot of important aspects of human life in it, in addition to wonderful music. Love, hatred, friendship, revenge... Despite being a pretty comedic work, it gets quite serious and deep at some moments. I'm going to refer to it as a music, rather than an opera or "play with musical aspects".

The Waffle Opera presented this musical in a very intimate environment, there being no stage whatsoever and hardly any chairs. The singers stood quite close to the audience and during intermission, when waffles were being passed around, it was possible to socialize with the performers themselves.



Roy Eikleberry (Tiger Brown, Betty) wa…

Post-Finals Treat

For those students who actually showed up to school on the last day of school, Band Director Brad Hogarth and Orchestra Director Matthew Cmiel performed pieces for trumpet and guitar for the few students who came, Mr. Cmiel on guitar and Mr. Hogarth on trumpet. This was a real treat and a great farewell before the summer.

The pieces performed were:
 Osvaldo Golijov, Agonia from La PasionMaurice Ravel, Piece In The Form Of A HabaneraHeitor Villa-Lobos, Aria From Bachianas Brasilieras Number 5Manuel De Falla, Homanaje Tombeau Por La Claude DebussyAstor Piazzolla, Cafe 1930 from The History Of The Tango
Trumpet and guitar are two instruments that are so different that it would seem that performing a piece together they would sound awkward and not fitting. This is, however, a misconception. I myself have been skeptical about trumpet and guitar playing together, but ever since I heard Mr. Cmiel and Mr. Hogarth playing together at one of the instrumental shows at SOTA I understood that they …