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Showing posts from November, 2014

They Call Me Mimí: La Bohéme at the SF Opera

Giocomo Puccini's La Bohéme at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House was a flamboyant production with love, jealousy, friendship, and death. Conducted by Giuseppe Finzi and directed by John Caird, this performance was conspicuous in all of its factors.

Alexey Markov, Marcello, persuaded the audience of his broken heart with his rich timbre of voice.

Michael Fabiano, Rodolfo, sprang up to the high notes with lots of energy, intriguing the audience with his lovely tone.

Christian Van Horn, Colline, is a familiar performer for me and I found his performance as memorable as all of the other ones I had attended to.

Hadleigh Adams, Schaunard, was an entertaining supporting character.

Dale Travis, Benoît and Alcindoro, despite the briefness of his roles made an engraving in the listener's brain.

Alexia Voulgaridou, Mimí, brought the audience to tears with her sweet voice, with which she manifested the character's hidden lust.

Nadine, Sierra, Musetta, kept the audience laughin…

Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Band Concert

This concert followed Saturday night's Orchestra concert and had a completely different mood. Conducted by Maestro Brad Hogarth, the afternoon was filled with upbeat band music. Of course, there was a moment dedicated to Maestro Matt Cmiel, but I'll get to that later.

The first piece was Overture for Winds by Charles Carter. I have to make a confession that this repertoire is almost completely foreign to me with only a few exceptions, so my recollection of the performed pieces is not as clear as it would have been if I was actually acquainted with most of these pieces. Despite this, I'll do my best to describe what I heard. Overture for Winds was a strong opening to the concert. With its vigorous mood and triumphant character, this piece awoke the people who had managed to fall asleep as they waited for the concert to begin.

Variations on a Korean Folk Song by John Barnes Chance was my favorite piece in the first half. It was very interesting to hear a Korean folk song in t…

Ruth Asawa School of the Arts Orchestra Concert

This concert, being Maestro Matt Cmiel's last concert at SOTA, was filled with many emotions, for good or for bad. There were lots of tears, but I think that the tears were for the best and that Maestro Cmiel will achieve many great things.

The first piece on the program was Concerto in f minor, Opus. 8, Winter from The Four Seasons Antonio Vivaldi. Allegro non molto included soloist Anju Goto; Largo Kosette Rodriguez-Sanchez; and Allegro Charles Thollander. Ms. Goto's confident performance assured the audience that what she was doing up there was extremely easy. We all know it was a good performance when the audience thinks that it came naturally and easy to the one on stage. Ms. Rodriquez-Sanchez performed the long, melodious phrases with fragrance of tone, allowing the audience to bathe in the sound and forget about everything. Mr. Thollander was very artistic both musically and visually. After performing his movement, he flung his arm up with the bow, intriguing the audien…