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Showing posts from June, 2015

Le Nozze di Figaro at the SF Opera!

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Once again, this unforgettable opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart returns to the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House with a stunning cast almost identical to the one I remember from a few years ago. French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly as Figaro; American soprano Lisette Oropesa as Susanna; American soprano Nadine Sierra as Countess Almaviva; American mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Cherubino; Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni as Count Almaviva; American mezzo-soprano Catherine Cook as Marcellina; American tenor Greg Fedderly as Don Basilio; American soprano Maria Valdes as Barbarina; Former Adler Fellow and Merola alumnus Bojan Knežević as Antonio; and American soprano Virginia Pluth and mezzo-soprano Erin Neff as the two bridesmaids.

This spectacular performance, taking place last Sunday, on the 21st of June, was a wonderful entertainment on a gloomy Sunday afternoon. Conducted by Patrick Summers and directed by Robin Guarino, this production of Mozart's comedy is …

San Jose International Piano Competition: Awards Ceremony and Winners Concert

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Preceded by the competition itself, the Awards Ceremony and Winners Concert was as exciting as the opening Gala Concert. Featuring the young musicians who had won awards at the competition, this evening was a treat. I'm not going to write about every single performer due to my lack of time to complete this article.

Young Musicians winners were Emma Lai with Honorable Mention, Ryan Wang with 3rd prize, Harrison Chiang also with 3rd prize, Munan Cheng also with 3rd prize, Kasper Yoder with 2nd prize, and Lucie Kim with 1st prize. 
Junior Category winners were Ethan Yuen with Honorable Mention, Dominik Yoder with Honorable Mention, Catherine Huang with Honorable Mention, Josephine Chou with 3rd prize, Zixi Chen with 2nd prize, and Sarah Tuan with 1st prize. 
Intermediate Category winners were Victor Xie with 3rd prize, Phuong Vi Ngo with 2nd prize, and Misha Galant with 1st prize. 
Advanced Category winners were Jiuming Shen with 3rd prize, Thomas Steigerwald with 2nd prize, and Hran…

Pocket Opera: 2 Operas!

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San Franciscan small opera company, Pocket Opera, has surprised audiences all over the Bay Area numerous times. With their unforgettable artistic director Donal Pippin and wondrous cast of young and talented musicians, Pocket Opera thrives for 38 years through the duration of which Donal Pippin has not ceased being Artistic Director. This time, two operas were combined into one opera-go, Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci and Suppé's My Fair Galatea.

I Pagliacci, being the first one to be performed, was truly a tear-inducer. J Raymond Meyers, performing the main role of Canio, convinced the audience of his inner pain and suffering with the mere tone of his voice. Although Canio is not really a legitimate victim, to a certain degree, it was hard not to feel his pain as Mr. Meyer sang the famous aria, Vesti La Giubba. Alexandra Sessler, singing Nedda, also led the audience to tears with her emotional presence throughout the entire piece. Tonio, sung by Ben Brady, the actual evil character…

The San Jose International Piano Competition

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The San Jose International Piano Competition started out as a small, local competition with 35 local contestants and $500 in prize money.

"It's hard to believe how much the competition has grown since our humble beginning back in 2000..." says competition President Dr. Irina Morgan in A Note From The President. "This year marks the competition's 16th Annual event, with over 100 contestants representing the following countries: Armenia, Canada, China, Columbia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Ukraine, USA, and Vietnam. We are proud to have all of you here as a part of the competition!"

The Mayor of San Jose wrote a warm greeting letter to the attendees of the San Jose International Piano Competition to the city of San Jose.

"Wherever you choose to explore, I know you'll enjoy all our City has to offer. Congratulations and best wishes for a successful competition" writes Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San…

Mariya Kaganskaya: Graduate Recital

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Mezzo-Soprano Mariya Kaganskaya's graduate recital was truly an event not to be missed. Ms. Kaganskaya performed Gypsy Dances, accompanied by pianist Steven Bailey. And even if you didn't miss it, if you showed up right on time, you would have ended up sitting in the lobby and watching it off a TV screen.
There were too many people and eventually the seats ran out and people began standing, squatting, or just sitting on the floor. I myself showed up right on time and was confronted with an issue of not being let it! I saw a few people going up to the balcony, so I followed. There were no seats up their either and already there were people who were sitting on the floor by the chairs. 
Zigeunerlieder, op 103 by Johannes Brahms was the first music cycle to be performed. This song cycle was actually written by Brahms for four singers and piano. It could also be performed by a choir, and the text the music is set to are Hungarian folk songs in German. First, Brahms wrote the first e…