Saturday, May 30, 2015

Two Concerts

David and I have been kept busy this weekend keeping up with concerts by two of my vocal students in two states other than Massachusetts.

Friday night we drove to Middletown, CT to hear Kate Callahan sing the role of Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème. She did a splendid job with the Connecticut Lyric Opera Company. Most of the other members of the cast sang well, especially Luke Scott, baritone, as Marcello.

I would have to quibble with some of the staging. Too much of the time the singers were placed at the rear of the stage making it difficult to hear them over the orchestra, which was too loud throughout the performance. The orchestra actually played very well indeed, but covered the singing much of the time, allowing only high notes to be heard over the orchestral sound.

Today, Saturday, we drove to Barrytown, New York, over a very scenic route, to hear Nat Watson sing A Bach Winterreise, a program of arias for baritone, 'cello and organ. The very fine 'cellist was Christine Gummere, who was principle 'cellist of the Riverside Symphony for 19 years and founder of Sinfonia New York.  The excellent organist was John Scott, organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas church in New York City and former assistant Organist at Southwark and St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Image result for nathaniel watson baritone

Nat sang with his usual bravura in difficult arias taken from various Bach cantatas. His resonant voice filled the charming St. John's Episcopal Church in Barrytown.

It was great weekend, capped by a marvelous dinner of soft shell crabs at The Woodland Restaurant in Lakeville, CT on our way home.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Ferris Burtis Music Foundation Concert

On Sunday afternoon, May 24th, the Ferris Burtis Music Foundation presented a benefit concert at the Sandisfield Arts Center in Sandisfield, MA.

Julian Müller, 'cellist, Justina Golden, mezzo-soprano,
Balint Zsoldos, pianist and myself were the performers. It was a brilliant afternoon of great music.

Julian and Balint played works by Dvorak and Brahms. Julian played a series of pieces for solo 'cello by John Harbison.

 Justina sang the Rückert Lieder of Mahler and with Julian at the 'cello and me at the piano, Zwei Gesänge of Brahms.

Julian has been the recipient of financial aid from the Ferris Burtis Music Foundation throughout his work on a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He graduated from this institution this spring and will attend Mannes School of Music in New York City this fall to work on his Master's degree.

Justina is a vocal student of Herbert Burtis and has her own vocal studio in Florence, Ma. She was recently soloist in Mendelssohn's Elijah at Smith College as well at a performance of German Lieder at Amherst College.

The Ferris Burtis Music Foundation has as its aim the support of talented young classical musicians in their education and careers. It welcomes tax-free gifts to help in its work in this area. If you wish to make a gift to the Foundation, you may send your check, made out to Ferris Burtis Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Foundation, 800 North Main, Sheffield, MA 01257.