Mother Courage

I just saw Seana McKenna tonight as Mother Courage aka Anna Fierling in Brecht’s play Mother Courage and Her Children, at the Tom Patterson Theatre until September 21st.

It’s a horrible week in the news, between civilian planes being shot down, civilians being killed in a Middle East war, and a little girl being hit by a car in a neighbourhood I drive through. As a citizen, as a political being, as a parent, everything confronting me screams that life is painful and futile, that it’s a terrible time to bring children into the world, a time to hide under the covers and say no to anything daring or risky that might break your heart yet again. Of all Shakespeare’s plays the most apt might be King Lear, that Everest that challenges actors if not audiences, even if we can take comfort in its poetry, in the solace of knowing it’s a classic.

I can’t help speaking of Mother Courage and Lear in the same breath, a pair of mythic parental figures, two colossal roles to daunt any actor. Seasons are built years in advance based on complex commitments to the company, so it might be a fluke that these two shows come along in the same year. I suppose while I’m at it I should admit that Man of la Mancha represents another relevant study in an aging personality, although one that doesn’t interest me (because –not meaning any offense –I can’t think of Wasserman and Leigh as peers of Brecht & Shakespeare).

Why would Lear pop into my head at the same time as Mother Courage? First and foremost it’s no magic, just me staring at the calendar, trying to decide what to see.

There they were side by side.

And then I was jarred by the memory, of seeing Seana McKenna as Cordelia in the 1980s. Oh my I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard at a Shakespeare play, sitting there hopelessly heartbroken when she’s torn away. I saw Lewis Gordon’s gruffly human Lear.

It struck me, though, that Lear and Anna Fierling are an interesting pair, a study in contrasts:

  • Lear begins with all the power, although that’s stripped away
  • Anna is at the bottom of the power hierarchy
  • Betrayals & misfortune push Lear to madness. The portrayal of that madness is maybe the greatest challenge for the mature actor, across many generations of famous actors
  • Anna’s adventures push her to a point where she might go mad: if she had such a luxury. She conceals her feelings much of the time. Anna is a more recent creation, one that has far fewer famous exponents, so perhaps too we can be surprised by a great portrayal such as McKenna’s.
  • Lear is the archetypal father, while Anna is the archetypal mother. Is the difference perhaps that fatherhood has been swathed in tradition & respectability –making Lear’s fall so precipitous—whereas motherhood is still a matter of contention? And is a mother more than a biological function?

The Brecht is also directed by one of the great women of Stratford, namely Martha Henry. Does that mean McKenna + Henry = a feminist reading? I certainly would embrace that: if I knew what it meant.  But I’m not saying you’ll like this version of motherhood. Brecht’s mother is not romantic, not subject to the political correct expressions of loyalty to her children: although we see her stoic suffering, unable to let her loyalties show. But she’s a survivor, unlike Lear. His pride is a luxury she can’t afford. Perhaps the chief difference –excuse me for being obvious—and it’s apt for a feminist reading, is that whereas Lear is a man who loses his power, Mother Courage is a woman, which means she never has much to begin with.

I am intrigued because I am mostly wondering about Brecht, in the anti-Marxist decades following the collapse of the Soviet empire. With the end of the USSR, Marx’s reputation was diminished by implication. I couldn’t help feeling that the ideologically tainted phrases in this play –and others from Brecht—can’t get a fair reading, because we’re in a strange place culturally, unable to even see Brecht’s didactic / activist side.  We have poor people starving on our streets now, and we’ve inured ourselves to such atrocities, so the suffering in Brecht doesn’t sting as it once did.  Maybe I’m imagining things, but I couldn’t help but feel echoes of the cynical laughter I heard when I saw Assassins recently, a willingness to treat anything pointed as social satire. The gravitas Brecht used to connote –especially in this play—seems to be harder to find, when the prevailing tonality of our culture is to embrace ironic laughs. I’m seeing a resemblance between Mother Courage and Heller’s Catch-22 that I never saw before, possibly because the play isn’t usually permitted to be so funny.  War is just a backdrop for both tales, while a more materialist exercise (especially for Milo Minderbinder) is played out in the various theatres of war. Yes there are dark places in the plot –as there are in Heller’s novel—but also places to laugh too.

Excuse me the ridiculously long preamble, but I have long been fascinated by Brecht, both from the political side and from the dramaturgical side. Henry’s Brecht is very unpretentious, and not weighted down by the awe one sometimes encounters in the presence of one of the great names of theatre. Working with composer Keith Thomas, music director Laura Burton & the various performers jumping into the songs, this is a very intelligible telling of the story. I think it works very well.

It’s ironic that some of these ideas –“parenthood”, “war” and “politics”—are sometimes so reified as to lose any direct contact with reality. I’d also add the word “Brechtian” to the list of big abstractions that sometimes mess up a production of a play by Brecht. Henry’s Brecht, however, and McKenna’s Anna sidestep that trap. They’re so simple & direct that they could be a textbook on how to do Brecht without fear.

There are several other meaty performances, and lots of delightful moments in Mother Courage although it’s all dwarfed by McKenna’s work. Patricia Collins & Stephen Russell turn up in relatively tiny parts, but make the most of them. Geraint Wyn Davies is a dense mixture of strengths & frailties every bit as substantial as McKenna’s own blend.

Mother Courage and Her Children continues at the Tom Patterson theatre until September 21st .

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Crazy For You

It’s summertime, when the livin’ is easy: and Gershwin might be on my mind right now. Summer  musicals are taking over the stages at summer festivals in Stratford & Niagara-on-the-Lake. Crazy For You –the show I saw today at Stratford—is a second-generation Gershwin musical, Ken Ludwig’s inspired re-purposing of songs that had previous lives in shows created on Broadway back before WWII.  George’s tunes and Ira’s lyrics are so well-known that they seem to segue effortlessly out of the plot unfolding before us.

This show is counter-intuitive, because it seems to go against the usual practice. We’re accustomed to encountered musicals (or operas) where the words came first, and then were set to music. Ludwig had a brilliant idea, one that’s been done in other musicals.  Never mind starting with the book.  Assemble some amazing tunes instead, and then work from there.

With Crazy For You..? Imagine a popularity contest assembling the best songs written by anyone in the 20th Century. The results could look a lot like the list of songs in Crazy For You.  How can you miss with

  • “I Got Rhythm”
  • “Embraceable You”
  • “Someone To Watch Over Me”
  • “They Can’t Take That Away from Me”
  • “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
  • “But Not For Me”

I’m reminded of other shows built backwards from the songs, such as The ABBA musical Mamma Mia! or the Beatles film Across the Universe. The well-known set-pieces threaten to over-shadow the story, which is a mere pretext for the beloved & familiar music.

What Ludwig does that’s truly remarkable is to weld together these golden moments into something surprisingly coherent. The music doesn’t really stop the story –the way the ABBA musical stops dead on those famous songs—so much as bring it to life. It’s a truism that in a musical, the song takes over when words are no longer enough. Several times we were in a magical place where an all-too-familiar song such as “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” sounded brand new, emerging organically from the dialogue.

While there were some remarkable star turns that I shall allude to in a moment Crazy For You is first & foremost a showcase for the ensemble values of the company. The creative team of Director & Choreographer Donna Feore and Musical Director Shelley Hanson get brilliant air-tight work from everybody in this huge show, presented with 20+ orchestral players. I can’t decide whether it’s Feore’s choreography or Hanson’s tight hold on the musical values of the performance that makes the most decisive contribution: but they depend on one another for one of the most cohesive and physical displays I’ve ever seen. The excellence from every side in the Festival Theatre almost makes the stars an after-thought. If you’re a fan of dance you’ll love this show. They never stop working, seeming to get more physical as it goes on.

Even so I should mention Josh Franklin and Tom Rooney. While Rooney’s heroics are perhaps expected by now –wonderful physical comedy to go with a larger than life persona—Franklin as Bobby Child is new to me, a charismatic presence who can dance, can really sing and yes, he can act too. The prime reason Crazy For You flies so high is because we care what Bobby feels, the one who is truly crazy for someone.

Crazy For You continues at the Stratford Festival until October 12.

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Emerson String Quartet’s Modern Age

The Emerson String Quartet kicked off Toronto Summer Music with a concert tonight.
I’m sure some people were there to hear Beethoven’s Op 95 quartet, many more to hear Schubert’s “Death & the Maiden” quartet, while comparatively few were there mainly for Britten’s 2nd Quartet, a work premiered in 1945 and the one piece on the program that’s genuinely modern.

I can’t help thinking about the programming questions faced by TSM artistic director Douglas McNabney. It’s the same question bedeviling anyone seeking to build an audience. Does a concert comprised of a masterwork by each of Beethoven & Schubert, with a 20th Century work tucked in between challenge the audience? While I wouldn’t normally think so –especially when the Festival theme is “The Modern Age”—I saw two people in close proximity to me sleeping through the Britten: so maybe this is more than enough modernity for some people. I shouldn’t over-estimate what audiences can handle.

Perhaps the advantage of such a combination of works is how it can satisfy a broad spectrum of listeners. While the Beethoven & Schubert are clearly crowd-pleasers that may have been the chief draw –and it should be noted that every seat was sold—I prefer to hear the Beethoven & Schubert as antecedents, key touchstones in the string quartet repertoire that are part of the context influencing Britten. Composed as a homage to Henry Purcell on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the great English composer’s death, Britten’s 2nd Quartet is tonal, tuneful & clearly pointing as much to the past as to the future.

This is especially true of the third movement of Britten’s quartet, in its use of a baroque form, namely the chaconne, a witty set of variations.  Sandwiched between two works from more than a century before, the Emerson Quartet’s performance of the Britten piece pleased me more than either of the older works. Each of the players shone at times in the Britten, especially in the concluding chaconne.  It’s easy to see that Britten would find his truest voice in opera, considering the flamboyant animation of each part, as if portraying personages.   

Toronto Summer Music –a festival and an advanced institute for players and singers—continues until August 12th.

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Ten Questions for Jonathan Crow

Jonathan Crow is a young violinist making in impact on several fronts. This fall will be Crow’s fourth season as Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony. He is also an avid chamber musician, including his role as a founding member of the New Orford String Quartet. Crow also teaches, previously at McGill and currently at the University of Toronto.

Crow will be participating in Toronto Summer Music on all three fronts: coaching as part of the Chamber Music Institute; playing the “Russia After Revolution“ chamber program August 1st, and he’ll be playing with the Toronto Symphony as Concertmaster as they make their Koerner Hall debut later this summer.  On the occasion ofToronto Summer Music I ask Crow ten questions: five about himself and five about the multiple roles he plays.

Violinist Jonathan Crow

Violinist Jonathan Crow

1-Are you more like your father or your mother?

Not sure I can answer that one- what if they read this? I suspect they would have a better answer for you than I would anyway!

2-What is the best thing or worst thing about being a violinist?

The worst thing about being a violinist is definitely airline travel! Having to worry about finding a free overhead bin on every flight can get tedious very quickly. Most cabin crew are extremely accommodating- especially the pilot on a flight to Portland who put my violin behind his seat as the plane didn’t have any overhead bins. You never know though…

3-Who do you like to listen to or watch?

This summer I’m doing quite a bit of traveling with my family between festivals- which means I’m getting to know the music of Katy Perry extremely well! (I have two daughters…) “Let it Go” from Frozen is also a huge hit with them. For me, I do quite a bit of score listening on youtube- it’s amazing the out of print recordings that you can find.

4-What ability or skill do you wish you had, that you don’t have?

Is this a favourite superpower question? If so- definitely being able to fly. Or perhaps teleport. Anything to avoid taking my fiddle on planes! Seriously though, I’ve wished I was quicker to pick up new languages- both for musical reasons and also just to make traveling more simple.

5-When you’re just relaxing and not working what is your favourite thing to do.

I don’t think this summer is a good time to answer that question- I’m on a plane now to Calgary after being on the road for four weeks. Yesterday night was one of about ten nights in my own bed this summer… A bbq in my backyard with my family sounds great right about now!

*******

Five more concerning the Aug 1st concert “Russia After Revolution”, mentoring at Toronto Summer Music, and the upcoming TSO debut at Koerner Hall.

1-Please tell us more about the works on the  “Russia After Revolution” program, namely

  • Prokofiev: Sonata for Two Violins C Major Op. 56
  • Vaughan Williams: Phantasy Quintet
  • Shostakovich: Piano Quintet g minor Op. 57

This is a great program- the Shostakovich is one of the great works of the chamber music repertoire, and an unbelievable compelling piece. It has everything- great virtuosic moments, humor, and incredible beauty. The last movement is so typically Shostakovich- a seemingly upbeat beautiful movement which is actually bittersweet and almost tragic. The Prokofiev is one of my favourite pieces- I’m lucky to play it at three different festivals this summer. It’s perfectly written for the violin, and the parts interchange seamlessly. And the Phantasy Quintet is a lesser-known piece which deserves to be played more- I love the lush string writing that you get from Vaughan-Williams!

2-Do you have a favourite moment in one of those works?

The middle movements of the Shostakovich 5tet are about the most meaningful movements in the chamber music literature- listen for the contrast between the power and sarcastic wit in the Scherzo and the deep sorrow of the slow movement.

3- Talk about mentoring, and what it means to you as a violinist.

I’ve always loved teaching, and have been lucky to have had opportunities to teach for almost my entire career- previously at McGill University and now at UofT, the Orford Arts Centre and many other summer festivals. As a student I attended the Ravinia Festival and Domaine Forget where I had the chance to play with established professionals in a fashion similar to what we do at TSMAF. For a student on the verge of a professional career this is an amazing way to learn how life really works in the field- everything from how to streamline the rehearsal process when you don’t have an entire semester to learn a piece to how other artists interact when playing a piece with different colleagues. As a mentor it’s also amazing to realize how many new ideas I get when playing a piece with younger artists who might have fewer preconceived ideas about repertoire.

4- Please put your feelings about classical music, The Toronto Symphony & mentorship of the next generation of artists into context for us, especially with respect to Toronto Summer Music.

I hope that the relationship this year between the TSO and TSMAF is the start of something permanent! These are both great organizations that are giving back to the community in different ways and have so much to offer. There are so many articles being written these days about the “Death of Classical Music” but I would suggest that the interest in classical music around the world has never been stronger. Both the TSO and TSMAF are finding creative ways to bring young people to concerts- the TSO Soundcheck program and TSMAF Shuffle concerts are great examples. People love classical music and love the concert experience, but rather than complaining about how hard it is to “sell” classical music these days, it is up to us to offer what we do in new and exciting ways, to find venues and ways of presenting ourselves that are exciting to people in the 21stcentury. Over the past ten years of teaching I haven’t yet had a student who didn’t find a niche for him or herself somewhere. Perhaps the days of expecting to win a job in an orchestra a few weeks after graduation are over, but students these days are incredibly creative with what they find to do in the classical music field. Hopefully TSO and TSMAF are leading the way in setting an example to young people and showing them the different ways that we can all present what we do. Honestly though, I think we learn as much from them as they do from us!

5- Is there a teacher or an influence you’d care to name that you especially admire?

Too many to mention! I’ve had the chance to work with so many great artists over the years, and one of the reasons I auditioned for the OSM while still in school was to have the chance to work with world-class soloists and conductors every week. This has just continued since I moved to Toronto to join the TSO!

Not sure I have much to add to the above! Just in case people don’t know though, TSMAF has wonderful professional concerts, but the gem of what we do is working with advanced students and pre-professionals over the course of the week on a specific piece after which we present it in concert. This for me is always the highlight of the week, and the energy that you see on stage during these concerts is like nothing else!

*******

Toronto Summer Music begins Tuesday July 22nd. Jonathan Crow’s chamber concert is August 1st, which he’ll be concertmaster for the Toronto Symphony’s debut concert at Koerner Hall is on August 12th at 7:00 pm.

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StageWorks Assassins

Tonight I saw opening night of StageWorks new production of Assassins, an occasion that any serious fan of the musical theatre form must celebrate.  The score by Stephen Sondheim is challenging. The material in John Weidman’s book is electrifying, and at one time was too powerful to be presented.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show that is so dense with meanings, because there’s so much going on.  If you’re a fan of good musical theatre, if you enjoy political humour you mustn’t miss the chance to see this wonderful play.

In the 1970s H ‘Rap’ Brown said  “violence is as American as cherry pie,” a saying that Weidman and Sondheim seemed to embrace.  Histories usually tell us of great men, wars & inventions and the people in power.  Assassins is an anti-history, at first glance glorifying people usually condemned & hated.  We’re in a realm thick with irony, because of course the play is brutally truthful.  While we hear the story of Lincoln’s assassination from the point of view of John Wilkes Booth, he is razzed unmercifully.  This actor turned killer is skewered by the Balladeer:

Some say it was your voice had gone
Some say it was booze.
They say you killed a country, John
Because of bad reviews

And so we meet both successful killers such as Leon Czolgosz (of William McKinley), Charles Guiteau (of James Garfield) and Lee Harvey Oswald (of JFK), and would-be killers such as Squeaky Fromme and John Hinckley. In every case we’re presented with unhappy people who would use guns as a pathway to a sort of happiness.  For almost the entire play we’re submerged in that inverted world, only rarely coming back to the surface for a reality check. Any production of Assassins faces some interesting tonal choices.  The material includes some of the darkest images in any musical and strong challenges to the intelligence of the audience.  But Sondheim and Weidman never expected mainstream acceptance or success.  It was perhaps ahead of its time when written.  But now?  The work can still be treated with great seriousness, yet much of what they’ve written can be presented as black comedy.   Assassins is like a psychological barometer of an audience, testing their mental health.  I remember seeing the play years ago, in a room full of silent reverent listeners, looking at me as though I was strange when I laughed. Tonight?  I couldn’t help thinking that we –North American culture—have come a long way.  I’ve never seen a production with so many laughs, so many moments that were light and fun.  Yes, there’s still lots of serious political content. But maybe after years of Jon Stewart and Michael Moore, our political sophistication gives us the ability to laugh rather than just cry.  I have to think this is progress, a healthier way to be.  I know that I felt really great at the end of the show, and surely that’s what Sondheim & Weidman would have wanted, even if it seemed far off back at the beginning of the millennium.

The Stage Works production is being presented in the intimate George Ignatieff theatre, powerfully supported by a seven-member band led from the piano by music director Tom Kerr.  Large sections are through composed, although from time to time we’re in a realm of dialogue, often riotously funny.  The most stirringly emotional moments are sung.  But the play doesn’t preach, doesn’t tell us what to think or feel.  It simply holds up a mirror, and then defies us not to be overwhelmed by what we see and hear. As with any play you love, there are several favourite moments to look forward to, and the cast did not disappoint.  Luke Witt as the Proprietor was the dark instigator, and foil to the warm optimism of Hugh Ritchie’s tuneful Balladeer.  Rich Burdett was a terrific combination of strength & vanity as John Wilkes Booth.  I’ve always loved the scene between Leon Czolgosz and Emma Goldman, a curious mix of politics and romance that can be one of the warmest moments in the play;  Dylan Brenton made a strong but vulnerable Leon, opposite the gentle strength of Suzanne Miller as Emma.  Russ Underdown did a fabulous job in one of the toughest songs in the show, namely Guiteau’s cakewalk.  Although Kerr took a brisk tempo in most of the songs, which was especially daring in Guiteau’s number (which is challenging both to sing & to dance), it worked beautifully.  The three characters whose parts function more as comic relief were especially strong in this production, namely the three failed assassins: Samuel Byck, Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore.  Will van der Zyl commanded the stage effortlessly in Byck’s monologues, while Laurie Hurst (Moore) and Christie Stewart (Fromme) had several explosive laughs from the audience.  Michael Buchanan has one of the most beautiful moments in the gentle & tentative acoustic guitar intro to “Unworthy of your love”, Hinckley’s duet with Fromme; it serves as an anti-romantic change of pace: madness but of a calmer sort.

StageWorks Assassins continues until July 27th at the George Ignatieff Theatre.

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Late night reading

Whether it was a virus, a cold or summertime allergies isn’t the point. I’ve been awake at night, coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose, and otherwise trying not to be a nuisance to anyone unlucky enough to be under the same roof.

The bright side is that it’s a great time for reading without distraction.

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A few months ago I quoted composer John Adams’ first impressions –in his book Hallulujah Junction—of the director Peter Sellars. It was a great illustration that one shouldn’t underestimate anyone, as I’d clearly underestimated Sellars.

The TV is off. The house is silent. And so I can get back to this book that I set aside.

This time it’s being read in chronological order of course, the way I usually read. I’d been a bad boy previously, partly because I knew only a few things about Adams and wanted to explore his comments on those compositions. But when read in sequence, these events unfold with a fascinating combination of passion, lucidity & unpretentiousness.  Last night I suddenly thought of Philip Glass’ Music:¸a book that contains some marvelously aphoristic passages, quotable quotes. But I don’t recall being absorbed in the book, not like this. Adams’ book is different. Adams life might be inspiring, but it’s especially his writing that is something any composer can relate to.

I am feeling very moved today, recalling the chapter (or perhaps it’s really chapters) describing the crises of his growth as a composer. I am embarrassed to admit that I can relate intimately to what he’s describing: because I didn’t go nearly as far, didn’t commit myself to the struggle the way Adams did.  I too felt the conflicts, the dislike for writing serial music, or more precisely, felt revolted at the orthodoxy in the composition departments.

Forgive me for oversimplifying, but in a nutshell, Adams confronts the central challenges faced by composers in the second half of the 20th century. The way Glass explained what an apprentice composer does –an explanation that was both intriguing and creepy as I recall—was that they must try out other compositional approaches. They must find their own authentic voice in imitating others, until they find one that’s no longer an imitation but one that’s genuine and truly their own.

Please note, this isn’t from a book. It’s from an interview I did with Philip Glass for Music Magazine back in the early 1980s, on the occasion of the North American premiere of Satyagraha at Artpark in Lewiston. When he said this I was simultaneously alienated, yet recognized that it had a ring of truth to it. I was and maybe am so naïve, really. Glass described a very healthy pathway for the initiate even if it also felt a bit like putting on a monk’s robes, praying, and then pausing to see whether your prayers ascend to heaven or you burst out laughing at your own insincerity. There are so many alternative paradigms for disciplines such as acting or teaching or dancing, that posit at least two diametrically opposite approaches. Do you go from the outside in (eg the British actor) or inside out (as in the Method)?

But pardon me if I digress, talking about Glass and about myself. This is very personal to me, and I felt a shock of recognition in the way Adams wrote. Whether or not I have ever managed to be fully sincere and committed to a musical style that I would present as my own authentic voice, I was swept up in Adams’ description of his struggle with himself, with his ego and with the materials (and yes, here I am facing questions I wrestled with not so long ago). It’s not just a matter of the music, because there’s the unavoidable anxiety of influence. While Adams names many composers whose names I expected to read (the inevitable names such as Stravinsky, Webern, Ives, Cage, Stockhausen, Glass and Reich), there are many more I didn’t expect to encounter (Schumann, Wagner and Gershwin for starters). Whatever I may think of his compositional voice, it feels very sincere, every syllable fully uttered, every word proclaimed by the blood pounding through his veins. Adams went through several stages, and to me it felt as though his discovery was from the inside out, a sincere and committed series of choices. Along the way he writes a few pieces that he dismisses or at least critiques harshly. And when he really hits his stride—which is to say, composes something whose music is something from which he doesn’t pull back or repent, but instead stands behind loyally—the prose is superb, the description more dramatic than anything you’d find in one of his operas.

I still haven’t finished the book. I’m now in a chapter called “SINGING TERRORISTS” which surely will tell us about the composition of The Death of Klinghoffer, an opera coming up at the Metropolitan Opera next season.

Adams just experienced his biggest news headlines ever in the past few weeks , because the Met have cancelled their High Definition broadcast of Klinghoffer due to politics (The Met announcement and an eloquent NYTimes response). Don’t feel bad if you didn’t hear about this “big story”, as the firestorm was only in the operatic subset of social media, not the real world. As I come to the part of the book where Adams talks about Klinghoffer, I’m eager to see what the composer has to say.

The funniest thing as I glance over at the book and see that it’s not yet 9:00 o’clock, not even dark, is that I have to admit there’s a certain wistful longing for the house to again fall silent, so that I can once more be absorbed in Adams’ Hallelujah Junction.

Soon.

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July 31 Sondra Radvanovsky concert program

Press releases and announcements” are presented verbatim without comment

Sondra Radvanovsky, soprano
Thursday, July 31 7:30pm
Koerner Hall

Sondra Radvanovsky, soprano
Anthony Manoli, piano

Beethoven- “Ah! Perfido”, Op. 65
Verdi- “In solitaria stanza”, from 6 Romanze, No. 3
Verdi- “Perduta ho la pace”, from 6 Romanze, No. 5
Verdi- “Stornello” (Tu dici che non m’ami)
Rachmaninov- “A Dream”, from 6 Romances, Op. 8, No. 5
Rachmaninov- “Oh, never sing to me again”, from 6 Romances, Op. 4, No. 4
Rachmaninov- “How Fair this Spot”, from 12 Romances, Op. 21, No. 7
Rachmaninov- “Spring Waters”, from 12 Romances, Op. 14, No. 11
Cilèa- Adriana Lecouvreur- “Io son l’umile ancella”

Intermission

Duparc- “Chanson Triste”, Op. 2, No. 4
Duparc- “Extase”
Duparc- “Au pays où se fait la guerre”
Massenet- Le Cid- “Pleurez! Pleurez mes yeux!”
Copland- “Simple gifts”, from Old American Songs, First Set, No. 4
Copland- “Long time ago”, from Old American Songs, First Set, No. 3
Copland- “At the river”, from Old American Songs, Second Set, No. 4
Verdi, La Forza del Destino- “Pace, pace mio Dio!”

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