Thursday, August 28, 2014

Live Classical Music In & Around Raleigh, September 2014

12:35 PM

New Music Raleigh at the Hopscotch Festival


FUTURESHOCK, a new work by Brooklyn composer William Britelle, played by New Music Raleigh as part of this year's Hopscotch Festival. Hot! Thurs 9/4 at 10 PM in Fletcher Opera Theatre at Duke Energy Center. tickets

FOUR SEASONS CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL IN THE TRIANGLE, a co-production of ECU'S Four Seasons Festival and the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild. Features pianist Gilles Vonsatelle, violinists Ara Grigorian and Erin Keefe, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, and cellist David Requiro playing  Brahms and Dohányi. Sun 9/14 at 3 PM at St. Michael's Episcopal Church. tickets

HAPPY VALLEY PALS - MUSIC AND DANCE FROM 19TH C. AMERICA, opener to Raleigh Chamber Music Guild's Sights and Sounds season in honor of this year's World of Bluegrass conference. NC old-time string band Happy Valley Pals (violin, guitar, banjo, and bass) plays African-American & Anglo-American bluegrass and dance music, as well as music born out of the interaction between the two in the 19th century. Sun. 9/28 at 3 PM at North Carolina Museum of Art. tickets

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Live Classical Music In & Around Raleigh, 8/11-8/31

10:29 AM
Ciompi Quartet, or parts of it, in Duke Gardens 8/12
At the end of May, I got a call from a beloved former vocal coach saying that someone had dropped out of an opera program he was working at and asking if I could take on her role. The role was Beth in Mark Adamo's Little Women. It represented my first chance in a long while to sing a role in a fully-staged production, my first opportunity to do it in a work by a living composer, and [SPOILERS] my first whack at a classically melodramatic soprano death scene. I took it, of course, and spent a delightful summer with Opera Breve, having one of the best musical experiences of my life.

 The flip side, naturally, was that my blog imploded. But I'm back! Hope you all had a wonderful summer--let's get back to business.


RUDDIGORE, a Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera presented by White Iris Light Opera, 8/21 at 7:30-9:30 in Jones Auditorium at Meredith College. Suggested $5 donation. info

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Performer Profiles: Violist Katie Miller (audio)

7:49 PM
Katie Miller is an intriguing lady--she's lived in North Carolina, California, Colombia, and Taiwan, and her diverse musical interests include Bach, new music, and a dream of someday contributing to the libretto of an opera. She's well-traveled, but we can't talk about her career as a professional violist without tipping a hat to the quality of music education in North Carolina. The Sanderson HighUNCG, and ECU alumna gigs with NCO, the NCS, and and the newly-formed Triangle String Quartet. Way back before the best surprise ever forced me to take the summer off from blogging (more on that next post!), Katie and I sat down at Café de los Muertos and she shared her insights on Raleigh's expanding classical culture, music's power to cure all awkward teenage ills, and what's weird about wedding gigs. 

How did you choose the viola as your instrument?

When I was a kid, my dad was a college music professor, first in South America, then in Taiwan. When we left Taiwan and moved to Raleigh, I was feeling a lot of culture shock. I’d never lived in the United States before, and so all of a sudden to be in a public middle school, it’s kind of crazy, just having to find who you are and what your place is.
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Monday, June 9, 2014

#musicmonday: Songs Our Mothers Taught Us (video)

5:33 PM
This photo was taken at the wedding of my great-great-grandparents, Adolf and Paulina Drewitz, in Warsaw, Poland in 1896. She was five months pregnant--check out that terrifying corset action. Miraculously, the baby boy who would grow up to be my mom's "Grandpa D" was born alive and whole. He came to the states with his parents in 1900, survived their scandalous divorce and the loss of his dad a year later, lived for polka and early Broadway music, married a first-generation French-American girl, and raised a daughter who played the piano in a badass WWII-era all-girl swing band.

I've posted before about my mom's and my connection to Polish music and the performing we've gotten to do in Poland--and I've even mentioned the revamp of our Polish-American program that we'll be performing, locally and on the other side of the pond, next season. A Chopin program--which is how we initially billed our show, even though it also contained Gershwin and Kern like Grandpa D listened to--is a pretty natural choice for any pianist + collaborator. But the seed of our deeply personal program was really planted when we started investigating our Polish roots around 2006. [more + VIDEO after the jump]

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Classical Newbies of Raleigh

10:01 AM
A sold out house = a beautiful sight
A few months ago, as the San Diego Opera fiasco unfolded, I read this post on the blog of Kim Pensinger Witman, fabulous director of Wolf Trap Opera.

It took me over an hour tonight to read all of the various outpourings on my Facebook feed. [ ... ] The vehemence and emotion is overwhelming. It almost seems more violent than during last fall’s NYCO death spiral. Perhaps we can no longer as easily hide behind the 2008 recession as the primary reason [opera houses are failing]. Perhaps we're finally being pushed over the edge.

Yikes. But good news--for opera, for San Diego, for Raleigh & for readers of this blog--after the jump.
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Monday, May 26, 2014

#musicmonday: Bella figlia dell'amore from Rigoletto with Singers' Circle (video)

6:46 PM
Aaaand we're back! Since y'all got to know Monifa a couple weeks ago, thought it might be fun to share a video of us singing together on this Monday. This is the famous quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto, performed with tenor Joshua Allen and baritone Jeffrey Carlson at Singers' Circle's informal opera scenes concert last summer. [video after the jump]
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Short Hiatus 5/19-5/25

7:41 AM
Lovely Readers,

Non-musical life is a little crazy this week, so I'm going to sit this one out and come back next week, when things have calmed down, in order to bring you the highest-quality content possible. In the meantime, I must ask--how excited are you for Dido and Aeneas tonight & tomorrow? Or Beethoven's 5th on Saturday? Or Carmina Burana next week? Can't wait to discuss in about 7 days--Carmina is possibly the only other work that could inspire a review featuring a diagram.

Andrea Continue reading →