Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Free Concert

I posted this last weekend, but I am repeating it here as a reminder of the concert this weekend. More recent posts are below.

On Sunday the Madison Community Orchestra will be giving a special concert. (I will be seen buried in the middle of the second violin section.) This time we will be performing several pieces with a soloist, a young local soprano who has already gotten a surprising amount of exposure, Emily Birsan.

She'll be singing three arias:

"O Mio Babbino Caro," from Gianni Schichi, by Puccini
"Ach, Ich Fuehl's," from The Magic Flute, but Mozart
"Je Veux Vivre," from Romeo and Juliette, by Gounod

Above is a video of another soprano, Haylie Westenra, singing the breathtaking Puccini aria. I couldn't find one of Ms. Birsan. We have rehearsed with her and I can tell you that she has a very sweet voice and is a natural and charming actress.

We will also play some rousing orchestral show pieces:

Overture to The The Merry Wives of Windsor, by Nicolai
Bacchanale from Samson and Delila, by Saint-Saens
March Slave, by Tchaikovsky
Slavonic Dance Op. 46 No. 8, by Dvorak

All the orchestral pieces have long been favorites of mine, an "O Mio Babbino Caro" is by far one of the most beloved arias in the world.

By the way, Marche Slave has what is probably the most thunderous of Tchaikovsky's many uses of the Russian national anthem, God Save the Tsar. The tune was routinely omitted when the work was performed in the late Soviet Union.

It'll be a fun concert -- come and meet us!

The specifics:
Madison Community Orchestra
Blake Walter, Conductor
Sunday, March 28
3:00 PM
Mitby Theater
3550 Anderson St.
Madison, WI 53704
Campus of Madison College (formerly MATC)
Admission is free
Free refreshments will be served after the concert

Below is yet another soprano singing the Gounod.


Ann said...

Hayley has a -sweet- voice, thanks for posting her performance. I hope she will continue with a good operatic teacher and a) keep developing her support so she can sing a piece like this without a mike and b) develop an open transition between her high notes and lower notes - mastery of this is one of the things that makes operatic singing so exciting and gorgeous. Right now she has sweet top notes, but she's popping up to them a bit and they are more closed than they could be - she's got the voice to open them up and let them float. (I actually studied opera with an excellent teacher for a few years and learned a great deal from her.)

The Netrebko piece was awesome - I think her voice is just stunning and she has so much musical intelligence to back it up, too. The gown was not bad, either! :-)

Lester Hunt said...

Thanks for your highly informative comment. I didn't realize you had studied opera. You continue to surprise me!

I had noticed Haley's high note thing. Emily doesn't have that problem. She doesn't need a mike either, ever.

I haven't been following her career, but it looks like two factors in Westenra's phenomenal success are her youth and her physical beauty. Well, maybe she will help to get young people interested in "classical" music. (Maybe replacing that awful word would help, too. A lot of this music isn't classical in any other sense of the word.) Right now, the audience for the sort of music I love is aging alarmingly.

Ann said...

I enjoyed voice lessons for a few years and actually gave some recitals. It got to be too much of a time commitment, given that I was not seriously pursuing a career as a singer. Most of the other students were, and there was a lot of pressure every week to learn new repertoire and practice, practice practice. Still, it was a fun experience. And, I should thank you again for treating me (back in the day) to a memorable concert at UCSB by Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. She was advanced in years then for a singer as I recall, but her performance of lieder was moving - a musical experience I've always remembered. :-)

If you have a chance to hear Barbara Quintiliani perform, I think you will enjoy her. She has a sublime voice and has performed with Washington Opera and other large houses around the country. (I know her just slightly - she was/is the superstar student of my former voice teacher. Barbara grew up in Quincy outside of Boston in a working class neighborhood - she's very down to earth, but when she opens her mouth to sing, wow.)

Lester Hunt said...

Ah, yes. The Schwartzkopf concert. That was part of a farewell tour she did when she retired from public performances.