Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Carmen!

So, I am not always good about publishing my current projects. One of my goals is to improve my own publicity. So this week, you will get a few personal updates.

My current big project is that I am Assistant Music Director for the Boston Opera Collaborative's production of Carmen. What does the title mean, you ask? It means that I am the cover for the conductor (if he gets sick or abducted by aliens, then I conduct the show.) I also help him out with whatever he needs, and cover rehearsals when he can't be there. Mostly, however, I need to be ready to conduct anything at any time, just in case.

This is very exciting, and a huge learning experience. I think this is the first time that I have ever had to learn the score of a show from scratch with the goal of being able to conduct it. I've conducted Gilbert & Sullivan before, but I grew up on those shows, so they're already completely integrated into my blood. And for Otello, I only had to learn the chorus parts. This is a bigger nut to crack, so I'm learning a lot about how I learn, and what exactly I need to know in order to conduct and what I don't. (Sample hint: You don't actually have to be able to sing all the French up to tempo in order to conduct it.) However, despite not having to sing any French, I am using the show as an excuse to learn French diction, so I'm also taking weekly French diction lessons during the run of the show.

Another way in which the show is a learning experience is the fact that I've never worked with this caliber of singers before. The whole cast is extremely professional. It's interesting to figure out when to follow, and when to lead. Luckily, the music director, Michael Sakir, is very good, so watching him and how he works is very helpful. He's also very considerate about letting me conduct in rehearsals so I see how all the tempo changes work.

Staging started Saturday, and it's really fun to watch the director work. He demonstrates everything, and watching him move as different characters is fascinating. I would love to see him acting in something, as well as directing.

The show goes up in mid-July. Performances are July 17-19 and 24-26, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 and Sunday performances at 3 pm. They will be in the Bulger Performing Arts Center at Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Blvd, Boston. This show has great music, and great performers, and great directors, and there's a small chance I'll be crashing some cymbals together, so please come!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday link

Last week I mentioned Stile Antico; this week several people, including my mother and some of my church choir members, e-mailed me a link to a story on NPR about them. So, for your listening enjoyment, here it is!

(It rather bugs me, I must say, that the NPR blurb-writer harped on the lack of a conductor so much. Renaissance music really, really doesn't need a conductor if the singers are at a professional level. Ever tried singing Renaissance music w/o a conductor? It's REALLY EASY. And the things that separate a spectacular group from a good one are not things that can be helped by a conductor. Peter Phillips just needs to sit the heck down. Stile Antico is impressive for a number of reasons, but the lack of a conductor isn't one of them.)

Auditions!

Audition notice - straight from my inbox to you!

"The Spectrum Singers are auditioning experienced choral singers in all voice parts on July 13. Spectrum is a select group of singers that performs music from the pre-Renaissance through to the present, and in a broad range of musical styles. Music Director John W. Ehrlich asks that auditionees prepare a German or French lied or aria. For more information about Spectrum or to schedule an audition, go to www.spectrumsingers.org, send an e-mail to info@spectrumsingers.org, or leave a message on the chorus telephone 617-492-8902."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday cat post!

This is a flashback picture, from when Oomi was smaller than she is now. The point of this picture, of course, is the wagging tail.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Weekend Concert Calendar, 6/25/09...kinda

Well, now that BEMF is over, there is not a lot going on besides summer sings, which I will truly get my act together and post about soon, really.

The only other thing I have is that the Christ's College Choir of Cambridge University is touring the area early next week. They will be at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 4 Ocean Street, Beverly, MA at 7:30 pm on Monday, and at First Parish Church in Wakefield, 1 Church St., Wakefield, MA at 7:30 pm on Tuesday.

Got anything else? Leave it in the comments!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Masterworks Summer Sings!

This is just a quick hit to let you know that Summer Sings have started up already! At some point I will try to do a complete list of sings in the area, but for now, have the Masterworks schedule. (They are very nice about sending me info, and I am very disorganized about getting it up here, so sadly the first sing has already passed us by, but the second is tonight!)

They are Tuesday evenings at 8 pm, at the Noble and Greenough School, Lawrence Auditorium, Wheeler Music Center, 10 Campus Drive, Dedham. Admission is $10/$9 sen./$5 stu. Scores are available to borrow.

6/23 - Mozart Requiem
6/30 - Brahms Requiem
7/7 - Bach Magnificat
7/14 - Faure Requiem
7/21 - Haydn Lord Nelson Mass
7/28 - Vivaldi Gloria
8/4 - Mendelssohn Elijah (abridged)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday link

I didn't see this group, Stile Antico, at BEMF, but they have a very intriguing article in the Globe, as well as a fairly good review. Did anyone else see this concert? Is anyone familiar with this group? I'm thinking I might have to pick up a CD.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday cat post!

Today we have another Chinese guest star. My father sent me this picture of an "embroidered cat portrait," from the “White House” in Shanghai, which is the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

No Weekend Concert Calendar for 6/18/09

No weekend concert calendar this week folks, sorry! I am off to a WEDDING tomorrow (of this spectacular individual and her equally spectacular but website-less fiance) and I have rather a lot to do before then, including the Boston Opera Collaborative's concert La Belle Epoque concert tonight. Enjoy the rain!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Audition notice

This announcement is copied wholesale out of an e-mail that arrived in my inbox!

The Spectrum Singers announce auditions on Monday, June 15.

Auditioning experienced choral singers in all voice parts. Spectrum is a select group of singers that performs music from the pre-Renaissance through to the present, in a broad range of musical styles. Music Director John W. Ehrlich asks that auditionees prepare a German or French lied or aria.

For more information about Spectrum or to schedule an audition, go to www.spectrumsingers.org, send an e-mail to info@spectrumsingers.org, or leave a message on the chorus telephone 617-492-8902.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday cat post!


Oomi wonders why, exactly, my brother is always clicking that strange contraption at him her.

Weekend Concert Calendar, 6/11/09

The two main events of the weekend are the wrapping up of the Boston Early Music Festival; and Gay Pride week! Go hear some world-class 80's, and then check out the Boston Gay Men's Chorus singing 80's music. You will have a well-rounded weekend. Don't forget, the BEMF Concert Calendar is here, and the Fringe Festival calendar is here.

Friday:

10 am: University of North Texas Baroque Orchestra & Collegium Singers; “Deus Judicium Tuum”: Sacred Music of Kuhnau and Telemann; Church of the Covenant, Boston. BEMF Fringe concert.

7:45 pm: The Arlington-Belmont Chorale; Annual POPS! Concert: Music of the 1930's; Arlington Town Hall

8 pm: Boston Gay Men's Chorus; "Boys Just Wanna Have Fun: Totally 80's!"; John Hancock Hall, Back Bay Events Center.

8 pm: Stile Antico; "Song of Songs: Sensuous Polyphony from the Courts of Renaissance Europe"; Emmanuel Church in Boston. BEMF Festival Concert.

Saturday:

12:30 pm: Convivium Musicum; "Going for Baroque"; Church of St. John the Evangelist. BEMF Fringe concert.

12:30 pm: Polyhymnia; "Exequias: Music for the Royal Funerals of Renaissance Spain"; Lindsey Chapel of Emmanuel Church. BEMF Fringe concert.

12:45 pm: Oriana Consort; "Music from the Late and Early Baroque"; First Lutheran Church of Boston. BEMF Fringe concert.

4:30 pm: Music Divine; “Missa Salve diva parens” by Jacob Obrecht; First Lutheran Church of Boston. BEMF Fringe concert.

5:00 pm: La Donna Musicale; "La Virtuosa di Venezia: Anna Bon"; Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston. BEMF Fringe concert.

7:30 pm: Libana; Summer Solstice Celebration; First Parish in Bedford

11 pm (yes, you read that right): Tragicomedia and Friends; "Here I am, ready for kisses: The Many Sides of Love in Monteverdi’s Madrigals"; NEC's Jordan Hall. BEMF Festival Concert.

Sunday:

1 pm: Coolidge Corner Community Chorus; "Rose Garden Serenade"; Minot Rose Garden in Brookline

7 pm: Boston Gay Men's Chorus; "Boys Just Wanna Have Fun: Totally 80's!"; John Hancock Hall, Back Bay Events Center.

Did I forget anything? Leave it in the comments!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Monday link (slippin' it in under the wire!)

Check out this video of the song Stand By Me, played by 35 musicians from all around the globe.

It is amazing - I am blown away by the manner in which people who are not even on the same continent while they are playing, and who are not playing at the same time, can still create such a deft musical give-and-take. Also, I love the all the voices, but the first singer's voice especially...I would love to go out to that sidewalk and just sit and listen for a few hours.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday cat post!

Today we have some special guest stars. My parents are currently in China, and my father sent me these two photos of some Chinese cats.




My father titled the second "Cat on a Hutong roof." (Yes, I grew up with puns like that my entire childhood.)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Weekend Concert Calendar, 6/4/09

Here it is, your weekend concert calendar! This week it is All BEMF, All the Time.

6/6 through 6/14 is the Boston Early Music Festival and Exhibition. Check out their site for details. There are many, many concerts, several of them featuring choral music (of course!) The festival schedule is here; the fringe concert schedule is here. I have also tried to note all choral concerts below - scold me in the comments if I missed something!

Friday:

8:00 pm: Exsultemus; The Elvas Songbook: Portuguese and Spanish songs of the Renaissance; First Lutheran Church of Boston. BEMF Fringe concert.

Saturday:

8:00 pm: Newton Community Chorus; Puccini’s Gloria and Stabat Mater; Our Lady Help of Christians' Church in Newton.

Sunday:

1:00 pm: ¡Sacabuche!; The Venetian Influence; Emmanuel Church. BEMF Fringe concert.

2:00 pm: Vox Lucens, Love, Sweet and Deadly: Monteverdi’s Book I, Goethe-Institut Boston. BEMF Fringe concert.

Tuesday:

12:00 pm: Cappella Clausura; "From Bingen to Salzinnes...to Persia"; Gordon Chapel, Old South Church. BEMF Fringe concert.

Wednesday:

3:0 pm: Ensemble Suave; "Love Kills Sweetly: 17th- and 18th-Century Italian Vocal Works"; Gordon Chapel, Old South Church. BEMF Fringe concert.

4:00 pm: Zefiro; "Music of Renaissance England and Spain"; Clarendon Room in the Radisson
Hotel, Boston
. Part of the SoHIP concerts at the BEMF Exhibition. I'm singing in this one!

Thursday:

11:00 am: The C. W. Post Madrigal Singers, The Merriweather Consort, and the C. W. Post Guitar Ensemble; Divine Frenzy: La musica degli angeli terreni; Church of the Covenant, Boston. BEMF Fringe concert.

Did I miss anything? (Possible, as the Boston Globe Calendar is currently down.) Leave it in the comments!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday link

Well, I forgot to do a Monday link, so have a Wednesday link!

New Study by Chorus America Finds Positive Benefits of Choruses and Choral Singing for Children, Adults, and Communities

The study was produced by Chorus America. It was funded with support from The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, an anonymous donor, and The National Endowment for the Arts.