Friday, October 24, 2014

Eric Conway: Theatre Morgan's 'The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at the Celebration of Their First One-Hundred Years'



The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at the Celebration of Their First One-Hundred Years
 Theatre Morgan

Eric Conway, D.M.A.:

Hello everyone,

This evening I attended the opening night of Theatre Morgan's The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at the Celebration of Their First One-Hundred Years written by Pearl Cleage.

Over the years as chair I have attended almost every Theatre Morgan production.  This had to be one of the most enjoyable plays that I have seen here at Morgan.  It is a romantic comedy set in the deep south - Montgomery, Alabama.  The play is about high-society in the South.  The main characters are doctors, lawyers, college-educated, successful and proud of it.  So often we see our main characters not always portrayed in such the positive light.  The main event of the story is a centennial celebration cotillion of a high-society group called the Nacirema Society (Nacirema is American spelled backwards FYI).  Embedded in this celebration is a love story whose families prefer, like in so many cultures, to determine who their children should marry.  In the end, the main characters marry who they truly love.  Like a good soap-opera, there is much scandal, extortion, and sarcasm to make for a entertaining story. 

The cast made up of entirely of all women save one male, was fantastic.  The story was easy to follow and well-articulated.  I encourage you to come out and enjoy this taste of Southern society on stage at the Turpin-Lamb Theatre at the Murphy Fine Arts Center.  

New faculty hire, Phillip Royston Burgess directed this piece, allowing all actors to own each character.  The set was appropriate for mid-sixties South.  The maid at the household, in many ways stole the show with her attention to the comings and goings of their guests!  Take my word for it, you will enjoy this production if you come.  I have attached photos of the production and a flyer with all the times of the event if you are interested in attending. 

Again, another great Theatre Morgan production!

Eric 

Dominique-René de Lerma: Detroiter Wayne S. Brown Returning Home After Selection as President and CEO of Michigan Opera Theatre

Wayne S. Brown

Dominique-René de Lerma:

It has been a few decades of exceptional accomplishments for Wayne Brown and, because of him, the health of music in America is the better.  After graduating from the University of Michigan's School of Music, he joined the administrative staff of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  This was during the time Paul Freeman was making history with performances and recordings of three centuries from Black music's past.  Whenever a difficulty arose, Wayne Brown quietly and immediately solved the problem and the paths were cleared. In time, he was named executive director of the Louisville Orchestra, was music producer for the Cultural Olympics (1996) in Atlanta, served on the advisory boards of the Mellon and Ford Foundations, chaired the American Symphony Orchestra League, and spent sixteen important years as music director for the National Endowment for the Arts, following the late D. Antoinette Handy, in which another Michigan product is now involved -- Aaron Dworkin.  In this post Brown was responsible for initiating the nation's highest jazz award, the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, the NEA Opera Honors, and Great American Voices, and in making NEA even more significant in the country's cultural fabric.  He will be leaving this prestigious Washington position in January, having been selected president and CEO of the Michigan Opera Theatre.
MOT was founded in 1971 by David di Chiera who will become the company's artistic director.  Under his guidance, MOT has evolved into a major force on the opera scene -- at a time the New York City Opera has closed. 
The formal acceptance of this appointment is available at: http://www.youtube.com/embed/pxdKpKemthk?rel=0.

------------------------------------
Dominique-René de Lerma

Last Chance: Sphinx Virtuosi at Carnegie Hall 6 PM Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014; Get your tickets before they sell out!


Godwin Sadoh: Rose Odiakose will be performing the Nigerian Premiere of my 'Three Wedding Songs' for soprano and piano 2 PM Oct. 24, Delta State U., Nigeria

Prof. Godwin Sadoh

Rose Odiakose

Prof. Godwin Sadoh writes:

Dear Bill,  

Rose Odiakose will be performing the Nigerian Premiere of my Three Wedding Songs for soprano and piano:

Venue: Department of Music, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria.
Date: Friday, October 24, 2014.
Time: 2:00PM

Prof. Godwin Sadoh


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Indiegogo Campaign to Present 'Voodoo,' Harlem Renaissance Opera of Harry Lawrence Freeman, in June 2015, First Time Since 1928 Premiere


Indiegogo Campaign
Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater, and The Harlem Chamber Players are joining forces to present a semi-staged concert production of the Harlem Renaissance opera Voodoo by Harry Lawrence Freeman.

This will be the first performance since its 1928 premiere!

A contemporary of Scott Joplin, Harry Lawrence Freeman was well-known in the Harlem community and gained acceptance in classical music circles in the 1920s - 1940s. He won numerous awards, and his operas were performed on Broadway and at Carnegie Hall. Despite these achievements, most of his operas remain unpublished, and there are no professional recordings of his music. Your support will help us create history by bringing Freeman's long-lost music back to the public.

How You Can Help
We need to raise $20,000 to present this project with a full chamber orchestra, choir and 7 lead singers. Any amount you feel comfortable giving, whether it be $10, $25, $50, $100 or more, will be a huge help in our reaching our goal to make this historic production a reality. Your contribution is tax-deductible. You may also help by telling your friends about this as well!



Harry Lawrence Freeman (1869 - 1954) was an African-American opera composer and Harlem Renaissance figure. Dubbed "the colored Wagner" by contemporary journalists, Freeman considered himself a student of the German composer, but also incorporated American folk music and jazz into his compositions.

Freeman completed Voodoo in 1914, and it was not performed until 1928. It is exemplary of his compositional style. Set on a Louisiana plantation just after the Civil War, the opera centers on a classic love triangle between three former slaves, one of whom turns to voodoo and magic to entice her sweetheart and do away with her rival. The opera blends Western classical music with extended passages of period dance music, including a "Cake-Walk," and incorporates re-settings of several African-American spirituals, such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." Voodoo was broadcast live on New York radio and was the first opera by an African-American composer to be presented on Broadway.

MELODEON: 'Franz Liszt & the Americans' preview video; Soprano Marti Newland 4 PM Sunday, Oct. 26, Church of the Epiphany, 74th & York, NYC



Marti Newland
www.martinewland.com

Marti Newland, soprano
George Spitzer, baritone
Andrew Sun, piano
Artis Wodehouse, harmonium and piano

Sunday October 26, 4 PM, Church of the Epiphany, 74th and York, NYC

First New York Performance - Laura Sonnets (2010) for baritone and piano by William Bolcom

Tannhauser Overture transcribed for solo piano by Franz Liszt

Liszt's Petrarch Songs for mezzo soprano and piano

American Harmonium: selections by Franz Liszt and by his American student, Arthur Bird

 
Tickets
$20 general • $15 student/senior
available at the door and at artiswodehouse.com

The triumphant all-American opera returns to Lyric: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Opens Monday, November 17 with 13 performances through December 20


November 17 - December 20, 2014

  •                          by The Gershwins
  • Porgy and Bess
    by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heward and Ira Gershwin

    In English with projected English texts
  • Approximate running time: 3hrs, 10 min

Redemption is hard to find.

Porgy and Bess is the great American opera — bursting with iconic songs that have moved easily into the worlds of jazz and pop, becoming hits again for generation after generation. Six years after its triumphant Lyric debut, Francesca Zambello's big, beautiful, epic production returns with its finely etched portrait of life in Catfish Row — a vibrant but impoverished African-American community on the South Carolina coast.
There's Crown, the brutish thug; Sportin' Life, the smooth-talking drug peddler; Bess, the good-time girl who finally finds love with the goodhearted Porgy; and Porgy himself, the lame beggar who's the strongest of them all — an unquenchable spirit who'll stop at nothing to reclaim the woman he loves.

Lyric Opera Presentation. Generous sponsors are the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, Cherryl T. Thomas and Ardmore Associates, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Production owned by Washington National Opera.
- See more at: http://www.lyricopera.org/porgy/#sthash.x2pYJMz1.dpuf

  •                          by The Gershwins
  • Porgy and Bess
    by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heward and Ira Gershwin

    In English with projected English texts
  • Approximate running time: 3hrs, 10 min

Redemption is hard to find.

Porgy and Bess is the great American opera — bursting with iconic songs that have moved easily into the worlds of jazz and pop, becoming hits again for generation after generation. Six years after its triumphant Lyric debut, Francesca Zambello's big, beautiful, epic production returns with its finely etched portrait of life in Catfish Row — a vibrant but impoverished African-American community on the South Carolina coast.
There's Crown, the brutish thug; Sportin' Life, the smooth-talking drug peddler; Bess, the good-time girl who finally finds love with the goodhearted Porgy; and Porgy himself, the lame beggar who's the strongest of them all — an unquenchable spirit who'll stop at nothing to reclaim the woman he loves.

Lyric Opera Presentation. Generous sponsors are the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, Cherryl T. Thomas and Ardmore Associates, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Production owned by Washington National Opera.
- See more at: http://www.lyricopera.org/porgy/#sthash.x2pYJMz1.dpuf

Rick Robinson & River Oaks Chamber Orchestra Win 'Music Alive: New Partnerships' grant of $7,500 from League of American Orchestras & New Music USA

Rick Robinson
http://cuttime.com/

League of American Orchestras and New Music USA Announce Music Alive: New Partnerships

Twelve One-Week Residencies for Composers and Orchestras
 
New York, NY (October 22, 2014) – Twelve orchestras and composers have been selected to receive Music Alive: New Partnerships grants of $7,500 each, the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA announced today. Matching composers and orchestras who have not previously worked together, the program will support a series of one-week residencies between 2014 and 2016, each culminating in the performance of an orchestral work from the composer's catalog. Orchestras with operating budgets of approximately $7 million and below were eligible to apply.

"These new Music Alive residencies provide communities across the country with invaluable opportunities to hear the music of our time while connecting in-person with these talented composers," said League President and CEO Jesse Rosen. "Supporting orchestras in their commitment to perform the works of living American composers has always been an institutional priority for the League, with programs such as Ford Made in America and the ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming historically playing an important role at the organization."

"Through the generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and our other funders, we are delighted to be continuing our support of collaborations between composers and orchestras," commented Ed Harsh, President and CEO of New Music USA. "Through Music Alive and in many other ways, New Music USA supports the dynamic, sustained relationships between individual creative artists and orchestras that are essential to a healthy musical ecology."
The composer/orchestra partnerships are:

Clarice Assad and Boston Landmarks Orchestra

Douglas Cuomo and Grant Park Music Festival (Chicago)

Annie Gosfield and Chautauqua Symphony (NY)

Takuma Itoh and Tucson Symphony Orchestra

Jingjing Luo and Princeton Symphony Orchestra (NJ)

Missy Mazzoli and Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra

Rick Robinson and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (Houston)

Carl Schimmel and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (New Orleans) 

Laura Schwendinger and Richmond Symphony Orchestra (VA)

Derrick Spiva and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra    

Sumi Tonooka and South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (Sioux Falls)

Dan Visconti and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra (Little Rock)

Composer bios can be found here.

Forty-four orchestras and 219 composers applied for the program and two artistic panels selected the twelve grantees. Each residency will include a performance of a work by the composer, as well as individually tailored events, enabling the composers to reach new audiences, interact with youth, and take part in community-centered activities.

Now in its 14th year, Music Alive supports composer residencies in the concert halls and communities of orchestras throughout the country by providing funding, administrative support, and resources for both short and multi-year orchestra-composer collaborations. In addition to the new Music Alive: New Partnerships program, Music Alive also currently supports a three-year residency program for five composers and orchestras, most recently announced in 2013. Since 1999, there have been 127 Music Alive orchestral residencies; that number includes 78 individual orchestras and 110 individual composers (several orchestras and composers have participated multiple times). Music Alive programs help orchestras increase new music opportunities for audiences, artists, and administrators; identify model practices for sustained partnerships between artists and communities; help orchestras fully and comprehensively achieve their missions; and enrich orchestral repertoire with fresh and inventive music of our time.


*** 
 
Funding for Music Alive is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The ASCAP Foundation Bart Howard Fund, the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, and The Amphion Foundation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

YouTube Videos Show Kalena Bovell Guest Conducting Hartt Orchestra in Bartok's 'Rumanian Dances' and Handel's 'Sarabande in D Minor'

Kalena Bovell

On September 24, 2014 AfriClassical posted:


Kalena Bovell writes:

Greetings Mr. Zick,
Thank you again for sharing information about me on the africlassical blog a couple of weeks ago. 

I wanted to share the videos of the two pieces that I conducted from the concert you mentioned. I hope you enjoy them and I hope that you are well.

Bartok Rumanian Dances (6:49)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfrVM83oi9E

Handel Sarabande in D Minor (7:09)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouAiWenq0VA

~Kalena

'Odyssey Of An African Opera Singer: From Zwide Township To The World Stage' by Musa Ngqungwana Now on Kindle, In Paperback Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

Odyssey Of An African Opera Singer:
From Zwide Township To The World Stage
Musa Ngqungwana

On August 12, 2014 AfriClassical posted:


John Malveaux of 
writes:

South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana www.musangqungwana.com has chronicled his unlikely South African life climbing to major roles on international opera stages.

The book is now out on Kindle through Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ONVQNYE and available on paperback/hardcopy through Createspace eStore: ​https://www.createspace.com/4995342 

It will also be available on paperback for a wide distribution through Amazon, Amazon UK and Amazon Europe beginning Friday, October 24.

Thanks
John