All entries by this author

Pasadena Master Chorale Opens Season

October 6, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

I had the pleasure of attending “The Golden Age: Extravagant Renaissance Choral Music,” the Pasadena Master Chorale’s opening concert of their 2010-11 season on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 3. As Artistic Director and Conductor Jeffrey Bernstein described the program, it was the hit parade of the 16th century.
Any of us in the audience who had ever [...]



Music Review: CalPhil Performs ‘Frank, Tony and the Maestro’

August 10, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

After such an enjoyable program two weeks ago, the California Philharmonic’s “Frank, Tony and the Maestro” at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Aug. 8 was not up to their usual standards. The customary thread with which Maestro Vener usually weaves together all the selections was grossly missing. The program ranged from Las Vegas-styled standards to [...]



Music Review: CalPhil’s John Williams and the Rings

July 28, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Once again Victor Vener proved himself the master of popular programming, combining John Williams favorites with excerpts from Wagner’s Ring Cycle and an arrangement of Howard Shore’s music for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I had the pleasure of listening to the California Philharmonic’s concert on Sunday afternoon, July 25, at Walt [...]



Music Review: Southwest Chamber Music

July 18, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Each year I look forward to Southwest Chamber Music’s Summer Festival at the Huntington. To enjoy the beauty of the grounds, the art, and exquisite chamber music in the cool of a summer evening is a cultural experience unrivaled in Southern California.
For the opening concert, Artistic Director Jeff von der Schmidt programmed music for string [...]



Long Beach Opera’s ‘Orpheus and Euridice’

June 18, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Last weekend Long Beach Opera presented three performances of the hauntingly beautiful theatrical song cycle, Orpheus & Euridice, music and poems by Ricky Ian Gordon at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach.
Opera in a swimming pool? Somehow this 80-minute piece, performed without intermission, was perfectly suited to the venue. The audience was [...]



Pasadena Master Chorale presents Brahms’ ‘Ein Deutches Requiem’

June 13, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

The Pasadena Master Chorale presented one of the finest performances of Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem I have ever heard. Jeffrey Bernstein, PMC artistic director and conductor, chose the composer’s arrangement of the work accompanied by piano four-hands. In the 19th century, composers often arranged their symphonic works for piano four-hands so that they could be [...]



West Coast Premiere of ‘An American Tragedy’

May 12, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

On May 9, I attended the West Coast premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, based on the novel by Theodore Dreiser, libretto by Gene Scheer. The opera was presented by the Santa Monica College Opera Theater at the beautiful SMC Performing Arts Center: the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage.
Dreiser’s novel was based on the [...]



USC Thornton Opera’s ‘Das Liebesverbot’

April 28, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

Once in a while a little-known work is presented and turns out to be a pleasant surprise. Such was the case with Das Liebesverbot, an early comic opera of Richard Wagner, presented by the USC Thornton Opera as part of the LA Ring Festival. I had the opportunity to see the final performance of this [...]



Nixon in China – in Long Beach

March 24, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

After a few seasons of scaled-back projects in more intimate venues, Long Beach Opera took a gamble and scored a success last weekend, opening John Adams’ first opera, Nixon in China, at the Long Beach Terrace Theater on March 20. The production boasts a stunning cast and chorus, with strong staging and choreography.
All of the [...]



The Weekend in Review: Opera

March 3, 2010 | By Wendy Kikkert | Category: Classical Music and Opera

The last weekend of February I attended three different opera performances with varying degrees of scope and competency. As an opera impresario myself, let me preface my remarks by saying I believe each performance must be judged within its own context, not with the same plumb line.
Opera Buffs
On Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m., I experienced [...]