Archive for Mozart

LA Opera’s “The Marriage of Figaro” – Los Angeles opera review

Photo: Craig T. Mathew / LA Opera

Photo: Craig T. Mathew / LA Opera


LA Opera’s Figaro Trilogy came to a triumphant conclusion Saturday night with the opening of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. The trilogy began earlier this season with Corigliano’s ‘grand opera buffa’ Ghosts of Versailles and continued with Rossini’s comedy The Barber of Seville, which comes first chronologically in these musical adaptations of French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais’ classic plays.

The Marriage of Figaro resumes the story three years on. The Count has married Rosina but is already bored with her. Figaro, the former Barber and now the Count’s valet, is to marry Susanna, but the Count insistently tries to force himself on Figaro’s intended bride. In the meantime, Figaro also faces a legal complication – he has borrowed money from Marcellina (Berta in Barber) against a promise to marry her. Now she intends to enforce that contract with the help of Doctor Bartolo, still stinging from Figaro’s intervention in his affair in Barber and out for revenge. The Countess Rosina, bored and lonely after losing the attention of her husband, is pursued by the amorous young page Cherubino, who has discovered his passion for women in general and the Countess in particular, earning the Count’s wrath. The whole opera plays out over the course of a very long day, ending with the couples properly paired up and the Count severely chastened and once more resuming his attentions on his wife.

The opera is performed in two long acts, with an intermission between the original Acts 2 and 3. This production is a remount, once again using sets by Tim Goodchild and costumes by Deirdre Clancy, and its original concept updates the action from 18th century Seville to the 1930s. The sets are large and towering, employing simple architectural elements in mostly bright colors with a few small pieces of furniture, all offset by some large, suspended chandeliers. For the opera’s finals scenes, the setting moves outdoors to a garden of stylized trees and shrubs with a villa and oversized full moon visible in the background. The brilliant opera concludes with a stunning indoor pyrotechnic spectacle.

Ian Judge’s direction is exemplary; the exceptional cast and chorus playing brilliantly off each other both vocally and in their dramatic interpretations.

Italian bass baritone Roberto Tagliavini made an impressive debut as Figaro, with a handsome stage presence and an attractive voice allied to fine comic timing. He was well matched by soprano Pretty Yende, a charming and also commanding Susanna. Soprano Guanqun Yu, whose performance as Countess Rosina was one of the high points of Ghosts of Versailles, returned in the same part in Figaro and was even more impressive. Her soprano is rich and carries beautifully into the auditorium; she looks every inch the lovelorn noblewoman and her two arias, “Porgi Amor” and “Dove Sono” were highlights of the evening’s performance. The rest of the cast offered excellent support including Ryan McKinny as a gruff, threatening Almaviva and Renée Rapier – a hilarious mix of sighs and leers – as the love-struck Cherubino. Kristinn Sigmundsson – Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville –here played Doctor Bartolo and once again demonstrated fine comic timing matched with a booming voice. Lucy Schaufer, a cut-up as the maid in Barberwas back as Marcellina in Marriage and was comedically dazzling and endearing, particularly in the scene where she discovers her true relationship to Figaro. Tenors Robert Brubaker, as the conniving Don Basilio, and Joel Sorenson, as the stammering notary Don Curzio, lent fine comic support. Soprano So Young Park was a playful Barbarina, who sang her little last act arioso beautifully. Regrettably, neither Marcellina nor Basilio were given the opportunity to sing their last act arias as they had been cut from this production.

James Conlon and the orchestra were at their finest, providing deft, virtuoso playing. Special praise goes to Bryndon Hassman for his lively harpsichord continuo, which gracefully accompanied the recitatives.

Beginning with Corigliano’s opera, I have enjoyed this LA Opera Figaro Trilogy and its additional related performances. The company is to be commended for this kind of creative cross-cultural programming. In my heart of hearts I might have wished for performances, perhaps in conjunction with another local arts company, of Giovanni Paisiello’s once popular adaptation of The Barber of Seville, which fell into relative obscurity after Rossini’s version appeared. Or perhaps Darius Mihaud’s 1966 operatic version of third Figaro play La mère coupable might have been added to round out this celebration of Pierre Beaumarchais’ Figaro, but you cannot have everything…

Bravo on a creative programming concert. Bravissimi for the execution of that fine concept.

 Photo: Craig T. Mathew / LA Opera

Photo: Craig T. Mathew / LA Opera

Five performances of The Marriage of Figaro remain, running at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion until April 12th. More information, including performance dates and ticketing, can be found on the LA Opera’s official site.

Review by Jeffrey Roberts.




EXIT REVIEW of LA Opera’s “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart – an ArtsBeatLA vlog – Los Angeles theater review video

Figaro curtain call

Pauline Adamek from presents Exit Reviews; a new series of ‘vlogs’ or video reviews.

Here’s the second Exit Review:


The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart.
LA Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Performance Dates and Times:
There are five remaining performances of The Marriage of Figaro at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012:

•    Thursday, March 26, 2015, at 7:30pm
•    Sunday, March 29, 2015, at 2:00pm
•    Saturday, April 4, 2015, at 7:30pm
•    Thursday, April 9, 2015, at 7:30pm
•    Sunday, April 12, 2015, at 2:00pm

Tickets are on sale now. Tickets start at $18 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, by phone at 213.972.8001 or online here.

For disability access, call 213.972.0777.

Video info:

Video produced, filmed, edited and hosted by Pauline Adamek.

An ArtsBeatLA production.




“Magic Flute” – Isango Ensemble’s afrobeat version of Mozart’s fairytale opera – now at Broad Stage – Los Angeles theater opera review

Photo by Angela Kase.

Photo by Angela Kase.

Joyful & exuberant — Isango Ensemble’s afrobeat version of Mozart’s fairytale opera The Magic Flute is a unique and beautiful experience. You will probably have never experienced anything like it before, and perhaps never will again — it’s that special.

Mozart’s masterpiece about love and redemption is boldly re-imagined in this exhilarating and uplifting opera. Re-envisioned ‘South African-style,’ the musical accompaniment is entirely comprised of simple percussive instruments. Several of the ensemble members take turns in pounding the gorgeous melodies from eight wooden marimbas, each larger than the next to produce deeper tones. The instruments flank the two sides of a steeply raked wooden stage, which has a balcony set above it, upstage. The performers are bare-footed (for better purchase on the slanted stage) and are garbed in simple and attractive costumes that evoke tribal costume with their brightly patterned fabrics and headdresses. At times the ensemble play glass jars filled with water, producing pretty chimes. One character intones through an animal horn. When Papageno plays his magical flute, we hear the perky sound of a trumpet. It’s fun stuff!

Best of all, the voices are excellent, so none of the key arias are sacrificed in this otherwise streamlined production. With her impressive voice and powerful stage presence, Pauline Malefane is especially fantastic as the formidable Queen of the Night.

Four performances remain!

Photo by Keith Pattison.

Photo by Keith Pattison.

The Magic Flute by Mozart.

Runs until Sunday October 12, 2014.

The Broad Stage

1310 11TH STREET

Run Time: Approximately 105 mins, plus intermission

Performance Dates and Times:

Fri      Oct 10     7:30pm
Sat      Oct 11     2:00pm
Sat      Oct 11     7:30pm
Sun      Oct 12     4:00pm
 Buy tickets here.




Hollywood Master Chorale – May & June concerts in Los Angeles – report

HMC group - photo by Brian

Seldom performed but dazzling… Hollywood Master Chorale inaugurates its first annual “Masterworks In March” series that features choral masterworks by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, including Mozart’s seldom performed Litany in E-Flat. You are invited to share a musical evening that showcases Mozart‘s dazzling solo and choral writing, as well as the historic organ of the Hollywood Lutheran Church. (Full concert info below.)

The All-Mozart program will also include Regina Coeli, K.276; an a cappella setting of Jubilate Deo; and Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618

The following month, Hollywood Master Chorale will also perform their Voices of Los Angeles: Songs of Experience concert on two evenings in June. This marks the exciting conclusion to their Voices of LA project. Eight original compositions will be presented and sung by the Hollywood Master Chorale. Four student composers joined by four established LA composers, acting as their mentors. The eight composers are using William Blake’sSongs of Experience” as inspiration and lyrics.


It didn’t take Lauren Buckley, Artistic Director of the Hollywood Master Chorale (HMC), very long to decide which composer’s work would be performed by the Chorale at the inaugural presentation of “Masterworks in March,” which will take place this year on Sunday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Hollywood Lutheran Church in Los Angeles.

“There is a long list of great composers, whose choral masterworks we look forward to performing in years to come at ‘Masterworks in March’,” says Buckley. “But we chose Mozart for our inaugural performance because he is so universally loved – both by singers and concertgoers. As an equally gifted and revered artist, Ludwig van Beethoven, once wrote, ‘All my life I have regarded myself as one of Mozart’s greatest admirers, and I will remain one until my last breath.’”

Because Mozart was so prolific, composing over 600 works, Buckley had much to choose from in terms of programming.

“My initial program was a long one,” confesses Buckley with a smile. “We’d have been singing through the night until the next morning! But eventually I pared it down to some fabulous choices.”

Chief among these choices is Mozart’s Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento (Litany of the venerable sacrament), K. 243 – or the Litany in E-flat, for short.

 “The Litany in E-flat is rarely performed,” Buckley explains. “So we’re thrilled to have this opportunity to introduce music lovers to it. Mozart is revered for his ability to write memorable – and sing-able – melodies, and the Litany illustrates this powerfully, with its dazzling choral and solo writing. Also, if you celebrate the Easter season, there’s something special about hearing The Litany on Palm Sunday.”

The program will also include Mozart’s Regina Coeli, K. 276 – described by Buckley as a “celestial romp in C major” – an a cappella setting of Jubilate Deo, beloved by audiences since the mid 19th century; and Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618, composed a mere six months before the composer’s premature death at age 35.

Joining the Hollywood Master Chorale are soloists Sarah Parga, soprano; Eleni Pantages, alto; John Russell, tenor; Brett McDermid, bass; and Haesung Park, on organ.

“I have worked with all of these singers in ensemble and solo settings,” says Buckley. “They are each fantastic soloists as well as ensemble singers, which is why I selected them.”

The Hollywood Master Chorale gratefully thanks the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation for its generous support in partially funding this performance.


Hollywood Master Chorale

Presents “Masterworks in March

Sunday, March 24, 2013

7:30 p.m.

Hollywood Lutheran Church

1733 North New Hampshire Avenue

Los Angeles 90027

Free parking

$20 general admission/$15 seniors and students

Purchase tickets here.

For more information, visit their official site here.

Or call (323) 960-4349

Upcoming Concerts – June 2013:

Hollywood Master Chorale will also perform their Voices of Los Angeles:  Songs of Experience concert twice in June.

Sunday, June 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM

Hollywood Lutheran Church

1733 N. New Hampshire Avenue,

Los Angeles, CA 90027

Free parking available at the church and nearby.


Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

West Hollywood Library Auditorium
625 N. San Vicente Blvd.,

West Hollywood, CA, 90069
Parking available.


This is a sponsored Post.

For more information on sponsored posts, please get in touch with me via the Contact page.




An intimate experience — Le Salon de Musiques

Steven Vanhauwaert - photo credit - Carole Sternicha

For its fifth intimate concert of the second season, Le Salon de Musiques program will feature Poulenc Flute Sonata with piano and Arnold Bax Elegiac Trio for Flute, Harp and Viola and Faure Piano Quartet N.1 in C Minor Opus 15 with Steven Vanhauwaert on Piano, Marcia Dickstein on Harp, Pamela Vliek on Flute, Tereza Stanislav on Violin, Victoria Miskolczy on Viola and John Walz on Cello.

This month’s concert will be held on February 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Fifth Floor.

The performance is accompanied by Champagne, food by Patina and informal conversation introduced by musicologist Julius Reder Carlson. Tickets are $65.00 and $45.00 for students (including concert and refreshments) and are available on line at their official site or by calling  (310) 498-0257.

All concerts presented by Le Salon de Musiques are held from 4 – 6 pm one Sunday of every month through May 20, 2012.  Composers for this season range from Brahms, Mozart, Schubert and Schumann to Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Bax, Myaskovsky and Arensky. Highlights of the season include a Baroque program with a pantomime for two dancers with music by Rameau, Duphly, Gluck, Grety and Lully. Award winning Cellist, Antonio Lysy and Cellist John Walz, Violinists Phillip Levy, Tereza Stanislav and Julie Gigante, Violist Robert Brophy, Soprano Elissa Johnston, Pianists Steven Vanhauwaert and Rina Dokshitsky, are a part of this exciting second Season.
Created by French pianist/melodist Francois Chouchan, the salon series was inspired by Marie Antoinette during 1780 when the Salon de Musique was erected at the Petit Trianon Domain within the vast gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. Chouchan has once again invited some of the most prestigious internationally renowned artists to join in this series, many of whom have performed with the LA Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Capitol Ensemble.

By removing the stage, Le Salon de Musiques offers a more personal touch to listeners eager to familiarize themselves with Chamber Music. The goal is to bring together an audience of disparate backgrounds…music lovers who believe that this form of melodic artistry brings out the best in humanity.


Marcia Dickstein - photo credit - Henry Lim

Le Salon de Musiques

February 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Poulenc Flute Sonata with piano and Arnold Bax Elegiac Trio for Flute, Harp and Viola and Faure Piano Quartet N.1 in C Minor Opus 15 with Steven Vanhauwaert on Piano, Marcia Dickstein on Harp, Pamela Vliek on Flute, Tereza Stanislav on Violin, Victoria Miskolczy on Viola and John Walz on Cello.

Where:             Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – Fifth Floor

135 North Grand Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tickets:       $65.00

$45.00 Students

There is a 10% discount if tickets are purchased for three or more concerts

And a 20% discount for a full season subscription


Contact:             (310) 498-0257 or visit their official site.





Producer and French pianist/melodist François Chouchan: From the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (instructed by Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen and Germaine Mounier) to the Viotti International Piano Competition in Italy, his outstanding talent has been recognized all over Europe. Not only has Chouchan performed as a soloist with orchestras and Chamber Music groups in many countries, but he has also been invited to play during Master Classes by musical icons such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Nikita Magaloff, Gyorgy Sebok and Magda Tagliaferro. In Los Angeles, where Chouchan has resided since 2007, he has performed at the LACMA Museum for the “Sundays Live Series”, at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, at Cal State Long Beach and Cal State Northridge (with the Music Guild). He has also appeared at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, Zipper Hall, the Brandeis Institute, and for the Ermitage Foundation.

In 2010 Chouchan formed Angeles Concerts Artists Corporation and is produced Le Salon de Musiques, his first series of music concerts. For more information on Le Salon de Musiques you can go to the official site.

Steven Vanhauwaert – Piano

Praised by the Los Angeles Times for his “impressive clarity, sense of structure and monster technique”, Steven Vanhauwaert studied piano in Brussels at the Royal Conservatory, and continued his musical development in Los Angeles at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Over the years, Steven has garnered a wide array of accolades and has toured throughout Europe and the US, both solo as in chamber music groups. He has appeared in major venues with orchestras such as the Pacific Symphony, the Flemish Symphony, the Concord Jazz Ensemble, the Eastern Sierra Chamber Orchestra and Prima la Musica, amongst others. In 2010 he is scheduled to make his China solo debut.

As a member of the Felici Piano Trio, Steven has given recitals and masterclasses all over the US, has been a frequent guest in festivals around the world, and has appeared in all the major concert halls of Europe. Steven’s performances are regularly broadcast on K-MZT, K-CSN, K-USC, WHKB, W-UOT, K-UAT and KLARA.”

Marcia Dickstein – Harpist

Dickstein is attracting new audiences to the harp in chamber music and solo with orchestra. To date she has inspired composers from classical, film and jazz/fusion genres worldwide to write over 100 new works. As Founder/Artistic Director of The Debussy Trio she has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, over NPR radio and on commercial and public TV. Important concerts include appearances in Copenhagen, Prague, Geneva (Switzerland), San Francisco, Kennedy Center (Washington, DC) and solo with orchestras in Louisville, Glendale and Seattle. Recordings are available at and on the Klavier, First Edition, Harmonia Mundi, Koch and RCM labels.

Ms. Dickstein’s has played on over 350 film scores such as Toy Story I-III, Matrix I-III, Alice in Wonderland, Royal Tennenbaums, Minority Report, Memoirs of a Geisha, Horton Hears a Who, Indiana Jones 4; CD solos with Roger Wagner & William Hall Chorales; CDs Chamber Music of Arnold Bax and The Debussy Trio’s 3 Friends, a “best pick” by Gramophone Magazine of London. Adjunct Professor of Harp at Cal State University/Long Beach, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Westmont College (Santa Barbara), Ms. Dickstein is also Teacher/Artistic Director of the Central Coast (CA) Harp Workshop. She holds Master Classes throughout the USA and maintains a private studio in Los Angeles. Her transcriptions and scholarly editions of solo and chamber music for professional and student level harpists are published by Fatrock Ink of Los Angeles.
Pamela Vliek Martchev – Flute

Martchev was born in Merrick, NY, and received her initial musical education in the public school system of Long Island. From age 13 on she went to Manhattan School of Music for the Pre-College Division and then her Bachelor of Music Degree. Her teachers included Harold Jones, Kathleen Nester, and Linda Chesis

During her time in NY she won prizes in many competitions, was a featured artist on WQXR’s Young Artist Showcase, and played at many venues such as Carnegie Hall, the United Nations, and the White House for President Clinton. After her schooling she went on to perform extensively in Europe as 2nd flute of Philharmonie der Nationen under conductor Justus Frantz.

Since moving to CA in 2000, Ms. Martchev has played with the Riverside, Redlands, Pasadena, San Diego Chamber, San Diego Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has played under such conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Edo de Waart, Charles Dutoit, John Williams, Marin Alsop, Bramwell Tovey, Leonard Slatkin, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Gustavo Dudamel. She is the resident flutist on the Jacaranda Music Series in Santa Monica, and has also been the principal flute of the Boulder Philharmonic in CO since 2002. Pamela can be seen in the movie “The Soloist,” and can be heard on multiple movie scores including An Unfinished Life, Spiderman 3, Sleepover, When In Rome, Dear John, and Bedtime Stories. She is featured on Billy Child’s 2006 Grammy winning CD “Lyric,” and can also be heard on his latest release: “Autumn: In Moving Pictures.” She is currently the flute teacher at Riverside Community College and San Diego State University, and is married to bassoonist Valentin Martchev.

Tereza Stanislav – Violin

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, James Matheson’s Violin Sonata (2007), Bruce Adolphe’s Oceanophony (2003), Gernot Wolfgang’s Rolling Hills and Jagged Ridges (2009) and the West Coast premieres of Steve Reich’s Daniel Variations and Gernot Wolfgang’s Jazz and Cocktails. She is featured on a new recording of the Wolfgang on Albany Records and the Reich on Nonesuch label.

Tereza holds a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University where she studied with Miriam Fried, and a Master of Music from the Juilliard School where her teachers were Robert Mann and Felix Galimir. As Concertmaster of the Festival Lyrique d’Aix-en-Provence in 1999, she received intensive orchestral and chamber music coaching from the late Isaac Stern. Tereza also completed quartet residencies at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England, at Northern Illinois University under the tutelage of the Vermeer Quartet and at Rice University.

Tereza enjoys participating in educational outreach and has collaborated with educator Robert Kapilow of NPR’s program, “What Makes It Great?” and musicologist Robert Winter of UCLA. Tereza was invited to perform at the 2002 G-8 World Summit held in Kananaskis, Canada where she performed for Presidents Jacques Chirac and George W. Bush, and Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chretien. In 2000, Tereza was awarded the highest grant from the Canada
Council for the Arts in the category for Professional Musicians (Individuals) in Classical Music. She is active in the film scoring industry in Los Angeles and in 2009, co-created the new music series, In Frequency.

Alto Violist Victoria Miskolczy: Australian born Victoria Miskolczy has been Associate Principal Violist of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1989. She has also performed in many festivals such as the Ojai Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival and at the Hollywood Bowl, Sydney Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony and Long Beach Orchestras.

Victoria has been a member of the Capitol Ensemble, amongst her many local chamber music credits, and also performs for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Conversations Series and Musicales. In addition she has performed solo recitals to acclaim throughout Australia, the United States and Canada. Victoria is also a commercial musician and has played on hundreds of motion picture sound track scores for composers such as John Williams, James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith and on recordings with such popular artists as Barbra Streisand, Madonna and Michael Jackson.  Victoria is a part-time faculty member at the University of Southern California.
John Walz – Cello

John Walz is a celebrated soloist and chamber music artist, known for his dazzling virtuosity and elegant musicianship. A student of the legendary French cellist, Pierre Fournier, he has appeared as soloist with more than 150 symphony orchestras on 4 continents. His performances of 25 different concertos include both standard showcases and rarities like Martinu’s Concerto #1 and William Schuman’s Song of Orfeus. In 1979, John, along with pianist Edith Orloff, founded the Pacific Trio. Now performing with violinist Roger Wilkie, this renowned ensemble has played more than 900 concerts throughout North America and Europe. In addition to his solo and chamber music duties, he is currently the principal cellist with the Los Angeles Opera, a position he previously held for 20 years with the Long Beach Symphony. John is on the faculty of the Idyllwild Arts summer program and Academy.