Inside This Issue

PreViews & Features

Opera Per Tutti to launch Opera Nuova series with Cleveland premiere of Clarimonde

by Mike Telin

Clarimonde

“I’m always pushing for people to give opera a chance. And if they do, they’ll discover that it’s probably not what they thought it would be,” the always enthusiastic Scott Skiba said during a telephone conversation. “If you’ve never before been to an opera, this is the perfect opportunity to take the plunge. If you are a seasoned operatic veteran, this production and atmosphere will challenge and delight. In what other setting can you hear live new opera about vampires performed by local professional artists, while sipping your favorite beverage, in costume on Halloween or All Saints Day — then interact with the creators of the work, the performers and fellow opera goers in a post-production reception?” [Read More...]

American Boychoir to sing at St. Paul’s, Cleveland Heights on October 29

by Mike Telin

AmericanBoyChoirFernando Malvar-Ruiz will conduct The American Boychoir in a concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights on Wednesday, October 29 at 7:00 pm. The concert is part of the choir’s 75th Anniversary Tour of the Midwest from October 17 to November 1, which includes performances in Milwaukee and Madison in Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Faribault & Northfield in Minnesota, Napierville, Illinois, Fort Wayne, Indiana and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1937 in Columbus, Ohio as the Columbus Boychoir, the ensemble moved to Princeton, New Jersey in 1950 and changed its name to The American Boychoir in 1980. Together with the St. Thomas Choir School on New York’s Fifth Avenue, the institution is one of only two boarding schools dedicated to the training of boy choristers in the United States, but is distinct from St. Thomas in not supplying singers to serve a religious institution. The ABC School now includes students in the fourth through eighth grades who come from all over the United States. [Read More...]

Cleveland Orchestra: fifteen minutes with mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill

by Daniel Hathaway

CARGILL-KarenScottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill will be featured in Hector Berlioz’s song cycle Les nuits d’été this weekend at Severance Hall with guest conductor Robin Ticciati and The Cleveland Orchestra. Cargill and Ticciati have recorded the Berlioz with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, an album that received critical acclaim when it was released in April 2013. We spoke with the affable mezzo by telephone in her dressing room at Severance Hall on Tuesday morning, where she was listening in on a rehearsal of Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony.
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Apollo’s Fire’s Monteverdi Vespers: a conversation with dueling tenors Karim Sulayman & Oliver Mercer

by Daniel Hathaway

SULAYMAN-MERCER“The first time I heard the Monteverdi Vespers, I was absolutely floored,” said tenor Oliver Mercer in a phone conversation. “It was unlike anything I had ever heard and I became obsessed with it. It wasn’t just a quirky piece of early music, but a work that belongs in the upper echelons along with Beethoven’s ninth symphony.”

Mercer’s compatriot, tenor Karim Sulayman, agreed. “I speak in hyperbole a lot, but when I talk to my friends who aren’t musicians, I say that it’s probably one of the top five pieces that have been written — ever! It has so much texture and it’s so rewarding for the listener. You need to hear it at least once in your life.” [Read More...]

Violinist Gregory Walker to join Oberlin Orchestra in performance of his father’s Poème

by Mike Telin

GeorgeWalkerOn Saturday, November 1 at 8:00 pm in Finney Chapel, guest violinist Gregory Walker will join the Oberlin Orchestra under the direction of Raphael Jiménez in a performance of George Walker’s Poème for violin and orchestra. The concert also includes Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2.

Gregory Walker is the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Oberlin alum George Walker (left), whose Poème for violin and orchestra was premiered in 1991 by Cho-Liang Lin. Gregory Walker admits that he had been in awe of the piece for some time before he actually dug into learning it. “It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to perform it with Ed London and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony that I really learned the piece,” Gregory Walker told us during a recent telephone conversation. “It’s very transparent due in large part to the orchestration. At times it has an introverted quality.” [Read More...]

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra to feature Jon Deak’s “The Headless Horseman” on November 1

by Mike Telin

Headless-Horseman-FOC-Darley-1849It’s that time of year when jack-o-lanterns are seen illuminating front porches, and scary tales of ghosts and goblins are told. One of those tales is “The Headless Horseman,” which has been popularized in Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” On Saturday, November 1 at 7:30 pm in Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights, Carlton R. Woods will lead the BlueWater Chamber Orchestra in Jon Deak’s Concerto for String Quartet, Narrator and Orchestra, The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, featuring violinists Kenneth Johnston and Charles Morey, violist Kirsten Docter, cellist Bryan Dumm and narrator Robert Conrad. [Read More...]