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...]

Heights Arts begins its ninth season of “Close Encounters” on November 2

by Mike Telin

Factory SecondsThis Sunday, November 2, Heights Arts kicks off their ninth season of Close Encounters Chamber Music Concerts. Held in a distinctive array of locations in Cleveland Heights, Midtown, and Downtown Cleveland, these four Sunday afternoon concerts present classical music performed by members of The Cleveland Orchestra and guests. (Note: the first concert is sold out.)

“These concerts are a wonderful opportunity for audiences to experience chamber music the way it is meant to be: up-close in spectacular chambers,” said Close Encounters artistic director Isabel Trautwein during a recent telephone conversation. “I think this is the most intriguing season we have ever done. There’s such a variety of music performed in very interesting venues.” [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...]