2/11/2013 3:29:00 PM Chamber Music Sedona presents a Valentine's Cultural Destination Week
The Harlem String Quartet has been praised for its “panache” by The New York Times, and for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent,” said the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Saturday, February 16 at 11am The Met: Live in HD continues at the Sedona Performing Arts with Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.
The Met: Live in HD Feb. 16 with Verdi's Rigoletto
The Harlem String Quartet Feb. 17 performs 'From Schubert to Strayhorn'
February just got sweeter for music lovers with three distinctly different concerts presented by Chamber Music Sedona during Valentine's week.
"The week will begin with young musicians from the Verde Valley School in a free community program, then the Emmy and Peabody Award winning series The Met: Live in HD, and we wrap things up with four of this generation's most gifted young artists, the Harlem Quartet," said Chamber Music Sedona's Bert Harclerode.
The Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m. program at the Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, will include performances by young Verde Valley School musicians performing chestnuts including Merry Go Round in Life, Connie's Birthday and Volcanic Jig by Natalie Macmaste, What a Wonderful World, Prelude and Fugue in G Major by J. S. Bach and Danzes Argentinas by Alberto Ginastera, Orchid Pavilion, Ausencias by Astor Piazzolla, and Ms Silent Moon by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Admission is a suggested $5/person and two cans of food to be donated to the Sedona Community Food Bank. Patrons attending may sign up for an end-of-concert raffle for tickets to see two upcoming programs, February 16 and 17.
THE MET: LIVE IN HD
"It's impossible not to like the new production. It's wildly entertaining, inventive, strangely funny and yet also deeply sad... Mayer captures both the emotional depth and surface glitter in an audacious staging....
The audience whooped approval at the end" (Bloomberg).
Saturday, February 16 at 11am The Met: Live in HD continues at the Sedona Performing Arts with Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto. Michael Mayer's bold new production locates Verdi's tragedy of lust, betrayal, and revenge in Las Vegas in 1960. eljko Lucic sings the title role and Diana Damrau is his beautiful daughter, who falls under the spell of Piotr Beczala's womanizing Duke. The New York Times said, in the title role, Zeljko Lucic's "voice is big and penetrating, focused and true." Diana Damrau sings "radiantly ... plush, vibrant sound." Piotr Beczala "sings with ringing tone and ardor" in Michael Mayer's new production, which is full of "theatrical flair." The Sedona presentation is made possible with support from Sharon & Bob Angelo.
The three act opera begins at a ball at the ducal court of Mantua where the hunchbacked jester Rigoletto mocks the courtiers cuckolded by the profligate Duke, stirring them to plans of vengeance. Count Monterone appeals to the Duke for the return of his dishonored daughter, but is cruelly mocked by Rigoletto. Enraged, Monterone calls down a father's curse on the terrified jester. The second scene takes place outside Rigoletto home where he encounters Sparafucile, a professional assassin, but has no need of his services. Rigoletto warns his daughter Gilda to remain concealed in their home. She does not reveal to him that she has fallen in love with a handsome young man she has encountered on her way to church. The object of her affections is the Duke, who appears as soon as Rigoletto has left, bribing Gilda's nurse to admit him and to speak well of him to Gilda. He tells her he is a poor student. After he leaves, the courtiers come to abduct Gilda, believing her to be Rigoletto's mistress. They trick Rigoletto into assisting them, assuring him that it is the Countess Ceprano they are abducting from the neighboring house. When he realizes what has happened, he is distraught. He remembers the curse.
Act two finds the courtiers describing their abduction of Gilda to the Duke. He is delighted to discover that she has been brought to his palace and awaits him in his bedroom. Rigoletto now enters, feigning indifference but desperately seeking signs of the whereabouts of his daughter. When he realizes what has happened he first curses, then pleads with the courtiers for her return, but to no avail. Gilda appears en deshabille, and Rigoletto swears vengeance on the Duke.
Act three begins as the Duke has been lured to a remote inn by Sparafucile's sister Maddalena. Rigoletto has paid Sparafucile to kill the Duke and to deliver his body in a sack so that he may himself throw it into the Mincio. Rigoletto brings Gilda with him to spy on the inn, hoping to reinforce the notion that the Duke is not a man of honour in affairs of the heart. Gilda is unimpressed. Rigoletto sends her home to change into men's clothing for their flight to Verona. Infatuated with the Duke herself, Maddalena begs her brother to spare him and to murder the jester instead. His sense of professional responsibility offended, Sparafucile refuses, but does go so far as to agree that if anyone else should happen to show up at the inn on this wild and stormy night, he will murder them instead. Gilda, returning and hearing all this, sees her chance to help the man she loves. She boldly walks up to the door of the inn, knocks, is admitted and promptly stabbed and stuffed into the sack for Rigoletto. Rigoletto is just about to throw the sack in the river when he hears the Duke still singing in the inn. Wildly he opens the sack to find his dying daughter, who with her last breath assures him that she will pray for him with her mother in heaven. Again, Rigoletto recalls Monterone's curse.
A very popular feature, unique to the Sedona presentations of The Met: Live in HD, is the pre-opera talks presented by Russell Fox from 9:45-10:25 a.m. in the theater.
Tickets are available on line, $23 reserved and $19 general admission, and at the door. Lunches for the opera are also available on line and must be purchased by noon Thursday. Opera tickets may also be purchased at the door.
The full house erupted .......and the group complied with an encore, a riff on the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn classic, "Take the 'A' Train." Cellist Gomes started off plucking his strings, like a string bassist in a jazz group, and then each of the instruments got a chance to solo before the piece wrapped up with a bang. Keep an eye out for the Harlem Quartet - it will be fun to watch the foursome's rise." The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m., at St. John Vianney Church, 180 St. John Vianney Lane, the Harlem Quartet performs its program "From Schubert to Strayhorn." The Harlem has been praised for its "panache" by The New York Times, and for "bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent," said the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The quartet's mission is to advance diversity in classical music, engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers.
The concert program includes Quartet No. 15 in D Minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; The Adventures of Hippocrates by Chick Corea; Take the A Train by Billy Strayhorn, and Quartet No. 14 in D Minor "Death and the Maiden" by Franz Schubert. The concert is made possible with support from Werner & Birgit Loewenstein and John & Ann Steinbrunner.
The Harlem has collaborated with violinist Itzhak Perlman; cellist Carter Brey; clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera; pianist Misha Dichter, with whom the quartet will make their Kennedy Center debut in February 2013; and jazz legends Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with whom they joined music forces for a six-month Hot House Tour.
Each member of the quartet is a seasoned solo artist, having appeared with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, National, New World, and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras. In June 2012 they gave the world premiere of Bernstein's West Side Story as arranged for string quartet and orchestra by Randall Craig Fleischer.
In early 2011 they were featured guest artists at the Panama Jazz Festival in Panama City. In June 2012 they made their debut with the Montreal Jazz Festival. The Harlem Quartet was founded in 2006 by The Sphinx Organization, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building diversity in classical music and providing access to music education in underserved communities.
Tickets to the concert, $40 reserved and $19 general admission, may be purchased on line and in person in Sedona at Bashas' and Rycus' Corners-VOC and in Cottonwood at Planet Video & Music and at the concert. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. A pre-concert talk will take place from 1:15-1:55 p.m. with Steve Douglas and David Koerner free to all ticket holders.
A "Meet the Artist" reception will take place following the concert - information is available on line.
Chamber Music Sedona's 30th Anniversary Season is made possible with underwriting support from Aspey, Watkins & Diesel, P.L.L.C., Attorneys at Law.
Additional support comes from The City of Sedona, The Arizona Commission on the Arts with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Verde Valley Medical Center, The Margaret T. Morris Foundation and WESTAF.