The West African nation of Mali has seen instability and violence since March of 2012 when a military coup overthrew the government of President Amadou Toumani Touré. Since then, the violence has escalated as Islamic extremists have joined the fighting and further divided the country into North and South.
This month France announced their intervention due to the rapid escalation of violence over the last few months, and the United States is now helping with operational support.
While opera is best known for soaring arias and large-scale dramatic stage productions, one company is scaling things down by eliminating the 120 member orchestra and taking opera into tighter spaces. Taking a page out of the silent disco movement, where attendees wear wireless headphones to hear the music from a DJ, audience members get the full Monteverdi score straight to their ears.
Troy Peters has arranged and organized contemporary tunes for fundraiser
Saturday night Radius becomes much more than offices and a restaurant; the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio will transform the space to an orchestral club. "And the idea is that we just show up with an orchestra in various places, and we've memorized a song, we've worked out an arrangement together, and we sing and play songs that people aren't used to orchestral musicians perform," says Music Director Troy Peters.
While this weekend's program is setup traditionally as an overture, concerto and symphony, the music is more than just everyday. "If anything is typical, it's the concerto that we're playing, the Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, which itself isn't typical, but it's the one where people might know the melodies," says Karen Kamensek.
The return of this former Houston Opera conductor to Texas also welcomes an American gem, Charles Ives' Symphony No. 2.
In many ways, KPAC and the Cuarteto Latinoamericano have lived parallel lives over the past 30 years. San Antonio's cultural profile would be quite different today if not for KPAC's dedication to providing great music around the clock for the greater San Antonio area. For these same three decades, the Latin American String Quartet has emerged as the essential champion of Latin American music for string quartet. Long may both these cultural institutions survive.