It was 10 years ago that I met the remarkable Mexican soprano Olivia Gorra, at the 2003 Festival Internacional de Cervantino. She had just made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Turandot, with more performances to come.
The pride of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Olivia performed an outdoor program at Guanajuato's Alhondiga which was capped off by a rousing set with her fellow Veracruzanos, the folkloric ensemble Tlen Huicani. Despite her numerous opera house successes, I doubt she has ever had them dancing in the aisles at the Met.
In pop music, pieces featuring the "original artists" are usually big sellers. These are the performances we heard first and are used to -- not the cover songs performed by other artists years later. Some pieces are so familiar that we mentally hear the scratches and pops on the 45's that we had at home back in the day.
With a mixture of trepidation and excitement, Hector Berlioz, the composer, critic and conductor, stood poised to lay aside many of the usual tasks and distractions of his life and give himself up to the dream of a lifetime: The composition of an epic on antique themes inspired by Virgil's "Aeneid," Les Troyens.
It was on a Summer morning in Mexico City that I heard the sad news of the passing of Herbert von Karajan. The notice was on the radio as I drove over to the Sala Nezahualcoytl, on the campus of Mexico's National University. I was on my way to play a matinee concert with the Orquesta de la Mineria.
Once I arrived, I immediately went to the dressing room of the conductor, Luis Herrera de la Fuente, to relate the bad news. He was alarmed. "Are you sure?" he asked. "I'm afraid so, Maestro," I replied.
The Hollywood Reporter recently brought six top film composers together to discuss their craft. Alexandre Desplat noted: "I always thought [composers] could give master classes to directors. Not to teach them, but to help them communicate." Read the full interview with Danny Elfman, Desplat, Patrick Doyle, Mychael Danna, Marco Beltrami, and Fernando Velazquez after the jump.
Writing music often is a solitary pursuit, so it was no wonder that when six renowned composers -- Marco Beltrami, 46 ( The Sessions), Mychael Danna, 54 ( Life of Pi), Alexandre Desplat, 51 ( Argo, Moonrise Kingdom, Rise of the Guardians), Patrick Doyle, 59 ( Brave), Danny Elfman, 59 ( Frankenweenie, Hitchcock, Silver Linings Playbook), and Fernando Velazquez, 36 ( The Impossible) -- gathered in one room, they relished the chance to discuss the complexities of their trade.
I suppose it is because I have largely made my living these past 20 years with my voice -- though certainly not as a singer -- that I have come to value the sound of a voice and what it reveals; both when the voice is alive, and perhaps more importantly, when that speaker is no longer with us.
Kerrville, Boerne and San Antonio host Camerata SA concerts this weekend
Personal Expressions will feature Anastasia Storer and Matthew Zerweck, violins; Emily Freudigman, viola; and Ken Freudigman, cello. These Camerata San Antonio musicians play together in chamber music as well as at the San Antonio Symphony.