The new CD "Triple Doubles" presents three recent double concertos - works composed for violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson. Performed by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, these performances have a remarkably personal quality, undoubtedly a result of the performers' close relationship with the composers and the unique bond of a husband and wife interacting with "their" orchestra.
Troy Peters, who conducts Daron Hagen’s Masquerade, spoke with John Clare about this release.
A painter may paint a picture, a composer may write a beautiful melody for solo piano, but in the world of the theater (and here I count motion pictures as well), one person may have a vision, but production is a collaborative art. W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan worked together on a total of 14 comic operas, of which “The Mikado” is far and away the most popular, and arguably the best. Two new releases from the Criterion Collection highlight the work of Gilbert and Sullivan in different ways.
"There are not many composers in the modern world who possess the lucky combination of writing music of substance and at the same time exercising an immediate appeal to mixed audiences. Zwilich offers this happy combination of purely technical excellence and a distinct power of communication."
Whenever I’m asked to name my favorite Disney movie, I usually hesitate for a moment before answering “Fantasia.” Not because my love for the film is any less than, say, Dumbo or Bambi, but because “Fantasia” is so strikingly different than any Disney film before or since, except for—you guessed it—"Fantasia 2000.”
Maria Callas defined what it meant to be a diva. And Callas remains one of the towering figures of opera. But, exciting as Callas was as a performer, her voice began to decline while she was still relatively young. Experts and fans alike continue to question what exactly happened to a voice that was both exhilarating and controversial.
The year was 1952, and Callas was performing what would become one of her legendary roles -- Bellini's Norma -- at London's Covent Garden.
In 1957, Barbara Smith Conrad was studying music at the University of Texas in Austin. She was cast as Dido in a student production of Henry Purcell’s opera "Dido and Aeneas."
Two weeks before the curtain, Conrad learned that she would not be singing the role of Dido, because a state congressman had objected to an African-American woman being cast opposite a white leading man in a romantic role.