Saturday, February 25, 2017

the finale

Sadly - last night we had our final concert of our season of the Sarasota Orchestra.  But it was a fitting finale with Mozart's Requiem. An odd juxtaposition for us having just seen Mozart dying in the National Theater Live production of Amadeus...

a lovely work for voice and symphony orchestra - last night sung by four soloists and the award winning Estonian Philharmonic Choir.  And extra special to all because they were performing on the independence day of Estonia and as you may recall - our wonderful conductor Anu Tali is from Estonia...

A review of the Requiem performed on the 200th anniversary of his death by the NY Philharmonic had a fitting conclusion and perfectly created the sense of loss and awe felt in this unfinished masterpiece-

"But the memorial will continue. In fact, our entire concert life may be an extended tribute to Mozart, who towers above it all like some child god so acquainted with grief that his music seems to save us from its burdens. He is forgiving and compassionate to all: to listeners who come with simple love of his melodic grace; to characters who people his operas, each granted a caress of musical sympathy; to musicologists who, faced with marvels, sometimes murder to dissect; even to critics who, weary of devout worship, vainly try to see how a man could write such music, why it sometimes fails, and why it so often seems beyond human judgment altogether."

so on we go-  next up Paul Taylor Dance Company guests of the Sarasota Ballet....always something on the calendar---

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


One of the funniest scenes in the Asolo Production of Born Yesterday that we had the pleasure of seeing tonight was a game of gin rummy. But this was a fun evening all around.  The light touch of the director really gave the play a sparkle all its own.

The well known plot is summarized below-

this - the final season of the Amercian Character theme of the last five years at Asolo has had ups and downs but this one was UP UP UP on many levels - not too preachy but a few good zingers that were relevant to today's issues in Washington...

The director has worked on a number of productions we have seen both here and in Chicago- working at Northlight and Goodman and Steppenwolf- even the Lyric Opera!

a masterful production that made for a very fun and entertaining evening... kudos to the leading actors - but especially to Ms DiCicco who completely nailed this part with her multi-layered performance of Billie Dawn. Quite the heroine!

next up- the Mozart Requiem on Friday night and then Paul Taylor Dance Company on Sunday and then John McCutcheon on Monday... and no we don't slow down- Uzbekistan trip is exactly three weeks away!  so stay tuned!

an entertaining trifle

so tonight our friend John and I went to the Sarasota Opera to hear them sing The Italian Girl in Algiers (Rossini)- It is a light-weight comedic piece with a feisty heroine and a loyal fiance who escape the clutches of the "evil" Bey who has enslaved the fiance and wants to take the heroine as a replacement wife for the one he disdains (because she loves him)

here is the blurb from the season preview materials-
Lindoro’s attempts to escape MustafĂ , the Bey of Algiers, have all been in vain. To top it off, he is now faced with a hand-me-down bride instead of his missing beloved, Isabella. But a unique turn of events brings Isabella right where she needs to be to save her lost fiancĂ©. And she knows exactly how to get them out of this bind.

we aren't talking rocket science here- this was an entertaining evening - nothing deep or amazing - just fun at the opera... costumes- exotic locales all the things that made opera the entertainment of the masses in its heyday.... and he was VERY popular-

handsome devil isn't he? LOL - must be related to the Hapsburgs!

the Orchestra was extremely good - and it was a lovely score despite the fact that the story is kind of light-weight...

the lovers were both excellent and the Bey (Mustafa) was also very good-

This guy did very well in a thankless role- the wanna be boyfriend...

the secondary roles were sung by these folks- all very capable artists-

before the opera we had dinner at Lila - from our friends at Pomona - a place that would be horrendously noisy if we hadn't been eating extremely early- LOL
 we shared a very nice Greek Salad-

John had the veggie burger

I had zucchini linguine-

we shared a dessert of vanilla flavored ricotta with berries and pistachios and biscotti

The opera house is an historic building which I have posted about in the past - and here is the link to copy for that post if you have interest in the background of the building-

have to run- busy day tomorrow - culminating with the theater to see Born Yesterday-

and our week is one of lots of culture as we head to the symphony for Mozart's Requiem on Friday and Sunday the ballet is hosting the Paul Taylor Dance Company--- so lots of fun coming up! Stay tuned!