Opening program of Bach and Primosch is indeed a “harvest” Any one of the previous incarnations of the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival’s end-of-summer celebrations might have been dubbed “Harvest.” As it happens, it is this year, the 29th go-round of great music, pithy insights and the precious camaraderie shared by a hundred or… Continue reading Token Creek Chamber Music Festival: Ripe and Ready for the 29th Time
Abduction from the Seraglio warms up the Capitol Theater We are often admonished to “buy local,” but to the degree this can be done in the world of opera, it’s a real rarity. Even the largest companies still co-produce new works and new stagings with other companies, and in the case of regional companies,… Continue reading Homegrown Mozart from Madison Opera Tastier Than Ever
Adding great music making to the recipe makes a visit to Door County all the more irresistible Everyone who falls in love with Door County (and I’ve come to believe that means everyone who has ever been there) has no trouble naming a handful of things that make them want to go back: the… Continue reading All This!!…and Dvorak, Too?
Mozart’s late hybrid stage work proves a hit Friday night Okay, let’s get this out of the way right now: Yours truly is not the optimal critic for a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. I didn’t fall under its spell when I first heard it about 45 years ago, and no version since,… Continue reading Madison Opera’s “Flute” Finds Plenty of Vocal Magic
Closing concert of their second season is two parts brilliant, all ambitious For a group that has so short a season, the Willy Street Chamber Players have certainly managed to create quite a stir in Madison. Last Friday night I finally had the chance to hear what all the fuss was about. In just five… Continue reading Willy Street Chamber Players Are As Advertised
Penultimate program of BDDS 25th anniversary ultimately soars The fifth of sixth programs of the silver anniversary season of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society last Friday night at Overture Center’s Playhouse was titled “Quicksilver.” The more standard than usual program (but full of promise) of Bach, Mozart and Mendelssohn was indeed mercurial at times,… Continue reading Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society: Sizzle, Fizzle, Roar
BDDS celebrates silver anniversary, but give them a gold medal The Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, that impish and excellent music festival created by Stephanie Jutt and Jeffrey Sykes, has now been spoiling us every June for a quarter-century. They have long proven that they bear comparison with many a better-known summer festival in our… Continue reading Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society: 25-Carat Gold
In a month that rains quartet performances, Ancora makes their mark yet again The arrival of the Lion King to the Overture Center this month may have pushed the larger, more flashy ensembles into an earlier than usual summer break (more or less!—none of them really stop completely of course), but May has brought… Continue reading Ancora Quartet: If the Name Doesn’t Mean “Encore,” It Should
The Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (and ensembles) put on an unforgettable celebration It has been almost exactly forty-eight hours since the last note of a truly unique arrangement of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” hung in the air in Overture Hall last Saturday night—and I still don’t know how to even begin to describe the… Continue reading The Festive Fruits of Fifty Years
File this under “better late than never” if you must, but as I write it’s still Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthday. Just as we give thanks on many days throughout the year, not just one Thursday in November, so we also revel in the myriad musical miracles of “Wolfie” all year round. Still, I thought I… Continue reading Happy Birthday, Mozart!