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Cincinnati Opera's "Calisto" is Stylish Baroque Venture

    Posted: Jul 21, 2014 - 1:39:13 PM in: reviews_2014
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Daniel Okulitch as Jove and Nathalie Paulin as Calisto (photo by Philip Groshong)
(first published at classicalvoiceamerica.org)
Francesco Cavalli's 1652 opera "La Calisto" was a first for Cincinnati Opera July 17, 2014 in Corbett Theater at the newly constructed School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. First-ever Baroque opera in the company's 94-year history, it delighted a sold-out crowd in the intimate, 750-seat theater, an alternative venue for smaller Cincinnati Opera productions.

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Puts' "Silent Night" Finds Light in the Darkness

    Posted: Jul 11, 2014 - 3:29:40 PM in: reviews_2014
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L to R: Phillip Addis as Audebert, Thomas Blondelle as Nikolaus, Erin Wall as Anna and Andrew Wilkowske as Ponchel in Kevin Puts' "Silent Night," Cincinnati Opera, July, 2014
Cincinnati Opera's performance of Kevin Puts' 2011 opera "Silent Night" July 10, 2014 at Music Hall coincided with the centenary of the outbreak of World War I. Set to Mark Campbell's libretto based on the 2005 French film "Joyeux
Noël," the works casts light on a war that changed the world and on the nature of war itself.
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NANOWorks Closes Season Powerfully

    Posted: Jul 1, 2014 - 10:24:39 AM in: reviews_2014
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L to R: Joel Wolcott, Brian Gonzalez and Lauren McAllister in Eric Knechtges' "Last Call," premiered by NANOWorks June, 2014
Cincinnati-based NanoWorks (North American New Opera Workshop) closed its 2013-14 season with a pair of short works, presented in commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City (catalyst of the LGBT civil rights movement). Brooklyn composer Marie Incontrera's "At the Other Side of the Earth" (2012) was a Midwest premiere. Northern Kentucky University professor Eric Knechtges' "Last Call" (2014) was a world premiere.

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Cellist Samis Makes the Case for Reinecke Concerto

    Posted: Jun 26, 2014 - 3:50:22 PM in: reviews_2014
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Asked to make his first CD for Delos, cellist Michael Samis searched out a forgotten work, the Op. 82 Cello Concerto by German composer Carl Reinecke. Convinced by what he learned from a piano reduction score (there were no orchestra parts), he finally discovered orchestra parts in a library in Philadelphia. After premiering the work in February, 2013 with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra in Tennessee, he recorded the work and presents in an attractive new release with works by Schumann, Ernest Bloch, John TavenerOsvaldo Golijov.

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Cincinnati Opera's "Carmen" Unqualified Success

    Posted: Jun 13, 2014 - 2:12:31 PM in: reviews_2014
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Daniel Okulitch as Escamillo (center),Stacey Rishoi as Carmen (seated center front) in act II of Bizet's "Carmen"
It is rare that everything comes together in opera, but it did for Cincinnati Opera's "Carmen" by Georges Bizet June 12 at Music Hall, with splendid singing, acting, an eye-filling production and lithe, well-crafted conducting by French conductor Marc Piollet with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

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Mahler Resplendent at May Festival

    Posted: May 18, 2014 - 9:14:04 PM in: reviews_2014
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(first published at www.ConcertoNet.com)
 
The final program of the 2014 Cincinnati May Festival comprised Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 May 17 at Music Hall. With 3,516 seats and prized acoustics, Music Hall makes an ideal venue for Mahler’s so-called “Symphony of a Thousand.” For this performance, led by music director James Conlon, the participants totaled 496 by official count, with the May Festival Chorus, Nashville Symphony Chorus, Cincinnati Children’s Choir, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, eight soloists and an offstage brass choir.
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Beethoven, Tchaikovsky Come Together for Second May Festival Weekend

    Posted: May 17, 2014 - 12:57:48 PM in: reviews_2014
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Cincinnati May Festival, May 16, 2014. front L to R: Erin Wall, Sara Murphy, James Conlon, Rodrick Dixon, Kristinn Sigmundsson
The second weekend of the 2014 Cincinnati May Festival opened with works by the mature Beethoven and the student Tchaikovsky. The one was his monumental Ninth Symphony, the other Tchaikovsky's graduation thesis from the St. Petersburg Conservatory. The thread tying them together was Friedrich Schiller's "Ode to Joy."

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May Festival Tradition Captured Splendidly at Carnegie Hall

    Posted: May 11, 2014 - 11:58:58 AM in: reviews_2014
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performance of R. Nathaniel Dett, "The Ordering of Moses," Carnegie Hall, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus, May 9, 2012 (photo by Steve J. Sherman)
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the May Festival Chorus represented the Queen City and her historic choral tradition at the 2014 "Spring for Music" Festival in New York's Carnegie Hall May 9. Centerpiece of their program, which was led by May Festival music director James Conlon, was R. Nathaniel Dett's oratorio "The Ordering of Moses," premiered at the 1937 May Festival in Cincinnati.

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CSO Closes Its Season with Scenes from the Bard

    Posted: May 2, 2014 - 5:14:04 PM in: reviews_2014
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Connor Lawrence as Romeo, Bailie Breaux as Juliet (photo by Philip Groshong)
This year is the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra took a cue from that for the final concert of its 2013-2014 Music Hall season. Led by guest conductor James Gaffigan, the CSO performed excerpts from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" accompanied by dramatic presentations by the drama department of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Guest artist in Max Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" was violinist Nicola Benedetti.

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American Cuisine at the Cincinnati Symphony

    Posted: Apr 28, 2014 - 1:00:02 PM in: reviews_2014
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Orli Shaham
Works by Leonard Bernstein framed the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's penultimate concert of the season April 26 at Music Hall. The all-American concert also featured a CSO premiere, Steven Mackey's 2011 piano concerto "Stumble to Grace." Guest artist in Mackey's concerto was pianist Orli Shaham, who also performed Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, "The Age of Anxiety," with Robertson and the CSO. The concert opened with a bright, energetic performance of Bernstein's Three Dances Episodes from "On the Town."
(first published at www.concertonet.com)
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Hadelich, Premieres Liven Exceptional CSO Program

    Posted: Apr 12, 2014 - 1:57:18 PM in: reviews_2014
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Augustin Hadelich performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra April 11, 2014 at Music Hall
Guest conductor Juanjo Mena and violinist Augustin Hadelich brought old and new to life at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra April 11 at Music Hall. Hadelich was soloist in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, while Mena presided over two CSO premieres, Alberto Ginastera's
“Panambí” and Gabriel Pierné’s Overture to "Ramuntcho."
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Boychoir's "All Quiet" Powerful

    Posted: Apr 7, 2014 - 4:10:51 PM in: reviews_2014
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The Cincinnati Boychoir observed the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II with a special "All Quiet" program April 6 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral. It was a moving experience, both in concept and reality.
Heard was music by all-French composers, chosen because of France's centrality to the epochal conflict.
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CCM's "Don Pasquale" a Delight

    Posted: Apr 5, 2014 - 3:03:05 PM in: reviews_2014
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Charles (Zach) Owen as Pasquale in Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music April 3 had everything: great singing, sharp acting and a beautiful period production.
From the melodious Overture (with the CCM Concert Orchestra, led by Mark Gibson) to the pop of silver confetti at the end, it was a delight (first published in the Cincinnati Enquirer April 5, 2014).
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Ariel Quartet Caps Beethoven Cycle Splendidly

    Posted: Mar 31, 2014 - 2:28:11 PM in: reviews_2014
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left to right: Amit-Even Tov, Jan Grüning, Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchikov
It's a long journey from Op. 18 to Op. 135, but the Ariel String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory, ended the traversal of the complete string quartets of Beethoven on a high note March 29 in CCM's Corbett Auditorium. On their program, like all of them a mix of early and later quartets, was Op. 18, No. 6, Op. 74 and Op. 132.

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Midori Guests with CSO Chamber Players

    Posted: Mar 30, 2014 - 2:12:22 PM in: reviews_2014
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left to right: Midori, Ted Nelson and Marna Street
Violinist Midori made a visit to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players a part of her stay in Cincinnati March 27-30 as guest artist with the CSO. She joined the Chamber Players in Dohn
ányi's Serenade for String Trio, Op. 10. Also on the program were Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 4 and the Duo for Violin and Cello by Kodály. The concert took place March 28 at the Erich Kunzel Center for Arts and Education on Central Parkway.
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