Unlike most other instruments, guitarists are required to study early music from the 16th and 17th centuries. The weirdest part is that I went from being a rock and roll guy to studying classical guitar to playing the theorbo and baroque guitar. I love the Spanish canon that Segovia brought to our consciousness. Most early music specialists tend to focus on the baroque and early renaissance periods but you are also very engaged with the classical music of the 19th century and play instruments from that period as well.
What accounts for your unusually broad scope? I love playing music from all epochs and the guitar flourished during the 19th century. It has quite an extensive solo and chamber repertoire. The 19th century guitar is very different from the classical guitar. I just love playing it. Early in my career, I went out of my way to specialize in late 18th and early 19th century chamber music.
And while I love playing solo pieces, I also realized that the world can only sustain a certain number of solo classical guitarists and I am too much a social an animal.
I really enjoyed playing with other musicians, so I went down that path which led me directly into playing basso continuo and other plucked stringed instruments like the theorbo and baroque guitar, which I play in Orlando at SF Opera. But I still love playing the 6 string guitar and my first recordings were for the Harmonia Mundi label and featured the complete Boccherini Guitar Quintets, which no one had ever recorded before on instruments from the epoch.
He is the great chameleon of all composers. When he lived in Italy, he wrote like an Italian; when he lived in England, he composed like a Brit; and when he lived in Germany, he composed like a high German composer. What is amazing is his ability to set music to different languages. I happened to record it a few years ago with my period ensemble group, El Mundo, on the album The Kingdoms of Castille which was nominated for a Grammy.
Handel just how to absorb the style, the native musical, as well as spoken language. What is the continuo and what is its function in a baroque opera such as Orlando. How do you work?? It was the consequence of the meetings of the Florentine Camarata, a group of humanists that included Giulio Caccini, Vincenzo Galilei and Jacobo Peri, who got together to emulate Greek oratory and music. They hypothesized about how it must have entailed spontaneity and improvisation between poets, singers and how it would be accompanied by a lyre.
That was the birth of monody, the initial basis of opera. Much of these early operas by Monteverdi, Caccini, Peri and Cesti consist of collections of these little monodies which consist of a bassline and harmony that supports a singer, much like the way the rhythm section functions in a jazz combo.
The theorbo was an important instrument through the Renaissance and baroque eras. The last historical compositions written with the theorbo in mind appeared about Savino plays a modern copy. His theorbo has a very long neck and two sets of strings which are plucked—a longer set tuned with pegs at the top of the fret board for the deeper range , and a shorter set tuned by pegs on the sides of the fret board for the higher range.
Photo: Geneva Anderson What is so special about the theorbo and the sound it produces? Usually, it has 14 strings and quite long strings. The longer the string length, the lower the pitch. The instrument has a very odd tuning in which the highest pitch string is the third string from the top and has a very strong middle and bass register with quite a few extended base strings which I pluck with my right hand thumb. Those pop out like a cannon. Just the other day, someone told me the other day that I was quite audible a big compliment to a lute player but I have always focused on projection.
I play loudly and you have to project to fill a really big hall. What is tricky about playing both the theorbo and baroque guitar in Orlando? In the second half, my hand just begs for a break. Here, it is constant because the recitative moves so fast. Some are conducive to the instrument; some would be conducive to the archlute, which looks like a theorbo but is tuned differently and is more conductive to flat keys.
The theorbo is more conducive to keys that are in the sharp side of our harmonic language. Playing continuo really keeps your brain sharp and focused. You have to keep track of the tunings of the different instruments when you switch instruments and change your fingerings accordingly. What is the difference between an original and a copy of a baroque instrument like the theorbo or guitar and what do you play? These are very delicate instruments and most that have survived from the 17th century suffered from some degree of neglect and damage.
I have a couple of very early guitars in my collection but nothing earlier than I know private collectors who own some of these originals and I can say that very good copies do sound very close to the originals in their present state. But every instrument in and of itself sounds a bit different. In Orlando, Richard Savino plays a modern copy of a baroque guitar.
Photo: Geneva Anderson The main difference between the guitar and lute and the way they were played is that the guitar, in its baroque incarnation, was strummed and provided expressive rhythm, dance melodies and dramatic battle scenes. What does he bring to the production?
He was very open and conversant, whereas a good number of conductors can be very removed. He knows how to talk with and work with the orchestra. Chris was really good at communicating his ideas. Tell me about your collaboration with Thomas S. Kaplan, the billionaire metals investor and founder of the Leiden Collection. I understand that these artworks are being lent all over the world and the music from this same period, that matches them so well, is getting exposure.
What a beautiful project! Not that you need electronic music to have projections, but it would seem strange to have electronic music without them. At a recent meeting of the creative team in Santa Fe, she was able to ask Bates to add music for transitions. Meanwhile, to her delight, Bates and Campbell attended a purely technical meeting.
The team adjusted the pacing of the story in Act I to let the visual effects build to a terrifying climax. Rom used the projections not just to define place, but to extract psychological subtext. Mining a variety of German Expressionist sources, Kentridge generated India-ink drawings of body parts — eyes, mouths, arms — that could be assembled and disassembled — flying in, flying out, fluttering — to represent Lulu as envisioned variously by her lovers and husbands, and by herself.
Judith Kogan finds out how. Some companies are also looking beyond conventional theaters for intimate, site-specific stagings of unusual repertoire. No question, the strategy can bring artistic rewards. By drawing the audience closer to the action, a second-stage production can offer an artistic experience profoundly different from that provided by mainstage grand opera. In doing so, second-stage offerings often attract new, younger audiences.
Second-stage works — such as Fellow Travelers and Andy: A Popera being two examples — often probe issues that are part of contemporary culture. The typical sparseness of the physical productions can be an advantage for tuned-in, hip audiences accustomed to the abstractions of contemporary art. For young, uninitiated potential audience members, who may find traditional opera stiff or forbidding, a second-stage venue can prove to be a welcoming entry point.
Production expenses may be lower, but so is potential box office revenue: The productions offer fewer seats to sell, and ticket prices are typically lower than for mainstage offerings. Stage direction: Michael Cavanagh. Scenic design, projections and lighting: Alexander V.
Costumes: Kristi Johnson. You have to put the same amount of resources as in the main opera house. They function like venture capitalists in that they see value in emerging ideas which have a high probability of impact on the community. That focus on early-stage support differentiates this from traditional, lower-risk philanthropy.
One anonymous family foundation, excited by the cultivation of new audiences, launched a successful four-year, million-dollar challenge. The company performs standard repertory at the 1,seat Forum Theatre in downtown Binghamton, New York. It drew between 20 and 40 people on each of four nights. Scorca about a career in conducting, American music, new works Marc A.
Scorca: Strasbourg is a gorgeous city with an opera house where Wagner conducted. At what age did you become aware of that beautiful theater? Emmanuel Villaume: Very early, actually. We sang at the cathedral, but we were also the chorus for the opera. This had an extremely strong impact on me.
I was a shy kid with a lot of emotions that I would not let out. So I understood very, very early that music could give meaning to your life and ultimately help you become a stronger, deeper, better person. She tells the film makers of always living on the financial edge, of having no real home and of gambling all on a recent European trip that ended in disaster. There were auditions and promises of auditions, she says, and a possible contract in Frankfurt that vanished when the opera house burned down.
Toward the end of the interview, she confesses with mock weariness that men have a way of interfering with her resolve. All of the choristers interviewed by Mr. Saraf and Ms. Light are exceptionally articulate and self-aware.
Frederick Matthews, a barrel-chested baritone from rural North Carolina, has not abandoned his goal of a solo career and, when last seen, is about to go on stage in Costa Mesa, Calif. He met his wife, Ruth Ann Swensen, when they were both in the chorus.
She has gone on to become a soloist. He reports that he is now content to remain in the chorus and to realize his aspirations through her.
Which, for him, may be another way of recognizing that so much of life is not the career.
From an architectural and urban point of view, it has developed a lot in the last decades. But projections in opera today can be a more sophisticated proposition altogether, integrating the cutting edge of video technology into scenic design. He returned to the Guild as managing director in and remained in that post until his retirement in
Although her career was based in Europe, she sang 21 performances at the Metropolitan Opera between and You have to put the same amount of resources as in the main opera house.
I love the Beatles and listened to them all the time. Opera and theater director Kay Walker Castaldo died on August 1 at age Tell me about your collaboration with Thomas S. Those pop out like a cannon. A reconceived and restructured version of the full opera, in two acts instead of three, will premiere in May, in a new production at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
In France and England, where it rained a lot, they played indoors and it was a much more intimate space and they played without for the most part. Early in my career, I went out of my way to specialize in late 18th and early 19th century chamber music. At first, he went in and out of the opera house entrance.
Mining a variety of German Expressionist sources, Kentridge generated India-ink drawings of body parts — eyes, mouths, arms — that could be assembled and disassembled — flying in, flying out, fluttering — to represent Lulu as envisioned variously by her lovers and husbands, and by herself. The 60 minute program will air the first Sunday of each month. This had an extremely strong impact on me.
Your bio indicates you dabbled in rock and roll and then jazz fusion first which strikes me as unusual path. That focus on early-stage support differentiates this from traditional, lower-risk philanthropy. One reason for this is because George Martin, their producer, was a classically trained composer. I did 25 of these, some of which I recorded in the middle of the night in my bedroom and some were taken from tracks that I had recorded previously.