Sunday, March 14, 2010

'Give me some music..'

Went to the Metropolitan Opera today for the National Council Grand Finals Concert, and heard some remarkably talented young singers - a useful benchmark for where stepdaughter might aspire to be in a few years.

The next step for her is the undergraduate production of "Gianni Schicchi" next month, then all being well, a return to the Caramoor Festival this summer for "Norma" by Bellini, one of their Bel Canto productions.

It was a great show today; the orchestra was in fine form and the day was capped with a performance by Frederica von Stade which, it turned out, was announced as her final appearance on the Met stage, forty years after she launched her career by becoming one of the winners in this same competition.

The contest has become somewhat more well-known since the movie "The Audition" documented the 2007 final concert, and the place was packed.

The kids sang brilliantly and their repertoire selection was just the right mix of crowd-pleasers and more unusual choices.

It will probably always amaze me that Samuel Barber - the centenary of whose birth was last week - could write something as dischordant and challenging as "Give Me Some Music" from his opera "Anthony and Cleopatra" as well as composing what is possibly the single most perfect piece of music I have ever heard....

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