concert

Review: Verdi’s Masterpiece: AIDA

Categories: Day Tripping, Diva-Colored Glasses, Do As The Locals Do, Featured, Music Diva, Night Life Diva
Review: Verdi’s Masterpiece: AIDA

Verdi's masterpiece - one of them anyway - AIDA, has it's final Orange County, CA, performance Tuesday, 8 p.m., Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, CA. It is not to be missed.        Aida, the 1871 spectacle usually performed with "a cast of thousands," including animals, which debuted at the Cairo Opera House, is distilled to its essential elements, which are quite enough to enthrall an audience.  Local critics were lavish in praise of the South African soprano, Kelebogile Besong, making her North American debut, in the role of Aida at Segerstrom Concert Hall.                    This is one of the great operas everyone should see at least once.  It is awash with military and political intrigue, a love triangle and enough gorgeous Verdi music to thrill.         Besong as Aida, slave to the Egyptian princess Amneris, played by local diva, Milena Kitic, is besotted with the Egyptian military hero, Radames, the man Amneris wants for herself. Aida, herself a princess, unknown to her captors, is distraught when the victorious General Radames brings back defeated enemies, which include Aida's father, the king.          The ingenious staging in an oversized downstage sandbox, with the fabulous 88 - piece Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Carl St. Clair conducting, on stage behind the actors, works rather well. The chorus and dancers ...

THE GODFATHER LIVE

Categories: Budget Diva, Day Tripping, Diva-Colored Glasses, Do As The Locals Do, Featured
THE GODFATHER LIVE

By Angela Rocco DeCarlo The Costa Mesa opera house audience in Orange County, California, went wild. The Segerstrom Center for the Arts’  performance, October 2,  featuring the Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece film,"The Godfather" with a full symphonic orchestra onstage providing the beautiful music of Nino Rota's Academy Award winning score, conducted by UCLA alum, Justin Freer, was sensational. The word was the symphony's trumpet player, Robert Frear, of Long Beach State music department, was the original musician from the film. His featured solo, The Godfather Waltz,  in that haunting opening scene in Don Corleone's office, as Bonasera is asking for a favor to avenge his daughter, primes the audience for what is to come. As an Opera Pacific docent I've enjoyed many operas in that theater, but I can not recall such a vocally appreciative audience. Of course, The Godfather, is, in a certain sense, an opera. It is something Puccini or Verdi might have fashioned. It has all the elements of a great opera - love, loyalty, betrayal and revenge. Especially loyalty and revenge. And there are certainly enough deaths to satisfy that element of operatic trauma. Poor Michael Corleone is the perfect Aristotelian tragic hero. His flaw of family love and devotion to his father causes him to lose his soul. He abandons his planned life to avenge his father. So sad. In ...

Puccini’s Turandot Soars: Pacific Symphony Feb. 18, 20 & 23

Categories: Do As The Locals Do, Featured, Mommy Diva, Music Diva
Puccini’s Turandot Soars: Pacific Symphony Feb. 18, 20 & 23

Puccini's Turandot Soars: Pacific Symphony Feb. 18, 20 & 23 Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall Costa Mesa, CA Giacomo Puccini's final opera, "Turandot,' debut 1926, librettists, Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, at La Scala opera house, Milan, Italy, is admirably showcased with the wizardry of Pacific Symphony's imaginative concert production running February 18, 20 and 23, at the Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, California.   It is a show that surprises, entertains, delights and thrills to the combined talents of singers, orchestra, video designers and dancers. With the full orchestra on-stage, conducted by Carl St. Clair, the Pacific Chorale arrayed above, the Southern California Children's Chorus, adding unexpected luminary delights and video images of China reminiscent of Hollywood Cinemascope.   Directed by Eric Einhorn, "Turnadot" grabs the audience in an embrace of extraordinary Puccini music, Including the world-famous aria "Nessun dorma," sung by Prince Calaf, played by tenor, Marc Heller, as he promises himself victory in winning the princess. The aria has become known as the signature for the late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.   Based upon a 12th century Persian fairy tale, "Turandot" (the final t is pronounced) transported to ancient China, where the Princess Turandot lives imprisoned in self-imposed hatred of men seemingly to avenge the abduction and murder of her ancestor of a thousand years ago. Not really a love story in the ...

THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY

Categories: Day Tripping, Do As The Locals Do, Featured, Not-so-Vanilla Diva
THE ILLUSIONISTS – LIVE FROM BROADWAY

  Nearly everyone enjoys magic. When done well. As a journalist I’ve covered many such shows, for decades, including those at Los Angeles’ Magic Castle and the late, great, Harry Blackstone, Jr.’s stage shows, to name a few. The best word to encapsulate those experiences is: delightful. Magic shows have the power to lift one’s spirits in powerful ways to relax and allow the wonder of the unknown to transport the audience to another realm. Segerstrom Hall, Segerstrom Centerfor the Arts, Costa Mesa, California, is featuring a magic show, The Illusionists –Live From Broadway. I couldn’t wait to see it. It spotlights seven key performers and a bevy of female and male attendants. There are plenty of stunning effects, but some of the performers reek of the dark side, which is apparently their schtick, but is a long way from tuxedo-clad practitioners of yore. From the onset there seemed to be a current that was uncomfortable to me. Too much grittiness, hint of violence and some things downright creepy. The show runs from Feb. 3, to 7th. Then moves on to the Pantages Theater, Los Angeles. In case anyone wonders – what is the difference between an illusion and a trick I’ll offer this: usually an illusion conjures a back-story, is complicated, with some surprise woven into it…Such as Andrew ...

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