Ending with a 5-minute curtain call, Camille Saint-Saëns’ single major opera, Samson & Delilah, proved a hit with the Seattle Opera audience on Jan. 20 at McCaw Hall. SO staged it Jan. 22 for a second performance. Read More
Fear No Music’s artistic director Kenji Bunch is a talented programmer, not to mention, composer and violist. He plans concerts that open ears to music we’ve never heard–and, sometimes, to music we’re uncomfortable with. Read More
SAN FRANCISCO – In John Adams’ new opera Antony and Cleopatra, one goes back and forth between the grip of the lush rush of music and the production’s stunning visual minimalism. The world premiere tells Shakespeare’s towering tale of passion, global power shifts and loss, but it’s neatly delivered in part with Mimi Lien’s taut set that creates windows, doors, steps and funeral pyres out of dark wood, helping to make order and shape(s) out of a potentially unwieldy story. Read More
When Sphinx Virtuosi performed Oct. 11 at Beaverton’s Reser Center, the stage looked very different from one at traditional chamber or orchestral concerts.
For one, it was full of 18 Black and Latinx musicians, and they were young — OK, 21 to 41 years old, or so. And there was no conductor, common for chamber groups but unusual for one this large. Read More
After seeing the terrific L’Orfeo earlier this summer produced by the new opera company, OrpheusPDX, I expected the best from their second production, The Fall of the House of Usher, on Aug. 28, the final day of the four-performance run at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall. Read More
With this month’s 10-day Siletz Bay Music Festival concerts as dissimilar as Sept. 10’s Beethoven double-bill and Sept. 11’s hip-hop medley, it was no surprise that the Sept. 4 Musical Tapas sprung from all over the musical map. Read More
When Soovin Kim and Gloria Chien were hired in 2020 as Chamber Music Northwest’s artistic co-directors, they didn’t imagine that 2022 would be the year they could show their stuff, due to Covid restrictions that limited live concerts.
This summer’s festival unveiled their brilliance, even if attendance was down from pre-Covid years. Read More
Claudio Monteverdi’s 1607 L’Orfeo, credited as the first operatic masterpiece, is based on a magnificent myth and captivating story. But four centuries ago is a long time! Yet, OrpheusPDX’s debut show Aug. 4 at Portland State University’s almost full 475-seat Lincoln Hall illustrated a successful revival, ensuring the opera’s staying power. Read More
The Sinta Saxophone Quartet, alarmingly good and ravishingly charming, took the audience by surprise with its highly diverse program, American Voices, July 24 and 25 (I heard the July 25th concert at the Kaul Auditorium). Theirs was the tightest and brightest concert at the spectacularly varied Chamber Music Northwest’s five-week festival. Read More
Reena Esmail’s cross-cultural music is making star turns in Oregon concerts this summer.
At two Chamber Music Northwest concerts July 17 and 18, violinist Vijay Gupta–who happens to be Esmail’s husband–played her Darshan: Bihag and When the Violin. After the concert, Portland composer David Schiff called Gupta “a rock star” and was blown away by Esmail’s music, which was preceded by poetry and delivered with an intensity that the couple holds in common. Read More