We offer suggestions for arts lovers to discover (and re-discover) established and emerging artists, musicians and performers in and around Delaware. Although we particularly like to celebrate smaller arts organizations and individuals, we cover nearly anything that strikes us or that we feel you should know about. Periodically, we welcome guest bloggers and artists to join us.
From the first thirty-second note of the Grave in the Beethoven Opus 16, Barbara
Govatos, Marcantonio Barone, Che Hung Chen and Priscilla Lee were glued
together – making that treacherous journey through the beginning of the quintet
with ease and confidence which is rarely managed, even on recordings.Mr. Barone even added a short and melodic
bridge between theGraveand Allegro movements – keeping a Beethoven
tradition but making it a fleeting and well-matched bridge to the faster
The theme of the first evening of the Delaware Chamber Music
Festival was Classical Influences.The Poulenc Sonata for flute and piano, Opus 164 may seem at first to be an
incongruous fit for the Mozart and Beethoven, but the extremely soft dynamics
of Ms. Guidetti’s flute in the Cantilena
movement evoked the quiet of the second movement of Bach’s Italian Concerto.The Prestogiocoso cleared any lingering baroque feeling as the duo gave a
brilliant rendition of the modern, dance-like movement.
The Mozart Piano
quartet in G minor, K 478 was played with twenty-first century vigor –
sometimes letting the modern piano dominate with the sudden fortes.Yet Mr. Barone made the piano sing the theme of the second half of the
first movement and Ms. Lee’s cello lines could be clearly heard as his
accompaniment.The vocal quality of the
high notes of Che Hung Chen’s viola – especially in the Rondeau movement, was delightful.
Pyxis rehearses with Barbara Govatos
The classical beginnings of the Festival will make way for
romantic and even blues influences on Sunday, June 16 when the Pyxis Piano Quartet
joins the Festival.The quartet will
also play a Delaware premiere by composer Kathryn Mishell, the winner of the
2010 Sylvia Glickman prize of the International Alliance for Women of Music.On Friday, June 21, Christian Taggart will be
a featured guest playing the Paganini Cantabile
for violin and guitar, the Sonata
concertante for violin and guitar and some Piazzola.There will also be a fest of romantic trios
played by Marcantonio Barone, Clancy Newman and Barbara Govatos.
The Festival will present a fourth and final concert with a Delaware
premiere: String Quartet No. 2 by
local composer Ingrid Arauco.The theme Chip off the old Bach and the Bach Duet for violin and viola in C minor, the Mozart Adagio and Fugue in C minor and the
Mendelssohn String Quintet in B-flat
Major hint that Ms. Arauco’s string quartet will also be a classically
Release courtesy of The Grand Opera House, June 12, 2013
The Wilmington Youth Jazz Band. Photo by Nancy JL Powel.
The Grand Opera House has announced the winner of its 2013 In The Spotlight talent competition. Wilmington Youth Jazz Band took the top honor in a juried finale earlier this month.
In The Spotlight, which has been presented regularly by The Grand over the last five years, holds a unique place in local/regional talent competitions, because it does not focus exclusively on singing or even music but presents the diverse talents of all those who audition. Both the preliminary qualifying rounds and the finale are decided by a panel of local judges with experience in the performing arts.
As the 2013 winner, Wilmington Youth Jazz Band received not only the bragging rights winning but also a $150 cash prize from The Grand and the opportunity to perform a showcase at the historic downtown venue during the upcoming season. The band also received a $700 prize package that included donated gifts from several area merchants including the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Delaware Natural History Museum, Winterthur, Harry’s Hospitality Group, Hockessin Athletic Club and Dogfish Head Brewery and Restaurant.
“All of the finale acts could be considered winners,” says Pamelyn Manocchio, Director of Community Engagement at The Grand, “because they all get the opportunity to perform on the stage of Copeland Hall, where so many legendary performers have stood before them. But, Wilmington Youth Jazz Band impressed the judges more than any others.”
The Wilmington Drama League closes its 79th
season with the charming musical Into the
Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. The show’s plot about a baker
and his wife who want to have a child, but first have to break a
spell placed on them by their neighbor witch, is combined with multiple beloved
Brothers Grimm fairy tales, including “Cinderella”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”,
“Little Red Riding Hood”, and “Rapunzel”.
Act one of the three hour production provides the
basis of the original tales along with the new story, but act two reveals the
reality of the ever afters – and for
some of our favorite childhood characters, they’re not very happy! However,
like many of the original fairy tales, Into
the Woods provides a lesson to be learned. Throughout the show each
character begins to realize that his/her actions lead to consequences that
aren’t always what he/she actually wanted, expected, or intended. The
characters learn that not only do they have to live with the
consequences, but future generations will also have to contend with the outcomes.
Director Chris Turner’s delightful production
boasts wonderful performances by the ensemble cast. Ed Emmi gives a charismatic
performance as the Narrator of the show. Patrick Ruegsegger and Victoria Healy enthrall
as the desperate baker and his wife. They’re great timing and superb voices are
perfect for the roles. Zack Langrehr and Rebecca Gallatin are splendid as Jack and
his mother. Both actors exquisitely bring the mother/son relationship to life
and delicately handle the woes their characters’ must face. Christy Watt as the
sassy Little Red Riding Hood and Shelli Haynes Ezold as the evil Witch give devilishly FUN performances. Both women bring out their inner-divas and command attention. Ms. Haynes Ezold rendition of “Children Will Listen” in the
finale is absolutely gorgeous.
Set designer Tom Haughey has built an enchanting forest
with whimsical homes where the characters dwell. His set, complemented by Jenna
Ford’s colorful costume designs and the outstanding performances transports the
audience from the real world to a beautiful fairy tale land that’s difficult to
Woods at the Wilmington Drama League closes June 16. Visit www.wilmingtondramaleauge.orgor call 302.764.1172 for additional
information and/or to purchase tickets. Below picture by Jonathan Ripsom.