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Join us for “Meet the Met” at Prairie Wind Coffee in downtown Albert Lea on the Friday prior to each Live in HD transmission. From 12:15 to 12:45 pm, we'll discuss the up-coming opera, including its singers, synopsis, best-known arias, and other opera tidbits. Grab a coffee or make it a lunch break with one of PWC's delicious sandwiches during the informal get together. Meet the Met: Giulio Cesare will be Friday, April 26.
Click "Read More" to see the full schedule. See you there!
David McVicar's sensational production of Handel's Giulio Cesare has arrived at the Met, and the response has been overwhelming.
"The opera is an audacious blend of serious, comic, romantic and adventurous elements. David McVicar matches that audacity in his production… The opening-night audience rose to their feet to give anexuberant ovation" (New York Times).
"Musical and theatrical bliss… A top-flight cast, including David Daniels and Natalie Dessay in captivating performances... Daniels demonstrated that he is the master of this repertoire… Dessay wasastonishing" (Wall Street Journal).
"Dessay was simply brilliant as Cleopatra. She has always been one of the best acting sopranos… she ranges seamlessly from seductress to desperate defeat to jubilant triumph. And she can dance" (Huffington Post). She sang "with sparkle in the perky arias and with melting richness in the sad ones" (New York Times).
As Caesar, Daniels "is again remarkable, singing with his full-bodied sound, emphatic delivery and technical command" (New York Times). As Sesto, Alice Coote was "fiery and rich-voiced" and Christophe Dumaux as Tolomeo "sang his tricky arias with fresh, even tone and immaculate technique" (AP).
McVicar's production is "full of treats and surprises" (AP) and Harry Bicket "draws a lithe, lyrical and stylish performance of this great score from the Met orchestra" (New York Times).
"Four stars...Witty and imaginative. " (Bloomberg).
"A stunning feat… If anyone still harbors doubts that Handel's operas can be excitingly staged, the Met's smashing new production will put them to rest" (Huffington Post).
Don't miss your chance to see this "imaginative" production (New York Times) at the Marion on April 27. Order your tickets today!
The Albert Lea Civic Music Association announces its upcoming scholarship auditions in May. Several scholarships are available for local young musicians. The summer music camp scholarships are available for junior and senior students who are interested in attending a summer music program. Up to two awards are available in each age bracket.
Auditions consist of two contrasting pieces in style and period. Also available is a college scholarship for a student who has finished his or her freshman year of college. Audition requirements include a movement of a concerto and a contrasting piece from any time period. For vocal auditions, one piece must be in a foreign language and one in English. While preference is given to music majors, non-music majors may also audition.
The Helen Wipplinger Organ and Piano Lesson Scholarship is also available. This scholarship is made possible by the generosity of the late, Helen Wipplinger. Wipplinger was an accomplished musician and music lover who desired to promote and encourage the education and training of future church organists and pianists. Anyone wishing to pursue training to play in church should apply for this scholarship. Adult lesson awards are also available. Applicants must prepare one of the required pieces, a piece of their choice, a hymn of their choice and a hymn that is sight-read.
Deadline for applications are due on or before May 6. Auditions will be May 24. Scholarship forms have been sent to all area schools and many local piano teachers. Audition forms will also be available at the Civic Music concert on Tuesday.
Last year’s recipients were Ray Stephenson, James Dundas, Maria Silva, Lindsey Thisius, Amber Klein, Hannah Goemann, Claire Bias, Emma Behling and Melody Randall. A public recital given by the 2012 scholarship winners will be June 4 at First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea. The recital will begin at 6 p.m. and the public is invited to come and hear the talent from the Albert Lea area. For complete requirements and application forms for any of the scholarships, please contact Eileen Nelson Ness at 377-2075 or Sue Jorgensen at 377-1580.
David McVicar’s inventive production—a triumph at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2005—comes to the Met. The Guardian praised the director’s "witty, sexy, and tragic post-colonial framing of Handel’s Caesar and Cleopatra tale," which incorporates elements of Baroque theater and 19th-century British imperialism to illuminate the opera’s ideas of love, war, and empire building. Live in HD: April 27
François Girard’s timeless new vision for Wagner’s final masterpiece explores the many facets of this mystical score, while designer Michael Levine creates a surreal landscape. Live in HD: March 2
The Met's new production of Wagner's final masterpiece opened last week to overwhelming critical acclaim.
François Girard's "breathtaking" production "is a Parsifal to treasure, elevated to the highest musical level by the solemnity and sweep of Daniele Gatti's conducting and the dedication of a dream cast of singing actors" (AP).
"Jonas Kaufmann is in his glory… Handsome and limber, he is a natural onstage. The baritonal colorings of his sound, his clarion top notes, the blend of virility and tenderness in his singing, his refined musicianship — all these strengths come together in his distinctive Parsifal" (New York Times).
As Kundry, "Katarina Dalayman gives a fearless performance." As the noble Gurnemanz, René Pape "pours out unstinting rich, velvety sound… a deeply felt interpretation… The revelation of the night is baritone Peter Mattei, tackling the role of Amfortas for the first time. When has any singer so powerfully expressed the suffering of this tormented character while producing burnished sounds of such breathtaking beauty?" (AP)
"Radiant new Parsifal makes Met glow, audiences cheer… I don't think better singers exist anywhere in the world" (Bloomberg).
"In imagination, cohesiveness and brilliant execution, this Parsifal honors the composer's concept of total artwork" (Star Ledger).
"A magnificent new production… It is an exquisite pleasure for the eye and ear, it's also food for the soul" (New York Post).
"Arresting, consistently absorbing… a powerhouse cast of singers… amoving, modern vision" (Wall Street Journal).
"A modern new Parsifal for the 21st century" (Huffington Post).
"Both the production and the performance caught fire, and the Parsifal of Wagner's imagination came vividly to life" (Musical America).
Watch a video of Jonas Kaufmann singing "Amfortas! Die Wunde!" from Act II of Parsifal