Review by Danny Gaisin
The Hamilton Philharmonic’s construal of Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Mendelssohn’s exquisitely memorable composition was a perfect blending of aural & visual experience. This effort was truly an O.A.R. “Top Ten” contender. Not only was the orchestra in faultless form, but the Hamilton Children’s Choir was impeccable and the students of Glendale Secondary were enchanting & delicious in their rendering of ‘Hermia & Lysander’; “Demetrius and Helena”; ‘Titania & Oberon’; plus, all the fairies and particularly the Pyramus/Thisbe interpreters. As usual it was the markedly delightful Robin Goodfellow (Puck) who steals the show. He (or she) is the character with whom I most identify!
The one hour post-interval suite was extraordinary in that it incorporated so many aspects. A full orchestra; a large choir; twenty-seven teenaged thespian/dancers and an exceedingly professional sound and lighting engineer all worked as a single unit faultlessly blending together under one baton. This is not the COC or any other specialized company…this was three individual organizations who were able to amalgamate without a hitch. To elucidate the audience’s connection, folks could be heard reciting “she may be but little; but she is fierce!” or stating: – ‘What fools these mortals be’. Forsooth, there were hundreds of voices standing & joining in with ‘Give me your hands if we be friends, and Robin shall restore amends… then tumultuous applause and bravos.
There was much more to appreciate during the concert. Beethoven’s Prometheus overture. This famous composition is way too short for such an important ballet. According to Greek mythology, he gave us fire & metalwork for which he was punished. He also played left wing for the Titans and was traded to the Olympians for two future draft picks! The H.P.O. under Gemma New displayed an obvious enthusiasm and élan that bespeaks of how Ms. New now owns the orchestra as well as beguiling her Hamilton & environ audiences. The balance of the pre-intermission program was the performance of a new composition by localite Marjan Mozetich titled ‘Passion of Angels’ and written for orchestra and dual harps. Seeing and hearing two instrumental maestras such as Erica Goodman & Angela Schwarzkopf performing together is something of a rare treat. This writer usually takes time to acquire a taste for new creations, but this piece, with its haunting melody has a Viennese flavor circa J. Strauss but without the schmaltzy waltz tempi. It is bucolic in mood with an evocative feel and imagery. There are a couple of seemingly familiar riffs (Tchaikovsky’s 6th or maybe 4th) comes to mind.
Given that Hamilton is notorious for its plethora of ambulance chasers, we decided to visit the oxymoronically-named ‘HONEST LAWYER’ restaurant across from the concert Hall.
Exhibit #1, the menu is tongue-in-cheek with the food more than just acceptable. Exhibit #2 – the portions full-measure and –
Exhibit #3 -the prices better than average. The excellent care and consideration by our waiter, Michael, made the entire experience enjoyable. Case Closed!