Hammer Baroque offers THE REZONANCE ENSEMBLE Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The REZONANCE (sic) ENSEMBLE are a five-piece chamber quintet whose interest and emphasis is the post-Renaissance period of the 17th century. Among the stars of the era were Telemann, Corelli, Scarlatti, Pergolasi and a certain J.S. Bach.. For their Hammer Baroque concert at Melrose United, they and soloist Vania Chan selected work by Frederick Handel whose compositional lifetime spanned the first half of the eighteenth century.
Soprano Chan opened the afternoon with Morgana’s aria ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ from Handel’s “Alcina”. Morgana is the sister of the eponymous character and is a desert temptress out to capture Ruggiaro’s heart.

Chan & the ensemble l-r Richards,Onen-Lapointe,Podgorski,Morton & Antal

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‘Folly in Love’; Hammer Baroque’s Art Week contribution Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

As part of Hamilton Arts Week, Hammer Baroque presented an in-concert version of Alessandro Scarlatti’s opera “Folly in Love”, Alessandro is now less famous than his son Domenico, but back in the day he was celebrated as a major composer of opera in the period before Handel and Gluck.  His ‘Gli equivoci nel sembiante’ was composed in 1679 when he was only 18 years old,  it is a pastoral comedy of love and yearning, a mischievous and jealous sibling and a long lost brother who looks just like our hero.

The HAMMER BAROQUE ensemble musicians

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“(Girl)-CRAZY FOR YOU”; another Sheridan ace Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The Gershwin brothers wrote a rather short-lived musical in 1930 titled GIRL CRAZY. Six decades later it had an overhaul (sort of like any Danielle Steele book) with the names changed, and a plot modification. The new version -”CRAZY FOR YOU” and Sheridan’s theatre faculty has staged a super interpretation directed & choreographed by Julie Tomaino.
Seems every’ Old fart’ reaches a point where he remembers trivia from way-too-far back;  this scribe recalls two anecdotes learned first-hand about the original iteration. At a serendipitous meeting with Ethel Merman, I learned that Girl Crazy was her first major Broadway show. 

The CRAZY for YOU cast deciding the future of ‘Deadrock’

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“TRAP DOOR” a new opera; especially for today Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Doing what we do, i.e. critiquing over a hundred concerts and theatre events every year; becoming jaded is par for the course. Then something comes along that knocks us for a loop. Sheridan’s Theatre Arts Faculty is staging a new play by Morris Panych, with music & lyrics by Anika and Britta Johnson. This Michael Rubinoff production that takes place in 1919 is as real and contemporary as this week’s news. The plot deals with a burlesque operation; gangsters; women treated as chattels; a mystery and except for moments of comic relief- operatic tragedy. The twenty-one arias pack visceral messages and impact.
Editor’s Note: At the request of the producer; no cast photos were taken of this play

Our intrepid critic & TRAP DOOR’s creative team!

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“Puccini & the H.P.O.”; 2017 Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin
We’re democratic (in the social -non-political way) so we respect folks right to different opinions than ours. This is especially true of opera. Unlike many other ambiguous items, this particular genus seems to elicit, like piano keys, either a black or white response – no grey area. We understand this because opera is more than just listening to music it’s experiencing the entire presentation; sight, sound and ethos. When we attend an in-concert opera performance our minds recall the whole libretto, the rationale and the scenario behind each presented aria. Non-aficionados may thus not appreciate the piece as part of an entirety.

Benedikt & Jackson interpreting “O Soave Fanciulla” from La Boheme

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A ‘twofer’ operatic opportunity from the C.O.C. Reply

Review by Michael Piscitelli
This past week, I have been fortunate enough to go to two operas’ in a row. Both were comedic operas that took very different approaches to comedy, of black comedy and slapstick. For Richard Strauss’ 1933 comedic “Arabella”, director Tim Albery tried his hand at making it into a black comedy. Unfortunately, it fell flat, and made it more of a mellow drama (I’m fully aware of my choice of words) than a black comedy. A show about absurd ideas about love, mistaken identity and poor uses of money it’s sure to have many jokes sung throughout the piece.

                             Erin Wall as “ARABELLA”

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