January ’16 Happenings

Hello world! The end of January is slowly approaching, and before the month ends, I thought I’d give a couple of updates as to what’s been going on lately.

The first three weeks of school have been hectic (already too many p-sets and midterms to study for – one of the many perks of being on the quarter system…), but even with all this stuff going on, the music never stops.

The CSO’s first Asia tour with Maestro Muti is currently underway – they’ve completed four performances already: two in Taipei (and they stayed at Regent Hotel, which I visited two summers ago when I went back to Taipei, and is very close to my grandma’s house) and two in Tokyo. The photos shared by the CSO have been great to look at – just makes me wish that I was there instead of here at school. Maestro Muti seems to have many fans in Asia, evident from the adoring crowds waiting to get his autograph in both Taipei and Tokyo. It would be awesome if I could eventually get to see Muti and CSO perform live in Taiwan, especially if I could share that experience with some of my family members who live in Taiwan. Take a look at some of the photos on CSO’s travel blog!

CSO events are thus on a hold right now, due to the tour, but I’ve secured tickets for next month’s open rehearsal conducted by Muti, next month’s performance with Yo-Yo Ma and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and (get ready for this)…for Verdi’s Falstaff conducted by Muti this upcoming April!! The anticipation is so high for this – Muti once commented that Verdi’s Falstaff was one of his two favorite operas (the other being Mozart’s Così fan tutte), and baritone Ambrogio Maestri will be singing the titular part. Falstaff will conclude Muti’s cycle of the three Shakespeare operas by Verdi (the other two being Macbeth and Otello). Muti, arguably the greatest Verdian since Toscanini, will definitely not disappoint 😀 April can’t come soon enough.

Things have still been exciting in Chicago, though! Lyric just wrapped up the performances of its world premiere opera, Bel Canto, which will be broadcast on a future date on PBS! Lyric also just announced their 2016-2017 season, and there are a lot of productions/concerts to look forward to, including new productions of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), NormaCarmen, and Les Troyens (The Trojans). There are also some special events featuring, once again, the great Placido Domingo (whose birthday is coincidentally, today) and Itzhak Perlman, the virtuoso violinist who I saw speak in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Renée Fleming was also in town a couple of days ago to announce, with Anthony Freud, a new initiative to celebrate the vocal traditions of the City of Chicago, aptly named Chicago Voices. There will be many events throughout the next two years to celebrate the rich and diverse music of Chicago – whether it be classical music, jazz, blues, soul, rock, etc.

And, speaking of Lyric Opera, this Saturday evening (January 23rd) will be the opening night of Verdi’s Nabucco at Lyric, which I will be attending!! Carlo Rizzi will be conducting and the production will star baritone Željko Lučić and soprano Tatiana Serjan, who played the titular character in last year’s Lyric production of Tosca. In preparation for the big night, I’ve been listening to Muti’s fantastic 1978 recording of Nabucco with the Philharmonia Orchestra, starring Matteo Manuguerra and Renata Scotto.

That’s it for now – stay tuned for an upcoming post about Nabucco!

(Featured Image: Photo Credit – Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016)

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