Spring 2016!

Spring is finally here in Chicago – and with it brings not only good weather, but a whole host of exciting events. The winter quarter is about to come to an end (I have only two final exams left), and then it’s spring break! There are couple of cool updates on what’s currently going on and some things to look forward to in the upcoming weeks.

First of all…Maestro Muti is back!! I’m super glad that his injury didn’t keep him from being gone too long – hopefully he feels fine and that he takes it easy these next couple of weeks in order to really have a full recovery. He’s currently in Tokyo to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japanese-Italian diplomatic relations by conducting the opening concert of the Spring Festival (Tokyo Opera Nomori – see photo above), which, coincidentally, is also his 150th concert in Japan! The Japanese Postal Service has honored him with a commemorative stamp, which is only sold at the festival. My mom was just in Tokyo, so I’m a little bummed that she missed the opportunity to get the stamps, but…such is life.

Lyric is wrapping up its current opera season (last performances of Romeo and Juliet are this week), but The King and I will be coming to Lyric towards the end of April and running all throughout the month of May. I saw Romeo and Juliet two weeks ago, and wasn’t too impressed by it – tenor Joseph Callejas was the only bright spot for me, but overall, Lyric’s season was highly successful! I saw 7 out of the 8 productions this season (Le Nozze di FigaroWozzeckThe Merry WidowBel CantoNabuccoDer Rosenkavalier, and Romeo and Juliet), with Cinderella being the only one I didn’t get a chance to see, and I was especially happy with Nabucco. In fact, I’m usually listening to Nabucco everyday now (same as my dad, whom I’ve managed to make a big fan of Nabucco), switching between Muti’s recording with the Philharmonia and Gardelli’s recording with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra (and soprano Elena Souliotis, who might be one of the greatest to ever sing the role of Abigaille – no offense to Renata Scotto in Muti’s recording, who’s also great of course). Also, for next quarter, I’m hoping to audit a class co-taught by Anthony Freud, who’s not only General Director of Lyric Opera, but also the guy who kindly took a bunch of photos of me and Renée Fleming! I’ve seen him around Lyric a couple of times, usually for opening night performances, so it’ll be cool to hear what he has to say about opera.

Anyways, this means that most of the big classical music events will be taking place at Symphony Center with CSO! Michael Tilson Thomas and Emanuel Ax are currently in Chicago to perform a program this week, which I’m unfortunately not able to attend due to finals (sadness), but I will be seeing Russian pianist Denis Matsuev and conductor Yuri Temirkanov with CSO next Friday. One of my chemistry professors is going to see Tilson Thomas/Ax, which I found out last week over dinner at Coco Pazzo (one of Muti’s favorite restaurants). She and her family are CSO subscribers for the Saturday concerts, and so she understands my obsession with the CSO (and Muti), haha – she was totally jealous that I got to meet Esa-Pekka Salonen because she’s been a long-time fan of him ever since she used to live in LA when Salonen was music director of the LA Philharmonic.

I’ve also got tickets to two big events next month – Mariss Jansons conducting Shostakovich with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti conducting Verdi’s Falstaff with the CSO. Plus, Muti’s open rehearsal with the Civic Orchestra is also on the same day of the BRSO’s concert 🙂 Hopefully I’ll be able to catch the other programs that Muti will be conducting – I know he’s doing Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet and a Tchaikovsky/Mahler program next month that should be good.

That’s it for now…I should probably get back to studying for finals…

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