Ear to the ground

First of all, Eastman Theatre is a MESS, according to Eastman student and WXXI intern Dylan Smith. He poked his head in the other day, and tipped us off to the fact that the School is posting pictures.  Thanks, Dylan!
Workers have less than two months to finish major renovations before the RPO opens the new digs October 8th, 9th, and 10th with a performance of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.” The Rochester Oratorio Society will sing the famous ending (“Ode to Joy.”) Members of the Society got an e-mail this week announcing the group has been asked to sing Verdi’s “Requiem” next May with the RPO. This is a significant change. The orchestra’s current schedule lists Verdi's “Aida” in concert May 20th and 22th. So now, as it stands, ROS will bookend the season of Philharmonic concerts. 

 The Eastman Rochester Chorus plans to offer the Rochester premiere of Bruckner’s Mass in D in 2010. One of their two performances is likely (according to Eastman choral director William Weinert) to have the chorus standing in front of the orchestra. That’s the way it was done in the 19th century, and if the chorus and orchestra aren’t always in synch, tough toenails, as they say. The premiere will be led by up-and-coming conductor Deanna Joseph.
Peter Bay, the Austin Symphony, and the Conspirare Symphonic Choir will perform Rochester composer Cary Ratcliff’s “Ode to Common Things” in November. The exciting work, based on poetry by Pablo Neruda, was premiered about twelve years ago at Hochstein. I would love the RPO and ROS to take it on again. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever sung. Cary Ratcliff is going to Texas to hear it. He’s taking a sabbatical from his church job to finish his opera, “Eleni,” featured last year in New York City Opera’s VOX event. At this point, Cary has no idea when or where it’ll be staged. But he’s finishing it for art’s sake.
Rochester art centers are sending out new season schedules, and a couple of things popped out to me. St. Olaf Choir is returning to Roberts Wesleyan College February 2nd. This group is not to be missed. It’s touring the US, England, and Wales with stops at Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, and Hale Auditorium here in Rochester. Violinist Leila Josefowicz, a regular soloist with the RPO, is performing a recital with pianist John Novacek at Eastman. On Tuesday, December 8th in Kilbourn Hall, the Canadian-born MacArthur “genius” grant winner will play J.S. Bach’s Sonata in B minor for Violin and Piano, BWV 1014, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Sonata, Op. 134, Igor Stravinsky’s Duo Concertante (1931-1932), a work by Ekkki-Sven Tuur called Conversio, and Rondo Brilliant in B minor, D. 895, from Op. 70 by Franz Schubert.
In other news, WXXI’s live studio performance program is back with host Julia Figueras on September 25th at 1 p.m. with the Ying Quartet.
One more thing. I FINALLY finished my overview of the season at Glimmerglass opera. Click here to read. As the company’s artistic director Michael MacLeod says, get out there.
Life is the performance.