Archives for the month of: October, 2014

Yi Xin (DMA ’14) appears onstage with superstar soprano Renée Fleming during the Chicago Lyric Opera’s production of Strauss’s Capriccio this month. Here’s what Lawrence A. Johnson of the Chicago Classical Review had to say about opening night:

“Richard Strauss’s final opera, which opened Monday night at Lyric Opera, remains an acquired taste for many, and has only been staged once previously at Lyric, two decades ago. Capriccio takes place on the birthday of the Countess Madeleine, where several entertainments are being planned.

“Written in 1942, Capriccio is Strauss’s affectionate farewell to the stage, and the aged composer and his librettist, conductor Clemens Krauss, were clearly drawing on their experiences and frustrations in producing operas. Capriccio is a short one-act opera–here presented with an intermission rather than straight through as the composer intended—yet a heavily conversational and metaphorical one.

“There is no real reason to stage Capriccio unless you have a radiant star soprano in the role of Madeleine, and clearly Renée Fleming supplies the necessary mega-wattage. In her first fully staged Lyric production since La Traviata in 2008, Fleming here reprises a role she has sung to acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, in the same John Cox production.

“More than anyone else, this was Sir Andrew Davis’s show. Few conductors can equal the Lyric Opera’s music director in Strauss, and Davis’s fluent, spirited yet light-footed account of this score was masterful, maintaining a fleet, conversational pace and rising seamlessly to the breakout lyrical moments.

“Even by their standard, the playing of the Lyric Opera Orchestra was beyond reproach, with a refined quicksilver quality that suits this restless music. The opening string sextet was drop-dead beautiful, Jonathan Boen lofted a gorgeous horn solo to open the final scene, and violinist David Perry, cellist Yi Xin and harpsichordist William Billingham (offstage) made a graceful banda accompanying the ballet dancers.”

Capriccio runs through October 28.; 312-294-3000.

Read the full review…

On Wednesday, October 8, James Burch (DMA ’16) performs David Maslanka’s Remember Me: Music for Cello and Nineteen Players with conductor Robert M. Carnochan and The University of Texas Wind Symphony. Of Remember Me, Maslanska writes: “It was inspired by my reading of a “relatively minor” Holocaust event – the extermination of 5,000 Jews in a small town – in William L. Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. An eye-witness description of a Jewish family about to be slaughtered – mother, father, 10-year-old son, grandmother gently bouncing a year-old baby and making it smile – forcefully riveted my mind and heart. This music is for the baby—a single death, through which it is possible to begin to experience the massive horror of the totality.”

For venue, ticket and more information, visit The concert will also be video streamed live online via Ustream.

More about the UT Wind Symphony…