Sunday, July 14, 2013 maestro Victor Wener and the California Philharmonic invited audiences once again to join in and listen at a sold out matinee of Andrew Llyod Webber Meets Puccini at the majestic Disney Hall downtown Los Angeles.
It is one of a series of 5 performances this summer that is performed every 2 weeks Saturdays at the Santa Anita Racetracks followed by a matinee at Disney Hall Sundays.
Before the orchestra performed Puccini’s Overture to La Gazza Ladra, Wener took the time to introduce the wonderfully humorous music by talking about Rossini. The audience learned that Rossini was born in the classical period and started writing Sonatas and Operas as a child. By age 38 he had written 38 Operas and retired a rich man apparently not only because he charged a fee for his compositions but also because there was gambling during intermission and Rossini was sly enough to ask for a percentage of the winnings of the house.
What followed were a couple of Solos of Jesus Christ Superstar performed by the elegant Soprano Lori Stinson and award winning bass baritone Cederic Berry. As usual the orchestra makes a smooth transition from classical to musical in only minutes accompanying dramatic tenor Christopher Campbell in Sunset Boulevard. Mr Campbell’s strong delivery, phrasing and musicality served as the perfect introduction to the exciting world of Weber’s musicals.
The show reached its peak when Cederic Berry as the phantom stepped on stage lifting the darkness with Music Of the Night from Phantom of The Opera. Berry’s very slender appearance is in contrast to his powerfully intoxicating voice and his amazing range leaves even the most musically educated person in owe.
Next on the program were several pieces of Puccini’s La Boheme accompanied by the talented Children’s Chorus of the Claremont Community School of Music. The afternoon resumed with Ms Stinson, Mr Berry and the California Choral joining in a performance of E Lucevan, Visi D’arte and Te Deum of Puccini’s Tosca and ended on a high note with Nessun Dorma from Turandot.
The next Cal Phil concert called Dance Fever takes place on Saturday July 27, 2013 at Festival on the Green at Santa Anita Race Track and Sunday July 28, 2013 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Dancing With The Stars sensation Derek Hough, fresh off the heels of his most recent Mirror Ball Trophy victory, takes center stage with the orchestra during a fun-fueled line-up of songs including tributes to Elvis, Abba and Michael Jackson. More surprises are on tap for the don't-miss program that also includes Dance of the Seven Veils, Romeo and Juliet, Hava Nagila and Ritual Fire Dance.