About: Lee Shepherd

Recent Posts by Lee Shepherd

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Last night (March 17) wasn't just any night. As Binghamton met Bernstein, the world went away. The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, with Principal Guest Conductor Daniel Hege on the podium and at the lectern, gave an all-Bernstein concert to a packed house at The Forum, 236 Washington St., Binghamton. Stunning, heart-wrenching and exhilarating renditions of music from On the Town, the overture and a suite of music from Candide and “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story celebrated the upcoming 100th birthday of legendary American conductor,...
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Reviewed by Lee Shepherd The ghost of Maria Callas visited Binghamton Friday night (Feb. 23). The legendary opera singer, dubbed "La Divina," was channeled in a tour de force performance by actress/singer Andréa Gregori in Tri-Cities Opera’s production of Terrence McNally’s 1996 Tony Award-winning drama Master Class. The script is a haunting portrayal of life after stardom, when Callas gave 23 master classes at the Juilliard School in the 1970s. Using her incredibly expressive voice, face, hands and body, Gregori performed essentially a 21/2-hour monologue that ranged from ribald stand-up comedy to...
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Reviewed by Lee Shepherd I sat glued to every moment of Ken Burns' masterful documentary The Vietnam War, then capped it off by attending opening night (Friday, Sept. 29) of Chenango River Theatre's powerful production of The Speed of Darkness. "Gripping" describes both documentary and play. They go glove-in-hand, both revealing secrets that cry out to see the light of day. The Speed of Darkness by Steve Tesich received its world premiere in 1989 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and had its Broadway premiere two years later....
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Reviewed by Lee Shepherd Take heart, blue grass fiddlers: You CAN go from a square dance in the barn to Carnegie Hall. Tessa Lark, featured violin soloist at the Binghamton Philharmonic's Saturday night concert (Sept. 9), proves it. Rare for a classical concert artist, the native Kentuckian calls herself a "crossover musician," who enjoys every kind of music from classical to jazz to folk. She's an alumna of Mark O'Connor's fiddle camp, but she also played classical music at age 16 in Carnegie Hall's "Distinctive Debuts" program. Lark demonstrated...
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Reviewed by Lee Shepherd The Summer Savoyards' The Sorcerer created magic last night (Friday, July 14)  in the Anderson Center Chamber Hall at Binghamton University. One of Gilbert & Sullivan's lesser-known comic operas, presented here as a "staged concert," didn't skimp on much. It featured the full-length score and script, but minimal sets and costumes. The show is full of humor and pathos, timely social commentary, beautiful soaring voices and the spirited acting for which the company is known. Read more
Reviewed by Lee Shepherd The Binghamton Philharmonic's concert Saturday (April 29) at The Forum in Binghamton should have been called the battle of the show-stoppers. A massive (nearly an hour long) Brahms' piano concerto with guest artist Andrew Russo filled the first half of the concert; the second half of the program ended with Stravinsky's exhilarating Firebird Suite, a show-stopper to end all show-stoppers. In between, we sampled a Viennese delicacy, Mozart's overture from The Magic Flute. Russo, playing Brahms' Concerto for Piano No. 1, Op. 15, in D...
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By Lee Shepherd

Saturday’s “Unlimited Wonders” concert (March 18) at The Forum with the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Madrigal Choir of Binghamton afforded me, a choir member, an orchestra-side view of concert preparation rarely seen by audiences.

Daniel Hege, interim conductor for the 2016-17 season, is a first-rate talent, both as an instrumental and vocal conductor.

He programs diverse and interesting concerts, a mix of beloved warhorses and new...

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