Were the arts part of your weekend?

I caught the final performance of the Ti-Ahwaga Community Players’ delightful production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. What did you do in the arts this week?

— Barb Van Atta

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1 Response to "Were the arts part of your weekend?"

  1. Octavian1

    On Saturday I attended soprano Jenny Gac’s wonderful program (at Binghamton University), consisting of a half of art songs and arias, followed by a half of mostly contemporary show tunes where she was joined by friends. It was delightful and will hopefully be repeated to a larger audience.

    On Sunday I took in the Franklin Stage Company’s overall excellent Carmen. The “concept” of this production was that Carmen is a transgendered woman (sung by countertenor Bryan DeSilva) being held in a women’s prison. This was barely an issue and was played well, but his voice may have been worn out from three consecutive performance, as it lacked focus. Nicole Joseph sang the role of Micaela and was by far the best singer in the show — a big soprano voice with plenty of nuance.

    Don Jose (Shawn McDonald) — his voice had some really good sounds, but they were strung together with way too many not-so-good sounds. Escamillo (Joe Johnson) was huge in stature and voice, but there wasn’t a true, focused pitch to be found, and he lacks the charisma for this role, bringing only an imposing size. All of the secondary roles ranged from quite good to very good — both voices and acting. The chorus was comprised of several additional women who were added to supplement the secondary roles, and a fair amount of the chorus music was cut so as not to impede the action. Concept and direction by Danielle Wright were mostly gimmick-free and surprised with humorous touches that engaged the audience immediately. It was sung in French with no titles, and the audience followed every step of the way. Musical direction by Steven McGhee was crisp and excellent, and the quintet (piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet) was superb – we didn’t even miss the full orchestra. All in all a lovely afternoon. It was real opera in a small venue with a twist. It’s too bad this was the final performance – I would certainly urge people to attend..

    Also part of the afternoon was brunch in Franklin at The Tulip and the Rose (http://thetulipandtherose.com/). It was wonderful. The beautiful drive to Franklin from Binghamton is less than an hour, and we will be going back for more.

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