San Diego Symphony Music Director Jahja Ling guided his orchestra and the Jacobs Music Center audience through Shostakovich’s puzzling, kaleidoscopic Symphony No. 15 Saturday (Nov. 23) in a tightly focused account that made a compelling case for the composer’s valedictory symphony. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker was on hand to slay the technical dragons in the Mendelssohn First Piano Concerto in G Minor.
The prodigious trove of Benjamin Britten’s music needs no special occasion to warrant its performance, but San Diego State University’s Patrick Walders put together a worthy and occasionally inspired tribute to Britten at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Notable were tenor John Russell’s solo in “Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings” and the vibrant “A Ceremony of Carols” sung by Russell’s Chamber Choir from Cal State San Bernadino.
Despite the exploitive potential of conjoined twins born into sleazy show business, the reworked Bill Ryssell-Henry Krieger musical Side Show delivers a poignant, dignified and surprisingly romantic package to the La Jolla Playhouse.
It is easy to see why regional theatres have found Venus in Fur to be the most appealing of recent New York offerings to produce… It is written by David Ives, a proven commodity with audiences (his All in the Timing is a staple of regional theatre). And, it’s about sex, though with enough other “stuff” thrown in so as not to shake audience sensibilities too much. San Diego REP’s production takes advantage of all of these pluses, and if it doesn’t achieve maximum potential it won’t disappoint its audiences, either.
Evita remains a major work by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice but a touring revival 34 years later shows vividly how important Hal Prince’s staging was to the work’s theatricality. And it is NOT a roman!