Thursday, August 16, La Jolla SummerFest featured Marc-André Dalbavie’s stunning Quartet for Piano and Strings, a La Jolla Music Society commission premiered here in 2012, and paired it with Pierre Jalbert’s 2017 Piano Quintet, an equally impressive work which the La Jolla Music Society co-commissioned.
The world has enjoyed author Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” since its original publication in 1831 — so much so that the story has commanded lots of attention amid technical advancement. Moonlight Stage Productions is giving the live show, based on Disney’s 1996 animation, a go — and the result is a cautionary tale about the theater’s errant place in matters that probably shouldn’t concern it.
Director John Waters is no stranger to tasteless comedies for adults. Fans of movies such as “Female Trouble” and “Pink Flamingos” would probably never have guessed that one of his more popular films would be a feel-good PG 1988 movie, “Hairspray.”
The August 14 SummerFest concert offered an embarrassment of riches, from the warmth and allure of Joaquin Turina’s “Escena Andaluza,” to Claude Debussy’s profound yet unsentimental Cello Sonata, to Lei Liang’s extravagantly exciting new “Vis-à-vis” for Pipa and Percussion, to Gustav Mahler’s transcendent Rückert-Lieder song cycle to Alberto Ginestera’s breathtaking String Quartet No. 1.
Opera NEO produced a musically sparkling although spare production Mozart’s early opera “Idomeneo” as part of this year’s Opera NEO Summer Opera Festival and Workshop at the outdoor Palisades Presbyterian Amphitheater in Allied Gardens
As a salute to the UC San Diego Department of Music, La Jolla SummerFest’s host for most of the 2018 music festival’s concerts, Music Director Cho-Liang Lin featured two of the university’s resident composers in his festival’s annual program of contemporary music: Rand Steiger’s new work “Tropes” and Lei Liang’s 2005 “Serashi Fragments.”