This is a trip for connoisseurs of music, food and wine. The operas will be Donizetti’s comedic masterpiece, Don Pasquale, at Turin’s Teatro Regio, Weill’s Mahagonny at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia and Montemezzi’s rarely performed L'amore dei tre re at La Scala Milan. The tour begins in Como, one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in Lombardy, and continues on to Emilia-Romagna, famous for its rich culinary traditions. En route we will stop in Alba, a picturesque town in the heart of Piedmont renowned for its velvety red Barolo and Barbaresco wines. (9 days/maximum 10 persons)
Cooperstown is more than just baseball. The village at the southern tip of New York's Otsego Lake is also home to the Glimmerglass Festival, known for exciting opera productions that feature singers, directors and designers from around the world. At Glimmerglass, we will see two highlights of the 2020 festival, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved The Sound of Music and Wagner’s rarely staged Die Feen, a fairy-tale opera that he composed when he was only 20 years old. Other highlights include lunch at the American Bounty Restaurant in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, and a visit to the nearby Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. (4 days)
Prague is the starting point for this exploration of Moravia. Musical highlights will include performances at Prague’s ornate National Theatre and Brno’s Janáček Theater, the largest in the Czech Republic. We will also visit Český Krumlov, one of the most picturesque towns in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as Olomouc, where Beethoven intended his Missa Solemnis to be performed and Mahler worked early in his career. For wine enthusiasts, there will be a visit to Valtice, the center of the Moravian wine industry situated on the Czech-Austrian border. (9 days)
Brooklyn Art Song Society explores explores nationalistic impulses in music and a vanished way of life in the songs of Bartók, Kodály and Janáček.
Susan Graham's voice is rich, vibrant and exciting in a program of twenty-nine songs by seventeen composers in eight languages.
The Chorus and Orchestra of Opera Philadelphia provide the sparks in the Verdi Requeim as Corrado Rovaris celebrates the twentieth anniversary of his debut with one of America's most innovative and exciting opera companies.
The sold-out audience sat transfixed in silence as Schubert's great song cycle was performed with absolute mastery and the utmost attention to detail.
A youthful cast, inspired playing in the pit and visual splendor lift Pittsburgh Opera's Alcina.
The Yale Scola Cantorum conducted by David Hil and organist Carolyn Craig bring Christmas to a close in the ornate opulence of The Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.
All of my reviews for Seen and Heard International can be found here
I got the travel bug from my parents. As a boy I had crisscrossed the US with them and my younger brother on the classic American Road Trip to California. At 16, I went to Europe for the first time. The destination was Germany, a country that I have returned to many times. In addition to business and personal travel, I have lived in Switzerland, Singapore and China. So far, it’s been a wonderful life of travelling the world and experiencing its wonders.
A musician for most of my life, first a trumpet player and then a singer, I have a degree in music from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2013, I began reviewing for Seen and Heard International and have posted reviews from the US, Europe and Asia. In addition, I regularly contribute program notes to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and have had music and travel articles published in the Global Times, Shanghai Daily, MusicWeb International, Broad Street Review and other publications.
Although I am thrilled to have press privileges in many of the world’s great concert halls and opera houses, it is the offerings in the more out-of-the way places that excite me the most. There one still finds great music, often at its national, indigenous best, in theaters, whether ancient or modern, that are as grand and beautiful as any in the world. More importantly, these venues not only preserve the past, they embrace the new, keeping classical music current and vital. That is the world that I invite you to explore with me on my tours.
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