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. We will be staying at the historic Otesaga Resort Hotel, a Cooperstown landmark noted for its impeccable hospitality, first-class accommodations and fine dining. Other highlights of this tour include visits to sites linked to the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers, two of the most celebrated families of the Gilded Age. CANCELLED
Pittsburgh’s steel mills closed long ago and today it regularly tops the lists of 'best cities to live' and 'coolest neighborhoods' in America. This tour’s musical highlights will be performances by its symphony, opera and ballet in the restored, grand movies palaces which they call home. In addition to Pittsburgh’s great museums bearing the names of Carnegie, Frick, Heinz and Warhol, we will visit Falling Water, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Edgar Kaufmann, scion of a Pittsburgh department store magnate, and the 9/11 Flight 93 National Memorial. (October 16-19, 2020)
Brace yourself for an eclectic Philadelphia experience. For classical music lovers, there will be Opera Philadelphia’s performances of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Oedipus Rex (described by Leonard Bernstein as the Russian composer’s ‘most awesome’ work) at the ornate Academy of Music, the oldest opera house in the United States. Film buffs will delight in Jurassic Park projected in HD with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing John’s Williams’ score. There will be also be private guided tours of the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well visits to Fonthill Castle and the Mercer Museum, where one enters the world of an American original — archeologist, artifact collector, tile-maker and designer Henry Mercer. (January 29-31, 2020)
Light-hearted banter, reflections on the pandemic and some fine singing in 'Larry and the Ladies' in Philly.
The visuals elevated Cerise Lim Jacob's new opera, Alice in the Pandemic, dedicated to the heroes of the pandemic, Essential Workers, to a place where opera has never gone before.
Andrew Ousley, founder of Death of Classical, and Harry Weil, Green-Wood’s Director of Public Programs, created a fascinating live performance that is equal parts concert, poetry reading, civics lesson and 1619 curriculum primer.
Thirty minutes of bliss courtesy of TENET Vocal Artists.
Susan Kander and Roberta Gumbel's cutting-edge opera displays the extraordinary musicianship of New Morse Code.
The Pittsburgh Festival Opera is second to none, with a fleet-footed, innovative approach to going digital and efforts to nurture young talent during this challenging time.
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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