Mediterranean Opera Studio (MOS)
As many of you know by now, in July I attended an intensive opera study program sponsored by my fabulous teacher, Jack LiVigni.
Forty talented singers from all over the world gathered in Caltagirone, Sicily to study and perform Italian opera, mainly in the bel canto style.
Besides Jack, two other legendary instructors were on hand - Nelly Miricioiu and Salvatore Fisichella. As well, renowned Italian opera coaches worked with us daily on style and performance practices.
I will immodestly admit that, following my performance of Azucena's chilling aria, "Condotta, all 'era in ceppi" form Verdi's Il Trovatore, I received the first standing ovation of the
concert series which ended the three-week study program. It was an unforgettable experience, and an honor to work and perform with such talented singers.
I hope to attend next summer's MOS, which is planned for northern Italy, in Greve in Chianti, near Florence. So "watch this space" for details.
Students in Upcoming Community Theatre Productions
Max McGrath will be singing the role of Frank in StageCoach Productions' presentation of Cole Porter's
Kiss Me Kate. Other students cast in the show are Melany White, Peter Boettcher, and Nancy Rosen.
Laura Iwaskiwicz is the talented choreographe . Mela
Three performances are scheduled for the first weekend of December.
Please check the StageCoach website for details.
STUDIO NEW -SPRING
French Song and Lyric Diction - An Intensive Workshop
Saturday, May 17, 2014
83 Hanover Street, 4th Floor, Manchester, NH
My dear friend and former voice teacher Elizabeth Cole will help us "break the code" in singing French songs and arias.
As many of you know, French is a language requiring special sounds and attention.
Nine of my talented students will prepare songs or arias to work with Elizabeth in a master-class format in two sessions that day.
At 4:00 pm, the songs will be performed in an informal concert for friends and family, followed by a reception.
Blake Leister is our talented pianist for the day, and guest artist Kurt Villiard, cellist, will join us for two songs
for voice, piano, and cello by Berlioz and Amy Beach.
There is one full participant slot available. Tuition is $80 for a full participant, and $40 for auditing.
Please call 603-801-0649 for further information.
This event is sponsored by
The Janice Edwards Workshops.
"Les Mis" Update - January 25, 2014 - New Hampshire Theatre Awards
Maxwell McGrath named "Best Actor in a Community Theatre Musical" for his performance as Valjean in ActorSingers "Les Miserables" - Congratulations, Max!!
I am thrilled to announce that tenor Max McGrath has been nominated as Best Actor in a Community Theatre Production by the New Hampshire Theatre Awards. Max will sing "Bring him home" at the awards show on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at the Stockbridge Theatre on the Pinkerton Academy campus.
I for one will attend, since that alone is worth the price of admission.
Please see www.nhtheatreawards for for details.
I would also like to commend my other students in the "Les Mis" cast - Peter Boettcher, Matt Kaiser, Laura Prior, and Melany White - for their contributions to a phenomenol effort in six performances, and 2.5 grueling months of rehearsals. But wait! Let 's not forget Cheryl Stocks, also a JE Studio member, who was the tireless producer. Cheryl is a warrior!
Wagner's Ring Cycle revisited...
The month of May brought re-broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera's Der Ring des Nibelungen, Richard Wagner's epic four-part saga of greed, love, lust, and redemption. For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I attended all four operas, shown over a period of 2.5 weeks at Concord's Capitol Center for the Arts. I had seen 3 of the 4 operas at the Met over the last two seasons, and looked forward to seeing the action and singing "up close and personal", which is what one gets in a presentation of this kind. For the most part, I was not disappointed, especially with Siegfried, the one opera I did not see in person. In fact, Siegfried fared best of all in the controversial Robert LaPage production, which has garnered mostly scathing reviews by major music critics the world over. "The machine", as the huge, 24 panel contraption has been dubbed, was not so much a device that took on a life of its own as a mere backdrop for some fantastically realistic projections (for instance, preceding the Siegfried/Mime scene in Act I, you saw a huge parcel of mossy ground just teeming with critters - insects, worms, even snakes - really set the mood!)
Prior to the first of these re-broadcasts, on May 7, a local music teacher, Mike Alberici, published an article about his curiosity about opera, and especially Wagner's operas...he obviously wanted to know what the fuss was about. He has subsequently published articles about all four of the operas and his experiences and thoughts about them. I am pleased to report that he was, well, bowled over by the spectacle and the drama. It is thrilling to me when an "opera virgin", especially one who has come to the genre with mostly negative, pre-conceived ideas, experiences a 180 degree change of heart. I so wish that others, who only think of opera as something musty, boring, elitist, and/or just not worth the bother, would give it a chance, especially young people. Except for Mike, and a couple of teenagers who attended Das Rheingold, I am afraid I was just about the youngest person in the small audience.
Mike published some kind words about me in his final article (see below), and if you care to read all of his articles, just go to the Concord Monitor website and enter "alberici".
Thanks, Mike - I am now a Wagner docent.
I was also very fortunate to sit right behind Janice Edwards for Das Walkure. Edwards, an international acclaimed mezzo-soprano, who sang the role of Fricka for the Arizona Opera, recognized me before the show and introduced herself.
"Are you the guy who wrote the article in the Monitor," she asked?
When I replied, "Yes," she immediately scolded me for making fat-lady jokes. (I'll never make that mistake again Janice!)
She was a wealth of knowledge, answering all my questions, providing me with numerous articles about the opera world, and giving me the back-stories of all the cast members.
Janice became my personal docent, holding my hand through The Ring's final three installments. I couldn't have done it without her.