The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: This is Opera Week in Madison with some fine chamber music, orchestral music and student contest winners thrown into the busy mix.

April 25, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

After last week — the busiest week EVER in Madison for classical music that I can remember — concerts and events continue to pile up.

Could it be that we are approaching the end of the semester and school year — the last day of classes at the University of Wisconsin is May 12 – and that groups are running out of time to perform?

The BIG event this week is the Madison Opera’s production of Rossini’s comic opera “Cinderella” (below), which has been updated to Hollywood in the 1930s. Here is a link I did to a Q&A with stage director Garnett Bruce that also has more details about the production:

But there is a lot more music – including more opera – going on in Madison this week. Just take a look and then get out your datebook and see what is open.


At 7:30 p.m. in Music Hall, at the foot of Bascom Hill, there is an Opera Workshop with FREE admission.

With piano accompaniments, voice and opera students at the UW School of Music perform scenes from seven operas: “Norma” by Bellini; “Carmen” by Bizet; “Arabella” by Strauss; “The Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert & Sullivan; “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart; “La Gioconda” by Ponchielli; and “Tancredi” by Rossini.

A reception will follow the concert, sponsored by Opera Props.


At 7:30 p.m. in the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, a suburb of Milwaukee, the UW Chamber Orchestra (below) will perform under conductor James Smith and assist conductor David Grandis. The soloist is UW horn professor Daniel Grabois.

The chamber orchestra will perform “Overture to Don Giovanni” by W. A. Mozart, “Concerto for French Horn, No. 2″ by Richard Strauss with faculty guest artist Daniel Grabois and “Symphony No. 3” by Franz Schubert.

Tickets are required and free from the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center box office. Visit or call (262) 781-9520 to reserve your tickets in advance.


Friday’s FREE Noon Musicale, from 12:15 to 1 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive features flutist Dawn Lawler and percussion Tim Patterson in music by Jo Kondom, Astor Piazzolla, Preston Trombly, Lou Harrison and Payton MacDonald. For information, call 608 233-9774 or visit

At 7 p.m. in the Oakwood Village West Auditorium, 6201 Mineral Point Road, on Madison’s far west side, Candid Concert Opera (below) will perform an edited concert dress version, in Italian with English subtitles and narration, of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” Free admission. The concert will repeated at the Capitol Lakes Retirement Center, 333 West Main Street, at 7 p.m. on Saturday. For more information about the production, performers and the group, visit:

At 8 p.m. in the Overture Center’s Overture Hall, the Madison Opera performs its production of Rossini’s comic opera “Cinderella,” staged in Depression era Holly wood in the 1930s. It will be sung in Italian with English surtitles. For tickets ($18-$116), call 608 258-4141. Here is a link for more information:

At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Chorale performs a FREE concert under conductor Bruce Gladstone (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot).

The programs includes “That’s All Folksongs,” with music from Nigerian, American, Malay, Norwegian, Mongolian, Jewish, Scottish, Hungarian, Dominican, Cornish, Newfoundland, Brazilian Indian and French traditions. In addition, the choir performs the world premiere of “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by Liam Moore (to a text by William Butler Yeats).


At noon in Grace Episcopal Church on the Capitol Square, during the Farmers Market, the Mifflin Quartet (below) will perform a FREE and casual concert of Beethoven’s Op. 74 “Harp” Quartet and Dohnanyi’s String Quartet No. 3.

From 2 to 4 p.m. at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (below, in a photo by Jeff Miller for UW-Madison) the Arts Enterprise Alumni Forum will be held. The Artist Alumni Forum is available to everyone who wants to listen to or ask questions of a panel of arts alumni. This forum will also present an opportunity to network with other artists from various disciplines. Visit for a list of panelists and more information.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the non-music major All-University String Orchestra, under conductor and string pedagogue Janet Jensen (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot), will perform a FREE concert. The program includes a concerto for three violins by Vivaldi and a work by a student composer.

At 7 p.m. in Capitol Lakes Retirement Center, 333 West Main Street, Candid Concert Opera (below) performs a second FREE performance of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” See Friday night above.

At 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Society Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive, the Trio Invenzione will perform a program of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Suk. Tickets are $15, $12 for students and seniors. (Check and cash accepted; no credit cards.) Performers are Jess Salek, piano; Wes Luke, violin; and Michael Allen, cello.


From 12:30 to 2 p.m. this week’s “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen” moves to the Wisconsin Union Theater for a live performance and live radio broadcast of the winners of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition.

The contest was made possible by the late Eduardo Neale-Silva, a native of Chile who was a regular listener of WPR. This award recognizes young Wisconsin performers of classical music who demonstrate an exceptionally high level of artistry.

Chris Peck, for instance, studies cello with Parry Karp at the UW-Madison, while Austin Larson studies at the University of Cincinnati and plays the horn under the direction of Randy Gardner. Rachel Holmes is a native of Madison and studies voice with Julia Faulkner. Cameron Pieper studies piano with Catherine Kautsky at Lawrence University in Appleton, though she originates from Fond Du Lac. And the Woodwind Quintet from Lawrence University includes Kelsey Burk (oboe), Jacob Fisher (bassoon), Kinsey Fournier (clarinet), Samuel Golter (flute) and Emma Richart (horn).

The concert will also be streamed the Wisconsin Public Radio website at, where you can also find more information.

At 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, the Madison Opera performs Rossini’s “Cinderella.” See Friday night and the introduction above.

At 2:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood Drive, at Edgewood College, the Edgewood Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Blake Walter, will feature violin virtuoso Isabella Lippi (below) – who was a finalist to be the new concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra — in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. Other works on the program include Mozart’s Overture to “La Clemenza di Tito” and Schubert’s Symphony Number 3 in D.

Lippi, who has been called “a standout, even among virtuosos,” began performing in public at the age of ten when she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  She has since appeared as guest soloist with orchestras throughout the United States, as well as Mexico, Europe and the Far East.

Tickets are $5, and can be purchased at the door.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the University Bands will perform a free concert under conductors Matthew Mireles, Justin Stolarik (below) and Matthew Schlomer.


At 11 a.m. in Room 2441 in the Mosse Humanities Building,  the topic of  “Engaging 21st Century Audiences” will be discussed by Chelcy Bowles (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot), UW-Madison Professor of Music and Director of Continuing Education in Music; and by David Myers, University of Minnesota Professor and Director of the School of Music. The event is free to the public.

At 7:30 p.m. in Mill Hall, the UW Masters Singers will perform a free concert under conductors Sarah Riskind (below) and Russell Adrian.

The program includes a cantata by J.S. Bach, “Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!” and the “Kyrie” and “Gloria” from the “Mass in C” by Beethoven.  Both works will be supported by instrumental ensembles of students from the School of Music. Soloists are soprano Kyeol Lee, mezzo-soprano Bethany Hickman, tenor Daniel O’Dea and bass Jerry Hui. The program concludes with selections in Gospel and spiritual traditions.


At 7:30 p.m. in Morphy Recital Hall (below), the UW Early Music Ensemble, under director John Chappell Stowe, will perform a free recital.

At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Western Percussion Ensemble (below) will perform under director Anthony Di Sanza.

The program will feature student chamber concerto soloists as well as the premiere of student composer Joe Diedrich’s percussion quartet “Night at the Lake.”  Soloists include Dave Alcorn, Michael Basak, Michael Koszewski, Ricky Schadt, Brett Walter and Elena Wittneben.

The program features the works of Bob Becker, Michael Colgrass, Anthony Di Sanza, Daniel Levitan and Michael Udow.


At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the season’s last Keyboard Conversation with Jeffrey Siegel (below) will be held.

The program is titled “A Musical Love Triangle” and will feature music of Clara Wieck inspired by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, as well as music by Brahms and Schumann inspired by Clara.

Tickets are $14-$34 and can be purchased through Campus Arts Ticketing online; by phone at (608) 265-ARTS; or in person at the Union Theater Box Office or the Vilas Hall Box Office.

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