The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The Madison Symphony Orchestra’s third annual Organ Three-For-All takes place at Overture Hall this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. Plus, the Impresario Student Opera makes its debut with a FREE all-Mozart concert on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. | January 22, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

Recently retired Bethel Lutheran Church Director of Music and Worship Gary Lewis (below left), Luther Memorial Music Director Bruce Bengtson (below center), and Madison Symphony Orchestra Principal Organist and Curator Samuel Hutchison (below right) will perform the third installment of an organ Three-For-All.

2016 Organ Three-For-All Gary Lewis, Bruce Bengston and Samuel Hutchison

The concert is this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., in Overture Hall, where the three men will perform on the Klais Concert organ.

Overture Concert Organ overview

Tickets are $20.

For more information including the complete program –which includes music by Johann Sebastian Bach (the famous and dramatic Toccata and Fugue in D minor, which you can hear at bottom with an unusual and arresting bar graph in a YouTube video that has almost 26 million hits), Dietrich Buxtehude and Camille Saint-Saens — visit this link:


Mikko Rankin Utevsky (below), the versatile musician who founded the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra (MAYCO) while he was in high school and who, now while studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, conducts, plays the viola, sings and writes reviews for this blog, has sent the following word:

Mikko Utevsky with baton

Dear friends,

I am conducting an all-Mozart concert this Sunday night, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall on the UW-Madison campus.

mozart big

The program, which opens with the famous “Haffner” Symphony (No. 35 in D major, K. 385), is also the debut of Impresario Student Opera, a new company of which I am the music director. (NOTE: You can hear the robust first movement of the “Haffner” Symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conducted by the late Claudio Abbado, in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

We are, fittingly, presenting Mozart’s one-act German-language SingspielDer Schauspieldirektor” (“The Impresario”), plus the scene “Il core vi dono” from “Così fan tutte,” conducted by Dennis Gotkowski, with a cast of five excellent graduate singers and a small student chamber orchestra.

Below in rehearsal are (left to right are sopranos Anna Polum and Nicole Heinen, tenor Jiabao Zhang, mezzo-soprano Meghan Hilker, seated, pianist Dennis Gotkowski, and conductor Mikko Rankin Utevsky. Not pictured is baritone Gavin Waid.)

Impresario Opera rehearsing

The program is FREE, with donations accepted to support the new company.

I hope to see you there!


1 Comment »

  1. A little more on the program, for those interested:

    After the Haffner, a work whose brilliance is often forgotten due to its fame and technical demands, the main attraction is a staged performance of The Impresario, sung in German with English spoken dialogue, featuring Hilker as the titular Impresario, Waid as the buffo bass “Buff,” dueling sopranos Anna Polum and Nicole Heinen as Madame Herz and Mademoiselle Silberklang, and tenor Jiabao Zhang as the put-upon Monsieur Vogelsang. (All are Masters students at the School of Music.) Alannah Spencer is the stage director.

    Besides being our namesake, “The Impresario” is (appropriately) about the process of putting together an opera company. Mozart composed it as part of a showdown between Italian opera and German Singspiel at the behest of Emperor Joseph II, competing against an Italian work (“Prima la musica, poi la parola” – First the music, then the words) by court composer Antonio Salieri. It is very much a satire of the opera industry, mocking both the poor taste of contemporary audiences and the vanity of singers. One imagines it could have been poorly received at its premiere, despite being top-tier mature Mozart, but nevertheless it has survived, while “Prima la musica” remains a historical footnote.

    The performance is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted to support the future of the company.

    Comment by Mikko Utevsky — January 22, 2016 @ 10:58 pm

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