The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Read the reviews. This afternoon is your last chance to hear — and, thanks to NASA, to see — Holst’s “The Planets.” But ARRIVE EARLY! The Madison Symphony Orchestra has alerted its audiences about new security measures at the Overture Center

September 25, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

The Madison Symphony Orchestra has sent out the following note, via email and regular mail, about new security measures at the Overture Center.

They will be in effect for the three MSO concerts this weekend, including the performance today, Sunday, Sept. 25, at 2:30 p.m.

For more information about the program, visit this link:

John DeMain and MSO from the stage Greg Anderson

“Due to changes in the Overture Center’s security procedures, there will be only THREE main entry points into the building (below) as you come for your concert. When you arrive, please enter at:

 The main Overture Center entrance on State Street

 An entrance on Fairchild Street (one door only)

 The “back” entrance on Henry Street

Security stations will be placed at each entrance where Overture staff will conduct a bag search on bags larger than a small purse, including backpacks.


We anticipate that the process will be smooth and proceed quickly, although we do recommend you come early for peace of mind so you can enjoy the concert from start to finish!

For more information on the Overture Center’s security measures, please visit the website at

The Ear wonders what effect these new security measures will have on attendance at the symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra concerts, the Madison Opera, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society and other non-musical events.

The Ear would like to know if the new security measures come in response to an actual terrorist threat or are simply a new standard operating procedure. The published explanation leans to the latter and says the Overture Center was to take the same precautions that big presenters in, say New York City and Washington, D.C., do.

But The Ear wonders: Will similar measures now be adopted by the Wisconsin Union Theater, the University of Wisconsin School of Music and other major local venues?

Does anyone have more information or an opinion?

What do you think about the necessity or desirability of such measures ?

And what was your experience like with the new procedures?

Stay tuned.

The Ear wants to hear.

In the meantime, this afternoon is your last chance to hear the program that generally gets very positive reviews.

Here is the review that John W. Barker (below) wrote for Isthmus:


And here is the review that Jessica Courtier wrote for The Capital Times:

Classical music news: FREE concert by Madison Community Orchestra is Sunday at 3 p.m. at MATC

March 27, 2010
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

A reminder: It’s spring break. Because of staffing for the blog, your comments may take a bit longer to get posted. But don’t despair — they will get there.

On Sunday, March 28, at 3 p.m. in the Mitby Theater of Madison Area Technical College-Truax, 3550 Anderson St., the Madison Community Orchestra (below) – an ensemble of devoted amateurs — will perform a FREE one-hour concert under the baton of it director Blake Walter of Edgewood College.

The program includes Nicolai’s “Merry Wives of Windsor” Overture;
Tchaikovsky’s “Marche Slav”; Saint-Saens’ “Bacchanale” from his opera “Samson and Delilah”; and 
Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance, Op 46, No. 8.

In addition UW graduate student and soprano Emily Birsan (below) will perform 
Puccini’s “O mio Babbino caro,” 
Mozart’s “Ach, Ich fuhls”  from “The Magic Flute” and Gounod’s “Ah, je veux vivre” from “Romeo and Juliet.”

Here is some other info:

Directions and parking:

The concert takes place in the outstanding Mitby Theater at Madison College. A map and directions to the campus can be found at:

Patrons can be dropped off next to the Mitby Theater entrance on Wright Street. State disabled parking is available at the Mitby entrance, and ample free parking is available across Wright Street from the theater.

Wheelchair accessibility

The Mitby Theater has accommodations for up to 10 patrons who wish to remain in their wheelchairs during the performance. Additional seating is accessible by wheelchair for patrons who prefer to transfer from a wheelchair to a theater seat. Please note that the Mitby Theater is not able to provide wheelchairs. If a member of your party prefers to remain in a wheelchair during the performance, please mention this when you make your reservation.

Related websites

For more information about the Madison Community Orchestra (shown below, rehearsing), visit the website:

For more information about our soloist, Emily Birsan, visit:

If you go to the concert, let us know what you thought.

How did the amateurs do?

Everyone’s a critic.

And The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in 1

Classical music reminder and correction: Ear goes live Friday night at ‘Carmen’; Pro Arte Quartet was ready to play whole concert

November 5, 2009
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

My day started with a telephone call from Parry Karp, the longtime cellist for the UW Pro Arte Quartet. proartebw1

The busy but always congenial Karp, who is a fan of the blog, wanted to correct an error of fact and clarify my post last weekend about their concert last Friday night that was curtailed after lively and exceptional performances of Haydn and Prokofiev quartets.

I said that the three members of the quartet had gotten sick and not had time to rehearse Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet, which was to be the second half of the concert.

Not so, says Karp.

“We walked out on stage that night fully intending to play the ‘Harp,’ he told The Ear. “But then people got sick right on stage, so at intermission  we figured that’s it. We had to cut short the concert. But we had rehearsed the Beethoven and were ready to play it.”

So will they perform the “Harp” when they play at the Chazen Museum for “Sunday Afternoon Live From the Chazen” this Sunday at 12:30 to 2 p.m.? (You can hear it broadcast live on Wisconsin Public Radio, WERN 88.7 FM in the Madison area.)

“There isn’t time,” Karp said, adding the Pro Arte will instead perform Beethoven’s early Quartet in B-Flat, Op. 18, No. 6, which got such a fabulous performance at the Pro Arte’s opening concert for the season in late September.

But the Pro Arte is likely to play the “Harp” Quartet when it performs again on “Sunday Live” on Dec. 13.

And he said they will see if they can fit it into another program, either in February and April, for the Faculty Concert Series.

Karp also said the quartet members are recovering fine from the sudden onset of the debilitating flu.

One other related point of interest: Pro Arte violinist Suzanne Beia will play this Sunday’s Chazen concert and then rush over to the Overture Center for the 2:30 p..m. repeat performance of the Madison Opera’s “Carmen.”

If you didn’t think  the classical music scene in Madison is very busy, that seems a pretty good indicator, no?


This is just to remind you that this Friday night,  The Well Tempered Ear will be at the Overture Center tonight, blogging live from the lobby before and during intermissions of the Madison Opera’s opening night performance of Bizet’s “Carmen.”

If you are there, stop by the Bloggers’ table — there will be about a half dozen of us there — and say hello and whisper into The Ear  a sentence or two of a review that can be used on the blog.

Here’s your chance to be a critic — and to be read by other classical music and opera fans.

Hope to see you there and then.

And then let us know how you thought the first-time experiment of Bloggers Night at the Madison Opera actually worked.

Did you enjoy it?

Will it build new and/or younger audiences for opera?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in 1

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,237 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,166,742 hits
    June 2020
    M T W T F S S
%d bloggers like this: