The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Retiring University Opera director William Farlow bids farewell to the University of Wisconsin-Madison with three performances of Hector Berlioz’s “Beatrice et Benedict” on this Friday night, Sunday afternoon and next Tuesday night.

April 10, 2014
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This weekend’s performances by the University Opera of the charming Shakespeare-based operaBeatrice et Benedict” by the early and influential French Romantic composer Hector Berlioz (below top) are notable for several reasons.

Some of the rotating cast of student performers include (below bottom, in a photo by Max Wendt) Daniel López-Matthews as Bénédict; Lindsay Metzger as Béatrice, in purple; and Anna Whiteway as Hero, in red.

berlioz

berlioz UW Opera Beatrice et Benedict 2 CR Max Wendt

The new production is the final production by UW Opera director William Farlow (below, in a photo by Katherine Esposito) before he retires at the end of the semester.

NOTE: From what The Ear understands, the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music is currently looking to replace Farlow with an interim director for one year, and then next year the school will launch a national search for Farlow’s successor.

William Farlow by Kathy Esposito

Performances will be sung in French with English surtitles created by Christine Seitz. They will be held  in the Rennebohm Auditorium of Music Hall (below), at the foot of Bascom Hill, on this Friday at 7:30 p.m., this Sunday at 3 p.m. and next Tuesday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m.

MusicHall2

Tickets for general admission are $22; $18 for senior citizens and $10 for students. See below for more details.

I was hoping and planning to have a longer story about the production, but things just didn’t work out.

I did have a brief Q&A with Bill Farlow when he announced his retirement. Here is a link:

https://welltempered.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/classical-music-university-opera-director-wiiliam-farlow-talks-about-his-retirement-at-the-end-of-this-season-and-the-rewards-and-challenges-of-staging-opera-at-the-university-of-wisconsin-madison/

But then I thought: Why re-invent the wheel?

It turns out that two terrific sources -– the UW School of Music blog “Fanfare” and critic John W. Barker (below), who writes for Isthmus and for this blog — both had previews and interviews that provided excellent background for seeing and hearing this production.

John-Barker

So here they are, both forming a kind of primer on “Beatrice et Benedict” (below, in a another photo by Max Wendt), which features a lovely duet that you can hear at the bottom in a YouTube video:

UW Opera Beatrice and Benedict photo 1 Max Went

Here is a well done general appreciation by John W. Barker for Isthmus that appeared on that publication’s website The Daily Page:

http://www.thedailypage.com/isthmus/article.php?article=42432

And here is a link to details about tickets:

http://www.thedailypage.com/theguide/details.php?event=313813&name=University-Opera

Here is another story about the production, with details about the production staff as well as the music staff — including conductor and music director James Smith (below) with the UW Chamber Orchestra — on “Fanfare”:

http://uwmadisonschoolofmusic.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/farlow/

Smith_Jim_conduct07_3130

And here another story about Farlow’s tenure at the University Opera, with lots of photos,  which also appeared on the Fanfare blog:

http://uwmadisonschoolofmusic.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/farlow_beatrice/

Enhanced by Zemanta

Classical music: A piano recital next Sunday afternoon by college educator Father Robert Koopmann will benefit the Benedictine Women at the Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton. Reservations must be made by Wednesday.

July 15, 2013
Leave a Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

A piano recital by Father Robert Koopmann (below), a member of the Order of St. Benedict, called “Celebrating Benedict” will be presented next Sunday, July 21, at 4 p.m. in the Assembly Room, Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 County Road M, Middleton. Here are links to the monastery’s website and to a map with directions on how to get there:

http://benedictinewomen.org

https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=4200+county+highway+m,+middleton+wi&sll=43.091648,-89.485442&sspn=0.008321,0.022724&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=4200+County+Highway+M,+Middleton,+Dane,+Wisconsin+53562&ll=43.119468,-89.452057&spn=0.008317,0.022724&z=16&iwloc=A

Robert Koopmann

The 70-minute program includes the Prelude in G-sharp minor, Opus 32, No. 12; Prelude in E-flat major, Opus 23, No. 6; and the Prelude in C Major, Op. 32, by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943); the Rondo in D Major, K. 485 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791); the “Prelude, Chorale and Fugue” by César Franck (1822-1890); Intermezzo in B Minor, Op. 119, No. 1; Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2; and Capriccio in G minor Op. 116, No. 3, by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897); “Jeux D’Eau” (Waterplay or Fountain, played by Martha Argerich in a YouTube video at the bottom) by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937); and Two Sacred Improvisations by the pianist Robert Koopmann, “Adoro Te Devote” and “Precious Lor.”

Donations will be accepted at the door or online to support the mission of the Benedictine Women of Madison at Holy Wisdom Monastery (below). A light reception will follow the concert.

If you do plan on attending this concert, please let Mike know by this Wednesday, July 17 at mikesb@benedictinewomen.org or call (608) 836-1631, ext. 124 so that food and seating can be provided for all. More information is at the Holy Wisdom website.

Holy Wisdom Monastery Exterior3

Father Bob Koopmann is a longtime friend of the sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery. He is Professor of Music and President Emeritus, and has been on the faculty of Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota since 1975, where he has taught piano, music literature, and courses on creativity and the creative process.

He has performed as a piano soloist and accompanist, as well as in chamber ensembles and with orchestras throughout the USA and abroad, including 20 states, Europe, South Africa, Chile, Kenya, and Tanzania.

He has released a number of recordings since 1994. His doctorate is from the University of Iowa, with other degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Saint John’s University, and post-doctoral work with faculty from The Royal Academy (London) and The Juilliard School (New York).

Koopmann was president of Saint John’s University from 2009 until July 2012. He was on sabbatical for the 2012-2013 academic year, studying music, theology, and spirituality in Berkeley, California and New York City.

He will present a concert tour in Japan in August.


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

    Join 1,213 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,106,249 hits
    December 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Nov    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
%d bloggers like this: