Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Anonymous Lover by the Chevalier

 Friday evening’s performance of Joseph Bologne’s The Anonymous Lover marked a series of firsts for The Atlanta Opera. It was the company’s first performance of this work by a long-neglected composer and their first production staged at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center (RCPAC) at Morehouse College, the historically Black liberal arts school in Atlanta. The local opera company is forging a longer-term relationship with the school that will next host the 96-Hour Opera Project in June.

The RCPAC includes a 650-seat concert hall named for Charles’ long-time manager Joe Adams and his wife. The auditorium is quite attractive, with warm wooden walls and deep purple seats. The sightlines are unobstructed, and there is a traditional proscenium stage. The seating layout is reminiscent of the Schwartz Center at Emory University. The auditorium’s acoustics are good and tend to flatter the human voice.

For the complete review, go here:  https://www.earrelevant.net/2023/04/the-anonymous-lover-proves-a-comic-treat-from-a-rediscovered-composer/

A Superb Recitial by Superstar Pianist Stephen Hough

International superstar pianist Stephen Hough brought his special brand of genius to the stage at Spivey Hall for a Saturday afternoon recital. Hough is known for his technical mastery, refined musical expression, and diverse repertoire; all three were on display in this wonderful concert event.

The program began with a work by a little-known composer, Federico Mompou (1893-1987). Mompou was trained in piano at the Paris Conservatory under Gabriel Faure. Being a shy man, he limited his career to composition and only played in small private salon-like settings. Many of his works were unknown until his widow found a large collection in his files. Hough played Mompou’s first published work Magical Songs, a work with a clear stylistic lineage from Faure, as well as Debussy. It is an introspective and reflective work that incorporates his memories of the sounds of bells from his father’s bell factory. Hough played with his usual strong sense of phrasing and tonal color.

For the complete review, go here: