Skip to main content

New Opera: Excerpts from Paradise Interrupted at the Metropolitan Museum NYC March 21 2015

From a media release:



New York preview precedes the world premiere at Spoleto Festival USA on Friday, May 22 in Charleston, South Carolina

CHARLESTON, SC (February 12, 2015)—Excerpts from Paradise Interrupted, a new installation opera by artist Jennifer Wen Ma and composer Huang Ruo, will be performed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing on Saturday, March 21. The Met Museum Presents performances offer a special preview of this work in progress before the world premiere at the 2015 Spoleto Festival USA in May. There will be two Metropolitan Museum performances at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets start at $54 and are available online or by phone (212) 570-3949. Tickets include Museum admission and are part of the Museum’s “Bring the Kids for $1” program. 

Paradise Interrupted is co-commissioned and co-produced by Spoleto Festival USA and Lincoln Center Festival. The world premiere will take place Friday, May 22 in Charleston, South Carolina at Spoleto Festival USA with four subsequent performances May 24, 27, 29, and 31.  

The one-act opera weaves together a story inspired by the biblical Garden of Eden and the Chinese love story The Peony Pavilion. For the score, award-winning composer Huang Ruo (Dr. Sun Yat-sen) musically marries Chinese tradition dating back to the Ming dynasty with Western idioms. The narrative follows a woman who searches for an unattainable ideal. As she sings, a vast garden grows from an empty stage and a host of characters come to life to accompany her in her journey. The garden installation has been created by Jennifer Wen Ma who is designing and directing the production. Known for her large-scale installations, public works, and as the chief designer for visual and special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Paradise Interrupted is her first opera. 

The role of the dreamer will be performed by celebrated Chinese singer Qian Yi, who was lauded by The New York Times as “. . . China’s reigning opera princess” following her performance in the Lincoln Center Festival’s The Peony Pavilion. Paradise Interrupted also features singers John Holiday, Joseph Dennis, Joo Won Kang, and Ao Li. Spoleto Festival USA’s Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities John Kennedy will conduct a 14-piece orchestra blending Western and Chinese instruments. All artists will take part in the preview performances. The Met Museum Presents preview is presented in conjunction with the exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass, on view May 7 through August 16, 2015. 


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Lithuanian Rock: Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories (Independent / November 20, 2019)

Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories
(Independent / November 20, 2019)
Stream it on Spotify
The Album "Backstage Stories" 2xLP & CD

Robertas Semeniukas is a great find if you like your rock with a hard edge and a strong groove. Naturally, guitar reigns supreme, with a sound that ranges from snarly to fluid and melodic, and virtuosic chops to keep everything interesting. You don't have to understand Lithuanian to enjoy the well-crafted songs and polished musicianship.

Of the 20 tracks, 8 are instrumental. This is rock in what you'd call a classic vein, heavily influenced by 1980s and 1990s bands, but with a modern gloss to it, and a sense of musical experimentation that isn't often associated with that era in Western pop music. Robertas wrote or co-wrote all the tracks except for one cover, the blues composition You Gotta Move by Mississippi Fred McDowell.

Within the rock/metal genre, the prolific composer, singer and musician mines a variety of moods. So…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…