Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cal Performances 2011-2012 Season

Peter SellarsThis morning Cal Performances director Matías Tarnopolsky gave an overview of the up-coming 2011-2012 season to a group of journalists & arts administrators assembled on the stage of Zellerbach Hall. Mr. Tarnopolsky began by expressing gratitude for the audiences themselves, whose engagement with the performances is evident to visiting artists. Last year's Free for All was so successful that it expands into more venues this year. Mark Morris conducts the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in his Dido & Aeneas, which features mezzo Stephanie Blythe, who, according to Mr. Tarnaposky, "rules." Valery Gergiev will conduct all 6 Tchaikovsky symphonies with the Mariinsky Orchestra in 3 programs. The chamber music series focusses on the piano, with recitals by Yefim Bronfman, Lang Lang, Kiril Gerstein, András Schiff, Jonathan Biss, Peter Serkin, Murray Perahia & Richard Goode. Jazz piano is also represented by Herbie Hancock & Keith Jarrett. John Malkovich will appear in a work about an Austrian serial killer that will include an orchestra & opera singers. Early music programs include Ton Koopman leading Bach's B-minor Mass & a recital by the frighteningly photogenic counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky.

Director Peter Sellars appeared at the presentation via Skype from Vienna, where he just finished the 1st rehearsal of the Desdemona project, a collaboration with Toni Morrison & Malian singer/songwriter Rokia Traoré. He amused us by sharing his hatred of Shakespeare's Othello, calling it a play "400 years past its use-by date." We also saw nice videos demonstrating Cal Performances's community enrichment programs. The Opera Tattler has already summarized the season. She attended wearing an orange petticoat & sweater & looked brighter than the orange juice offered at the buffet. Another local blogger admitted to skipping work to be at this event.

§ Cal Performances 2011-2012 Season Announcement
On-line brochure
Press release & calendar


sfmike said...

Way to rat out Patrick. I'm sure he told his employers he was going to the dentist.

As for Sellars and his hatred of "Othello," I share a similar hatred for anything with the word "Project" in the title.

Axel Feldheim said...

Well, I certainly would not mention any names, & I'm sure that I did not hear anyone talk about dentists this morning.

To be fair, Mr. Sellars was really just trying to rile us. Gosh, where would modern performance art be without its "projects"?

pjwv said...

I just took a vacation day: all was fair and square. No deception was involved. Besides, I actually am going to the dentist in a few weeks and have to space out my excuses.

Sellars managed to take what sounded like an interesting idea (Toni Morrison and Shakespeare, that's enough to catch my interest) and turn it into something that sounded slick and trendy. I agree he was trying to rile us, but the condescending implication was that we had never had any but conventional thoughts about the play (which frankly he doesn't seem to understand with any subtlety).

sfmike said...

You wrote: Gosh, where would modern performance art be without its "projects"?

Your response reminds me of Geoffrey Rush, in response to Colin Firth in "The King's Speech," who has just related that all his speech therapists have been knighted, "Well, that just makes it [their idiocy] official." Really, from the Stop AIDS Project to the [EST-originated] Hunger Project to ACT's recent Tosca Project to the proposed Desdemona Project, it's almost a guarantee of fuzzy thinking and bad policy/art.

Run for the hills when you see the word "project" in a title is the moral of my tale.

sfmike said...

PS: There's an exception to every rule, and "Project Runway" is it. The Bravo-turned-Lifetime Reality Thing is horrifying in many respects, but has its own bizarre integrity. Hostess Heidi Klum's difficulty with "r" sounds also helps to keep it from being a real "pwahject."

Now, if it had been called "The Runway Project" instead, the show would have been a total disaster.

Axel Feldheim said...

Since we are dealing with Patrick, I have no doubt that everything is above board. Good luck with the dentist!

Yes, Peter Sellars was being Peter Sellars, using the Shakespeare as an attachment point for some other issue he wants to explore. The Desdemona project may or may not turn out interesting, but I would not go expecting any insights into Othello.

sfmike: I am laughing because I just got a press release about the San Francisco Symphony's Project San Francisco. Since the word "project" comes first, I guess it's OK. I have no idea about this "Project Runway" of which you speak. I suppose it requires a TV to experience.