Before the last number of Wednesday’s season-opening concert, the Philadelphia Orchestra‘s incomparable music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, told the audience assembled in Kimmel’s Verizon Hall that it was more important now than ever to spread the word about the excellence of the ensemble.
Alas, it was a not-so-subtle sub-theme that filled the evening, that the Orchestra’s musicians were back in negotiations and that they were currently working without a contract. Several members of the organization, ranging from musicians to administration, spoke of these negotiations after the opening number, which was a ravishing interpretation of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” In retrospect, the tune was an eerie prelude to talks about the Orchestra’s future. Read more »
Aleksandrs Antonenko in the title role and Sonya Yoncheva as Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello.” Photographed by Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera
Philadelphia sent a little touch of star quality to New York City’s Metropolitan Opera to lead the large-scale musical forces in a new production of Verdi’s Otello, which opened the company’s season last evening. Philadelphia Orchestra’s Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has been widely regarded as one of the Met’s greatest conductors, brought an immense amount of control throughout Verdi’s challenging score in Bartlett Sher‘s dark production. In that sense, our Philly hometown hero was one of the stars of the night.
Sure, it is a little strange to start off a review of an opera by talking about the conductor, but Nezet-Seguin’s ability to lead a tight interpretation of Verdi’s work is extraordinary. But, then again, he had the remarkable talents of the Met’s orchestra and the amazing Met chorus, who both provided an inspired performance. Read more »
Our mother publication, Philadelphia magazine, recently complied a collection of 75 selfies from notable faces around the region. Of course, the line-up wouldn’t be complete without a roundup of some great folks in the LGBT community. Below you’ll find some very familiar and famous faces sharing their smiles for our readers.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin rehearsing Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Westminster Symphonic Choir of Princeton at the Kimmel Center, April 28, 2015.
The musical lineup for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia in September is beginning to be announced. Word about the first three acts performing at the Festival of Families came from the Vatican this morning, where MayorNutter and Archbishop Charles J. Chaputare currently visiting to plot out details about the Pope’s stay.
If you missed The Philadelphia Orchestra’s staging of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS, you didn’t miss a performance: You missed a major, major event.
How else can you describe the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall stage filled with not only the Philadelphia Orchestra, but the Westminster Symphonic Choir, the Temple University Concert Choir, The American Boychoir, members of the Rock School for Dance, and the Temple University Diamond Marching Band, plus nearly 20 Broadway actors and opera singers…all at once. Add the excitement of Yannick Nezet-Seguin at the podium, and you sort of wonder how the entire building didn’t shatter due the sheer insane sound and energy from this cast of hundreds (Fun fact: this production is the first time that Verizon Hall’s orchestra pit was used. There were so many people on the stage, they couldn’t fit everyone). Read more »
“The warm embrace of The Philadelphia Orchestra and its audiences has been humbling and exhilarating since I made my debut in 2008. Knowing that this love affair with the Orchestra and the City of Philadelphia will continue is an immense joy. I believe what we are doing artistically is so important, and it’s having a big impact on this community,” said Nezet-Seguin of the announcement. “But to do this work takes time, so I am thrilled that I will continue here as music director for at least another five years. Our work together is in many ways really just beginning, and now being able to settle in and think and plan long-term is really wonderful.”
The Board of Directors also renewed Chairman Richard B. Worley and Orchestra President & CEO Allison Vulgamore.
I don’t think you need a good reason to see The Philadelphia Orchestra play the breathtaking Verizon Hall, but over the next several weeks, the fabulous musicians are putting on quite a series of shows: The Saint Petersburg Festival, which celebrates great Russian composers, gives a compelling reason to take in some gorgeous classical music. But, if you need more convincing, here are five reasons why a trip to the Kimmel Center is in high order. Read more »