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 »
Just after taking the stage at the Festival of Families, Jafar Thomas couldn’t lose his smile.
“I knew I had to give a good performance to everyone who came here,” he said.
He is one of 40 eighth graders from the Jesuit elementary school Gesu School in North Philadelphia that had been preparing for weeks to dance on the festival stage in Logan Square—broadcast for thousands on the 40 Jumbotrons set up along the Parkway and other places throughout the city.
Highlights from Drexel University's Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection will be on display during the “Immortal Beauty” exhibit. Featuring over 75 items, guests will be able to see garments by Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, and more. Now through Saturday, December 12th, various times, free, Drexel's URBN Annex, 3401 Filbert Street. —Bryan Buttler
Led by Israeli-American director Roni Koresh, this Philly dance troupe blends modern and classic styles to create an eclectic performance of athletic skill. They will perform as a part of Philadelphia Museum of Art's Art After 5 program on Friday—a chance for you to take in some dance, then wander through PMA's galleries with a glass of wine. Friday, October 2nd, 5 pm, $0-$20, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
This is the band that laid the groundwork for all techno/electronica bands to follow. Founded back in 1970 by Germans Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider, the band got America’s attention with tracks such as “Trans-Europe Express” and “Tour de France.” They are as comfortable playing their minimalist soundscapes for art fans at NYC’s MoMa and London’s Tate Modern, as they are for cycling groupies in Utrecht at the opening of this year’s Tour de France. This show is a must for EDM fans looking to go to the source. Friday, October 2nd, 8 pm, Electric Factory, 421 N. 7th Street.—Sarah Jordan
English singer-songwriter Frank Turner is the master of marrying punk and folk. The release of his sixth album, Positive Songs For Negative People, still features those strong, belted vocals that also incorporate a rock feel. Traditional folk band Skinny Lister and common-man folk singer Jay McAllister, known as Beans On Toast, will join Turner at the newly opened Fillmore. Listen before you go: "Long Live the Queen." Friday, October 2nd, 8 pm, The Fillmore Philadelphia, 1100 Canal Street.
Opera Philadelphia's staging of La Traviata, which is classic Verdi at his best, is playing at the Academy of Music this week and features superstar soprano Lisette Oropesa as Violetta. (Read our interview with her here.) Now through Sunday, October 11th, various times, $29-249, Academy of Music, 260 South Broad Street. —Bryan Buttler
See all-American art, craft and fashion in Philly's Historic District at the CRAFT PHILA shows this weekend, complete with food truck meals and music. Saturday, October 3rd, 10 am-7 pm, and Sunday, October 4th, 10 am-5 pm, free, between 6th to 7th streets between Chestnut and Market streets.
Live music, four blocks of food, and 39 beers on tap (including pumpkin): Bloktoberfest is back. Rain or shine, this year's is sure to have a high turnout. You can purchase beer bracelets online for redeemable drinks at the festival. And you'll feel good about it too, since all proceeds go directly to helping the local community. Saturday, October 3rd, 12 pm, $15-$25, South Street between Broad Street and 18th Street.
The Mechanical Theatre will present performances of The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Loretta Vasile, based on stories from the Laurel Hill Cemetery. And where better to unfold the story with drinks and refreshments than the spans of the cemetery itself? Horror, suspense and the supernatural are quite alive in this graveyard. Saturday, October 3rd, 7 pm, $35, (rain date: Sunday, October 4th, 7 pm), Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Avenue.
In its 11th year, the Hispanic Choice Awards show will recognize and celebrate Philadelphia Latinos in education, business, artistry and the community. Tickets and VIP passes can also be purchased for access to the red carpet event and reception. Saturday, October 3rd, 7:30 pm, $5-$55, Merriam Theater, 250 South Broad Street.
Supergroups don't always work, but when they do, they're something special. Scottish band Franz Ferdinand, known for their smash dance-rock anthems like "Take Me Out" and "No You Girls," has teamed up with their inspirations, the glam Mael brothers of Sparks. The result is FFS, a cross-generational force that manages to capture the quirks of both bands. Listen before you go: "Johnny Delusional." Saturday, October 3rd, 8 pm, The Electric Factory, 421 North 7th Street.
Indie pop duo Ms Mr brought some retro dance vibes in their latest album, How Does It Feel. For this stop of their tour for the sophomore record, they will be joined by U.K. indie band Circa Waves and dream electronica group Crater. A dollar from each ticket also goes to support the Third Wave Fund, a gender activism fund led by young people. Saturday, October 3rd, 8 pm, $26, 1026 Spring Garden Street.
There are artists who you have to see live, at least once. For many, Madonna is one of those people. Miss her when she was in Philly last week? She's back! The pop icon and queen of making statements pulls no punches on her Rebel Heart tour, defining what it means to be a true performer. Saturday, October 3rd, 8 pm, $50.50-$357, Boardwalk Hall, 2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City.
While the event was set back some by the Papal visit, the Puerto Rican Day Parade will take off this weekend. This is the highlight of the Puerto Rican Festival in its celebration of pride and community. (As of publish time, this event is still on. Follow #PRDP2015 on Twitter for real-time updates.) Sunday October 4th, 10 am, free, 16th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
In honor of Death Salon's arrival at the Mütter Museum next week, the Obscura Society Philly is offering a walking tour of three of Philadelphia's historical cemeteries. See the resting grounds of the people that helped build our nation's history. Sunday, October 4th, 12 pm, $35, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 313 Pine Street.
Taylor Davis is an example of talent making it big through the digital channels of YouTube. The violinist has created renditions of music from well-known video games, anime and film. Her new tour will support her first original album of music after having landed on the Billboard Classical charts with her own personal style. Listen before you go: "Nebulous." Sunday, October 4th, 8 pm, World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street.
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When Lisette Oropesa started studying to play Verdi’s tragic heroine Violetta in La Traviata for Opera Philadelphia, she read the book-turned-play The Lady of the Camellias, which is the source material for Traviata. It’s based loosely on a real story, and it didn’t do much for Oropesa’s nerves.
“It was depressing as can be,” she recalled. “I couldn’t do anything with the role for three months. It was miserable and disgusting.”
But there was another layer to Oropesa’s emotional journey to master Violetta: Her mother, an opera singer herself, has performed the role for years. It was literally in her blood. Read more »
Say this for Hall & Oates—they are nothing if not punctual. Last night’s curtain-raising show at the new Fillmore Philadelphia was set to start at 8pm, and I was still exploring the new venue when Michael Nutter introduced the hometown duo on stage. But no one in the sold-out crowd was there for the mayor, and really, the night felt more like a grand opening featuring a special musical guest than a Hall & Oates concert. The music was what you’d expect from two guys in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, who both gave requisite props to their hometown. But the star of the show was the Fillmore itself.
Who better to kick off Fishtown’s new Live Nation Music venue, the Fillmore, than Philly legends Daryl Hall and John Oates? To make it the best Philly experience possible, we’ve put together a suggested setlist for tonight’s show, curated by our editorial staff. Are you listening Mr’s Hall and Oates?
Last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, legendary singer-songwriter Art Garfunkel joined Philly’s Questlove and Black Thought (aka the Roots as Black Simon and Garfunkel) for a rendition of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.” As Pitchfork points out, the breathy performance is worthy of classic Simon and Garfunkel, and they even throw in a little of 1970 S&G hit “The Boxer” at the end. Check it out above.
The Forbes Under 30 concert on Penn’s Landing, which will cap off the Forbes Under 30 Summit happening in Philly from October 4th to 7th, hasn’t had the best of luck wrangling and, most importantly, keeping its talent. At first it was announced that Swedish DJ Avicii would perform with Hanson and electronic violinist LindseyStirling, but Avicii had to back out, claiming he needed some time off.
He was replaced by not one, but two (arguably even more exciting) performers: New Jersey hip-hop rising star FettyWap and pop sensation ShawnMendes. Now, following a motorcycle accident last week in New Jersey that left him with a broken leg and a really sad Instagram update, it appears Fetty will be stepping down to be replaced by another hip-hop contemporary, A.S.A.P. Rocky.
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