A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Despised & Rejected Superbly
Friday, December 01, 2017





By all accounts of the four (one in White Rock, one in West Vancouver and two at the Vancouver Playhouse) of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra’s performances of Handel’s Messiah the one on Friday, December 1 was the very best. It was ably directed by the PBO’s Alexander Weimann.

I can attest that Kris Kwapis’s trumpet was superb. This is a very difficult instrument to play.

But the best part was the fact that many musicians have told me (some have played in over 250 performances) one of the four soloists is not always up to par to the other three. 

I had no idea who the soprano, Yulia Van Doren was. I was most pleasantly surprised by a singer with a sweet disposition, lovely smile and a perfect complexion that somehow all was the cream on her terrific singing.

The other three singers I know (in person). There was baritone Tyler Duncan with that incredible diction, presence and a volume that could fill any stadium.

There was Charles Daniels, one tenor that cannot only sing but act, too. I know he likes to drink craft beer. That can only be a plus to his talent. I can only conclude that the reason we in our backwoods Vancouver get to enjoy the talent of Daniels is EMV’s (Messiah was produced by EMV) Artistic and Executive Director Matthew White. As American say RHIP (rank has its privileges). My friend, bassist Curtis Daily said that Daniels used some extraordinary ornamentation that he (Daily) had not ever heard before.

It was mezzo-soprano Krisztina Szabó who might have diverted the Three Wise Kings from their holy quest as her star shone so bright.

In the Messiah Part 2, the alto Air “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” that I was wowed by an acting performance of power and grief that was absolutely believable (but unbelievable it was that good). I can only guess that the passion of Hungary and a bit of that Tokay wine run in her veins.

Curtis Daily(over dinner with Argentine wine) after that December 1 performance) attempted to explain to me that Handel (Daily believes) purposely begins the Air in E flat major. It is a difficult key and it puts a particular strain on the orchestra. It went all over my head but the fact is that the orchestra was good at mastering Handel's trap.

I have only attended two Messiahs in my life. The previous one was a conventional one at the Orpheum with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Another one in 1979 almost killed until now any desire to listen to one more Hallelujah Chorus. Besides its use in TV commercial jingles the last straw was 1979 disco version that I witnessed in shock at the gay Luv-a-Fair in which this wet-behind the ears Burnaby resident watched men with moustaches dancing together! I have learned to become a man of our contemporary world since then.

For any future marketing of this Handel work I believe that there should be more stress given to the solo performances and not to that chorus. Why do people stand up for it? 

But there was one highlight for me in the Vancouver Cantata Singers. I spotted tenor Clinton Stoffberg who not too long ago played both (very well) Christ and the Evangelist St. John in a compact production of that Bach work.

I looked at the orchestra and counted 18 people I have photographed before. Surely this must mean that was in a concert among friends!


Marina Hasselberg - December 2 2017
 Of special interest to me was to see that the local cellist Marina Hasselberg was starting in style with her first performance of the Messiah (well second, after the previous day’s performance in George Zukerman’s White Rock) as a new member of the PBO.



     

Previous Posts
Olena & My iPhone3G

Blue Hair at the Richard Jeha Hair Company

Style Observed

Sandrine Cassini - Dancer - Woman

The Good & the Not So Good

George Bowering Reads From Jerome Charyn's Winter ...

That Not-So-Cute Guppy

Titus Bouffonius - Alejo Carpentier's Real Maravil...

Two Dancers in Red

The Woman in Blue



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8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17

10/22/17 - 10/29/17

10/29/17 - 11/5/17

11/5/17 - 11/12/17

11/12/17 - 11/19/17

11/19/17 - 11/26/17

11/26/17 - 12/3/17

12/3/17 - 12/10/17

12/10/17 - 12/17/17