Pittsburgh Opera's 'Auld Lang Syne' helps ring in year
Friends old and new will gather in Oakland on Monday night to ring in the New Year at Pittsburgh Opera's “Auld Lang Syne” concert and gala.
“We're taking a lot of familiar things and putting new twists on them to make it fun and light. The goal is just for everyone to have a really good time. Everyone wants it to be effervescent,” soprano Meredith Lustig says.
“The fun thing about these concerts is that you throw on different hats, or masks, every time you walk out onstage,” she says. “It's like you're in an actor's triathlon. I think it's fun for the artists to do and fun for the audience as well.”
Antony Walker will conduct Pittsburgh Opera's resident artists, orchestra and chorus in “Auld Lang Syne IV” at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland. Tickets are available for the concert alone, or for a VIP package which includes valet parking, pre-concert champagne reception with Walker and dinner, plus a post-concert reception.
The program includes a healthy portion of Viennese music by Johann Strauss Jr. and others traditionally performed on New Year's Eve, garnished with a bit of dance music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and topped off with popular French music by Georges Bizet and Jacques Offenbach.
“I actually love doing these sorts of concerts,” Walker says. “In a full-scale opera production during three weeks everyone gets to know everyone very well. We're thrust into this on two days. Everything gets prepared in this whirl of feverish rehearsal. I love the energy of that.”
Walker's life is a bit of whirl these days anyway. His daughter, Genevieve Helene, was born on 12/12/12. He had arrived back in Pittsburgh from Australia at 7 p.m. the night before.
The conductor enjoys the change of pace from opera to concert work, particularly for a diverse program.
“Concerts that are more of a potpourri, as far as repertoire, are, in some respects, more difficult than a two-hour opera, because you're changing styles all the time,” he says. “Each piece needs to be rehearsed very specifically and engaged with in its specific way.”
Yet, these challenges are genuinely valued in the arts.
“As an artist that's the beauty of recitals and concert work, in general,” Lustig says. “You get to play so many characters and tell so many stories. I love opera, but you're stuck with the one person all night. In its own way, it's a different kind of ride.”
Nicole Rodin is looking forward to singing at the concert. Her early background was in musical theater, but she is grateful to a voice teacher who steered her toward opera.
“We think so hard about (operatic vocal) technique, but the first thing I fell in love with was the drama. I feel there is no more dramatic way to express yourself than through operatic singing, something that involves your entire body, all in expressiveness.”
Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.