Sean’s Reviews and Interviews

Sean’s Reviews

SY SMITH. Photo, Mike Quaint

SY SMITH – Just the Thought of You

Sy Smith is one of the most versatile and compelling vocal artists anywhere around. She drives through the fast lanes of contemporary music and then hovers with ease over a vintage standard. With her multi-octave vocal range, Sy can stretch an improvisation to the starry heights. She is likewise very grounded in her own recording […]

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Photo, Christian Schneider

Donizetti’s “Rita” – An Interview with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

“We have programmed the most politically incorrect opera in the most politically correct area of the country!” said music director Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, referring to the New Century Chamber Orchestra’s up-coming production of Rita, ou Le mari battu (Rita, or The Beaten Husband). It’s true. Some may see the political shenanigans in Die Walküre as running […]

Dicterow-DeMaine-Biegel Piano Trio

Launching the Dicterow-DeMaine-Biegel Piano Trio: Old School Genius in the 21st Century

“In the world of Classical music, one of the most exciting developments of 2013 is pianist Jeffrey Biegel’s very recent announcement of the formation of a new piano trio consisting of himself, violinist Glenn Dicterow and cellist Robert deMaine. It might seem an impossible dream come true, but one that is clearly hand-in-glove with la […]

ZUILL BAILEY, CD Cover. Courtesy of Telarc

Zuill Bailey Triumphs in New Recording of Benjamin Britten’s Cello Symphony and Sonata

“Composer Benjamin Britten’s 2013 centenary sparked performances of his many-varied works around the globe. His catalogue of operas, orchestral and chamber works, song cycles and more were programmed everywhere, some of the material being tagged as rare or seldom performed. Early last February, cellist Zuill Bailey appeared with Music Director Grant Llewellyn and the North […]

Natalie Dessay

Natalie Dessay on ‘Becoming Traviata’—French Soprano says Adieu to the Operatic Stage

“My voice was very tiny. I had to work like a dog. But for me, it was the only way to get on stage quickly and be able to play. It was always said that I have the voice of an angel, but I’m really a witch. It’s a real problem. And the more I’m aging, the more it is a problem. Remember, I am an actress. I don’t want to play myself. I want to play other people.”

Noah Stewart

Interview with Tenor, Noah Stewart

Tenor Noah Stewart, an alumnus of San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program and the prestigious Adler Fellows, joins the Berkeley Symphony on March 28 in the world premiere of Steven Stucky’s The Stars and the Roses…

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Deanna Durbin – Femme Fatal: An interview with film historian, Dale Kuntz

Film historian and collector Dale Kuntz is a long-established and much-loved figure in Milwaukee’s cinematic circles. I met him over 40 years ago in Hollywood at an elaborate convention celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Jeanette MacDonald International Fan Club.