CONNECTING THE MASTERS: JIIN YANG, WAYNE WENG and CHARLES R. HALE

Connecting the Masters: How are Beethoven, Bach, Chopin and Shakespeare connected to  RadioHead, SweetBox, Perry Como and Tolstoy?  

Ji in Yang and Wayne Weng

Come listen to Ji in Yang/violin, Wayne Weng/piano and Charles R. Hale/narrator illustrate how classical music has influenced and been influenced by the arts including cinema, poetry, literature, jazz, pop music and hip hop.  You might be surprised by the connections!

Charles R. Hale

Grand entertainment, mixed with a dose of history…a recipe for a most enjoyable experience.

For TICKETS, which are $20, and additional information CLICK HERE

Nancy Manocherian’s the cell presents a Charles R. Hale Productions/Musica Solis Series

“CLASSICALLY EXPOSED:  FROM CARNEGIE HALL TO THE CELL”

September 27:  Ji in Yang and Wayne Weng, “Connecting the Masters.”

The cell is located at 338 West 23rd St in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. 

CLASSICALLY EXPOSED: FROM OPERA to POP…NICOLE ZURAITIS & CLARE MALONEY by VINNIE NAUHEIMER

“From Opera to Pop”

by

Vinnie Nauheimer

Could Charles R. Hale and Seunghee Lee (Sunny), the producers of the series “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to the Cell,”  have imagined that they would create an event as mesmerizing as Thursday’s, when they booked Clare Maloney and Nicole Zuraitis to perform “Classically Exposed: From Opera to Pop” at The Cell.  The dictionary defines mesmerizing as: “holding the attention of (someone) to the exclusion of all else or so as to transfix them” and to mesmerize, you need just the right ingredients….these two performers provided that perfect mix.

Matt Baker, Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney

Both Nicole and Clare were classically trained in opera, but each has found her niche in other musical fields: Clare’s focus is on pop, rock and folk music, while Nicole’s is jazz, for which she was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year. Their singing, humor and interaction with the audience–and each other–made for a magnificent evening.

Both women describe themselves as “recovering opera singers” so it was no surprise that they opened the program with an operatic burst, “O Sole Mio,” accompanied by pianist Matt Baker with Clare adding a unique touch…an electric guitar.  (As a side note, Clare mentioned she would prefer singing opera while playing the guitar. Interesting choice and consistent with Clare’s musical direction.)  “O Sole Mio” was an interesting way to open the show, since it had all the qualities of a “show-stopping-tune.”  There was, however, no stopping these two fabulous singers. The pace only picked up.

Matt Baker

In keeping with one of the show’s underlying themes–opera’s influence on pop music–Clare sang “It’s Now or Never,” a song popularized by Elvis Presley in 1960 and taken directly from “O Sole Mio.” Clare was followed by Nicole, who performed a splendored rendition of a 1930’s Larry Clinton song, “My Reverie.” Clinton wrote the lyrics, but the music is based on an 1890 piano piece composed by Claude Debussy. After Pianist Matt Baker was introduced he performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” which was enhanced by Nicole’s vocalizations. A musical masterpiece.

Enrico Caruso was arguably the greatest tenor—Pavarotti’s fans might think differently—but certainly one of the greatest. Clare honored this great singer with the song “Caruso,” written by Lucio Dalla in 1986. The song has been covered by many including Lara Fabian, who inspired Clare’s stirring interpretation of the tune.  

Clare and Nicole then introduced singer Elizabeth Tasch who sang a clever rendition of “Summertime” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Singing the song in full operatic voice, complete with amusing theatrical expressions, she created a humorous montage, switching effortlessly between “Summertime” and a number of popular songs.

Matt Baker, Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney

Nicole and Clare followed with one of the most famous duets in the operatic repertoire and one of the evening’s many highlights, the “Flower Duet” from Leo Delibes’ “Lakme.”  The evening was moving into high gear.

Clare then chose to honor two women who had a great influence on her and for whom opera was an inspiration early in their careers, Joan Baez and Linda Ronstadt. Clare began the tribute with a song that Baez sang at Woodstock, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” beautifully sweeping into Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou.”

Returning to the theme of opera’s influence on popular song, Nicole, with Matt’s accompaniament, performed “Stranger in Paradise,” from the 1953 show Kismet. The melody is taken directly from Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor and known as “Polovtsian Dances.”

The program closed in grand fashion with Clare, Nicole, Matt and Elizabeth reprising “Summertime.”

It was an exceptional night of song, musical innovation and interaction between the performers and the audience. Thank you, Charles and Sunny for producing the series “Classically Exposed From Carnegie Hall to the Cell.” Last night created a new bar for this series.

Matt Baker, Nicole Zuraitis, Charles R. Hale, Clare Maloney, Elizabeth Tasch and Seunghee Lee (Sunny)

Photos by Vera Maura and Tom Myles. 

 

THANK YOU to “CLASSICALLY EXPOSED’S” EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

A special note of gratitude to the generous Executive Producers who have made “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to The Cell” possible. Thank you Tom Myles, Gail and Joseph McElligott, John Moran, Michael Fletcher, Chris Grygon, Seunghee Lee, Clarinet/Sunny Kang, and David S. Goldman.

Featuring the Verona Quartet, Manhattan Chamber Players, Renato Diz, Yuri Juárez, Clare Maloney, Nicole Zuraitis, Jiin Yang, Wayne Weng, JP Jofre, and Empire Wild  

Next Show: From Opera to Pop to Jazz, June 28, 7:30pm at The Cell featuring Grammy nominated Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney. For tickets and information CLICK HERE

THE VERONA QUARTET at THE CELL: DAZZLING PERFORMANCE

A wonderful performance in a most “New York setting” last night–The Cell Theatre at dusk–featuring the Verona Quartet, with from left Jonathan Ong, Abby Rojansky, Jonathan Dormand and Dorothy Ro with a special guest appearance by Seunghee Lee, Clarinet/Sunny Kang. A Charles R Hale/Musica Solis presentation. Photo by Tom Myles

The Verona Quartet/Jonathan Ong, Abigail Rojansky, Jonathan Dormand and Dorothy Ro.

DAVID GOLDMAN APPEARING in the NEW YORK METRO this WEEKEND.

The very talented David S. Goldman, with whom I am creating “New York: A Musical Memoir,” and who has appeared in and been the musical director of “A Musical History of the Lower East Side,” has a number of appearances in the NY Metro this weekend:

Friday, May 3 7-11pm Towne Crier, Beacon, NY as part of a celebration of Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday. Performers include Christine Lavin, David Buskin, Judy Kass, David Massengill, Robin Batteau, Don White, and surprises and many more….This will be recorded for broadcast by DJ Ron Olesko. Also a fundraiser for the Clearwater.

Saturday, May 4 at the annual Croton on Hudson Earth Day celebration, around 12 noon at Vasallo Park. Music goes from 10:30 to 3pm. Other artists include Elinore O’Connell & The Sixpence Seisiun (Irish Group) and Strange Pools.

Get out there and support this very fine musician.

VERONA QUARTET: “CLASSICALLY EXPOSED: FROM CARNEGIE HALL to THE CELL”

Join us on Friday, May 10, 7:30pm for the third edition of “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie to the Cell” featuring the Verona Quartet: Dorothy Ro​/Violin, Abby Rojansky​/Viola, Jonathan Ong​/ Violin, Jonathan Dormand​, Cello and special guest Seunghee Lee/clarinet. Another evening of classical music as you haven’t heard it before.

Hailed by The New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble,” the Verona Quartet is dedicated to showcasing the art form of the string quartet and to elevating their music making to convey the poetic narrative of storytelling.

For tickets and info CLICK HERE. The Cell Theatre is located at 338 West 23rd St. Doors and bar at 7:00pm, 

For tickets and additional info click here

Nancy Manocherian​’s “the cell​” presents Charles R Hale Productions/Musica Solis Series, “Classically Exposed.” With artistic director Seunghee Lee, Clarinet​ (Sunny Kang​)