Anna Carol Dudley
Anna Carol Dudley is a singer, teacher, UC Berkeley faculty emerita, San Francisco State University lecturer emerita, and director emerita of the San Francisco Early Music Society's Baroque Music Workshop.
Articles by this Author
Ian Bostridge is a master singer of German lieder, and he brought Schubert’s Winterreise to UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall Sunday afternoon, splendidly partnered by pianist Julius Drake. Experiencing Schubert’s intimate, searing song cycle would be more satisfying in the intimacy of Hertz Hall, where we last heard Bostridge. But, being smaller, Hertz holds fewer people, so what is Cal Performances to do?
Berkeley Opera, undergoing some significant changes, is assuring its audience that all is well, by presenting an engaging production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Saturday’s performance in its new venue, the El Cerrito Performing Arts Theater, under the direction of new Artistic Director Mark Streshinsky, was a resounding success.
Magnificat’s dazzling singers have done it again. As part of their ongoing project to perform and record the complete works of Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, four singers brought her glorious music vividly to life in a performance Saturday at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley. The four women sang music that Cozzolani wrote for the famous singing nuns in her convent, Santa Radegonda, in 17th-century Milan.
Soprano Nuccia Focile, singing Verdi and Puccini in her native tongue for an adoring crowd Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Hertz Hall, shared the performance with tenor David Lomelí. Focile has sung in most of the world’s famous opera houses, and Lomelí, a recent Adler Fellow in San Francisco, is at the beginning of what promises to be a brilliant opera career. Together, they brought scenes from La bohème and La traviata vividly to life.
Michael Schade makes a strong case for singing nothing but Franz Schubert, as he did Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Hertz Hall, presented by Cal Performances. The German-born Canadian tenor combines his fluency in Schubert’s language with Mozart’s Italian sensibilities. His singing flows effortlessly from ringing, heroic declamation to exceedingly soft, intimate passages.
The Grace Cathedral Choir is going to Italy, where the singers will experience performing Italian Renaissance and early Baroque music in its original physical and cultural context. On Sunday, the choir — 18 boys on the treble parts and a dozen men singing tenor and bass — offered a dress rehearsal for a large, enthusiastic audience, gathered to wish them a buon viaggio.
The U.S., in the throes of controversy over a Supreme Court appointment, may well come to long for the good old days of former Chief Justice William Rehnquist who, inspired by Iolanthe, added four golden stripes to his sleeves and quoted the Lord Chancellor in one of his opinions: "The Law is the true embodiment/Of everything that's excellent./It has no kind of fault or flaw/And I, My Lords, embody the Law."
Iolanthe is a fairy, who once married a mortal and had a son, was therefore banished from Fairydom but has now been pardoned. Her son, the shepherd Strephon, loves Phyllis, who is the ward of the Lord Chancellor and is beloved by him and the entire House of Lords. Strephon appeals to Iolanthe and the Fairy Queen to help him win Phyllis. As anyone can see, the plot will proceed to be exceedingly complicated. Somehow, by the end, Strephon and Phyllis will be united, and the peers of the realm, faced with opening the peerage to competitive examination, will abandon Parliament and fly off with the fairies.
Gilbert outdid himself on the libretto, and Sullivan wrote a masterful score, with echoes of Mendelssohn and Wagner. MTT was originally scheduled to conduct, but George Manahan, the musical director of New York City Opera, will take over for him. This production does not propose to undertake the kind of manic staging offered by our Lamplighters, but the Lamplighters were big enough to recommend, in their publicity earlier this year, that people take in both their performance and the Symphony's.More about San Francisco Symphony »