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
Folks who showed up at Berkeley’s Music Sources Sunday evening, expecting to be transported to the Dorset Garden Theatre in 17th-century London, found that the Theatre’s advertised program had undergone some changes. Since a couple of key players in the Galileo Project had transported themselves back to Estonia, said Project had withdrawn from the program.
In the early 1960s, Britten set the War Requiem to traditional sacred texts along with the poetry of Wilfred Owen, who died in the trenches of World War I. It is disheartening to think how often the work has been a reflection on the times — looking back to the two World Wars and to the several wars since then, and seemingly finding no end to the use of war as the way to resolve disputes. The brutality, hypocrisy, and futility of war is described in many of Owen's poems. One of them, the powerful "Strange Meeting," is given voice by Britten at the end of his Requiem. In the words of Kuzma's announcement of the concert: "In the midst of the current economic crisis and continuing conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the choirs offer this concert to our community as an acknowledgement of our common humanity and overriding desire for peace."
The soloists are Janice Chandler Eteme, Christòpheren Nomura, and Brian Staufenbiel. Chandler Eteme has sung Mozart, Mahler, and Brahms with the Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Cleveland orchestras, as well as specializing in spirituals and gospel music. Nomura, always welcome back to his native Bay Area, has performed with many distinguished orchestras, including a number of early music orchestras, such as the Philharmonia Baroque. His opera performances have included several Mozart roles, and he is the recipient of prestigious awards. Brian Staufenbiel, who has sung throughout the United States and Canada, is also an opera director. He is on the voice faculty of UC Santa Cruz.More about UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus »
Kurt Weill and several of his cabaret contemporaries from the “Roaring Twenties” in Berlin roared into the Martin Meyer Sanctuary at Temple Emanu-El Sunday afternoon. Steven Blier had brought his New York Festival of Song to San Francisco for a program in the Schwabacher recital series, titled “Kurt Weill’s Berlin.” (See last week's feature.)
San Francisco Lyric Opera's ambitious production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, heard Sunday afternoon at the Cowell Theater in Fort Mason, owes much to Romania. Two outstanding singers from that country led the accomplished cast of this beloved classic: Eugene Brancoveanu as Don Giovanni and Razvan Georgescu as his sidekick, Leporello.
The Chalice Consort brought its remarkable sound and splendid musicianship to St. Monica Catholic Church in San Francisco Saturday night, in an a cappella concert ably led by Matthew Walsh. The first half of the program was beautifully constructed, starting with unison chant, continuing with a confluence of chants, then alternating chant with solo ensembles, and finally singing in full four-part and six-part harmony.
Trinity Chamber Concerts in Berkeley presents "the finest of Northern California's emerging musicians." Saturday night's concert was performed by four accomplished, thoroughly emerged performers who have recently come together in an ensemble somewhat ambiguously called Les grâces: Jennifer Paulino, soprano; Annette Bauer, recorders; Rebekah Ahrendt, viola da gamba; and Jonathan Rhodes Lee, harpsichord.
Chora Nova made a "Voyage of Discovery" Saturday night to the First Congregational Church in Berkeley, introducing its audience to composers usually encountered mainly in Baroque music workshops. Under the sure hand of Director Paul Flight, and assisted by an excellent chamber orchestra, the chorus ushered in the Christmas season with Johann Kuhnau's Magnificat, Mary's wondering reaction to the news that she will become mother to the Son of God.
The Pacific Collegium presented a splendid concert Saturday night at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco. For this performance of French Baroque music, the Collegium consisted of three superb singers plus continuo. Sopranos Tonia d'Amelio and Jennifer Paulino, with mezzo-soprano Celeste Winant, sang solos, duets, and trios, in an admirably arranged program of gorgeous chamber music from the 17th and 18th centuries — pieces written on sacred texts but intended for concert performances in secular venues.
Lucia di Lammermoor went crazy last Tuesday night at the San Francisco Opera House, and the audience went crazy for her. Natalie Dessay was magnificent in the title role of Donizetti's opera. Not only does she possess the range and technical command needed for the famously demanding Mad Scene, but she also is an actress capable of expressing a wide range of emotions. Her beautiful sound is never forced and ranges easily from soft to loud, from sustained legato to bursts of coloratura.
The Thomashefskys are back. Michael Tilson Thomas' grandparents, stars of the New York theater scene from the 1880s until well into the 20th century, have been lovingly brought back to life in "The Thomashefskys: Music and Memories of a Life in the Yiddish Theater." Thomas is the host of this entertainment, and Friday night in Davies Symphony Hall he told their story, conducted the San Francisco Symphony and the audience, accompanied his grandmother on the piano, and even sang a rousing song himself.
Felicity reigned Thursday night at Herbst Theatre as San Francisco Performances presented a concert by two superb musicians, soprano Felicity Lott and pianist Graham Johnson. The program, German in the first half and mainly French in the second, grouped songs according to the lyrics: settings of particular poets. The German songs started with settings by Gustav Mahler of poetry by Rückert, and ended with poems by Goethe set by Hugo Wolf. In between, a group of songs by Robert Schumann used poems by both poets.
Adam blamed Eve for yielding to temptation, and Elizabethan poets sighed over the inconstancy of women. In Mozart's opera Così fan tutte, men go to extraordinary lengths to test women's constancy. And so they did Sunday at the Legion of Honor, in Pocket Opera's production.
Cleopatra, in the person of Isabel Bayrakdarian, stormed into the First Congregational Church of Berkeley Saturday night, in the company of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Opera found its way to Germany in the early 18th century, and Cleopatra was a favorite character, sharing the stage with one or the other of her famous lovers, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Dawn Upshaw flew in with eighth blackbird to sing a concert Saturday night in Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall. The eighth blackbird sextet and six equally remarkable players formed the Orquesta Los Pelegrinos, which joined Upshaw in a stunning performance of Osvaldo Golijov's Ayre.
For 21 years, the Coro Hispano de San Francisco has been singing to accompany the Three Kings who make their annual Epiphany trip 12 nights after Christmas. Saturday's "Concierto del Dia de los Reyes," the fourth of five performances around the Bay Area, was held at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Berkeley. The program, organized and conducted by Juan Pedro Gaffney Rivera, was a feast of Hispanic music ranging from the 10th to the 20th centuries.
'Tis the season to be singing, and Schola Cantorum has made its contribution to this year's choral celebrations in performances presented by the San Francisco Early Music Society and ably directed by Paul Flight. Saturday's concert at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley was especially welcome to lovers of the motet O Magnum Mysterium, by Tomás Luis de Victoria, who used musical material from it in his Missa O Magnum Mysterium .