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
When, in the winter of our discontent, carols are pressed into the service of commerce in stores and TV commercials, it is refreshing to hear a concert focused on peace, the core of the original Christmas story. Such a concert was provided Saturday by Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble, at St. Mary Magdalen Parish in Berkeley. Titled "Voices in Peace VII: Winter Stillness," the program made many references to the darkness, cold, and stillness of winter.
The Tallis Scholars, 10 singers this year, brought their beautifully matched voices to Grace Cathedral for Sunday's concert, titled "Poetry in Music for the Virgin Mary." At first glance, the choice of a Mass based on a motet text from the Song of Solomon might seem to have little to do with the Virgin Mary.
Two extraordinary treble choirs joined forces in a concert Monday at Holy Names University: Carmina Slovenica, from Slovenia, and the Piedmont Choir Ensemble from the Bay Area. Their collaboration, called Project Attacca and featuring mostly new music, had begun in June with workshops and rehearsals in Croatia, continued with performances in Croatia and Slovenia, and culminated in Monday's concert.
San Francisco Opera has a winner in its production of Mozart's final opera, The Magic Flute. The performance Saturday night, both musically and dramatically, was splendid. The production, created by Gerald Scarfe for Los Angeles Opera in 1992, is indeed magical, featuring a pyramid that can morph into many structures, a fabulous snake, a beguiling collection of hybrid animals (such as a giraffestrich on stilts and toe shoes), and quasi-Egyptian iconic lions.
In a celebration of its 30th anniversary, Chanticleer is singing a concert titled "My Spirit Sang All Day," all this week. The program starts in the Renaissance, where Chanticleer began 30 years ago, then skips to the 20th and 21st centuries. There was no Schubert this time, but still plenty of variety.
The good ship Pinafore sailed into Walnut Creek Thursday, mooring at the Lesher Center. She was manned by the Lamplighters, arguably the best Gilbert and Sullivan crew in the world.
H.M.S. Pinafore is a delightful spoof on the subjects of class, rank, and bureaucracy. The Lamplighters make the most of Gilbert's clever lyrics and dialogue, inserting occasional contemporary references ad libitum. And in this production all the singing of Sullivan's delectable music was definitely above average.
Jonathan Khuner, Berkeley Opera's artistic director, has long wanted to strip Verdi's Aïda of ancient Egyptian spectacle. Stage director Yuval Sharon was interested in making the composer’s story relevant to our times. In the opening performance of Aïda Saturday at the Julia Morgan Theatre, their successful collaboration was, in large part, fundamentally true to Verdi. The chorus sang entirely offstage, functioning more as a Greek chorus than as an exotic display of priests, slaves, soldiers, and animals.
"Lo, the winter is past ... and the time of the singing of birds is come," says the Song of Songs in the Bible. And lo, the singing of Schola Cantorum San Francisco came to St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Berkeley Saturday night, and yea, verily, the singing was good.
It is not every day that "Sylvan and Oceanic Delights" inhabit the halls of Berkeley's Northbrae Community Church, but a happy audience tasted those delights there Friday night. Northbrae's Haver Hall was outfitted to represent the Royal Hall of Naples on Carnival Sunday, 1620.
A couple of merry wives took possession of the Florence Gould Theater on Sunday afternoon at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The occasion was Pocket Opera’s performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor, by Otto Nicolai, who died two months after its 1849 premiere, at the age of 38.