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Catherine Getches

Catherine Getches is Managing Editor of San Francisco Classical Voice. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal, and others. She received her Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and Bachelors from Kenyon College.

Articles by this Author

Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra Review
March 10, 2012

Songs by guitarist Trey Anastasio experience new life in an amazing space, backed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

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Editorial
November 21, 2011

It's time to re-think how we listen to music, together, now that the experience of sharing music has drastically shifted.

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Upcoming Concert
June 16, 2009
“It is somewhat unexpected when a small company like Festival Opera takes on a very grand opera like Turandot. The size of the piece and the enormous role of the chorus make it a challenge,” says Artistic Director Michael Morgan.

Indeed, the production, which has been two years in the making, promises to be the Festival Opera's most lavish in the company's 18-year history. A national search for the principal roles came up with Christopher Jackson to play Calaf and soprano Rebecca Sjöwall for the role of Liù. The all-volunteer Festival Opera Chorus has been expanded to 75 (including 15 preteens).

“It’s the biggest thing Festival Opera has ever done,” says director David Cox, who previously helmed Rigoletto in 2004 for the company. “It’s just a huge opera, and a very difficult piece to pull off.”

What makes a Turandot such challenge? “First of all, you have to have a Turandot — and that’s not a voice that falls off a turnip truck. The Calaf is a big sing. The orchestration is very, very big — the fact we’re going to be able to do it with as many instruments as we’re going to is a real testament to our musicians and our conductors.

"Then you have Liù — which is more like a regular Puccini soprano, like a Butterfly — more like a Mimi really. It’s a serious sing; she has to have a lot of control. Scotto did it. Fleming did it. Those kind of voices.

“You have to have a real bass,” he continues. “Fortunately, we have Kirk Eichelberger doing it, which is a real plus for us." Other than Kirk Eichelberger, performing as Timur, the vanquished king of Tartary, the cast includes Canadian soprano Othalie Graham in the title role that launched her professional career in 2004. Graham previously sang the title role in Festival Opera’s Tosca in 2006, and Eichelberger will be making his sixth appearance for Festival. The music will be conducted by Brian Nies and Peter Crompton is the set designer.

More about Festival Opera »
Upcoming Concert
April 14, 2009

Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman is known for his technical polish, recently seen here as in a performance of Witold Lutoslawski’s 1987 Piano Concerto under the baton of Herbert Blomstedt. (Zimerman was the concerto’s dedicatee who premiered the work at the Salzburg Festival in 1988.)

In this Cal Performances presentation Zimerman will be touring with his own Hamburg Steinway piano. This allows him to do some degree of control over having to adjust to unfamiliar instruments, a regulation that may fare him well in Zellerbach Hall. And the program: Bach's Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV; Beethoven's Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111; Brahms' Klavierstücke, Op. 119; and Szymanowski's Variations on a Polish Theme, Op. 10 should showcase his talent's well.

More about Cal Performances »
Upcoming Concert
March 31, 2009

Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman is known for his technical polish, recently seen here as in a performance of Witold Lutoslawski's 1987 Piano Concerto under the baton of Herbert Blomstedt. (Zomerman was the concerto's dedicatee who premiered the work at the Salzburg Festival in 1988.)

In this Cal Performances presentation Zimerman may or may not be touring with his own Hamburg Steinway piano. This allows him to do some degree of control over having to adjust to unfamiliar instruments, a regulation that may fare him well in Zellerbach Hall.

More »
Upcoming Concert
March 11, 2009
The Catacoustic Consort delves into an intriguing era in musical history with music of the French Baroque for the rare pardessus de viole, a hybrid that blends violin and viola da gamba. While the viola da gamba first appeared around 1480 in Italy, the pardessus did not appear until the early 1700s in France, when it became a staple of Versailles heyday. Unless you were palling around with Marie Antoinette many of these works will be new to you and will showcase the unique sonority of the pardessus. Performers include Annalisa Pappano (also artistic director) and Joanna Blendulf, pardessus de viole; Daniel Zuluaga, theorbo; and Youngmi Kim, soprano. More »
Upcoming Concert
March 2, 2009
In a concert titled "Ye Sacred Muses — Music of the Chapel Royal" the choral group Clerestory gets back to its cathedral roots and music that inspired the ensemble's name. On the program are lesser-known a cappella works by Purcell, Byrd, Tallis, and Handel, side by side with a few compliations devoted to great Queens, and more familiar works by other greats (composers, that is). More »