I've just returned from a Sunday morning visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, not only a fascinating building designed by Mario Botta, but also a stunning collection, at the moment a lot of photography from the 1870s to today. Eadweard Muybridge's late 19th-century photographs of the Yosemite National Park were especially captivating to me.
The last two evenings I spent at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley where Cal Performances (the performing arts arm of the University of California in Berkeley) presented Benjamin Britten's chamber operas The Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring. Matías Tarnopolsky, the new director of Cal Performances had worked with the great conductor Lorin Maazel at the New York Philharmonic and took advantage of this connection to invite the Maestro's Castleton Festival productions to Berkeley. Castleton is Lorin Maazel's farm in Virginia and every summer young artists gather there for a wide range of activities, from symphonic concerts, master classes and recitals to opera. At a dinner after the performance Maazel spoke about the importance of passing the torch to a younger generation of artists and keeping classical music and opera vibrant and relevant. At 81, he's as energetic as ever and got intense performances from the Berkeley Symphony and his cast of mostly young singers, among them two Canadians in the cast of Albert Herring, our own Ensemble Studio baritone Adrian Kramer as a fabulous Sid and Ashleigh Semkiw as the hilariously didactic school teacher Miss Wordsworth.
This afternoon, I have a few more meetings here in San Francisco and tomorrow morning at 6:30am I'll be off to New York for the opening of Capriccio at the Met.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (0) / permalink
Follow Alexander Neef on
Follow the COC on Twitter