2005-2006 Season

2005-2006 Season

Seventh year in the chorus. This is a bittersweet year, as it will be the last year Vance George is our conductor. There were a bunch of concerts, but I was not able to commit to the full schedule, so I'll list only the concerts I'm doing on this page, and update it after each concert.

Edited later: I only performed two concerts with the chorus this season, as I moved to New York halfway through the season.

Handel Messiah (November 2005)

I already covered my feelings about this year's Messiah (which many knowledgeable observers claimed was one of the best they'd ever seen) in a blog post, so I won't talk about it here.


Stravinsky Oedipus Rex and Le Rossignol (December 2005)

This was an interesting combination of works. Both Oedipus Rex and Rossignol are essentially operas, but neither is long enough to support a concert by itself - they are about 50 minutes each. So even though they are of drastically different styles, MTT combined them in a program to show the different sides of Stravinsky.

Even though I like Stravinsky, I was not thrilled with the music in either piece. Le Rossignol admittedly does not have much for the basses to do (I counted, and we have a total of 27 bars to sing in the piece, and that's counting bars in which we have an eighth note pickup to the next bar). The chorus is mostly in the background, except for one frenetic five minute sprint for the sopranos, altos and tenors in the second act. The story is also confusing. While watching the run-throughs during the concert week rehearsals, I found myself wondering what the heck was going on on stage. Even after reading the program notes, I still don't know. It's kind of nonsensical. Nice costuming, though.

Oedipus Rex was much more intense. It's set for men's chorus, and we have a lot of tricky, dissonant bits to sing. We also performed in gold half-masks and one red glove. Don't ask. Fantastic job by the soloists, though, especially Stuart Skelton, who was a last minute replacement for the original Oedipus soloist, and Michelle DeYoung, who the Chronicle did a nice profile on. There's some incredibly hard singing for them, and they nailed it all.

Neither piece really thrilled me, though. They're interesting, but not engaging, not the way, say, the Messiah was two weeks before, where the audience would erupt into a standing ovation immediately after each show. I was also completely exhausted, which may have contributed to my lack of enthusiasm - I got sick at the end of the concert week.

As always, MTT supplied a couple entertaining quotes in rehearsal.


Back to Eric's chorus page

Eric Nehrlich's WWW home page / nehrlich@alum.mit.edu