Archives for May 2013

Mahler and Meyer provide the Nashville Symphony with a glorious finale

Since becoming music director of the Nashville Symphony in 2009, Giancarlo Guerrero has steadfastly pursued two goals: To turn his orchestra into a leading exponent of contemporary American music, and to transform himself into a convincing Mahlerian. He may well accomplish both objectives this weekend at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. For his final classical subscription […]

Film review: ‘Now You See Me’ Is All Smoke and Mirrors

Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me is a big-budget ($70 million estimated by IMDB) caper film with a cast of major Hollywood names and just the hint of a theme. Like previous Leterrier flicks (Clash of the Titans 2010, Transporter, etc.), this one features brilliant effects, non-stop action, and a straightforward story. Sure, there’s a “hidden” throughline; […]

Nashville Opera and Dyer Present ‘Opera on the Mountain’ June 15

The Nashville Opera and Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory will present Opera on the Mountain, a special evening of music and star-gazing, on Saturday, June 15. “We are so pleased to be presenting Opera on the Mountain with Vanderbilt University’s Dyer Observatory,” says Noah Spiegel, Nashville Opera’s Chief Operating Officer. “This event is so popular with Nashville […]

Nashville Symphony, performing without a net with ‘Cirque Musica’

For its final pops concert of the 2012-13 season, the Nashville Symphony has transformed the Schermerhorn Symphony Center into a circus big tent. At least, that’s how things felt on Thursday night, as conductor Albert George Schram led the NSO and a host of daredevil acrobats and gymnasts in a program titled “Cirque Musica.” The […]

Alias caps its season with two world premieres

Anyone who thinks that classical music is strictly an antiquarian affair has obviously never attended an Alias Chamber Ensemble concert. On Wednesday night, Alias was at the Blair School of Music’s Turner Hall, presenting a program consisting largely of 21st-century music. Cellist Matt Walker was quick to point out one of this performance’s most salient […]

Corcoran named new Nashville Symphony Chorus director

Nashville Symphony associate conductor Kelly Corcoran has had a huge year working as the interim director of the orchestra’s chorus.  She helped prepare a terrific Mahler Symphony No. 8 for the season opener and guided the singers through their first Mendelssohn Elijah. It’s no surprise, then, that the NSO has selected her to become the […]

Music City Center Features Nashville Arts in Opening Celebration

The Music City Center may be brand new, but it already knows how to host a celebration. The grand opening festivities kicked off Sunday as Mayor Karl Dean led thousands of his fellow Nashvillians through a tour of the facility. ArtsNash was there to see the role our city’s visual and performing arts would play […]

Upcoming Nashville Children’s Theatre Season Full of Favorites

Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT), the nation’s oldest professional theater for children, has announced its 82nd season for youth, families, and adults. NCT is the perfect place for the expanding variety of people in Middle Tennessee to explore their personalities and interests – misfits, adventurers, thinkers, and rebels can all find themselves at NCT. The theater […]

Theater review: Studio Tenn’s ‘My Fair Lady’ Flawless until Finale

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Nearly all of Studio Tenn’s My Fair Lady is wonderful (or “loverly” in the show’s lingo). But I have strong negative thoughts and feelings about the way the terrific troupe ends the final scene of this great Golden Age musical. The Alan Jay Lerner – Frederick Loewe adaptation that used George Bernard Shaw’s […]

Nashville Ballet’s Macbeth: Something wicked good this way comes

Nashville Ballet has been lavishing attention on William Shakespeare of late. Last month, the company presented a radiant rendition of Romeo and Juliet. Now it’s Macbeth’s turn. This weekend, Shakespeare’s murderous Scot is the focus of a new ballet featuring the choreography of Nashville Ballet artistic director Paul Vasterling and the music of contemporary American […]

Luhrmann v. Fitzgerald, or There Oughta Be a Law

We interrupt this theater-oriented column to talk about a book and a movie.  At first, you’d think they’re the same: The Great Gatsby.  They’re not.  They’re F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, and Baz Luhrmann’s anti-masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, wherein he treats the April 10, 1925, novel as if it were the blueprint for a bungalow that […]

‘Shakespeare: The King’s Man’ Doc Connects Us with Bard’s Words

Like many whose introduction to William Shakespeare has come through the dry instruction of an English class James Shapiro was no fan of the Bard while growing up. “I was turned off by it in junior high and high school and I never took a college course on Shakespeare so I came to it late […]

Theater review: ‘Spring Awakening’ Teen Turmoil is Ecstasy at STC

Watching a musical at Street Theatre Company is typically a pleasurable experience. Watching their production of Spring Awakening, one of the best musicals in recent years, is sheer ecstasy. Director Martha Wilkinson, Musical Director Rollie Mains, Choreographer Holly Shepherd and the performing artists presenting their version of the 2006 winner of eight Tony Awards have […]

Nashville Symphony storms the heavens with Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’

Mendelssohn’s Elijah is widely regarded as one of the pillars of the choral repertoire, yet performances of this Victorian-era masterpiece are exceedingly rare. This weekend, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus is giving its first ever performance of Mendelssohn’s monumental oratorio. Friday night’s rendition will not soon be forgotten. That’s because the NSO has brought to […]

Theater review: ‘Disney’s The Lion King’ Opens to Roar of Approval

Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall welcomed a pride of patrons Thursday to Nashville’s second Disney’s The Lion King opening. The current outing, dubbed the “Gazelle Tour” by the fine folks at Disney Theatrical Productions, is a worthy inheritor of the King’s crown: It offers audiences a majestic and whimsical spectacle that has no fear of […]

Gateway Chamber Orchestra: Giving Mahler his due in Nashville

The Clarksville-based Gateway Chamber Orchestra gave its first-ever performance in Nashville on Monday night at Second Presbyterian Church of Green Hills. Naturally, the ensemble hoped to make a good first impression. It actually came close to achieving transcendence. For its debut, Gateway and its conductor, Gregory Wolynec, presented a chamber arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Das […]

Good News: New Chances Through Words and Music to ‘Ponder Anew’

Lieutenant Herschel Doyle Ponder was unquestionably one of the millions of American heroes who fought so bravely and selflessly in World War II. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Clusters for his service as a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber pilot in the US Army Air Forces (aka Army Air […]

Music City Baroque: Playing New World music with Old World grace

You’d expect to hear the music of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi at a period-instrument concert – but Fernandes, Jerusalem and Zumaya? Music City Baroque was stretching its programmatic wings on Sunday afternoon, presenting a concert devoted entirely to early music from the Spanish New World. The performance at Vanderbilt University’s Benton Chapel featured a variety […]

Humana Festival 2013: Still a Theatrical Dream Come True

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The 2013 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville ended a month ago, but its impact will be felt at other festivals and theaters long after living moments there are just memories. Of course, that opinion is a fairly safe one since the springtime theatrical conclave near the […]

Dance review: Magic abounds in DTT’s ‘Cinderella’

The job of a ballet’s artistic director is apparently never done. That’s certainly true for Christopher Mohnani, artistic director of Dance Theatre of Tennessee. When the dancer scheduled to play the Stepmother in DTT’s current mounting of Cinderella was forced to bow out, Mohnani donned drag and went onstage himself. And during Saturday’s opening-night production […]