Well, it has certainly been quite the summer for Mozart in New York City. And here in the final throes of Gotham's grand celebration of most things Mozart--namely, the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center--we're finally getting the U.S. stage premiere of lauded British composer George Benjamin's equally highly-praised opera, 'Written on Skin,' at the David H. Koch Theater.
This 16-piece orchestra under the direction of John Fedchock, the former Woody Herman trombone soloist, musical director and chief arranger-is a lush affair with colors bleeding into rhythm. Fedchock, for his fifth big-band effort, uses the palette of creative artistry to blend different soloist personalities into the whole. The result, in this case, is a sumptuous feast of across-the-board jazz sub-genres.
A strange challenge behind album cover artists and graphic designers like Denise Burt is to capture (or at least pique curiosity in) one artistic medium through the use of another---one which the former was designed to be mostly independent from. While those with synesthesia might argue that the two are hardly mutually exclusive items, visual art can often belie the very nature of music itself.
Alas, we are closing in on the final weeks of this summer's Mostly Mozart Festival. Fear not, though, Classicalites. The home stretch of Mostly Mozarts past there at Lincoln Center have always been filled with must-hear performers in don't-miss programming, and this 2015 iteration is hardly going out with a whimper. Case in point: the much-awaited American stage premiere of British composer George Benjamin's love-hate opera, 'Written on Skin.' Starring Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in the viscerally erotic roles they, themselves, originated, outgoing New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert leads the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in what's fast becoming the most revered English-language opera in some two decades.