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On the Notion of Performning in Concert Halls and Car Parks, Bob Riley and the Manchester Camerata Say 'So Be It'

On Performing in Concert Halls, Car Parks, Bob Riley, Manchester Camerata Say 'So Be It' >>

As Joshua Bell has proven to us already, a venue is merely a concept. In the case of the Manchester Camerata, Bob Riley writes that the orchestra is "constantly challenging" how they engage with audiences. Thus, he concludes, "if that means we perform in a grand concert hall one day, and a car park the next, so be it." One can imagine that, with any major metropolis like Manchester, there are a plethora of venues and outlets to cater to a notion such as Riley's. Sure, but the term "venue" needs to be redefined to capture what is between the gridlock and cobblestone. Earlier this season, Joshua Bell took to Washington, D.C.'s Union Station to perform with some of his YoungArts masterclass alumni among the passersby in the metro. Too their surprise, an audience grew out from the hype and congregated over a program of Mendelssohn.

Simon Rattle, Berlin Phil Bringing Bach's 'St. Matthew Passion' to Park Avenue Armory for Lincoln Center's White Light Fest >>

So, Bach hated opera because of its lazy audience. And yet his most operatic work, the St. Matthew Passion, constantly engages, asking questions about the role of an audience in that very production. If only there were a Socratic maestro--and a German ensemble--who could highlight such a line of inquiry?

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