October 2, 2017. Concert Notes

Love Stories

October 2, 2017 at 8:00 PM
Brunswick High School Auditorium
Luis Haza, Music Director and Conductor


Overture to Fidelio, Op 72                                           Ludwig van Beethoven

La Boheme, Act One                                                       Giacomo Puccini

          “Si, mi chiamano Mimi”

Guest Artist: Maria Valdes, Soprano

Lady of the Lake, Ave Maria                                          Franz Schubert

Eugene Onegin                                                                  Pytor I. Tchaikovsky

          “Tatiana’s Letter Scene”

Guest Artist: Maria Valdes, Soprano




Francesca da Rimini, Op 32,                                          Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky

          Andante Lugubre-Allegro vivo


Experience Love Stories …

when the 2017-2018 concert season opens with musical tales of marital love, first love, and tragic love.  The bright, light, almost merry Overture to Fidelio opens the evening with its fortissimo outburst of strings.  The overture is from Beethoven’s opera, in which Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named Fidelio, rescues her husband, Florestan, from death in a political prison.

Soprano Maria Valdes then takes the stage to thrill us with “Si, mi chiamano Mimi” from Puccini’s beloved opera, La Boheme.  The song concerns Mimi and Rudolpho’s first meeting in which the two main characters fall immediately in love.  It is considered Mimi’s most beautiful aria with its coquettish, engaging, and soaring vocal passages.  Ms. Valdes will return  to sing “Tatiana’s Letter Scene” from Tchaikovsky’s opera, Eugene Onegin.  In the song, a young, romantic girl falls in love with a selfish hero and pours her heart out to him in a letter filled with raw emotion.  The song and the opera showcase Tchaikovsky’s ability to combine lyric opera with more dramatic music in a rich symphonic and vocal texture.

Maria Valdes is an Atlanta native who has been praised for her “silvery tone, glassily smooth phrasing, and fine caliber dynamics.”  She has appeared with major opera companies in San Francisco and Chicago, performed with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, and her arias from Handel’s Messiah performed at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York in December 2016 were praised by critics as “beautifully” sung.

Following intermission, the story of Francesca da Rimini, immortalized in Dante’s Divine Comedy, will unfold.  In Dante’s story, the beautiful maiden Francesca falls in love with her brother-in-law, Paolo, and the two of them are murdered by her husband and condemned to Hell for their adulterous passions.  Trapped in a storm, they will whirl through the air, never to touch ground again, while tormented by their time together on earth.  The symphonic poem opens with a dark, ominous music as Dante enters the woods, followed by his horror on entering the first circle of Hell. The storm and whirlwind follow, then the music subsides as the lovers try to explain themselves, only to be doomed to eternal punishment in a breathtaking finish from the entire orchestra.