Saturday, October 22 , 2016, 11:21 am | Mostly Cloudy 63º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube

Gerald Carpenter: Santa Barbara Music Club Lifting Their Voices in Song

The next free concert of the Santa Barbara Music Club — at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. — has an unusual program and an unusual title, “Vocalfest.”

Ambroise Thomas was the composer of Mignon and Hamlet, and the director of the Conservatoire de Paris from 1871-96.
Ambroise Thomas was the composer of Mignon and Hamlet, and the director of the Conservatoire de Paris from 1871-96.

As you might suppose, the program is all about singing (with a fair amount of fancy piano-playing in the background).

To start things off, tenor Gabriel Silva, accompanied by the inimitable Betty Oberacker on piano, will sing “Adelaide, Opus 46” by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827); “La caravane (The Caravan)” by Ernest Chausson (1855-99); and “È la solita storia (It’s the Same Old Story)” from the opera L’arlesiana by Francesco Ciléa (1866-1950).

Then, Oberacker and bass-baritone Emil Cristescu will perform “Infin che un brando vindice (At Last an Avenging Sword)” from the opera Ernani by Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901); Leoporello’s great aria “Madamina” (The Catalog Aria) from Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Mozart (1756-91); and “All men surrender to Love’s power” from Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93).

In conclusion, Oberacker will join baritone Andre Shillo to give us “O vin, dissipe la tristesse (O Wine, Dispell My Sadness)” from Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas (1811-96); Tchaikovsky’s “Were I a man whom fate intended,” also from Eugene Onegin; and “Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre” (Toreador Song) from Carmen by George Bizet (1838-75).

It is good to find Beethoven holding his own as a vocal writer, even in this company. “Adelaide” was composed in 1795, when he was in his mid-20s and at his most romantic stage in his emotional life. It lasts about six minutes. The song is what is called “through-composed,” which means that each stanza is set to different music.

Ciléa was born in Palmi near Reggio di Calabria, and — as is often the case — took a precocious interest in music. When he was 4, his parents took him to hear Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, and it was a life-changing experience. L’arlesiana is his most famous opera, and “È la solita storia” is his most famous aria. The first person to sing it was a very young Enrico Caruso, and the performance exponentially increased the reputation of both singer and composer.

Thomas’ fame as an opera composer was eclipsed, while he was still alive, by his achievements as an academic administrator — fate is cruel, sometimes. In fact, the music of his colleagues Gabriel Fauré and César Franck — who considered him hopelessly old-fashioned — now seems as dated as Thomas’. He had a gift for sweet melodies, and his best-known pupil is Jules Massenet (another opera composer who gets little respect from musicologists).

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are his own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >