Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Discoveries Series "Discovers Atlanta" at Wax n' Facts

Rolando Salazar (Assistant Conductor/Music Administrator)
The Discoveries series continued to "Discover Atlanta" at Wax n' Facts record shop in the heart of Little 5 Points. Over the course of a wax-meltingly hot afternoon, Rolando Salazar (Assistant Conductor/Musical Administrator) set out to pick his 5 favorite recordings of all time. Rolando is a highly trained chorus master and pianist, and true Texan. Which means we already expected a real curatorial bonanza. Still, he didn't hesitate to surprise with his final Top 5 albums. 
Enjoy, Atlanta.


For 38 years, Wax n' Facts has helped keep Little 5 Points' heart beating with soulful vinyl, CD's, tapes and furbelow dating back decades. The historic athenaeum is where so many albums - oft overlooked for generations - are ripe to be plucked, ripped from their original seal, released of the hoary air from decades past, and embraced by a needle and tone arm.




Rolando kept searching. Sean (owner of Wax n' Facts) helped out and offered a few of his curated albums, like Botticelli & His Orchestra. This album has some amazing renditions of 70's hits, like "It Never Rains in Southern California."



Crate digging DJ's, purists, and young guns wearing The Cure t-shirts (ironically or not) breezed in and out of the local record temple during the day. Some journeyed to observe and others to spend their hard earned greenbacks on memories and treasures.



Rolando kept digging. Two hours and $23 later, he had finally found his records. Here is the Top 5, in no particular order and with commentary:

#1: La Bohème: 
"Because you can’t have too many Bohème recordings! Plus, Carlo Bergonzi’s voice is pure gold."
#2: The Merry Widow
"Who doesn’t love The Merry Widow?!"
#3: Here You Come Again - Dolly Parton
"Because, Texas! So, I was born and raised in Texas, and Country Western music has always been a big part of my life. I feel so many of the Country Western songs are little miniatures with great stories and emotion, just like lieder and arias in the Classical music world."
#4: Strauss sung by Leontyne Price 
"The last work Richard composed was his Four Last Songs.  If I was stuck on an island with only one recording, it would be a toss up between the Four Last Songs and a Wagner Ring Cycle."
#5: Il ritorno di Tobia - Haydn 
"A work I don’t know at all, but have heard of. Sometimes good works become obscure because they are completely overshadowed by the popularity of other works, in this case, Haydn’s Creation. Plus, my middle name is Tobias."




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Friday, August 21, 2015

Light and Sound: David Adam Moore Has Something to Say

This season, we open our Discoveries series with Winter Journey (Winterreise). Staying true to the Discoveries mission to find new works and new perspectives, we will bring David Adam Moore to Atlanta to sing the lead role and to serve as production designer of this production. Opera News praised Moore for his "consistent delivery of beauty." You can expect this, and more, in September. We asked David about his upbringing, his dual role, and how we listen to (and experience) classical music in an iPhone world.

David Adam Moore in Winter Journey this September 17, 19, 20 at the Conant Performing Arts Center

The Atlanta Opera: Did you grow up in a very musical household?

David Adam Moore: Yes. The Moores have been professional musicians in Texas since at least the 19th century. I'm the first one to pursue classical music instead of Country-Western (and its earlier forms). I grew up seeing my grandfathers, father, aunt, uncles, etc. play music in nightclubs and at family get-togethers. My father toured with a top 10 radio artist named Tracy Byrd for several years. Watching my family sing or pick up instruments and just start making music has proven to be a huge influence on my approach to music-making, even in classical music. 

Opera: You have a dual role in Winter Journey. Tell us what it’s like to perform in a show that you also design.

David: It's a dream come true, to be honest. My orientation to art and music has always been both aural and visual, so this is a unique opportunity to explore the work and tell the story on both fronts. As a result, the audience experiences a unified expression of the story. From the production end, it surprisingly makes things run a bit smoother because there is no need for channels of communication and negotiation between director, designer, and performer. My partner in life, art, and general mischief, Vita Tzykun, is a brilliant set and costume designer with an immense visual imagination and superb technical skills, and as the Winter Journey project has developed, I've been able to involve her more and more, so that what you will see in Atlanta is the result of a long-running collaboration between us. 

The 3D projection mapping on stage changes with each song in Winter Journey (Winterreise)

Opera: How do we listen to classical music in the age of the iPhone?

David: That's a good question, and it seems everyone is figuring this out for themselves. On one hand, it's exciting because we have unprecedented access to high-quality recorded music from all eras. On the other, music has become more individual and less social. Perhaps this makes live music a more special experience than it was a decade ago. 

Opera: How does technology in a visual world affect our listening skills?
David: For Winter Journey, our aim is to use the video as a language to guide the audience through the emotional journey of the poet. We use a video technique called 3D projection mapping to transform the set into a self-contained landscape that can change completely from song to song... sometimes guiding the narrative by suggesting time, place, and environment, and at other times drawing the audience into the more abstract, symbolic world of the poet's thoughts and emotions. The video content consists entirely of moving images - no still images are used.

Opera: Your company, GLMMR, is designing Winter Journey. GLMMR stands for Giving Light Motion + Memory + Relevance. How does that translate into a production like this?

David: GLMMR’s Winter Journey started as a video accompaniment I had created for my recital performances of Winterreise and through a series of workshop presentations in NYC, Kansas, and Houston evolved into a fully-immersive presentation in which the performer functions within a landscape of video imagery. We are particularly excited about Atlanta’s production, because we have designed a new set and created new video material that includes locations ranging from Times Square to the Utah Salt Flats. GLMMR is an umbrella or "brand' under which Vita and I collaborate together and with a large group of contributing members from all ends of the art world. Most all of Winter Journey's set and projection design comes from Vita and me, but the video content has been created with the participation of over a dozen GLMMR members and contributors from all over the country. GLMMR's artistic mission is to explore the spaces between the lines - "that thing that didn't occur to you." Our primary media are light and sound in all of its various forms. 

"Our aim is to use the video as a language to guide the audience through the emotional journey."

Opera: What draws you to a classic composition like Schubert’s Winter Journey?

David: The music and drama of Winter Journey is rich, gorgeous, and powerful - one of the greatest works of art song ever created. I think the piece is underrepresented because professional song recitals have become increasingly rare in recent years and audiences in America haven't had many opportunities to experience it. Unlike many stage works in classical music, the piece is very universal and not tied to any particular time period or cultural context. This makes it easy for contemporary audiences to relate to the poet's situation and see parallels in their own lives.  

Opera: You clearly stay busy. What’s your ideal “day off”?

David: Day off?? LOL.

Winter Journey
Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University
September 17, 19, 20, 2015
Photo Credit: Denny Wells


Usage of any images on this blog is restricted to The Atlanta Opera and approved news websites. Any other usage, particularly for professional purposes, must have written permission. For additional information, please contact The Atlanta Opera at 404.881.8801.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Winter Journey (Winterreise)


Our 2015-16 season opens with a theatrical version of Franz Schubert’s famed song cycle Winter Journey (Winterreise). This opera is a romantic journey that includes two cycles of songs telling the story of unrequited love, written by Schubert in 1827. The piece has the dramatic and emotional effect of a full opera when sung by a great singer and accompanied by a theatrical, visually arresting production. Here's a bit of what you can expect to see: 




This production is essentially an “illustrated” Winter Journey, in which the audience is brought into the emotional world of the poet. The projection-mapped set acts as a self-contained landscape that transforms completely from song to song; sometimes guiding the narrative by suggesting time, place, and environment; and sometimes drawing the audience into a symbolic world of the poet’s thoughts and emotions. The video content consists entirely of moving images - no still images are used.




Baritone David Adam Moore sings the title role of the poet who treks through the winter night. Creative direction by GLMMR, the creative team of David Adam Moore and Vita Tzykun.



Click here to learn more and purchase tickets. We look forward to seeing you there!

All photos: Denny Wells

Usage of any images on this blog is restricted to The Atlanta Opera and approved news websites. Any other usage, particularly for professional purposes, must have written permission. For additional information, please contact The Atlanta Opera's Marketing Department at 404.881.8801.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Paris on Ponce (The Discoveries Series 'Discovers Atlanta')



The Discoveries Series is dedicated to audiences looking for new works, new ideas and fresh perspectives. So, we set out to discover the hidden gems and rare finds throughout Atlanta. Join the adventure as we explore our great city, starting at Paris on Ponce.




Dave Paule (Marketing Director at The Atlanta Opera) spent a day exploring more than 40,000 square feet of treasure. From textiles to taxidermy, any person of any ilk can find a panopoly of nonpareils inside Paris on Ponce.




Watch a one minute tour of the space and get a history lesson from Nicolette Valdespino (co-owner) who reminds us this used to be something entirely different.




"Over the last 15 years, Paris on Ponce has become Atlanta’s favorite bohemian destination. Perched high on a hill overlooking Ponce de Leon Avenue, the iconic orange building is both landmark and wonderland. Don’t miss the over the top dazzle of our signature special event space, Lé Maison Rouge." (via www.ParisOnPonce.com)



Rich in French influences, Paris on Ponce hosts an annual Bastille Day celebration and Le Maison Rouge frequently presents burlesque shows. 

This couch belonged to Governor Jenkins when the governorship was in Milledgeville during the Civil War. It was found in the back of the building. Paris on Ponce cleaned it up and reupholstered the antiquity in Prada fabric.



Follow them on Facebook and Twitter! Thank you to Nicolette Valdespino and Skip Engelbrecht at Paris on Ponce, and, of course, Baudelaire the pug.




Usage of any images on this blog is restricted to The Atlanta Opera and approved news websites. Any other usage, particularly for professional purposes, must have written permission. For additional information, please contact The Atlanta Opera's Marketing Department at 404.881.8801.

Friday, June 19, 2015



Usage of any images on this blog is restricted to The Atlanta Opera and approved news websites. Any other usage, particularly for professional purposes, must have written permission. For additional information, please contact The Atlanta Opera's Marketing Department at 404.881.8801.