In the Sun: the enduring 'Porgy' and the remarkable Till Fellner
Should you not have scoured Thursday's Sun fully, you might have missed more precious prose by moi, and I'd really hate for that to happen.
One article is about the enduring power of Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," which gets attention from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Friday and Saturday in the form of a concert suite, and from Washington National Opera next month in a revival of Francesa Zambello's fabulous production. There are so many intriguing and rewarding things about this work, which I think easily justifies the ranking many of us give it -- the greatest American opera, period.
Coincidentally, both the BSO and WNO will have the benefit of soprano Indira Mahajan as Bess. In Baltimore, she'll be joined onstage by Derrick Parker as Porgy; in DC, she'll be singing with Lester Lynch as Porgy (there will be two casts for this production, the other starring Morenike Fadayomi and Eric Owens).
My other story is an interview with Till Fellner, the exceptional pianist who is slated to make his Baltimore debut on Saturday. (If the weather interferes, I may never look at snow the same way again.) I can't agree with his dismissal of Rachmaninoff's music, by the way, but I'll save my rebuttal for another time.
Speaking of Saturday, that's also the night when the Peabody Symphony Orchestra is set to offer one of its most appealing programs of the season --
Mahler's Symphony No. 4 (conducted by Teri Murai, with soprano Jennifer Edwards); the Maryland premiere of Joseph Schwantner's "Chasing Light" (conducted by Peabody grad student Ryan Haskins); and the winning work in the conservatory's Macht Orchestral Composition Competition, "...durch den Tod zu Gott gekommen...", by Joshua William Mills (conducted by grad student Karin Hendrickson).
I really hate the fact that two such enticing events should end up landing on the same night. This sort of thing happens all the time, of course. Maybe the Baltimore Cultural Alliance can start a project aimed at figuring out how to help performing arts in this town from competing against each other so often.
Meanwhile, good luck deciding what to hear this weekend -- assuming you can dig out from the massive white death that already has everyone in a panic.
PHOTO OF INDIRA MAHAJAN (by Steve J. Sherman) COURTESY OF BSO