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Symphony and opera aren't cutting back on compelling attractions

August 29, 2009

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    August 29, 2009
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    Opera Carolina News

Symphony and opera aren't cutting back on compelling attractions

Charlotte's musical groups have gone past tightening their belts and begun cutting out chunks of leather. Yet they're still trying to whet audiences' appetites, recession be darned. For instance:

The Charlotte Symphony will bring Yo-Yo Ma back to town in October. The many-faceted cellist will take a break from his cross-cultural musical adventures to play one of the most beloved works for his instrument, Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto.

The charismatic Denyce Graves will return to star in Opera Carolina's Carmen. When I saw her portray opera's ultimate free spirit a few years ago in Florida, she had been struck by throat trouble during rehearsals. It was mere hours before the curtain went up that her doctor gave her the go-ahead. Nevertheless, she was magnetic. That's a trouper.

A sensation-in-the-making will hit Charlotte when Yuja Wang helps the Charlotte Symphony launch its season. The young Chinese pianist, who will solo in Beethoven's “Emperor” Concerto on Sept. 11, is already setting off keyboard fireworks on YouTube. Look her up and you'll understand.

This season will begin the passing of the baton from Christof Perick, the Charlotte Symphony's music director since 2001, to Christopher Warren-Green. Warren-Green, who takes over next fall, will give a foretaste when he leads a February program featuring Rachmaninoff's luxuriant Symphony No. 2. Perick will conclude his tenure with the same work that launched it: Beethoven's Ninth.

Perick will also conduct Beethoven's titanic “Eroica” Symphony. That will leave only one Beethoven symphony – the Second, full of fun – that he hasn't led here.

Maybe the orchestra will bring him back to tie up the loose end.

By Steven Brown
The Charlotte Observer

To read the original article, visit the Charlotte Observer.