THE BEAT: Arts season preview, Part II

Collaboration to be key for music, dance, theater groups

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BalletMet Columbus’ popular Dracula returns this October.
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In this second part of The Beat’s preview of the 2012-2013 performing arts season, a heads-up on arts “producers.” A third installment, tentatively titled Stuff We Didn’t Get To, But You Need to Know About will be featured next week.

 

Jean-Marie Zeitouni , music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (columbussymphony.com) called Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which the orchestra will play in its season-opening concert Oct. 5, “one of four or five pillars of (orchestral) repertoire.” The maestro, entering his second full season on the podium, said the piece has been performed here with regularity, but not since he’s held the CSO baton. The piece makes a brilliant musical and thematic statement for a season opener, he told The Beat.

The rest of the season incorporates a variety of music periods and composer nationalities built around “sometimes a poetic thread and sometimes a composer or composers.” November’s “Cheek and Charm” program celebrates Paris in the Roaring ‘20s – an example of a “poetic” program.

Lots of pairing of composers this season as well, including Rachmaninoff & Sibelius (November, with guest soloist Elina Vahala. Another season highlight is the February performance of Mahler’s magnificent The Song of the Earth, a request of the musicians. Zeitouni had high praise for the season’s guest soloists as well, from Armenian pianist Nareh Arghaman-yan in October (“As an artist, she has so much to say, personally and musically.”) to friend of JMZ Vadim Gluzman, who helps close the season in May. Zeitouni raved about the opportunity to partner with BalletMet Columbus for March’s performances of The Rite of Spring, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Stravinsky ballet.

The CSO’s Pops Season includes the return of Cirque de la Symphonie in January and one of The Beat’s favorite singers, Al Jarreau, in March.

 

A year of transition for BalletMet Columbus (balletmet.org) nonetheless finds the company in good hands – and feet.

With the departure of artistic director Gerard Charles, BalletMet brought on frequent collaborator James Kudelka as artistic adviser, to help manage while the company does a search (which, Executive Director Cheri Mitchell told The Beat, could be concluded and have a public announcement by December). “It’s working really well,” Mitchell said of the arrangement, which also sees some enhanced responsibility for ballet master and mistress Hisham Omardien and Rodriguez-Hodory. Kudelka will be here full-time to choreograph The Rite of Spring, which the company will perform with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in March.

Later this month, the season kicks off with The American Songbook, which includes a company premiere, a world premiere and a reboot of a popular piece set to music by Sammy Davis Jr. New work ends the season as well, with The Little Mermaid in April. Between, the season includes grand ballet in the form of classics The Nutcracker and Romeo & Juliet, and the return of David Nixon’s Dracula in October.

 

CATCO-Phoenix’s (catcois theatre.org) 2012-2013 season already is under way, thanks to the (ridiculously successful) August production of Avenue Q. Artistic Director Steven C. Anderson told The Beat that some wondered if the edgy production would work, and he was happy to discover that it did. “We’re finding out new things about our audience and there are new people finding us,” he said.

The season features two additional musicals – The Story of My Life, a chamber musical about two men who retrace their friendship (in November-December) and Five Guys Named Moe, featuring the music of Louis Jordan (May). The rest of the season includes Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (October), the holiday one-woman comic send-up The Twelve Days of Christmas and Tony Award-winner Red (February-March).

Phoenix Theatre for Children opens its season with The Tales of Beatrix Potter in November and closes with a co-presentation with the Wexner Center for the Arts of Boats, with the Terrapin Puppet Theatre, in May.

 

The 40th anniversary season of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (jazzartsgroup.org) gets things under way later this month with help from the legendary Doc Severinsen in a Stan Kenton-themed program.

The CJO pays tribute to pop music “from Gershwin to the Beatles” in October, welcomes singer Marva Hicks for the annual holiday shows and closes the season with rising star Chester Gregory and Columbus’ own Dave Powers on Piano Men: The Music of Billy Joel, Elton John & Stevie Wonder in April.

A season highlight is a world premiere composition by Grammy Award-winning composer/bassist John Clayton in tribute to the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks. “I’m honored to help celebrate 40 years of hot CJO jazz,” Music Director Byron Stripling said. JAG’s Inside Track series kicks off this weekend with Austin-based soul band Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys.

 

ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (promusicacolumbus.org) has announced Austrian maestro David Danzmayr as its new music director, to assume the post at the outset of next season. 2012-2013 marks founder Timothy Russell’s final season on the podium, and the orchestra will celebrate his leadership and legacy throughout the season.

“The programs (Russell) is conducting in October and April feature special slated premieres, as that was always part of his concept for ProMusica,” executive director Janet Chen told The Beat. The season opens with a new work by Brazilian composer Clarice Assad, with guest guitarists the Assad Brothers (her father and uncle).

Sharing the stage with ProMusica this season will be Italian Pianist Alessio Bax in November, Scottish percussionist Colin Currie in January and Danish recorder player Michala Petri in February. Danzmayr will conduct the January and February concerts.

 

Vadim Gluzman joins ProMusica in November as well, conducting the November concerts “from the violin.” Opera Columbus (operacolumbus.org) has straddled the “producer/ presenter” fence in recent years, but collaborative arrangements with genre leaders Opera Atelier and New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, plus a new Opera Cabaret series, find the company dipping its toes back in the “producer” waters.

Peggy Kriha Dye, director of artistic and educational programming, said it is part of the company’s new mission to give opportunities to emerging artists. Opera Atelier will co-present The Magic Flute in April, and the NYG&SP will return in June. Meantime, a new cooperative arrangement with Shadowbox Live, Opera Cabaret, will present La Boheme in November.
 

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