Mystery Plays were medieval pageants that were acceptable to church authorities because they were moral fables based on Biblical tales. Mr. Aguirre-Sacasa’s mystery plays are also moral fables, but his Bible is the horror genre itself, as taken from its most populist master practitioners: Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone,” Alfred Hitchcock, H. P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King.
Ending a summer concert with a blinding display of fireworks is a widespread tradition, but Friday’s (August 24) grand finale of the La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest 2012 kept all of the dramatic fireworks on the Sherwood Auditorium stage. Under the demanding baton of guest conductor Kent Nagano, the festival chamber orchestra tore into what could have been just another neat program of standard repertory and kept us alert with consistently exhilarating playing. From the breakneck tempo of Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, a felicitous program-opener, Nagano pushed his 40-member ensemble beyond their evident comfort zone. He demanded…
Airy is good for summer musicals staged outdoors, and Moonlight Stage Productions version of Anything Goes doesn’t push the envelope at all in making an enjoyable evening for its audiences.
The prospect of hearing all three Piano Trios by Johannes Brahms in one concert was more than enticing. And SummerFest 2012’s A-list roster of violinist Cho-Liang Lin, cellist Gary Hoffman, and pianist Jon Kimura Parker as the program’s performers shot my expectations through the roof. At the intermission of Wednesday’s (Aug. 22) Brahms Piano Trio concert, however, I found myself wishing I had kept my inflated anticipation in check. Yes, we were hearing some of the most plush and ingeniously crafted chamber music in western music, and, without question, the performers were engaging their prodigious musical proficiency with clear-eyed precision.…
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