Don Quichotte at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA)

Ghenady Meirson
Submitted: Sun, March 3, 2013 - 4:35pm EST
Burak Bilgili (AVA '04) and Musa Ngqungwana in Don Quichotte. Photo: Paul Sirochman

It is a treat when a famed stage director Tito Capobianco brings his magic to AVA. On the first hearing, I discovered a moving and beautiful opera by Massenet.

Yes, as AVA faculty I am bias, but also proud to see such wonderful performances by AVA Resident Artists. The production also welcomed an alumnus, Turkish bass Burak Bilgili (AVA '04) in the title role. Burak sings with leading opera houses including Teatro Alla Scala, Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and many others.

Massenet's orchestration is masterful, clearly composed away from the piano and direct onto the orchestral score. There were so many wonderful surprises such as fugues weaving in and out, substantial instrumental solos assigned to either an oboe or cello.

Maestro Christofer Macatsoris is the conductor and AVA's music director. He is in a class by himself. We once spent an hour discussing the subject of how long is a quarter note. He is a rare musician.

As of this writing, five more performances remain in this run - March 5, 7, 9, 12, & 14, 2013. For those in Philadelphia area or within geographic reach, don't miss. Visit this link for ticket information.

I want to leave you with a short and wonderful video clip of much younger Tito Capobianco in conversation with his great friend Beverly Sills. Enjoy!

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