On Hiatus

July’s “Tears of Gold” program in Massachusetts was warmly received by our audience, as was June’s “The Not Quite Paris Cabaret” in Los Angeles. With “Sakura Songs” in March, ten artists have participated this year in three different Spacious Vision programs.

At this time, our core members on both coasts are working through a number of commitments and transitions. So we are taking a hiatus, but expect to announce new programs by year’s end. We will also have some audio and video footage to share in the near future. In the meantime, you are invited to visit our YouTube channel to check out some of our past work.  Thanks for visiting!

(Photo: Brian Moll and Barbara Kilduff rehearse for “Tears of Gold.”)

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THE NOT QUITE PARIS CABARET (Los Angeles)

Our June 24 performance of “The Not Quite Paris Cabaret” in Glendale was enthusiastically received by our audience. That put some wind at our backs for our June 29 show for the Music@MiMoDa concert series in Los Angeles.

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We are nowhere near the windmills of the Moulin Rouge in Paris. However, we will sing a song about them, and also offer many other classic European and American selections during the “Not Quite Paris Cabaret.”

PRACTICAL DETAILS

Wednesday, June 29, 8:00 pm

Entry through the Paper or Plastik Cafe, 5774 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles.

Open seating, no presale of tickets. You set your donation amount at the door.

Cafe refreshments for purchase, you may bring them into the show with you.

The program is family friendly, but not intended for young audiences.

Scroll down to learn more about the artists.

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BernardoHeadshot3

American born lyric baritone BERNARDO BERMUDEZ started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares in Caracas, Venezuela. His many operatic credits include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Silvio in Pagliacci,  Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal in Luisa Fernanda, Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi, and Morald in the North America stage premiere of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. Bernardo was a voice fellow at both The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California and Opera North in New Hampshire. His singing has been recognized with awards from the the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Competition, the Opera Buffs, and the Zachary Vocal Competition.

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Ariel_pisturino_headshot_webSoprano ARIEL PISTURINO completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California, where she performed with the Thornton Opera. She has appeared with the Long Beach Opera and other Southern California companies in roles from CarmenDon Giovanni, Nixon in China, and The Magic Flute. Most recently, Ariel appeared in the nationally acclaimed operatic event Hopscotch with the Los Angeles-based company The Industry, and as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Redlands Opera Theater. She was a featured soloist on the recent Delos Records releases of “Terrain of the Heart” and the opera “Home is a Harbor” by composer Mark Abel.

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Tenor GERALD SEMINATORE is the founding Director of the Spacious Vision Song Project. He began his musical career with professional ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. Operatic engagements in the USA have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. He made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. Gerald was also a frequent guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Rheinland/Pfalz Theater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. His concert performances have included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles. Gerald’s singing has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

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TARO WAYAMA is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He was the First Prize winner in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and the Second Prize winner in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. As a composer, Taro received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for the independent film Anne Jennings. He is an active soloist and chamber musician, and has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. Taro frequently collaborates with instrumentalists and singers in presenting Classical music from the Renaissance through 20th Century, as well as venturing into Folk and World music. Taro earned both his Masters and Bachelor of Music degrees at the University of Southern California, where he studied an array of master teachers including Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant.

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RON BARNETT is the Director of Music and Sacred Arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, CA. In addition to his work as an organist, choir director, and keyboard artist, Ron is active as a composer and music educator. His choral works have been published by GIA Publications and Morning Star Music Publishers. His score for A Christmas Carol (book by Barry Kornhauser) premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in 2001. Since its recent commercial publication, the show has enjoyed several productions across the United States. A second show, Around the World in 80 Days (book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay) premiered at the Fulton Theatre in 2007. Ron’s new show When Butter Churns to Gold (book by Peter Welkin, lyrics by Randi Wolfe) had its 2015 premiere at the Northern Sky Theatre (Fish Creek, WI). Ron’s orchestrations include the productions of Bojangles (music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Sammy Cahn), Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum) and Treasure Island (music and lyrics by Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark). Sound Design credits include the Off-Broadway production of All Under Heaven starring Valerie Harper as Pearl S. Buck, and Zelda and The Last Flapper, which played in Romania and Hungary as part of the ACTIV-5 International Theatre Festival.

TEARS OF GOLD @ 51 Walden

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Critically acclaimed singers Barbara Kilduff (soprano) and Gerald Seminatore (tenor) will join their voices for two performances of “Tears of Gold,” a recital of Spanish, French, and English songs and duets. Brian Moll will partner with them at the piano.

This program offers a unique opportunity to hear world class performers in a live concert of classic songs for solo and duo voices, along with some favorites you may recognize.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

Performing Arts Center
51 Walden St.
Concord, MA 01742

General admission, tickets available at the door (no advance sales).
$15 / $10 students, seniors.
www.51walden.org

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INTRODUCING THE ARTISTS

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Soprano Barbara Kilduff was a national winner of the Metropolitan Opera Council auditions, and went on to win first prize in the Munich International Competition and the Silver Medal in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Barbara debuted with the Bavarian, Vienna and Hamburg State Operas as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, a role she repeated in several theaters and later at the Metropolitan Opera. In the same season she appeared as Adele in Die Fledermaus, and returned the following season as Cleopatra in Julius Caesar under Trevor Pinnock, and as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, a role she would repeat in Zurich and at La Scala. She appeared to great acclaim as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier at the Bavarian State Opera, and repeated this role in New York, San Diego, and Vienna.

Other highlights of Barbara’s career include Carmina Burana with the Saint Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin, and appearances with the New York Philharmonic under Sir Colin Davis, and the National Symphony of Spain under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.

As a recitalist Barbara has appeared on many artist series in the United States, and she has also presented several master classes at universities and colleges. A native of New York, she now resides with her husband and two children in Andover, Massachusetts.

 

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New England native Gerald Seminatore began his musical career as a professional chorister in Boston’s musical scene, where he performed with ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival Chorus, and Emmanuel Music.

American operatic appearances have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass,Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. Gerald made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Fall Festival as Peter Quint in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at Germany’s Dortmund Opera, where he appeared in some twenty roles in opera and operetta. He was also a regular guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Pfalztheater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. Concert and oratorio work has included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles in the United States. He has appeared in more than fifty recitals in professional and university venues in the United States, England, Germany, and France.

Gerald’s performances have been praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice, and recognized with awards from the MacAllister Foundation for Opera Singers and the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

 

 

 

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Pianist Brian Moll maintains an active performance schedule while serving as Chair of Vocal and Keyboard Studies at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. He has given recitals around the world, appearing in such prestigious halls as Vienna’s Mozartsaal, the Haydnsaal at the Esterhazy Castle in Eisenstadt, Austria, and Tokyo’s Lilia Hall. He has also has performed as a keyboardist with Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, and the Handel & Haydn Society. Brian has also served as Assistant Conductor for productions by the Boston Lyric Opera, Opera North, and Boston Midsummer Opera.

THE NOT QUITE PARIS CABARET (Glendale, CA)

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(June 24 in Glendale, repeated in Los Angeles on June 29 for the Music@MiMoDa concert series.)

We are nowhere near the windmills of the Moulin Rough in Paris. However, we will sing a song about them, and also offer many other classic European and American selections during the “Not Quite Paris Cabaret.” In recognition of the support offered to Spacious Vision by the Worship Arts ministry at St. Mark’s, this concert will benefit the church’s partner congregation and school in Haiti.

PRACTICAL DETAILS

No presale of tickets; general admission. $20 donation is suggested, but any amount will be greatly appreciated. (Cash/check preferred.)

Table seating, cash bar with light refreshments.

The program is family friendly, but not intended for young audiences.

There is ample (free) street parking in front of the church, or in the lot behind the church off Dryden Avenue. The Parish Hall is wheelchair and walker friendly.

Scroll down to learn more about the artists.

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BernardoHeadshot3

American born lyric baritone BERNARDO BERMUDEZ started his musical education at The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares in Caracas, Venezuela. His many operatic credits include Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Silvio in Pagliacci,  Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Vidal in Luisa Fernanda, Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi, and Morald in the North America stage premiere of Richard Wagner’s Die Feen, as part of Los Angeles Opera’s Ring Festival. Bernardo was a voice fellow at both The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara California and Opera North in New Hampshire. His singing has been recognized with awards from the the Burbank Philharmonic Hennings-Fischer Opera Competition, the Opera Buffs, and the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition.

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Ariel_pisturino_headshot_webSoprano ARIEL PISTURINO completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California, where she performed with the Thornton Opera. She has appeared with the Long Beach Opera and other Southern California companies in roles from CarmenDon Giovanni, Nixon in China, and The Magic Flute. Most recently, Ariel appeared in the nationally acclaimed operatic event Hopscotch with the Los Angeles-based company The Industry, and as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Redlands Opera Theater. Ariel is a co-founder of the Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles (COPOLA), and a frequent collaborator in performances of new works. She was a featured soloist on the recent Delos Records releases of “Terrain of the Heart” and the opera “Home is a Harbor” by composer Mark Abel.

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gerald_seminatore

Tenor GERALD SEMINATORE is the founding Director of the Spacious Vision Song Project. He began his musical career with professional ensembles including the Handel and Haydn Society, the Boston Early Music Festival, and Emmanuel Music. Operatic engagements in the USA have included roles with the Chautauqua, Dayton, Glimmerglass, Oakland, Santa Fe, and West Bay opera companies. He made his European debut at England’s Aldeburgh Festival, and went on to become a member of the solo ensemble at the Dortmund Opera in Germany. Gerald was also a frequent guest artist at the Frankfurt am Main Opera, the Rheinland/Pfalz Theater in Kaiserslautern, and the Bremen Opera. His concert performances have included appearances with many orchestras and choral ensembles. Gerald’s singing has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

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Taro_portrait_cropped_web

TARO WAYAMA is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He was the First Prize winner in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and the Second Prize winner in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. As a composer, Taro received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for the independent film Anne Jennings. He is an active soloist and chamber musician, and has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. Taro frequently collaborates with instrumentalists and singers in presenting Classical music from the Renaissance through 20th Century, as well as venturing into Folk and World music. Taro earned both his Masters and Bachelor of Music degrees at the University of Southern California, where he studied an array of master teachers including Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant.

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RON BARNETT is the Director of Music and Sacred Arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, CA. In addition to his work as an organist, choir director, and keyboard artist, Ron is active as a composer and music educator. His choral works have been published by GIA Publications and Morning Star Music Publishers. His score for A Christmas Carol (book by Barry Kornhauser) premiered at the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, PA) in 2001. Since its recent commercial publication, the show has enjoyed several productions across the United States. A second show, Around the World in 80 Days (book and lyrics by Julianne Homokay) premiered at the Fulton Theatre in 2007. Ron’s new show When Butter Churns to Gold (book by Peter Welkin, lyrics by Randi Wolfe) had its 2015 premiere at the Northern Sky Theatre (Fish Creek, WI). Ron’s orchestrations include the productions of Bojangles (music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Sammy Cahn), Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum) and Treasure Island (music and lyrics by Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark). Sound Design credits include the Off-Broadway production of All Under Heaven starring Valerie Harper as Pearl S. Buck, and Zelda and The Last Flapper, which played in Romania and Hungary as part of the ACTIV-5 International Theatre Festival.

Announcing THE NOT QUITE PARIS CABARET

Tecopa_windmill_blogWe aren’t anywhere near the windmills of the Moulin Rouge. But for our next program, nous chanterons classic songs in cabaret style. Singers will include Ariel Pisturino, Bernardo Bermudez, and Gerald Seminatore. Guitarist Taro Wayama and violinist David Lee Ruest will join us. Keyboard artist Ron Barnett va jouer du piano.

The Not Quite Paris Cabaret
Fri. June 24, 2016    7:30 p.m.
Parish Hall, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
1020 N. Brand Blvd. Glendale, CA 91202

General admission by donation. Proceeds will benefit the work of St. Mark’s sister church and school in Haiti.

(This program repeats on June 29 in Los Angeles; see below).

 

 

The Not Quite Paris Cabaret
Weds. June 29, 2016   8:00 p.m.

MiMoDa Studio Theater
5774 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019
(Enter through Paper or Plastik Cafe)
General admission. No tickets required, donation requested (pay what you can).

More information will be shared here in the week prior to these performances.

Brian Asawa–An Appreciation

(UPDATE: A commemoration and celebration of Brian’s life and artistry will he held at the Los Angeles Opera on Sunday May 22 at 4:00 p.m.)

GERALD SEMINATORE, DMA

It’s taken me several days to process the news of Brian Asawa’s death at the age of 49. Yesterday, the New York Times published an obituary. There have already been many tributes online; here is one more to add to a chorus of sadness and regret.

75I knew Brian for more than 20 years, was in a few shows with him, and saw him in several others. I recall his work in The Coronation of Poppea at Glimmerglass and Los Angeles, Xerxes in Santa Fe and Cologne, Giulio Cesare in San Diego, and Death in Venice at the Metropolitan Opera. Perhaps my most vivid memory is his portrayal of Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Houston Grand Opera. I remember the distinguished, coiffed lady with a soft drawl who greeted me kindly when I took my seat. Her husband was a talkative man sporting cowboy boots and a bolo tie. When Brian came onstage and began to sing, I was in a reverie of sorts until the gentleman suddenly exclaimed “what the hell? It sounds like he’s been gelded!” The countertenor revolution had arrived in Texas! During the intermission, we had a pleasant conversation about the countertenor voice. I imagine there were similar conversations everywhere that Brian sang.

More recently, Brian collaborated in recitals and recordings with mezzo-soprano Diana Tash. In 2011, I heard them perform a beautiful concert together in Los Angeles with pianist Armen Guzelimian. I also heard Brian in recital programs with Victoria Kirsch, another fine pianist and collaborator. Brian once confessed to me that recitals made him a little nervous. As with many performers, he may have felt more liberated when he was in costume, and in character. I had hoped this work might point to a new career phase as a recitalist in art song and vocal chamber music. It would have been a way to extend the time he had to share his artistry with us.

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(With the Los Angeles Baroque Orchestra, photo uncredited.)

Brian and I were very different temperamentally, and we never really were close friends. For one thing, he loved house music, while I could barely tolerate it. He also pointed out to me that he was a Libra, and I was a Capricorn, which apparently meant that our personality traits were mismatched. However, I enjoyed his companionship and his hospitality on many occasions in the USA and Europe. He was always upbeat, energetic, and stimulating company. Over the years, Brian had many great successes, and also some challenges and disappointments. I learned a lot from him about the imperatives of first-rate artistry, and about the pressures of the opera world at the highest levels. He also offered me some constructive critiques of my singing, and encouragement when things got difficult in my own career. An example: I had secured a fest contract in Germany, but things were a bit rocky starting out. After singing for Brian during an impromptu consultation in Cologne, his verdict was “you are a fine Spieltenor, but for God’s sake, let me hear your real voice!” The price for this advice was a glass of Kölsch at a nearby pub. It was one of the clearest voice lessons I ever had, and the most thirst-quenching.

I am also grateful for the conversations we had over the years about vocal technique and artistry. Brian was very forthcoming with advice for teaching the countertenor and male soprano voice. My own teaching of a handful of countertenor and male soprano students was better because of that advice.

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I last saw Brian in 2013, in a Long Beach recital with my colleague Mark Salters at the piano. By then, it was clear that a transition was in progress. Brian had optimistic goals for developing a new artistic agency, for continuing to grow as a teacher, and for aging gracefully in his singing. He encouraged my aspirations for Spacious Vision, which was then just getting off the ground. We discussed collaborating on a program, but as he had many other projects underway, that was something for the future. Soon afterward, we both got caught up in the vicissitudes of our lives, and fell out of touch. Phone calls that were put off for a few weeks were eventually put off for a few years, and now he has left us.

Brian was always warm and generous to me, and occasionally he shared some of his personal challenges. Though the spotlight of an international career is glamorous, it also can be merciless. The countertenor voice had been viewed as an effeminate or pale imitation of truly “operatic” voices, and Brian was a pioneer in asserting its full-blooded legitimacy on the opera stage. He was bi-cultural, with an identity that was part American and part Japanese. As a singer of Asian heritage, his ascent in the opera world was another rarity. Brian was also openly and proudly gay, and had no reservations about sharing his sensibilities with those around him. This may not seem all that remarkable in 2016 America. In the 1990s, however, the gay community was still haunted by the spectre of HIV/AIDS, and many acclaimed artists were still in the closet. (As I write this, I also recall seeing Brian in the operatic version of Angels in America by Peter Eötvös, in Los Angeles.) Brian could be strong and fierce, but he was also sensitive and deeply vulnerable. This was especially true during the gradual dissolution of his marriage to Keith Fisher. Through it all, Brian lived a passionate life as a celebrity artist, maverick, and bon vivant. He had many friends who cared for him, and many colleagues who respected him. Alas, he was not destined for a ripe old age.

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As some readers may appreciate it, I have included a link here to a tribute essay at San Francisco Classical Voice. And a colleague of Brian’s has made a short YouTube video tribute, which is a fine introduction to his singing and artistry. (This photo by Ken Howard is from the San Diego Opera’s Giulio Cesare in 2006.)

More than once, Brian told me to keep singing for as long as I could, and never to apologize for doing so. Sometimes, we do not truly appreciate the simple gifts we receive until the givers are no longer with us. Mille grazie, domo arigato, thank you Brian!

Noble House Concert on April 23

Gerald_Taro_portrait_PPC_1Upcoming Concert!

Sat. April 23, 7:30
Noble House Concerts
5705 Noble Ave., Van Nuys, CA, 91411
(818) 780-5979

Selections from “Love’s Guitar” with Taro Wayama (guitarist) and Gerald Seminatore (tenor). Songs by Benjamin Britten, Claudio Monteverdi, and Joaquin Rodrigo, with additional solo selections played by Taro and guitarist Thomas Foster.

General admission. $15 donation requested, pay what you can.