SONGS FOR THE NATIVITY Program Information

TIME: Sunday, Dec. 20, 4:00 pm
VENUE: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1020 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA

PROGRAM: Something a little different than arrangements or covers of the same handful of classics. We will present rarely heard holiday-themed songs and arias by J.S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Michael Head, Joaquin Rodrigo, Peter Warlock, Ralph Vaughn Williams and others, as well as Spanish villancicos, carols by Alfred Burt, and a few American standards for audience participation! The ambience of historic St. Mark’s Church provides a superb and intimate setting for this unusual program, performed by three acclaimed singers, a pianist, and a guitarist.

TICKETS: There is no pre-sale of tickets. General admission / open seating by donation. $20 is suggested, but any amount will be greatly appreciated. Cash preferred, checks accepted.

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

Scroll down to learn more about the artists. We hope to greet you personally at the concert!

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Tenor GERALD SEMINATORE is the 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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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 since performed with the Long Beach Opera and other regional opera 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. Upcoming roles include 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 Delos Records release “Terrain of the Heart” by composer Mark Abel, released in 2014.

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E_Scott_Levin_headshotBass-Baritone E. SCOTT LEVIN completed graduate studies at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He began his singing career in St. Louis, where he sang in over twenty productions with Union Avenue Opera. Since moving to Los Angeles, Scott has performed regularly with the Pacific Opera Project, and also appeared with Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Celestial Opera, Center Stage Opera, and the Redlands Opera Theater. This season he made his debut as the Sacristan in Tosca with the Townsend/Fresno Opera, and his Los Angeles Opera “Off-Grand” debut as Babayan (Bartolo) in Figaro 90210! Most recently, Scott had his Los Angeles Opera main stage debut as Dr. Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi, starring Placido Domingo and directed by Woody Allen. Scott is also the co-founder of Chamber Opera Players of LA (COPOLA).

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Taro_portrait_cropped_webTARO 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 a 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 with Pepe Romero, William Kannengiser, James Smith, Brian Head, and Scott Tennant.

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RON BARNETT is the Director of Music and Sacred Arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
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 Fulton 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 has also scored over two dozen shows for regional children’s theatre, some of which have toured nationally, been performed at the Producer’s Association of Children’s Theatre in NYC and the Kennedy Center in Washington, and been nominated for TCG awards. Ron’s orchestrations include the world premiere 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 has played in Romania and Hungary as part of an ACTIV-5 international theatre festival.

Songs for the Nativity

Our Dec. 20, 2015 concert Songs for the Nativity will feature Los Angeles singers E. Scott Levin (baritone), Ariel Pisturino (soprano), and Gerald Seminatore (tenor), along with Ron Barnett (piano and organ) and Taro Wayama (guitar). The program will include rare arias and songs by J.S. Bach, John Jacob Niles, Joaquin Rodrigo, Ralph Vaughn Williams and others, as well as medieval carols and a few audience sing-along favorites. If you are in the Glendale area, mark your calendars now! (Details on the promotional image below.)

Shepherds graphic with bold text 8.52 5.47 13 pt type

2015 Holiday Program

led-christmas-starSpacious Vision returns with a holiday-themed program at 4:00 pm on Dec. 20, 2015 at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, CA. Scheduled singers include baritone Bernardo Bermudez, soprano Ariel Pisturino, and tenor Gerald Seminatore. Guitarist Taro Wayama and Saint Mark’s music director and organist Ron Barnett will join them for a program of rare and beautiful songs and carols, as well a special musical poem celebrating the Night Before Christmas. More details will appear here after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Concert film: Gerald Seminatore and Taro Wayama perform songs of John Dowland

On their April 2015 concert at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, guitarist Taro Wayama and tenor Gerald Seminatore opened the program with three “ayres” by English lutenist John Dowland (1563-1626). These songs from the twilight of the Elizabethan era are wonderfully expressive examples of the conventions of courtly love in art music.

Gerald_Taro_portrait_PPC_1Awake, sweet love
Flow my tears
Can she excuse my wrongs?

Click here to view.

(YouTube will open in a new page.)

Taro Wayama and Gerald Seminatore perform April 29 in Pasadena

On Wednesday, April 29, guitarist Taro Wayama and tenor Gerald Seminatore will be hosted by the Friends of Music at the Pasadena Presbyterian Church. The program will include selections by Benjamin Britten, John Dowland, and Franz Schubert. pasadena-presbyterian

12:10-12:45 pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church
585 East Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101

Free admission. Donations to the Friends of Music will be gratefully accepted.


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

210795_212480025436007_6947082_oGuitarist and composer Taro Wayama was born in Japan. He earned both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California, where his teachers included Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant. Taro is a winner of numerous competitions, including first place in the Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and second place in the Thailand’s International Guitar Competition. As a composer, he received the award for “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for his work on the independent film “Anne Jennings.” Taro produces the classical music series for Noble House Concerts in Van Nuys, and he is an active member and performer of the Ventura Classical Guitar Society. He also performs with guitarist Thomas Foster as part of Duo Ex Ovo. The duo works with the Los Angeles Public Library and other libraries and community organizations to promote an interest in live music through concerts, lectures, and teaching activities.

gerald_seminatoreAmerican tenor Gerald Seminatore began his 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 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. Further engagements in Europe include the Bremen Opera, the opera of Frankfurt am Main, and the Pfalztheater in Kaiserslautern. Gerald’s concert performances have included appearances as a soloist with many orchestras and choral ensembles, and he has many song recitals throughout the United States and Europe to his credit. His work has been recognized with numerous awards, and praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice.

2001 A SoundCloud Odyssey

5269444_300For science fiction fans, today’s post may seem, well, clever. As of today, we have had 2,001 plays on our SoundCloud channel. This is a something of a virtual milestone for the Spacious Vision project. If you haven’t checked out our channel, we invite you to do so at www.soundcloud.com/spacious-vision.

Spacious Vision programs are planned and presented one at a time. Two new programs are in the works, and details will be announced soon. Thanks for visiting!

Two Villancicos, sung by Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Moreno

pianoFor our 2014 program “Carols Rare and Bright,” Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Moreno sang rarely performed villancicos (Spanish language Christmas songs). These wonderful songs deserve a wider audience, and here are two selections from our salon at Elise’s in Long Beach, CA. For this concert, Kristof Van Grysperre played a restored Hamburg Steinway grand piano from 1890.

JUAN PLAZA (1898-1965, Venezuela)

“Trinan las aves” (The Birds Sing)
Sung by Bernardo Bermudez

The birds sing with great joy;
They announce that
Jesus the Messiah is coming.
The prairie prepares itself,
Putting on a gallant dress of
Colorful flowers.

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JOAQUÍN RODRIGO  (1901-99, Spain)

“Colplillas de Belen” (Carols of Bethlehem)
Sung by Anthony Moreno

If the palm tree knew that
A star had fallen from heaven
To light a child sleeping
In a stable, it would offer
Its green leaves to fan
The baby in its cradle.

The Virgin prays and sings,
And the baby smiles sweetly.
How sorrowful the palm tree
Would be, if it knew what was
Yet to come.

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A playlist of selections from “Carols Rare and Bright” is available at the Spacious Vision channel on the SoundCloud music service. Videos from past programs may also be viewed at the Spacious Vision YouTube channel.

Guitarist Taro Wayama and tenor Gerald Seminatore perform for Noble House Concerts

We begin the New Year by introducing a new collaborator, guitarist Taro Wayama.

Taro is a Japanese born guitarist and composer. He is a winner of numerous competitions, such as the top prize in the 2003 Aron Green/American String Teachers Association Guitar Competition, and 2nd place in the Thailand International Guitar Competition. Taro has performed in Japan, Thailand, Canada, and the US. As a composer he received “Best Original Score” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards for an independent film, “Anne Jennings”. Taro holds Master’s and Bachelor of Music degrees from the University of Southern California, where his teachers included Pepe Romero and Scott Tennant.

Taro and tenor Gerald Seminatore will perform as part of the Noble House Concerts Classical Series. Selections will include songs by Benjamin Britten, John Dowland, and Morton Lauridsen. This concert also features Kozue Mutsumoto (koto), Jennifer Ingertila (flute), David LR (violin), and Thomas Foster (guitar), with repertoire TBA.

Saturday, January 24, 7:30 p.m. in Sherman Oaks, CA.
Suggested donation: $15 per person. Refreshments are served by the concert hosts.

To make a seating reservation and receive directions to the venue, contact Barbara Greenspan via Email at barb@noblehouseconcerts.com, or call (818) 780-5979.


Upcoming Webcasts of “Carols Rare and Bright” on Jan. 1, 3

SV_Elises_Group_PhotoThe audience response to “Carols Rare and Bright” was so enthusiastic, we have decided to air a Webcast of the program on Jan. 1 and Jan. 3.

“Carols Rare and Bright” features rarely heard solo songs and carols from composers such as Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughn Williams, and Joaquin Rodrigo. A highlight of the concert are performances of carols by jazz musician Alfred Burt. This music is still very much in season; after all, Twelfth Night (the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas) does not fall until Jan. 5!

Singers for these concerts are baritones Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Moreno, sopranos Ariel Pisturino and Susan Mohini Kane, and the critically acclaimed tenor Gerald Seminatore. Pianist Kristof van Grysperre, Associate Conductor at the Long Beach Opera, presides over the program. This is an extraordinary lineup of vocal and musical talent!

New Year’s Day broadcast: Jan. 1, 2015, 7:30 pm EST (4:30 Pacific)

Re-broadcast: Jan. 3, 2015, 10:30 pm EST (7:30 Pacific)

(The program is approximately 90 minutes, with an intermission.)

The printed program may viewed or downloaded by clicking here: SV_Carols_program_abridged

To view a broadcast online, you need a reliable Internet connection. Click on the link below, and then create a Concert Window login. It’s a quick and easy thing to do. This is a “pay what you want” event; the minimum ticket price of $1 allows us to track the number of visitors and viewers. However, we suggest a donation of at least $10 so that we might recoup some of the expenses involved with producing this program. You can also leave a “Tip” at any time during the concert.

https://www.concertwindow.com/74239-spacious-vision-song-project

We hope that you will stop by this event, so that we can share some heartfelt singing with you!

Happy Holidays to our Visitors

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Our special Christmas holiday program “Carols Rare and Bright” was enthusiastically received by our audiences in both Long Beach and Pasadena. Here we are warming up for the concert! From left to right: Susan Kane, Ariel Pisturino, Gerald Seminatore, Bernardo Bermudez, and Anthony Moreno. Maestro Kristof Van Grypserre is behind us at the piano.

We also want to thank Spacious Vision artists who appeared with us earlier this year: Arnold Geis, Katie Martin, and Mark Salters.

We will have some audio and video files to share from the concert, and will share that information here as soon as available. Best wishes to all for a Happy Hanuakkah, a Merry Christmas, and any version of the holiday you celebrate. May 2015 be a very happy and musically rich year for all of us!