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.


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

Audience information for “Carols Rare and Bright” on Dec. 19 and Dec. 21

LED-Plastic-Christmas-StarFor our visitors this week, here is all the information you might need about our upcoming performances of “Carols Rare and Bright.”

During the Christmas holiday season, traditional songs and carols are heard everywhere we go. While we may enjoy or find comfort in familiar tunes, we might also wish to refresh our holiday spirit with something new or different. Our 2014 holiday concert will offer rarely heard songs and carols by composers such as Benjamin Britten, Joaquin Rodrigo, and Ralph Vaughn Williams, along with old English carols and Spanish villancicos. Tuneful and intimate carols by jazz musician Alfred Burt will add a further glow to the evening. And there will be an opportunity for everyone to sing along!

Friday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
The Salon at Elise’s Tea Room, 3924 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807
(“Main Street” in Bixby Knolls)

Sunday, Dec. 21 at 5:00 p.m
Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3740 E Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107
(East Pasadena, close to Sierra Madre)

Singers for these concerts include baritones Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Moreno, sopranos Ariel Pisturino and Susan Mohini Kane, and the critically acclaimed tenor Gerald Seminatore and pianist Kristof van Grysperre, Associate Conductor at the Long Beach Opera.

For the Dec. 19 event at Elise’s Tea Room: Tickets available only at the door. Reservations are suggested, though not required. A $20 ticket entitles the bearer to an unreserved seat, as well as tea, beverages, and an array of pastries and snacks. (A $10 student discount is available with current student ID).

A brief talk will introduce the artists and the music, and an informal reception will follow the concert. Contact the Tea Room at (562) 424-2134, or visit their website at www.elisestearoom.com for more information.

The Dec. 21 event at Trinity Presbyterian Church is a general admission event, and no tickets are required. A $20 donation is suggested, though any contribution will be gratefully accepted.

Both venues are easily accessible for visitors.

(A note for parents. While our program is certainly “family friendly,” audience members at this type of program should remain seated and quiet for the performance. If you wish to bring a younger child, please use your best judgement in this respect. We greatly appreciate your consideration.)

ABOUT THE ARTISTS (alphabetically)

American baritone Bernardo Bermudez started his musical education at the Music Conservatory of Caracas, Venezuela. He has appeared in principle operatic roles in The Barber of Seville, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Elixir of Love, The Magic Flute, Luisa Fernanda, and La Boheme. He has also sung at prestigious summer festivals such as The Music Academy of the West in California, and Opera North in New Hampshire. Bernardo’s singing has been recognized with awards from the organizations such as Opera Buffs, the Loren L. Zachary Foundation, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

A native of Belgium, Kristof van Grysperre has an international career as a pianist, chamber musician, vocal coach, and conductor. The Orange County Register has hailed his artistry as “gifted and stylistically impeccable.” Kristof has conducted more than forty operas, for companies such as Opera Pacific, Baltimore Opera Studio, Long Beach Opera, and the Thornton School of Music. At the piano, he has collaborated with many singers and instrumentalists in recital. He is currently the Associate Music Director at Long Beach Opera.

American soprano Susan Mohini Kane (DMA) has myriad credits as a soloist in concert and recital in Southern California and around the United States. She has presented many lectures on voice performance and pedagogy at national and international conferences, and published extensively on an array of topics related to the education and training of singers.

American baritone Anthony Moreno is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. His singing has been recognized with numerous awards, including an award as Regional Finalist from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a Certificate of Special Recognition from the California State Senate. He has appeared in principal roles with the Thornton Opera, and in touring programs with Cantos de Taos.

American soprano Ariel Pisturino earned the Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California, where she performed with the Thornton Opera. She has also performed with Long Beach Opera and other groups, including roles in John Adams’ Nixon in China, The Magic Flute, Carmen, and Don Giovanni. Ariel is a co-founder of the Chamber Opera Players of Los Angeles (COPLA), and the co-founding curator of the unSUNg concert series produced by LaurisList.

American tenor Gerald Seminatore began his singing career as a professional chorister with noted ensembles such as the Handel & Haydn Society and Boston Baroque. His resume includes roles with companies such as the Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Chautauqua Opera in the United States, and the Dortmund, Bremen, and Frankfurt Opera theaters in Germany. Gerald’s singing has been praised in publications such as the London Times, Opera News, and San Francisco Classical Voice, and has been recognized with awards from organizations such as the MacAllister Foundation for Opera Singers, the Metropolitan Opera National Council, and the American Aldeburgh Foundation.

For a personal contact or more information, phone or Email Gerald Seminatore at
spaciousvision@outlook.com,  (207) 200-3526

Jonathan Mack performs “The Brisk Young Widow”

There is still music from recent Spacious Vision performances to share! Over on our SoundCloud audio archive, we have a live performance by Jonathan Mack of a relatively unknown Britten folk song setting. It’s the comedic “The Brisk Young Widow,” from 1954. (The song uses a tune from Somerset, collected by Cecil Sharp in 1905). The recording is from our Nov. 2013 “Britten in Song” concert.

Click here for Jonathan’s performance. Kristof van Grysperre is at the piano. The song has several verses, and you can seem them here, or all on the SoundCloud page.

In Chester town there liv’d
A brisk young widow.
For beauty and fine clothes
None could excel her.
She was proper stout and tall,
Her fingers long and small,
She’s a comely dame withall,
She’s a brisk young widow.

A lover soon there came,
A brisk young farmer,
With his hat turn’d up all round,
Seeking to gain her.
“My dear, for love of you
This wide world I’d go through
If you will but prove true
You shall wed a farmer.”

Says she: “I’m not for you
Nor no such fellow.
I’m for a lively lad
With lands and riches,
‘Tis not your hogs and yowes
Can maintain furbelows,
My silk and satin clothes
Are all my glory”.

“O madam, don’t be coy
For all your glory,
For fear of another day
And another story.
If the world on you should frown
Your top-knot must come down
To a Lindsey-woolsey gown.
Where is then your glory?”

At last there came that way
A sooty collier,
With his hat bent down all round,
And soon he did gain her:
Whereat the farmer swore,
“The widow’s mazed, I’m sure.
I’ll never court no more
A brisk young widow!”

Jonathan Mack sings “The Salley Gardens”

From our 2013 “Britten in Song” concert at St. Mark’s in Glendale, CA, here is a video performance by tenor Jonathan Mack of “The Salley Gardens,” one of Britten’s most popular folk song settings. Jonathan’s performance perfectly captures the intimacy of the song, and his vocalism recalls (and surpasses) the classic recording by Peter Pears. Kristof Van Grysperre is at the piano. Read on for a few clues to enhance your enjoyment!

hqdefaultBackground. Down by the Salley Gardens (Irish: Gort na Saileán) is a poem by William Butler Yeats, first published in 1889. It was based on the words of an older folk song, to which Yeats added new words of his own. The tune Britten used for his 1943 setting was “The Moorlough Shore,” which Irish composer Herbert Hughes had also used for his classic 1909 setting of the Yeats poem.

Some clues. The “Salley Gardens” may have been on the banks of the river at Ballysadare near Sligo. “Salley” or “sally” is a form of the Standard English word “sallow”, i.e., a tree of the genus Salix. It is close in sound to the Irish word saileach, meaning willow.

Click here for the video of “The Salley Gardens.”

Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.
In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.