photo by Just Lorraine PhotoCGFD@aol.com
Ocean Aires Eleven – Classical Goes to the
– by Sherri Rase
Steven Vaughan’s annual labor of love is now in its eleventh outing. Classical
Music at the Movies was this year’s theme with our perennially lovely
in her raven, beaded Act One gown, Philomena swept across the stage with
dynamic flare. The stage was
bedecked with flower plants and trees courtesy of Michael at Garden Grove and
Isaac with Eric Martin played in our own newly crowned Homecoming Queen, Urban
Sprawl, with a florid version of “God Save the Queen”. Waving urbanely to the crowd, our Queen
opened the festivities with a flourish.
George McGarvey’s tender rendition of “Lungi dal caro bene” accompanied by Isaac on piano was a refreshing way to
begin the concert. Warm and humid
outside, cool inside, George’s rendition of the work that Rufus Wainright made famous in film, accompanied by his winning
smile, brought everyone’s attention forward.
Jacqueline Jonee’s virtuosity was beautifully visible in her
performance of “An der schonen blauen Donau”, by
Strauss. You may recall this piece
from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but I
will recall it for the deft tintinnabulation as Jacqueline’s fingers moved
lightly over the keys. Bedecked in
a sumptuous black and silver beaded dress, she was a constellation of
Rosemary Palladino performed a beautiful rendition of “M’appari (Ah, so fair)” from von Flotow’s opera “Martha”. Her heartfelt
performance called to mind the joys of late spring, which are multiplied with
the contemplation of the charms of the one you love.
Bainbridge made a triumphant return to Ocean Aires with a performance of
Satie’s Gymnopedie. The soothing sounds were an excellent programming
counterpoint to the flanking selections.
duet from “The Pearl Fishers” was ably done by Cherry Grove resident Eric
Coyne’s resonant bass deliciously contrasting with David Ekstrom’s beautiful tenor. Gene Rohrer
provided bravura accompaniment on this Act One closer where two men determine
that their passion for the same woman is not going to come between their friendship. Hmmm, the mind reels!
brief intermission, David Auxier, baritone, returns
to Ocean Aires with Chris-Ian Sanchez’s as tenor on the delightful duet “We’re
Called the Gondoliers” that many sharp filmophiles may recall from “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. This well matched duo sang with brio and great verve, with Eric Martin providing piano
joined by Isaac for their performance of Ivanovici’s Donauellen with
Isaac performing on the accordion. Eric’s piano line and Isaac’s accordion line
moved around one another like a German version of a tango, in beautiful motion.
Herrmann’s excerpt from the opera that never was, “Salaambo’s Aria” from Citizen Kane, was given a
new twist by soprano Sherri Rase (yep, that’s
me). Gene Rohrer supplied an
orchestra’s worth of drama in a piano transcription, with the penultimate high
C being accompanied by an airhorn, in homage to the
movie from whence it came. There
is no commercially available music for this, so much gratitude is lavished on
both the original transcription-ist as well as Gene
for everything from phonetic Phrench to expert
Perry, a staple of Ocean Aires, played Rachmaninoff’s “Elegy, Opus 3, Number 1”
with a restrained fire and passion. Clarence provided freshness after the drama of the previous number and
finale of the evening was Rossini’s “Duetto buffo di due gatti” with Ruth and Susan Freedner as our Prima Felinas. They were accosted variously by David Auxier and Chris-Ian Sanchez as carousing stray-Toms
complete with wine bottles and then Eric Coyne and David Ekstrom as Toms with a different agenda. Both pairs were soundly rejected with much hissing and spitting from our
twin Divinas! Ultimately, the feline serenade, with all dramatis personae sporting rhinestone embellished – what else
– cat eye spectacles and all ended in tonal, if not dramatic accord.
and accolades were made and the audience and cast mingled at a post-concert
champagne reception with some most amazing strawberries. Many thanks to Isaac Steven Vaughan and
the Arts Project of Cherry Grove, Jane Haber show liaison. It was a most memorable evening with
moments we will never forget.
calendars for next year when Isaac brings Ocean
Aires – the Dirty Dozen. Twelve classical artists direct from the beach, still covered with sand
and oil….mmm, I can hear the ocean already!