The Source for Media Coverage of The Arts in Miami.
Articles, reviews, previews and features on dance and music performances and events.
Sign Up
No one logged in. Log in

Even before the election that transformed billionaire reality TV star Donald J. Trump into the 45th president of the United States, playwright Robert Schenkkan was so disturbed by the candidate’s anti-immigrant rhetoric that he decided to respond. Not with a Tweet. Not with an opinion-page essay. The Pulitzer Prize winner spoke back to candidate Trump with a full-length play. “Building..

“Baño de Luna,” written and directed by Pulitzer-prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz and presented by Arca Images and the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, marks the debut of the Spanish-language version of “Bathing in Moonlight,” the original English production that debuted at the prestigious McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, N.J., in 2016. Performed by a stellar cast in Spanish..

Rafael Nofal’s play “El tiempo de la mandarinas” (“Season for Tangerines”) tackles the very relevant and disturbing theme of human trafficking. Produced by Antiheroes Project, this moving play is in its last week at Artefactus Teatro, a well-purposed black box and gallery space in a smattering of warehouses in Kendall. Nofal’s text removes overt violence and male characters fr..

Joshua Harmon’s savagely funny “Bad Jews” is an emotional cage match set in a pricey Manhattan studio apartment. The combatants are Daphna Feygenbaum (Hannah Benitez), a soon-to-be Vassar grad who plans to move to Israel, marry a man no one in the family has met and become a rabbi, and her cousin Liam Haber (Joseph Paul Pino), a master’s degree candidate and atheist who intends to..

The play begins, as it must, with the velvet voice of Nat King Cole crooning “Mona Lisa.” After all, how many paintings inspire an Oscar-winning song? For that matter, how many masterpieces survive damage, theft and the rapacious covetousness of collectors for more than half a millennium? Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Gioconda,” popularly known as the Mona Lisa, is that inspi..

A casual conversation with a fellow theater artist prompted José Manuel Dominguez, founder and artistic director of Antiheroes Project, to produce the company’s latest piece, “El tiempo de las mandarinas,” (“Season for Tangerines”) by Argentine playwright Rafael Nofal. “I am drawn to themes of memory, dreams, and paradise lost, but for a long time I’ve wanted to do a play based on reality,” sa..

The 32nd International Hispanic Theatre Festival kicks off on Thursday, July 6 with the Mexican company Los Tristes Tigres’ irreverent spin on Shakespeare, “Algo de un tal Shakespeare” (“Something by One Shakespeare”). Founder and director Mario Ernesto Sánchez, the festival’s engine that could and still can, identifies this raucous play as part of the festival’s larger goal of attracting..

Nowadays, it’s tough not to feel worried, paranoid or in need of some escapist relief from the steady flow of oh-no-he-didn’t news out of Washington. Miami playwright Theo Reyna feels your pain. His response is “Firemen Are Rarely Necessary,” a jet-black satire now getting its Mad Cat Theatre Company world premiere at Miami Theater Center’s Sand Box. The play takes intricately aim..

Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..

Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..

Orlando Taquechel, dance critic for two decades at the El Nuevo Herald (and now a contributor to Artburst), will have a book signing and discussion of his new book, “La danza in Miami (1998-..

The name Flamenco conjures the machine-gun snap of heels, arms arched overhead, the flick of red fabric and laser-like glares from beneath the starched black brim of a Cordobes hat. At the ed..

It’s easy to believe the only excitement Miami offers in September are the dire warnings from the weather service about the approach of yet another tropical storm. However, dance lovers in Mi..

Watching Neri Torres rehearse is a study in focus and concentration. She demonstrates each step with an ease developed from years of immersion in the study and performance of Afro-Cuban ..

Miami-based organization Delou Africa has been the ambassador of African dance and drumming in South Florida for the last 30 years. It started as a performing company, and has since expanded..

Miami Beach’s old city hall on a Thursday evening in June made a surreal set up for anyone familiar with tango’s broody scene -- a large cozy room full of cheerful, laughing, and smiling..

When Ballet Flamenco La Rosa takes to the stage this weekend, it will present a program based on traditions which were handed down through the ages. A program filled with the mysteries of fl..

With every great new love, the beginning is a crucible of extremes – will it endure for decades or permanently scar?The program for Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami’sJuly 8show, “Fiebre: A N..

With a heightened emphasis on “Noise” as an innovative musical genre, this sixth installment of the Miami Performance Festival International (M/P’17), running June 23 to 25, challenges South..

Miami Music Festival Kicks Off With Some Hoffman Tales and Little Vixens

Photo:
Written by: Elizabeth Hanly
Article Rating

Just about now, even as the unsuspecting may be lounging at the beach, classical music is thundering forth in Miami. Our town’s annual eight week Miami Music Festival has begun with its offerings of some 75 performances from 250 young professionals.

This week alone the festival will present two operas – Offenbach’s “Tales of Hoffmann” and Janacek’s family-friendly “Cunning little Vixen,” as well as a traditional July 4 orchestral extravaganza.

Offenbach’s ever popular “Tales,” with its melodic rises and falls, its three stories of love and lost needs little introduction to South Floridians.

But the “Cunning Little Vixen” may be far less familiar. The work is based on a popular Czech early 20th century comic strip. Our vixen is a fox who encounters crickets and frogs and grasshoppers and a schoolteacher and a hunter, among other beasts. Ah, she is sure of herself as the opera opens. But at the end? Dancers from the Miami City Ballet also take to the stage as the vixen’s story unfolds. Michael Rossi, artistic director and festival founder, calls the opera itself as well as his production “wildly beautiful.”

Children and their families are not only welcome to share in the beauty, Rossi has fashioned a post-opera event particularly for them. He refers to it as a “petting zoo.”Kids are encouraged to come, talk to the musicians, and ‘pet’ the various orchestral instruments.

It should come as no surprise that Rossi is this interested in the young. He established the whole festival as a performing institute to help accomplished but emerging musicians -- those still early in their careers to further their craft.

It all began five years ago while Rossi, a young Washington, D.C., based orchestral conductor, was vacationing in Miami with his family. He wanted to hear live classical music; during the summer there was precious little here to be had. Meanwhile through his work with the Washington National Opera as well as his experience as a guest conductor in dozens of cities, he knew how many young musicians were hungry for more performing expertise.

Right from the start the festival was ambitious, featuring full operas, symphony recitals, zarzuelas, and chamber music ensembles, let alone evenings devoted to arias and faculty recitals. And what a faculty it is. This year’s crop includes Grammy-Award winning soprano, Christine Brewer, among dozens of others.

Applications from young musicians to perform in the festival and participate in its training have blossomed from a few hundred that first year to well over a thousand this summer. “Choosing among so much talent can be heart-breaking,” Rossi says.

If pressed to choose which part of the festival for which he feels most proud, Rossi would point to the Wagner Institute. “Wagner is its own law,” he says. “A voice needs to mature before it can take on that music. A singer needs in to be in his/her 30s or 40s. But by then vocalists are deep into their careers. There was not a place, a safe one, for accomplished vocalists to practice Wagner.” The upcoming performance of selections from the Ring Cycle on July 22 at the Arsht Center may be the high point of all the festival’s presentations.

This is not to slight the South Florida premier on July 27 of contemporary composer extraordinaire Jake Heggie’s opera “Dead Man Walking.” The work, familiar to some from the Sean Penn movie of the same title takes a hard look at the death penalty, and what forgiveness may mean.

But this week Rossi is focusing on those those operas, especially “Vixen.” Last year at the end of one of the family operas, he invited the kids to do more than “pet” the instruments. He offered a volunteer among the children a chance “to play an instrument none of them ever had.” Then he gave a seven year old who volunteered the conductor’s wand. The boy ‘played’ the entire orchestra. “He was shockingly good,” Rossi laughs. “I’m hoping to see him again.”

Miami Music Festival first week highlights:

“Tales of Hoffman,” June 29, 7:30 p.m.; July 1, 7:30 p.m.The Cunning Little Vixen,” June 30, 7:30 p.m.; July 2, 2:00 p.m. 

Independence Day Celebration: Bernstein Symphonic Dances, 1812 overture, and other patriotic favorites; July 4, 6:00 p.m.

Shepard & Ruth K. Broad Performing Arts Center, Barry University, 11300 N.E. Second Ave., Miami Shores; tickets $15-$35; miamimusicfestival.com; 305-482-3793.

 



Leave a comment...
Must be Logged in
No one logged in. Log in
Leave a comment...
Was this helpful?
No Very

Captcha Image

About The writer

El debut de Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami (DDTM) en noviembre del año pasado fué un acontecimiento artístico y un descubrimiento sumamente agradable. Una sola función en el Miami-Dade Cou..

El festival “Out in the Tropics”, patrocinado por Fundarte en conjunto con el Centro Cultural Español y el Miami Book Fair International, normalmente trae artistas del mundo LGBTQ e hispanoha..

La Gala anual de Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami (CCBM) es un evento que esperan con ansiedad los aficionados al ballet en Miami y, sobre todo, los admiradores del estilo cubano. Desde su deb..

El 11 y 12 de mayo próximo tendrá lugar en el Miami -Dade County Auditorium el estreno en Estados Unidos de Scrutiny: The World Gone Astray(en español,Escrutinio: El mundo se ha ido a la deri..

Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ..

No hay que viajar a otro país para disfrutar en vivo de la música cubana del momento, la más innovadora, la que le da la vuelta al mundo. Basta con asistir a Global Cuba Fest, aquí mismo, en ..

Nadie como el bailarín y coreógrafo español Antonio Gades para describir el arte que lo hizo internacionalmente famoso cuando vivía: “Un extracto de fuego y de veneno, eso es el flamenco”. ..

Desde Las troyanas de Eurípides hasta “Guernica” de Picasso, o de la canción “Blowing in the Wind” de Bob Dylan al diseño de las gorras rosadas que llevaron miles de mujeres en las protestas ..

En un discurso de 1977, el escritor argentino Jorge Luis Borges desmintió la idea de que la ceguera fuera un mundo de oscuridad cuando describió su propia “modesta ceguera”. Hablaba de ciert..