Kennedy Center’s Lucky Pre-shutdown Timing: Makeover For Concert Hall, Nso Black-tie Gala

Opera Delaware will present a staged version of “L’elisir” next week; cast and conductor, in effect, got the advantage of having a couple extra run-throughs of the piece in Baltimore. The singers had the score in their heads (no music stands for this performance, as has often been the case). And, having been through some of the staging rehearsals for Wilmington, the cast easily tossed in a lot of acting (and inter-acting) here. The performance was anything but a mere concert. I was especially interested to hear William Davenport again. The tenor showed unusual promise when he was a Peabody Conservatory student not that long ago. Judging by the confidence he demonstrated in his portrayal of lovesick Nemorino in “L’elisir,” it seems that Davenport is settling into the profession nicely. In terms of styling, the singer is a natural, attentive to text and the shape of phrases; “Una furtiva lagrima” was elegantly molded. I was a little disappointed, however, in Davenport’s tone. I often wanted to hear more warmth and evenness to complement fully the admirable musicality. Still, this guy clearly has something. So does Trevor Scheunemann, whose hearty baritone and delectably colorful phrasing fleshed out the role of the pompous Belcore. A classy performance all around.

Ben Speaks concert in Medway to honor suicide victims, bring community together

5. The concert will feature a performance by children of Open Fields, a musical theatre group from Dover, as well as performances from other local musicians, including Giovangelo herself. Tickets are $25 and are available at www.benspeaks.org or at the door. All proceeds support ongoing services and to develop programs that support youth and families in the Greater Boston Area. Zachary Comeau can be reached at 508-634-7556 and zcomeau@wickedlocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZComeau_MDN. Ever since Judy Giovangelos son, Ben, took his own life, she has worked to help teens from making self-destructive decisions such as using drugs and alcohol. Five months after her sons April 2009 death, Giovangelo started a nonprofit organization called “Ben Speaks Louder Than Words,” which focuses on preventing teen suicide and providing methods to help teens cope with their problems. Each year since, Ben Speaks organizes an event – A Concert to Remember, which Giovangelo calls a “healing concert for families, using the very powerful medium of music.” The concert was first held at the New England Chapel in Franklin, and at the New England Baptist Church in Newton the previous two years. This Saturday the event will be held at the place where Giovangelo, now the executive director of Ben Speaks, said her son was a target of bullying Medway High School. “As a mother, you can imagine I had to go through my own process and kind of pulled out of Medway,” Giovangelo said. Although Ben Speaks has grown “exponentially,” in four years, Giovangelo said the organization is “very homegrown.” The youth board advisors, she said, meet every other week at Medway Public Library. But holding an event in the same building and town where her son was bullied until he took his own life, she said, will be very different. “Its going to be very healing for my family and me,” she said.

Verdi, Puccini, Poulenc for 2013-2014 season at the Lyric

He started by pointing out the fresh coat of paint in the Concert Hall, the first renovation in 16 years. Music director Christoph Eschenbach at the National Symphony Orchestras season opener Sunday night. (Scott Suchman/National Symphony Orchestra) I want to thank the federal government for paying for it, Rubenstein told the audience Sunday night. And I want to thank the painters for finishing before tomorrow night. The timing, he admitted to laughter, was dumb luck. The gala concert was scheduled more than a year ago, so the $1 million repair and paint job (white, silver, and gold, which nicely matched the NSOs gleaming new organ) was completed over the summer long before a government shutdown threatened the national arts complex. Yo-Yo Ma and Cameron Carpenter. (Margot Schulman) The Kennedy Center has an unusual relationship with the feds: The government pays for the building, grounds and upkeep; private donations pay for performances, staff and other programs, explained spokesman John Dow. The shutdown contingency plans allow concerts, shows and educational programs to continue, but tours will be suspended and the building closed until an hour before evening performances. Of the centers 1,200 full and part-time employees, about 50 are directly impacted by the government going out of business. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts chats with Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein at the gala. (Margot Schulman) Which gave the annual NSO gala a certain fin de siecle vibe: VIP patrons (including Justices John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy) in gowns and tuxedos, a post-performance dinner and dancing in a candlelit tent, music lovers clustered around cellist Yo-Yo Ma, organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter (steampunk classical in a mohawk, feathered Victorian cravat and rhinestone boots), and conductor Christoph Eschenbach. The gala, chaired by former General Dynamics president Jay Johnson and Sydney Johnson, raised $1.3 million for the NSOs educational programs. Oh, and Rubenstein has a proposal for those warring factions on the Hill. As all of you have heard, music can be beautiful, he said. It can soothe people and make them feel better.