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"Maiya is that rare musician who knows how to lead from within, perfect quality for a principal violist," said Kyu-Young Kim, the senior director of artistic planning. He called her the "perfect person for the job."
Papach is frequently featured in small ensembles and solo work. She also has been active outside the SPCO, as a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble and a frequent performer with Accordo, the Twin Cities chamber group.
Librettist Mark Campbell
As Stephen King’s sequel to “The Shining” is hitting bookshelves, Mark Campbell is busy condensing the original. The librettist is writing the book for the Minnesota Opera’s version of “The Shining,” which will premiere in May 2015.
Campbell, who just finished adapting “The Manchurian Candidate” for the Minnesota Opera and also wrote the book for its 2012 production of “Silent Night,” has experience with transforming modern texts that don’t seem to naturally lend themselves to becoming stage spectaculars. He and composer Paul Moravec are trying to remain as true as possible to King’s horror novel about a hotel caretaker battling ghosts and his own demons, putting his wife and son in peril.
“It’s very much a story about a family trying to survive impossible odds,” said Campbell, who has received King’s approval on his completed outline. “People who haven’t read the book don’t know that Jack Torrance was abused by his own father.”
Campbell said he’s holding off on violence until the second act, but that the first “is spooky, with an ending people will be talking about. There will be a big technical feat and a lot of ghosts.”
For the music, Moravec, who won a Pulitzer in 2004, said he wants to avoid what he called the melodramatic “horror pastiche” typical of films in the genre.
“The novel is actually more operatic than the movie was because it addresses fundamental, primal emotions, which is also what serious opera does,” he said. “This is a story about love,d eath and power. And by power, I mean what a character will do to get what he wants.”
While “The Shining” is classified as horror, Moravec sees it as “a beautiful story, very moving. Things about it that might not work in a straight play are perfect for opera.”
Composer Paul Moravec
Mischa Santora will direct MacPhail's Spotlight series. Photo by Ixi Chen.
Mischa Santora has added another local gig to his list of appointments. Santora, who is a former associate conductor for the Minnesota Orchestra and is serving as interim conductor for the Philharmonic Orchestra of St. Olaf College, will be artistic director for this season's MacPhail's Spotlight Series. The four programs combine classical-music performance with other art forms, such as puppetry and dance, as well as and contextual background on the pieces played and their composers.
Santora, who is also in his seventh season as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and frequently travels as a guest conductor, lives in Minneapolis.
The idea behind the MacPhail series, he said, is to "create a truly 21st-century concert-going experience. We live in such a visual society, and if we have the chance to present music in a visual context, it attracts more people to the music and enhances their understanding of it. We’re lucky to be in the Twin Cities where there are so many creative performing arts organizations to potentially work with.”
The series begins Nov. 16 with "Musical Journeys from Paris to New York," with music from Geminiani, Varese, Piaf and Gershwin, complemented by choreography by Christina Baldwin and Dominique Serrand of local theater troupe The Moving Company. On Feb. 22. 2014, "Puppets, Pranksters and Ballerinas," a program of Stravinsky and Milhaud, will feature shadow puppetry by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. Details on the March 22 "Viennese Ventures" and April 26 "Art of Improvisation" programs are still being worked out. For more: http://www.startribune.com/a2497
Ellison's letter said in part: "I am writing to respectfully urge you to end the 11-month lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and accept the interim agreement proposed by [Mitchell]."
Ellison said both management and musicians have legitimate concerns about the future of the orchestra, "which is why a neutral mediator with the skill of Senator Mitchell is so critical to this process."
Music director Osmo Vanska has said he will resign if he cannot get the orchestra back on stage by Sept. 30, in order to prepare for concerts at Carnegie Hall in November. He considers those concerts a key part of his tenure with the orchestra. Management has said for that to happen, it would need an agreement by Sunday. Musicians favor the Mitchell plan, which would end the lockout for four months while both sides negotiate.
Politicians are becoming more vocal in their thoughts on the Minnesota Orchestra situation. Gov. Mark Dayton said at a press conference Monday that the two sides (union musicians and board/management) need to start considering the impact their dispute is having on Minnesotans. Stop thinking only about yourselves, the governor essentially said.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (at left with the Orchestra in 2006), in an interview about the fate of music director Osmo Vanska, said that the two sides have to look to each other for answers, and not count on others to solve the dispute.
"Both sides have to stop looking for others to bail them out," Rybak said. "There have been many people who have stepped in over time, but all have reached the conclusion that this will only be solved by the two sides at a bargaining table. Lock yourself in a room and shut up about it until you come back with a solution. The community is disgusted and desperate."
The mayor, who helped to organize a concert celebrating the Orchestra's Grammy nomination last February, said, "We have to to have dramatic change from both sides. We are in a serious crisis."
Rybak said he has always been willing to do whatever it takes privately but that the public nature of the dispute has been corrosive.
"I'm a former reporter but the constant communication through the media has built such hostility that this cannot be solved by someone from the outside," he said.