Posted on May 19, 2017
June may well be referred to as Mainly Mozart month, filled with an amazing array of enticing events. Consider “The Work at Hand” that opens the 2017 Mainly Mozart Festival June 2 at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, expressing the theme “Beauty Through Adversity: Finding One’s Voice.” This chamber work by noted American opera composer Jake Heggie had its origin in unpublished poetry by Laura Morefield.
Heggie, composer of “Moby-Dick” and “Dead Man Walking,” involved a cellist, mezzo soprano, and pianist when creating the piece. In addition to the remarkable poem and score, there is a San Diego connection: Morefield’s mother is San Diego writer Charlene Baldridge. Heggie was so inspired by Morefield’s poem, he set “The Work at Hand” to music, describing it as “magnificent, powerful, illuminating, shattering poetry,” also noting her “shimmering reconnection to nature.” Music director Michael Francis observed, “You feel that the cello is saying the bits that Laura couldn’t say in words.” This very moving concert will be repeated June 3 at The Scripps Research Institute Auditorium in La Jolla.
There are additional chamber music performances scheduled as part of the MM Spotlight series, at The Auditorium at TSRI on June 23 and at Schulman Auditorium in Dove Library on June 25 at 2:30pm, as well as at the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club the same date at 6pm. The chamber music concerts bookend the entire six-pronged Mainly Mozart Festival.
Of the five other MM components, in addition to the Spotlight Chamber Music series, the best known is the All-Star Festival Orchestra, which will perform in the historic Balboa Theatre June 10 to 24, playing concerts featuring Maestro Francis. The festival will deliver another year of a promised Mozartean journey. A third element is titled “Mozart Genius Weekend.” Music & the Mind, part of the Genius Weekend, will be based at the Marriott Hotel in La Jolla June 9-11. This three-day gathering will bring together international experts in neuroscience research, neurotechnology, and music therapy to address the significant role music plays in life, particularly in areas of cognitive and physical challenges. One- and three-day weekend passes are available for purchase.
Highlighting the Genius Weekend, renowned scientist Walter Munk will be honored. Meanwhile, over at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, music devotees will fill the audience space June 11 for “San Diego Makes Music.” Providing the fourth Festival element, the MM Youth Orchestra will be showcased at the Balboa Theatre on June 4 and 8. The sixth prong of the festival is a very special two-day Mainly Mozart in Mexico cultural music trip planned for June 18-19. Availability is extremely limited. 619.239.0100, mainlymozart.org Darlene G. Davies