Your mission, should you decide to accept it...

21Nov
November 21st 2009

operamission, that is…

Stage a concert of Handel scenes in a hotel lobby. Impossible, you say? Well, the inimitable and indefatigable Jennifer Peterson (conductor, vocal coach and self-proclaimed Handel nut) did that just last night at the Gershwin Hotel.

operamission is a new organization founded by Peterson as a laboratory and presenter of the neglected bookends of the operatic continuum—early and contemporary. I've had the privilege of working with Jennifer a number of times over the last few years and think she's really on to something. So, shower her with admiration and dollars and keep your eyes on this new venture. Good things are sure to come—perhaps even an opera or two by yours truly.

The concert was exceptional and worked surprisingly well in the space, despite whatever one might expect given the setting. Peterson and crew deftly accomplished the evening's mission of highlighting the power and skill behind Handel's dramatic works. Good ol' George could use a few more of such skilled proponents.

The Gershwin Hotel, by the way, is an interesting new entrant into the contemporary arts scene, also worth keeping an eye on. How many hotels do you know of that have artists-in-residence and present live performances in their lobby? I first came to hear of their artistic inclinations by receiving an invitation to a performance in the lobby restrooms. Yes, dear reader, that is correct. None other than the uniquely talented Yanira Castro would dare.

There was, as far as I know, no opera in the restrooms last night. Though, that would be intriguing…

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