A highly sought after guest conductor with invitations coming from around the world, David Effron has a very busy schedule. His greatest interest right now, fortunately, is with the opera The Tale of Lady Thị Kính by PQ Phan. When asked to talk about his preliminary ideas about the opera, David Effron was more than willing to share. His special interest in the Vietnamese culture coupled with his favorable impression of the country from the recent visit made this interview an exceptionally enjoyable experience, hopefully even more so for the Vietnamese audience everywhere else who read it. He started the conversation without a prompt for a question, as if he has something to get off his chest. Continue reading →
The directing and staging of an opera involve the realization of numerous complicated concepts both concrete and abstract whose genesis starts with the stage director. Before any piece of wood is cut, any piece of fabric sewn, or any brush inked, stage director is one of the very first to plunge into the work. What is the story really about? What is the best rendition of it? What should the atmosphere feel like? Etc. It is the “etc.” that intrigues any serious opera lovers. They enjoy the behind-the-scenes tour as much as they appreciate any communication the stage director is willing to ‘reveal’ before the performance. Now, you read here first: Stage Director Vince Liotta exposing “Lady Thị Kính.”
Lantuat Nguen is the first Vietnamese Russian ever to have received the title of “Honored Artist of the Russian Federation” – the highest honor possible for an artist presented by the Russian President. This title earned him privileges only the prestigious in Russia can enjoy, including premium healthcare and a yearly 2-week spa-like treatment health sabbatical at a state-owned facility reserved for government officials for extensive checkup.
Given the glittering, some rust shows on the other side of this old gold coin: his subsistent salary over the years has not allowed him to pay visit to the US as he wished. In 2011, however, things changed when the Novosibirsk Music Conservatory where Lantuat works was recognized as the third largest State level Conservatory and his salary doubled. Lantuat saved for a year to realize his dream visit to America in July 2012. This land of abundance surprised and shocked him from the ridiculous, to the sublime. Continue reading →