Thursday, August 6, 2009

St Philip organ update

The new Paul Fritts organ for St Philip is coming right along, with installation scheduled for the end of this year. Here's a computer model of how it will look in the space, with the proposed painted walls and ceiling of the rear bay. The exact color is to be determined, to complement the mosaic wall in front of the church. Thanks to Sixto for his work on this model! More pics from our recent visit to Paul's shop in Tacoma are at St Philip organ.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Judith Leyster at the National Gallery

Our nation's capital had an abundance of 17th-century art on display last week, from Monteverdi at Wolf Trap to the beautiful Judith Leyster exhibit at the National Gallery. Leyster was a rarity for her time: a prodigiously gifted female artist, who left only a handful of pieces. This self-portrait suggests a spirited and fun-loving character, one who might have done more had she not gotten married and run a household. At the very least, her work puts in perspective that of her contemporaries, by whom she is lovingly surrounded in this wonderful show. It's on view until the end of November, so if you happen to be in DC...

Monteverdi at Wolf Trap

A new production of "Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria" at Wolf Trap was reason enough for a quick trip to Washington DC this week. Standouts among the huge cast of singers were Ava Pine and Jamie Barton , two Ars Lyrica favorites who return to Houston for our New Year's Eve program this coming season. Jamie gave a powerful performance as Penelope, the long-suffering spouse of the absent Ulysses, while Ava sparkled as Minerva, one of the gods who does mischief and good deeds in more or less equal measure in this complicated story of love and patience. Here are pics of both in action.

I was also delighted to see UH graduate Carlos Monzon in the cast, as one of Penelope's suitors in a hilarious bit of theatrical naughtiness in Act III. Tuesday's show was, alas, the final performance of this amazing work, but Houston friends will have the opportunity to hear Ava and Jamie soon!