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Archive for Sunday, November 17, 2002

s fall concert features works by opera composers

November 17, 2002

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The mere mention of "opera" conjures images in many people's minds of the proverbial "fat lady" belting out Italian arias in a robust soprano.

But the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra will delete the vocal from the mix at its concert this afternoon. The performance, under the direction of guest conductor Alison Gaines, will highlight instrumental works of opera composers spanning nearly two centuries and a handful of European countries.

The program will include PucciniâÂÂs âÂÂCrisantemi,â RossiniâÂÂs âÂÂSignor Bruschino Overture,â Faurà ©âÂÂs âÂÂPavane,â HandelâÂÂs Entrance of the Queen of Sheba from âÂÂSolomon,â VerdiâÂÂs Prelude to Act 3 from âÂÂLa traviata,â MascagniâÂÂs Intermezzo from âÂÂCavalleria rusticanaâ and Benjamin BrittenâÂÂs âÂÂSoirà ©es musicales.âÂÂ

âÂÂTheyâÂÂre not all from an opera, but the people who wrote them are known as opera composers,â Gaines said.

âÂÂA lot of the music is going to be very familiar to people.âÂÂ

Gaines will give a preconcert lecture about the works on the program at 1:15 p.m. the day of the performance.

The concert also will feature Lithuanian violinist Aleksandr Snytkin, a Kansas University doctoral student, playing MozartâÂÂs âÂÂViolin Concerto No. 3.âÂÂ

Snytkin is studying under KU violin professor Ben Sayevich, also a Lithuanian native. Snytkin recently won first prize in the Springfield (Mo.) Symphony concerto competition. Earlier this fall, he performed as a guest artist with the quartet Accorda in Kansas City. He began his musical education at age 7 and ultimately received his bachelorâÂÂs and masterâÂÂs degrees from the Lithuanian Academy of Music, the school with which KUâÂÂs School of Fine Arts is finalizing a formal exchange program.

Gaines is the assistant conductor of the Kansas University Symphony Orchestra and is beginning her third year as music director of the Benedictine/Atchison Community Orchestra. She recently was appointed music director of the Philharmonia Orchestra (north of Kansas City.)

Gaines, herself a musician, was principal bassist of the Tulsa Philharmonic and has performed with the New York String Ensemble, Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony and the Spoleto (Italy) Opera Festival. She also has played with the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra.

âÂÂThe good thing about being a guest conductor and not music director is that you do jump into the musical part right away and give them a chance to get used to you,â she said of her conducting work with the Lawrence orchestra. âÂÂBut as far as administration and logistics, you donâÂÂt have to worry about that.âÂÂ

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