Spend a “Weill” with the Redwood Symphony on Saturday night

mahog1By Ande Jacobson

The Redwood Symphony is opening its 2016-2017 season by going into new musical territory (for this orchestra anyway). Saturday night’s season opener will be a partially staged, fully orchestrated performance of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s satirical, political operatic assault – Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Mahagonny was first presented in its entirety in 1930, though a smaller concert work featuring a subset of the songs debuted a few years before. The full work, which will be sung in English, lampoons both opera and politics, the latter being particularly relevant today. Maestro Kujawsky had the privilege of playing in the orchestra for a production of this opera while in graduate school and has looked forward to someday conducting it himself. He carefully selected this program slot as the perfect time to realize his dream. Continue reading

Redwood Symphony presents a musical mob of Mahler magic this July

mahler-symp-8By Ande Jacobson

This event is going to be big, so big in fact, that the Redwood Symphony’s normal home at Can᷉ada College can’t contain the excitement, or the ensemble. As a result, the San Mateo Performing Arts Center will welcome the expanded orchestra – including far more woodwinds than are usually seen, an extra brass band, two harps, a mandolin, and an organ – combined with vocals from the Masterworks Chorale, the Bay Area Festival Chorus, a renowned children’s chorus, and eight exceptional vocal soloists for one night only on Saturday, 30 July 2016. All told, over 200 musicians will grace the stage for this extravaganza. This musical mob will present Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major, nicknamed the “Symphony of a Thousand”. Continue reading