Overtures: Notes on the classical scene

NOTE: With this, we begin a new regular column, Overtures by Gregory Sullivan Isaacs — an overview of the month ahead in the classical music scene in North Texas of interest to the gay community. It will run occasional Fridays in place of The Week’s Takeaways.

January starts with an overloaded Saturday (Jan 5). First, the Metropolitan Opera’s HD broadcasts presents Berlioz’s six hour long opera Les Troyens starring Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham and Marcello Giordani starting at 11 a.m.; check out the Met website  for a list of local theaters that will screen it. This opera is almost never produced because it is such a monster and so long, so this is a rare chance to see it.

That same afternoon, the Fort Worth’s chamber music society will present Gregory Raden, principal clarinetist with the Dallas Symphony, in a recital at the Modern Art Museum with Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Silver Medalist in the 2001 Cliburn competition. Both are superb artists and Raden gets my vote for the best clarinetist of his generation. That evening, the Fort Worth Symphony presents none other than gay icon and super diva Bernadette Peters at Bass Hall. A planning suggestion: Hit the recital early, have dinner in Fort Worth and then cross to Bass to listen to La Peters, and catch the encore screening of the opera on Jan. 23 (6:30 p.m.).

The Dallas Symphony continues it conservative offerings Jan. 10–13, but gussies it up with the glamorous violinist Nicola Benedetti playing the Tchaikovsky concerto, paired with Brahms’ first symphony. Pablo González is the guest conductor. Yawn. The rest of the month, the DSO presents a two concert Mozart miniseries. Wow — there’s an original idea.

Things are somewhat better at the Fort Worth Symphony. Jan. 11–13 is the most interesting concert musically, with a performance of Richard Strauss’ Don Quixote with Brinton Averil Smith, their handsome former principal cellist, doing the honors. Cliburn also brings in gay composer John Bucchino for a performance at the Modern Art Museum on Jan. 19. Then get out your ruby slippers Jan. 25–27 as the FWSO screens The Wizard of Oz with the orchestra playing the Oscar-winning score live.

Voices of Change always presents is a fascinating journey into the music of our time, and their concert on Jan. 20 at 2:30 p.m. at SMU’s Caruth Auditorium is no exception. Show up at 1:30 to hear the always-intriguing Laurie Shulman give a preview.

Lastly, on Jan. 28, the Cliburn at the Bass Series will present a recital by pianist Radu Lupu, who won the second Cliburn competition and went on to achieve legendary status.

— Gregory Sullivan Isaacs 

—  admin

Starvoice • 08.12.11

By Jack Fertig


Madonna turns 53 on Tuesday. The Queen of Pop is back in the studio working on her 12th album. She’s kept busy outside the music industry by opening her Hard Candy Fitness gyms and directing the film W.E., about the love story between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson set for release this December.



Good news: The sun, Mercury and Venus lining up in Leo promote bold, fun, flirtations and creative efforts. Bad news: Mars in Cancer in semi-square to those three undermine confidence and promote ill-considered aggressive efforts. Solution: Be willing to be vulnerable, start amorous overtures with a meal (or share some candy).


LEO  Jul 23-Aug 22
Are you fully as bold and confident as you appear or are you covering some hurt, some fear? True courage would welcome a confidant to help resolve that hidden pain.

VIRGO  Aug 23-Sep 22
Friends disappoint you; they’re only human. You disappoint them, too. At some point it’s about forgiveness. Extend that sense of charity. Recruit your pals to help the poor and hungry.

LIBRA  Sep 23-Oct 22
Problems at work complicate your long-term plans. Some backtracking is necessary to correct your course. If your boss is wrong, remember who’s the boss. Be critical, but be tactful.

SCORPIO  Oct 23-Nov 21
Opportunities open up for you. Be careful of distractions and half-baked innovations. Your challenge is to state your opinion with flexibility, without looking wishy-washy or sycophantic.

SAGITTARIUS  Nov 22-Dec 20
Your love of loquacity is cranked up to full blast. You might be even more entertaining than you think. Listening quietly lets you be the one to get the deep insights.

CAPRICORN  Dec 21-Jan 19
You’re a tiger in bed. Your partner may prefer a kitten. Negotiating something mutually satisfying could be very difficult. Being humble is a challenge now, but is sure to have benefits later.

AQUARIUS  Jan 20-Feb 18
It’s no news that your mouth makes trouble. Just keep your brain ahead of it and do not reveal your partner’s secrets. Thinking ahead is what you do best. Apply that foresight in the present.

PISCES  Feb 19-Mar 19
Trying to make work fun backfires badly. Concentrate on the work and take pride in doing the best you can. Communication with colleagues gets easily confused. Keep it clear and simple.
ARIES  Mar 20-Apr 19
Those voices from your childhood saying “you can’t” are correct. Some, not all. Make a list of your talents and weaknesses. Improve where you can and forge ahead with your strengths.

TAURUS  Apr 20-May 20
Take the lead on events. People flake. Work around that and forgive them. Sharing a goal doesn’t mean they have your level of enthusiasm. Accept their contributions with good grace.

GEMINI  May 21-Jun 20
Idle chatter and gossip can be fun, but what do you really want to discuss? What did you want to learn as a child but never got around to? It’s never too late.

CANCER  Jun 21-Jul 22
Whether you take one step back from the counter or 12 steps is up to you. Where is your ego wounded? You already have what you need to heal that. Consider your strengths and resources.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 12, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens