This Week in Classical Music 8/1/17

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Yuval Sharon to be 1st American Director at Bayreuth;

SF Ballet Dancer: What it's like to be an immigrant

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It’s this week in classical Music, an update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.

Next season, Yuval Sharon will become the first American to direct a production at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany, founded by Richard Wagner in 1876 and still devoted to performing his operas.

Sharon’s new production of  “Lohengrin” will be the highlight of next year’s festival.

“At the risk of sounding really cheesy, it is a dream come true,” the 37 year old Sharon said-- “For me, Bayreuth has always been this very holy place…I’ve already had five anxiety dreams about it, so that means I’m on the right track.”

Sharon  is the founder of the experimental company  “The Industry” that produced “Hopscotch” in 2015--a complex multi-media/multi-location drama  set in and around vehicles roaming the streets of Los Angeles.

“An artwork is not a person on the barricade,” Mr. Sharon said. “But it can be the thing that led that person to the barricade…  Art is a catalyst for change.”

 

San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Dores André admits she had doubts and fears about moving to the US from Europe 12 years ago; while still a teenager Dores became a professional dancer in Italy—and then was offered an audition at the San Francisco Ballet. She got the gig and packed her bags.

“I was nervous, but I think that’s when you know you have to do things. You just do them; you don’t really let emotions get in the way,” She found herself identifying with our strong work ethic and also came to appreciate the positive, straightforward manner of most Americans.

Dores says when she’s in America, she views herself as an immigrant. But at the same time, when she’s back in Spain, she doesn’t feel entirely Spanish either.

“Having this no-identity identity is interesting because you choose to pick the right things about each culture,” she says.”I choose to be optimistic and I choose to be like Americans are in many ways. I choose not to be in other ways.”

“As an immigrant, you will encounter difficult moments,” she explains. “It’s very important to not let those moments define you. Understand that most people are not [against you], most people want to help you. Find those people and be around them. Move on and be the best you can be.”

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