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Oropesa wins 2nd big Prize;
Autistic Boy's "Wow" after Mozart
It’s “This Week in Classical Music”—an update on what’s happening in the classical music world—I’m Randy Kinkel.
The Metropolitan Opera has named Lisette Oropesa the 2019 recipient of the Beverly Sills Artist Award, that’s justone month after the soprano was announced this year's Richard Tucker Award honoree. Both awards come with a $50,000 prize.
Oropesa, a Baton Rouge native, made her Met debut in Idomeneo in 2006, later taking on roles at the house in Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, Werther, and Falstaff. She will return to the Met in the 2019–2020 season for two title roles: Manon in the fall and, in the spring, La Traviata's Violetta.
“This award honors one of the great American icons of opera. Growing up, I idolized Beverly Sills for her lovable personality, her unmatched stage presence, and her extraordinary singing,.” Oropesa said. “I have the privilege of performing two of her most distinguished roles next season at the Met—may her inspiration live on for many more years to come.”
The award, now in its 14th year, aims to help fund resources for recipients' careers, including voice lessons and coaching, travel costs, and professional assistance.
Mozart was not quite 30 years old when he finished writing his Masonic Funeral Music in 1785. The piece is rarely performed anymore, a mournful funeral march, slow tempo. But it ends with a trick Mozart liked to use: the whole piece is in a minor key but the final chord is major, an unexpected ray of hope.
Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society played the Masonic Funeral Music at Symphony Hall recently; Just after conductor Harry Christophers led the orchestra through the last note, a little boy’s voice broke the silence: “Wow!”
The kid had broken the mood in charming fashion, and the audience burst into laughter and applause.
The orchestra promptly launched a "kidhunt" for the “Wow Child.”
Turns out it was 9 year old Ronan Mattin, whose grandfather Stephen Mattin had driven him to Symphony Hall from the family’s home in Kensington, N.H., an hour away, for the concert.
Anyway, Grandpa explained to reporters that Ronan is on the autism spectrum and “often expresses himself differently.” Often he expresses himself by not saying much, so his “Wow!” was atypical. Ronan now has friends for life at Symphony Hall, and will be back to hear the orchestra, at their invitation, soon.
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