It’s an old saying that “the way that you end the year is a preview of the year to come”. If that’s the case, then I’m really excited! On New Year’s Eve, I was fortunate to hear some of the most inspiring and beautiful music, as well as seeing some of the best dancing…..anywhere! And better yet, I didn’t have to travel to a large city, it was right here in Lexington, Kentucky!
The Lexington Philharmonic presented Tango Caliente on New Year’s Eve this year. The show was part of their 2018-2019 concert series. I believe that the Lexington Philharmonic is one of the best-kept secrets in town!
The show featured the music and dance of Argentina. I was really excited to attend, especially since had I just returned from a trip to South America in the Fall and had written specifically about The Tango on Bubblyhorse.com! Be sure to read it, in case you missed it. My article discusses the history and tradition of the tango as well as having some great photos and videos!
I must admit that I had never been to an indoor concert by the Lexington Philharmonic. I’ve been to the Picnic with the Pops and that is a really fun event, but outside acoustics can be challenging. I have visited the Lexington Opera House (did you know that I used to work there?) and I knew that it’s a fabulous venue for shows and live music. I was really looking forward to the concert! Every seat has a good view and the sound quality is tremendous.
Unfortunately, the weather didn’t want to cooperate. It was raining buckets while we were traveling to the show, but that didn’t keep the patrons away. The show was sold out and there was a large crowd making their way in. Did you know that the Opera House offers valet parking? It makes it much more convenient since parking can be a little tricky in downtown Lexington. This is a nice amenity provided for concert goers!
People have many opinions on what makes Lexington a great community. In Lexington the arts community is vibrant and diverse! Lexington is so fortunate to have the ability to provide the quality of performance art that so many times is only available in larger cities. For this particular show, there were several additional star performers brought in for the show, including a 2018 Grammy winner!
Hector Del Curto is an award-winning tango musician from Buenos Aires that plays the bandoneon instrument. Hector has played with many tango legends over the years and is viewed as an expert tango musician.
The bandoneon instrument is basically a cross between an organ and a concertina. It really makes you feel like you are in Argentina! If you see a tango show in Argentina, you will definitely hear this instrument. It makes a very distinct sound.
In addition to Mr. Curto, soprano Camille Zamora performed with the orchestra. Camille is an internationally acclaimed opera singer. According to her bio, “Camille has collaborated with such artists such as Sting, Placido Domingo, and Yo-Yo Ma, as well some of the world’s leading orchestras.” Her performance was outstanding!
Throughout the performance the chemistry between the performers, musicians and the Lexington Philharmonic conductor was apparent. Maestro Scott Terrell does a terrific job not only conducting the orchestra but also adds a lot of personality to the show. He’s funny at times and at times a bit sarcastic, which adds lightness and humor to the show. Again, I’m confident that most cities would give their eye teeth to have such quality musicians and performances!
You certainly can’t have a tango show without tango dancers! Patricio Touceda and Sonya Tsekanovsky are professional dancers from Buenos Aires and they performed several tangos during the show. The pair has won many national and international awards, which is apparent in their performance. The tango is a very romantic and sensual dance. From the intricate dance steps and captivating music to the sexy costumes, tango dancing is mesmerizing!
I certainly don’t want to forget to mention the quality of the musicians with the Lexington Philharmonic. Several of the musicians were highlighted with the musical selections. The flute was spectacular in the rendition of Mallorca. The light and airy music, as well as the blue stage lighting, really made you feel as though you were gazing at the sea. That’s something that music is all about…..transporting you to a different time, place or emotion. It was magical!
Did I mention that you are now allowed to bring your drinks to the auditorium? I remember when you used to have to finish wine during the intermission at the Opera House so fast it made your head spin! There’s a full bar and they have these adorable Opera House glasses!
Providing quality shows such as this does come with a cost. There are several outlets that provide financial support for the general operation of the Philharmonic during the year. Funding sources include LexArts, the Lexington Philharmonic Foundation, The Dupree Initiative for Innovation, the Hamilton Sayhaly Garbulinska Foundation and the Kentucky Arts Council. There is also a large list of individuals, corporations, and foundations that provide generous donations for the operations.
As I stated earlier, our community is extremely fortunate to have such quality performances available to us from the Lexington Philharmonic. I would like to encourage you to donate, attend or volunteer your time to continue this great tradition of quality entertainment!
There are several shows available for the 2018-2019 season. Upcoming shows include Brahm’s First, Verdi Requiem, Saint-Saens & Shostakovich; and, to end the series is Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert. In addition to the Opera house performances, the concerts also are performed at the Singletary Center for the Arts. The Lexington Philharmonic seems to have something everyone this year whether it be traditional or contemporary performances.