Monday, June 23, 2008

Magnificent Mozart

It's been tough blogging lately because I've been on the road so much. I'm home for a bit, so I'll try to catch up. If there's no picture on this blog, please check back later. I'm going to spend some time this morning downloading photos from my latest trip -- Bartlesville, Oklahoma, for the Oklahoma Mozart Festival.

First off, I usually avoid festivals -- I hate crowds and especially dealing with parking -- so when I had an opportunity to go on a press trip where I could let someone else deal with the details, I jumped on it. Second, Mozart may have his name on this festival but the music ranges from bluegrass to contemporary and everything in between plus lots of other activities -- storytelling, jewelry making, art shows, tea parties, architecture tours.

What did I discover? For most activities, crowds are easily accommodated and, let's face it, crowds of people who come to these events are not exactly the unwashed masses (okay, that sounds snobby but I'm not a big fan of hanging around with big, hairy, sweaty guys in undershirts and sloppy women with strings of sticky, whiny kids). The only parking problems came at the outdoor concert and that event, held at Woolaroc, was such fun that even I would be willing to deal with it!

Since this was a press trip covering more than just the festival, I only went to a few of the many events available to the public. The first of the concerts I attended was a masterworks concert conducted by pianist Barry Douglas and featured a Bach violin concerto, and Beethoven's "Eroica" symphony and a Mozart piano concerto which he both conducted and played -- magnificent. The outdoor concert was a real kick -- lots of light classic faves, medleys from musicals and movie hits -- William Tell Overture, West Side Story, Pirates of the Caribbean and much, much more. The encore -- Theme from Superman -- topped off with a fireworks display. The last concert, the grand finale, featured Frederica von Stade. Brava!!!!!
Next year is the 25th anniversary year for the festival -- I guarantee I'll be there.

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