Coming Up: Superb Shanghai orchestra is special treat for Vero

From China with Music: After a grand start to the Indian River Symphonic Association’s 2019 “Festival of Orchestras” season – a musical tour of Europe via the terrific Brevard Symphony Orchestra – the second January concert delivers a truly rare treat: We’ll journey to China with the Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra on its very first appearance in the U.S., this Friday, Jan. 25, at Community Church of Vero Beach. The orchestra is “one of the most popular in China and throughout Asia,” says musicworcester.org, and has also performed on tour in “Finland, Italy, U.K., Germany, Hong Kong and Macao.” The Friday’s concert will feature violin virtuoso Chen Yangyuetong, who will present “Butterfly Lovers’ Concerto.” This beautiful piece is an orchestral adaptation of an ancient legend, according to Wikipedia, and one of the most famous orchestra works of Chinese music. Written for the western style orchestra, it features a solo violin “played using some Chinese techniques.” Also on the program will be Berlioz’s glorious “Symphonie Fantastique” and Rossini’s showstopping “Overture to the Barber of Seville.” Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $90. 772-778-1070.

In the wake of Vero Beach Opera’s powerful, full-house season-opener, Bizet’s “Carmen,” comes another strong opera opportunity next Friday, Feb. 2, at the VBHS Performing Arts Center. According to the Vero Beach Opera promo, a “Bel Canto Concert” will fill the house with arias, duets and quartets by the “leading Bel Canto (beautiful singing) Italian composers of opera of the 19th century – Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, including an exciting mix of selections from “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “ The Barber of Seville,” “La Fille du Regiment,” “Don Pasquale,” “I Puritani,” “La Favorita,” “Ann Bolena” and “Maria Stuarda.” VBO “Rising Stars,” whose exceptional talents will give voice to these beloved works, are soprano Christine Suits, a finalist in the 2016 Marcello Giordani Competition; mezzo soprano Alexandra Rodrick, a 2016 finalist and recipient of an encouragement award from the Deborah Voigt/VBO Foundation Inaugural International Vocal Competition; tenor Matthew White, winner of the Deborah Voigt/VBO Foundation 2018 International Vocal Competition; and baritone Ethan Simpson, 2016 Encouragement Award, Deborah Voigt International Vocal Competition (and owned the role of the glamorous matador Escamillo in the VBO’s recent production of “Carmen”). Dynamic, high-octane Met Maestro Caren Levine, who wielded the baton for “Carmen,” returns to the VBO stage as pianist; and Dr. James A. Drake will serve as narrator. Over three decades, the VBO has earned a position of respect in the international opera world. See for yourself. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $30, $40 and $50. Students half-price. 772-564-5537.

Coming to Vero: “The ultimate South Florida Eagles tribute band” is how the Lyric Theatre describes “The Long Run,” and this six-pack of seasoned musicians is returning to the Live! from Vero Beach concert series at the Emerson Center next Thursday, Jan. 31, “by popular demand.” According to the show promo, the Long Run “blends great melodies, great harmonies and great songs,” with all six members playing multiple instruments and singing lead vocals. Look forward to an evening of Eagles faves such as “Take It Easy,” “Witchy Woman,” “Peaceful, Easy Feeling” and other hits you know all the lyrics to. As long as they play “Desperado,” I’m good. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $25 to $95. 800-595-4849 or 772-234-4412.

It’s free, and too big to squeeze into only one night: the annual, musical blow-out everyone gets jazzed about. It’s “Jazz Up the New Year!” when, for the ninth winter, the Melbourne Community Orchestra and the Swingtime Jazz Band combine in a rousing, high-energy, finger-snapping, toe-tapping two-night concert that promises, as advertised, to jazz up your New Year. The rhythm-centric 2019 collaboration will take place Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 30-31, at the Melbourne Auditorium. The “Jazz Up the New Year!” promo announces the concerts will be a veritable hit parade of two dozen or more jazz and Big Band standards: Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”; “The Pink Panther” and “Moon River” by Henry Mancini; “Embraceable You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Gershwin; Duke Ellington’s “Medley for Orchestra” and other classics. MCO pres (and oboe player) Nancy Anderson says a cool aspect of this musical partnership is that “we’ll be performing Big Band works arranged (especially) for orchestra and jazz band together!” She adds that it’s not unusual for concertgoers to get out of their seats and start dancing. “The aisles of the Melbourne Auditorium are definitely large enough to cut a rug!” Time: 7:30 p.m. both nights. Admission: Free. 321-285-6724.

Up for a weekend road trip to check out a terrific art festival? Head south to Wellington for the 13th Annual Juried Fine Art and Fine Craft Show – “Art Fest on the Green 2019” – this Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 26-27. It’s free, and there’s something for every artistic preference – painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media, photography – and for all ages (aka kids’ activities). You’ll be able to meet and chat with the artists and, as you stroll about, you might well discover that Perfect, Fabulous Piece. You’ll also discover plenty of comestibles, and weekend-long live music in the Wellington Amphitheatre. Wellington is, of course, home to the Winter Equestrian Festival, and is also the international “Polo Capital of the World.” The setting itself is quite beautiful, as well. Times: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: Free.

Leave a Comment