Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gay Composers Featured in NY and SF

Blier & Blumberg's "Manning the Canon"
The always brilliant and informative Steven Blier  has put together a program of song entitled "Manning the Canon: Songs of Gay Life" with his New York Festival of Song. The genesis of the concert is fascinating, as Blier first conceived of the idea twenty-two years ago and it didn't come to life until he mentioned it to barihunk Jesse Blumberg.

Blumberg, who is a favorite of this site, also runs the Five Boroughs Music Festival, as well as performing as a singer. Blumberg and Blier decided to put together the program last year, but a family emergency forced the singer to cancel. Another favorite of this site, fellow barihunk Matthew Worth, stepped in and took over the program.

Jesse Blumberg & Matt Worth

Last night Blumberg, Blier and Worth reprised the program along with tenor Scott Murphree and bass Matt Boehler. The program inlcuded Marc Blitzstein’s “Purest Kind of a Guy," Christopher Berg’s "Is It Dirty?," Lutvak and Campbell's "Exit Right," Schubert's quartet for four male voices “Auflösung," Tchaikovsky’s “At the Ball," Poulenc’s “Montparnasse," Griffes’s “Evening Song,” John Wallowich’s  “Bruce.” Bolcom’s “Piano Walk” and “I’ll Be By,” Camille Saint Saëns’s “Si vous n’avez rien à me dire,”  Benjamin Britten’s “Night covers up the rigid land,” Manuel de Falla’s “Polo," Cy Coleman's "Tennis Duet,"  Chris DeBlasio’s “Walt Whitman in 1989,”Bernstein's “To What You Said,” and Cole Porter's "You're the Top."

There is one more performance of "Manning the Canon" on December 2 and tickets are available HERE

Here is an article from Capital New York about the concert, which also raises the (somewhat ridiculous) question of whether a straight singer like Blumberg can sing "gay music." The answer appears to be what we all should know already: Music is a universal language.

Blumberg is not new to gay themed music, as he premiered Ricky Ian Gordon's "Green Sneakers," which we featured on this site.

Barihunk Randal Turner Sporting Our Favorite Tee Shirt

Fans of Gordon's in the San Francisco Bay Area can hear the amazingly talented barihunk Randal Turner perform his "Four Poems by Dorothy Parker." Turner's program, which features America's greatest living composers, also features music by four gay composers, Glen Roven, Clint Borzoni, Jake Heggie and Gordon.

Borzoni, who studied with David Del Tredici and Lee Hoiby, has written a piece for Randal Turner that is based on Walt Whitman and is dedicated to the gay teens who have recently committed suicide. The program also features another piece written for Turner, Julia Schwartz's "Don Juan at 40" based on a from Histories of Desire by Ron Butlin.

Tickets for the Randal Turner concert are available HERE.

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