Fantastic Early Music Hawaii concert at LCH tonight! Congratulations and thank you to Scott Fikse for leading the charge, Katherine Crosier and the orchestra for great music and the singers, notably Naomi Castro, Keane Ishii, Karol Nowicki, Sarah Lambert Connelly, Mitchell Moriwaki, Bowe Souza, Taylor Rei Ishida, and Georgine Duncan Stark for a wonderful performance! (Michal Nowicki)
Lovely concert this evening—music by English composer, Henry Purcell. Chorus, soloists and string ensemble with lute, organ and harpsichord…. Thank you for the ticket and opportunity, Katherine Crosier! (Hari Bayani)
Today’s Early Music Hawaii presents Henry Purcell. One of my favorite composers! Lots of friends in musicians and audience as usual! It was beautiful! We really enjoyed the concert! Thank you! (Yoko Kokuni)
These were some of the reactions on Facebook after tonight’s stunning Purcell concert as the season opener of Early Music Hawaii. By the end of the concert, everyone in the audience was standing and clapping and clapping and clapping—the ovations went on for several minutes as all the performers “got lei-ed.”
All of the choral singing was fantastic but special mention must be made to the outstanding soloists, Sarah Lambert Connelly and Naomi Castro, who absolutely rose to the occasion—Sarah for her expressive alto arias, and Naomi for the heartfelt “Dido’s Lament.” It all gave me goosebumps, or chicken skin, as they say in Hawaii!
By the way, you might be amused by these pictures of the choir warming up!
A huge part of tonight’s success must be given to director Scott Fikse, who kept the ensemble light, buoyant and moving forward with clear conducting gestures. He really did himself proud and carried off both directing and solo singing with a core musicality and excellence. I know for a fact he put a lot of effort into this concert and it showed!
Thanks also to the instrumentalists, Darel Stark and Maile Reeves, violin; Anna Womack and Steve Flanter, viola; Sung Chan Chang, cello; Luke Trimble, lute; Jieun Newland, harpsichord and I played continuo organ (aw shucks!). What was nice was that sometimes Jieun and I played together in the ensemble, but mostly she played the fast, exciting choruses with the harpsichord, and I contrasted by playing the slower, more introspective accompaniments on the organ.
As Ian Capps, president of Early Music Hawaii, said in his opening remarks, tonight was the first time Early Music Hawaii had the ideal vocal and instrumental forces—perfect for Purcell—8 singers and 8 instrumentalists.
What a glorious night for Henry Purcell and for Early Music Hawaii! (And Carl Crosier, who was mentioned in the program as the founder of the Early Music Hawaii Choir and Orchestra, would have been so proud!)