Theatrical phoenix

Theatrical Phoenix is Beginning to Fly- a Brief History

A Theatrical Phoenix is Beginning to Fly- a Brief History.  It took wing in New York as a staged reading.  This was at the oldest summer vocal training camp in America: The Seagle Music Colony.  Our singers had won auditions with the New York Metropolitan Opera.  Other prominent opera companies were represented.  Among the people who have tested their work at Seagle have been Stephen Schwartz and Pulitzer Prize winners. Patra is now scheduled in Sarasota.

Theatrical phoenix will fly here.
Patra, our new opera, will have a concert presentation Monday March 23, 2020. at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center.

We have been  riding on a phoenix for this experience. Our opera, entitled Patra, has “Wings of Song”. This new opus emphasizes the importance of meaningful and healthy relationships between men and women. The show highlights  rulers of two great empires, Rome and Egypt.  For Egypt we have Cleopatra; for Rome, we have Octavian.  He, through Patra’s influence, decides to become the future Augustus Caesar.

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Seagle Music Colony has a theatrical and operatic tradition going back over a century. Our opera, Patra had its New York appearance on this stage on Schroon Lake.

Theatrical Phoenix is  Scheduled for Sarasota

Sarasota is famous for opera.  A marquee, only, from the Sarasota Opera House is pictured below and to the right. .  Our new opera, however, will be presented in concert version at The Glenridge Performing Arts center.  Immediately above/right is a photo of the setting . We will even have a professional “snake” dance. Our dancer also portrays the Egyptian goddess, Aset.

Our first staged concert was at the Westcoast Black Theater in Sarasota

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Sarasota has its own Opera House
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Westcoast Black Theater photo. Sign shows what’s happening there. 

The story of Octavian and Cleopatra has its own thrust. It is an engaging  opera comique.  Sharon, as the  librettist, not only offers a cornucopia of hope in this lifetime; but also gives ancient instructions on how to be reborn to a high position. Make your reservations at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center today. Contact info is on featured picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Without Words

Song Without Words Can Stand on its Own

Song Without Words Can Stand on its Own. It certainly has in the past. Witness the musical compositions of Felix Mendelssohn.

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If you ask me what I had in mind when I wrote it, I would say: just the song as it is. And if I happen to have certain words in mind for one or another of these songs, I would never want to tell them to anyone. This is because the same words never mean the same things to others: Only the song can say the same thing. Such songs can arouse the same feelings in one person as in another. Words cannot express this feeling.

Songs Without Words, German Lieder ohne Worte, collection of 48 songs written for solo piano rather than voice by Felix Mendelssohn. Part of the collection—consisting of 36 songs—was published in six volumes during the composer’s lifetime. Two further volumes—with 12 more songs—were published after Mendelssohn’s death in 1847.

Felix Mendelssohn, painting by Wilhelm Hensel.

Felix Mendelssohn, painting by Wilhelm Hensel.Photos.com/Getty Images…………………………………………………………..

A Song Without Words – Can it Stand on its own Today?

Certainly, there are some affirmative examples. But the music to much of what is written today is circular and repetitive. In computer terms you could say the music “loops”.  Repetition of the the same three notes over and over to simplistic lyrics or single words is the style. Basically I feel that what much of the music industry markets today is the image of the “composer.” The archetype example, in my opinion is found in the movie, The Producers.

YouTube – Feb 17, 2016

 

A gun-wielding Franz confronts Max and Leo, accusing them of breaking the “Siegfried Oath“. He is partially angered over the continual used of the word “baby” in the musical lyrics by the star in the cast.

I Write in the Song Without Words Form

Fortunately, I am married to my own lyricist. What a convenient source for words.  We are producing a concert version with dance of our New York tested opera, Patra.  It was presented as a staged reading by the American Center for New Works Development. Date of the Sarasota performance is March 23 at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Fl. Reserve your tickets today.

Opera Comique In Two Acts – By Sharon and David Ohrenstein

 

 

Hello Boca Grande

Hello Boca Grande for the Eleventh Year

Hello Boca Grande for my piano employment the 11th straight Year. Click on the Boca Grande nowhere but here box below to see many incredibly beautiful and exotic pictures of the island. There my piano playing services will be in full swing.  Daughter Kathryn Parks worked on this post for Michael Saunders. She works on promotion for this real estate company in Florida and does a beautiful job at that.

Untouched by time, Boca Grande is a classic Florida getaway where pristine beaches, sunny days, and small-town charms create a blissful atmosphere.

 

Hello Boca Grande

It’s impossible not to have fabulous stories when you work at such a place. One of favorites is the evening that two distinguished ladies from London sat and enjoyed their dinner while dining on the table right beside the piano. Fortunately, my piano touch is such that people can enjoy their dinner and still converse while listening to beautiful melodies. My incredible instructor Mischa Kottler, studied in Europe in Paris under Alfred Cortôt in the 1920’s. Cortôt traced his lineage to Frederic Chopin. Then Mischa Kottler went to Vienna and apprenticed under Emil von Sauer. Sauer studied under Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. Mischa was always emphatic when he would say: ” “Present the melody on a silver platter.” In so doing you can eliminate all the ponderous accompaniment that so many often vulgarly place into their piano playing.

But on with the story: When I got up for a small respite, I walked past the ladies. One said to me, “We enjoyed your playing, especially your Andrew Lloyd Webber selections.”  I replied.”Oh, thank you.” Then the other lady proudly said: “Yes,our assigned seats are in the British House of Lords right next to him!”

Why is this Lineage Important?

Today so much piano playing is electronic. Often accompaniments are provided by the touch of a button. The old school of knowledge is then lost. Happily, at the fabulous Inn the old school is still in full swing. I will be there nightly from Dec 20 until Easter. Please say hello. P.S. if you decide to buy a home there, ask my daughter, Kathryn. I am also a composer. My wife, Sharon, is my lyricist and librettist.  Sharon, and I just work shopped our new opera Patra in New York. Click on the link for more info. Finally, please share this post with friends! Thank you.

PATRA – An Opera Comique performed in two acts, sung in English, written by Sharon and David Ohrenstein about Cleopatra’s final days as ruler of Egypt.

About · ‎Media · ‎Workshop · ‎Support

 

Boca Grande

resort number 1

Resort number 1 Seems Like #2 Home with my 11th year

Resort number 1 seems to be my 2nd Home. My 1st home graces in sunny Sarasota.My profession as a pianist takes me to Boca Grande. There, I play at the Gaparilla Inn.  The Inn captures the charm of a bygone era of Florida hospitality. It again claims its throne this year as resort #1.  The Inn’s style is stately and grand. It offers glamour that recalls the heyday of mid-century Floridian beach resorts.  A slower pace of life is offered.  “It’s Old Florida at its best with modern updates.” Activities abound at the resort. Sport offerings include golf, tennis, croquet, boating, and other misc. water sports . You’ll want to have in your list of memories its Beach Club views of the Gulf of Mexico. More information: the-gasparilla-inn.com

Resort number 1 has Interesting Guests

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Some of the celebrities who have frequented the Inn

 

Pianist David Ohrenstein will play for diners on the isle of Boca grande

David is scheduled 6 nights weekly in season on this island resort. On a typical night you can hear music by Cole Porter, George Gershwin. You’ll authentic ragtime by Scott Joplin. The Inn was actually built at the height of the ragtime era. He also loves the great classics. His  regular list this time of the year is  a 30 minute rendition of principle dances from the  Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. He plays Jupiter from the Planets by Gustav Holst. He loves to play the theme from the King’s Speech. It is the slow movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.  Excerpts from principle operas are often included. His favorite popular song to play is “Killing Me Softly.” The arrangement he has by George Shearing is so beautiful that many diners have to wipe tears from their eyes.

Be sure to also catch David and his wife, Sharon, as they workshop their new opera comique, Patra September 1 -7 on Schroon Lake in New York.

PATRA – Opera Comique by Sharon and David Ohrenstein. Join the Fun!

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Patraopera.com is the site that features our new opera comique. Our Sarasota cast  just completed a concert presentation in Sarasota at the West Coast Black Theater. In New York we will also feature top young singers in the U.S.A. and Europe.

 

 

 

Patra Workshop

Patra Workshop to debut New York this September

Patra Workshop to debut in New York. Patra is the shorter name for Cleopatra. Queen of Egypt, she was one of the most famous women in history. Her full name was Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (69 BC – 12 August 30 BC). She was the last of the Pharaohs set up in Egypt by Alexander the Great. By descent, she was a Macedonian Princess. It will appear off book in  the workshop. Our singers will literally be top notch.  My wife, Sharon is the librettist and a co-composer of Patra. . I, husband David, am also a composer. Before going to NY, it will have a staged concert presentation. This will be in  Sarasota Fl at the newly built Sarasota Westcoast Black Theater.  Our casts in both NY and Fla are busy rehearsing.  Here’s the gist:

Cleopatra had stopped the onslaught of two invading Roman generals through love. She thus neutralized the worst effects of their invasions by marrying the generals. Patra had children with each.  They were, first,  Julius Caesar and later Marc Antony.

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Patra Workshop

Enter Octavian, a third Roman invader. She almost stops his aggression through love. In order to save her children, she follows the way of the warrior: An honorable death. If she she married Octavian and moved to Rome, both her and her children would have been seen as a threat to the Roman triumvirate.  Our opera features Patra and Octavian’s encounter. In the opera she convinces him to become Augustus Caesar- 1st emperor of Rome   Later, as a result, he honors her by placing  a statue of her in the Temple of Venus in Rome. The statue was displayed exemplifying her as the good mother.

Patra has memorable melodies, Latin rhythms and most important – a gripping story. Sample our music on Patraopera.com.

PATRA News!!!
See PATRA in Sarasota before it goes to New York !!
Presented in Sarasota for One Night Only
Before heading to New York in September, our new opera PATRA will be presented as a concert reading in Sarasota. The complete opera will be presented on Fri. July 19 at the new Westcoast Black Theatre at 6:30 pm.

The New York Workshop

PATRA has been selected for a fully-staged professional workshop in upstate New York at the Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake. The American Center for New Works Development at Seagle has work shopped pieces by many award-winning writers like Stephen Schwartz, Mark Adamo, Kevin Putts and more.
Patraopera.com
This setting on Schroon Lake, NY gave birth to many new works by great theatrical and operatic writers. Also, the chosen singers are engaged by American and European opera companies in this setting.

Patra Workshop – the Story

PATRA is loosely based on Cleopatra’s final days.  When the villainous Octavian dangles a marriage proposal before Cleopatra, she hopes to secure a future for herself and her children. Yet, things do not go as he planned. Cleopatra’s love challenges Octavian and transforms him into a new man.  PATRA has five singing roles. Our great Sarasota cast is listed below.
Writer, co-composer, librettist states: “When I began the eleven month rewrite of our more tragic Octavian & Cleopatra, I wanted to lighten the work and give it a popular bent.  I cut two singing roles and added a dancer.  Then, I infused comedy, lively dance rhythms, a small amount of spoken dialogue and a surprise at every turn.  Most of all, I showcased the singer.  I did something rather unusual in any musical or opera I created numerous dramatic moments where the instrumental accompaniment is silent. Only singing voices are heard.”
 PATRA  is an opera comique:  It uses techniques from  Bizet’s Carmen and  Bernstein’s  The West Side Story. .

Patra Concert Presentation

The WBTT concert has a $20 suggested donation ticket price to be paid at the door.  For an advance reserved seat visit GoFundMe.com/PatraOpera, make a donation and in the notes write WBTT ticket.  Westcoast Black Theatre is located at 1012 N Orange Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236.
CONTACT: Sharon Ohrenstein at 941-724-1199 or slohrenstein@gmail.com. only about the above events.  THANK YOU!
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Our masthead for the opera used with permission of the art gallery: From Cairo with Love. located, in Cairo Egypt and its creator,  Kadir.
PATRA
Libretto by Sharon Ohrenstein
Music by David Ohrenstein and Sharon Ohrenstein
Our terrific Sarasota CAST
Kathryn Parks as Cleopatra, Joseph Ryan as Octavian, Carole Cornman as Iras, Robyn Rocklein as Charmian, and Baron Garriott as Marcellus.  Pianist Teresa O’Connell will accompany the shows.
Dancer Vanessa Russo, currently based in Sarasota, has been hired for the New York Patra workshop workshop. Only singers will be performing in Sarasota.

Background for the Patra Workshop: About Ohrenstein and Ohrenstein

Musical theater writers and performers, Sharon and David Ohrenstein have performed internationally from Canada to Honduras. Their musicals, Octavian and Cleopatra, Our Golda, and Elizabeth of Russia have been produced in Florida and New York to remarkable reviews.  Sharon was honored to be chosen an Amazing Woman of the Suncoast by ABC 7.  David’s chamber compositions for wind ensembles and larger works for concert band have had world premieres in New York, Ontario, Ohio and Florida. David just finished his tenth season at the Gasparilla Inn where he plays for U.S. presidents and other dignitaries. For more information visit Patraopera.com. Here is an internal link to a ballet I, David,  wrote: Zodiac Dance Demonstrates Extremes from Ballet to Modern

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