engage

Engage November 8, 2020 with this Dynamic Quartet

Engage November 8, 2020 with our Dynamic Quartet in the featured picture. If you could have more fun anywhere else, please tell us where. Our Music for the Night is listed as an upcoming event immediately to the right. Literally, for $10.00 as many people as you can fit in front of  a TV set can enjoy the show. Yes, we do have a poet! Our book writer, Sharon, also wrote the lyrics. 

Engage
Here’s a quote from our opening selection of the concert: “No one drinks alone. We are all friends here. Vodka warms the bone and a keg of beer.”

Thousand Mile Journey on a Comfortable Couch – internal link

Engage in Laughter Including Songs  From Our Own Musicals About Famous Ladies

Our sung through musical is being  produced Carlo Thomas whose credits include being in the original cast of the Phantom of the Opera in NYC. This NYC Metropolitan Zoom spectacular will be broadcast live; however, you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home (see internal link above). 

Engage As Also follow the Lead of the German Bach Family 

On Sunday nights the extended Bach family would get together and entertain themselves with music. They loved singing quodlibets. So what is a quodlibet? A quodlibet (/ˈkwɒdlɪbɛt/Latin for “whatever you wish” from quod, “what” and libet, “pleases”) is a musical composition that combines several different melodies—usually popular tunes—in counterpoint, and often in a light-hearted, humorous manner.

Kathryn is our daughter, while Baron has been in all our musicals. He is part of our own Bach family. Our son Daniel, not in this show, plays cello and composes. 

File:Bach family morning Rosenthal.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
If you can think of a better example to follow than the Bach family, let us know.

So what are some of our quodlibets?

  • Wife Sharon sings “Take the A Train” by Duke Ellenton while I play The Honky-Tonk Train by Lux Lewis on the piano. Trains were and still are a big part of life in  NYC.
  • Sharon sings S’ Wonderful by George Gershwin while I play excerpts from the American in Paris underneath her rendition. 
Duke Ellington - Wikipedia
I think the  Duke would be happy with his Meade (Lux) Lewis partner pictured to the right.
Meade (“Lux”) Lewis and Duke Ellenton will join ranks in our concert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In Closing we’re talking 75 pure minutes of fun with 15 more for a live question and answer. 

 

 

 

 

Thousand Mile Journey on a Comfortable Couch

Thousand Mile Journey on a comfortable couch. Below are some synonyms about beginning any effort: During our entertainment career we’ve literally travelled thousands of miles. We went to the mountains of New York eighteen times times to perform and/or audition or musical shows:  Fifteen times to the Catskills and three times to the Adirondacks. Now we are about to to travel only one mile for an unbelievable concert which will be broadcast out of New York City  across the globe.  Oh yes, and our location for the live broadcast is Sarasota, Florida. How’s that for modern technology? This time, however, a lot is different:  You can hear us in full swing in the comfort of your own home!

Golden Roads: A New Musical About Golda Meir in 2 Acts tells Golda's story. It is named after her Golden Roads Initiative of 1949 for Israel.
David and Sharon will take you on a thousand mile journey with music. Don’t worry, it will be a high tech experience: Not on the boat in the picture behind Sharon!

 

a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

  1. Even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point.

Synonyms

Thousand Mile Journey filmed  at The Sarasota Music Compound

Click in the link below for details about an unforgettable evening! Finally remember, for the price of only one cocktail ($10.00), you and your entire family with friends can enjoy Sharon and David Ohrenstein’s Music for the Night!

Music For the Night at Metropolitan Zoom’s Triad

Music for the Night

 

 

 

Literary musical cocktail

Literary Musical Cocktail Describes a Romantic Mix

Literary Musical Cocktail Describes a Romantic Mix. What exactly is a cocktail? A cocktail is a mixed drink.  Typically it is made with a distilled liquor.  They can include  arrackbrandycachaçaginrumtequilavodka, or whiskey) among others.  The preparer mixes  these with other ingredients or garnishments.

We Have a Number of the Literary Musical Cocktail Variety

More recently, Summer of 2019, our  sung though  musical, Patra, was quite  literary romantic cocktail: A fantastic mix of personalities and people who put on an intoxicating show.  The show depicts a relationship of Cleopatra and Octavian theatrically for the first time. . Yes, quite a story is there. Sharon also wrote the book. We had an incredible singing cast performing in Schroon Lake New York. Our singers had won auditions with major opera companies in both the United States and Europe.  

This coming November 8, 2020 we’ll be serving up another cocktail, this time out of New York City. The best part is that everyone in your household can watch it for the price of only one cocktail!!!!! Check out the information in our upcoming events column featured on the right side of the screen. 

 Literary musical cocktail
A past literary musical cocktail singing with the Sarasota Concert Band:  Baron Garriott, second from the left will be our featured tenor. Bookwriter/lyricist Sharon, on the extreme right, will also sing in the worldwide televised production Nov. 8.

Sharon and I, as a creative team, have written four major works for the musical theater. Excerpts will be performed by our wonderful cast on Nov.8.  Out daughter Kathryn, film producer and award winning film maker, will also join our ranks. Songs by many great writers will also be included.

DSO Works - Posts | Facebook
This coming December 20, I will begin my 12th year playing a the renowned Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grand. This is also featured in the events on the right side of the screen.
dso works - Featuring All Original Music, Shows, and More
Ballroom dancing instructors around the country have enjoyed our ballroom dancing CD, not only for their classes but for competition. Sharon and I wrote the entire collection. daughter Kathryn is dancing in the picture.

 

Illness costs Chopin

Illness Costs Chopin and His Companion, George Sand.

Illness Costs Chopin and His Companion, George Sand.  Lives of the great composers of the past are often presented in the most impersonal way possible. You read about the composer, what he wrote and when he wrote it. You take for granted the fact that he may have lived his life in abject poverty. Illness, especially seems to be an ignored issue that is of little consequence in music history classes or in colleges and conservatories.

How Illness Costs Chopin and His Companion, George Sand

First who was George Sand? Surprise, not a man! She was more renowned than both Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac in England in the 1830s and 1840s.[5] Sand achieved recognition as one of the most notable writers of the European Romantic era. She chose to wear male attire in public; as Police had issued an order requiring women to have a permit in order to wear male clothing. Finally, George Sand encouraged the arts in an unusual manner. She would become the lover of certain great male artists to inspire their  creativity. Chopin was a primary example, along with Liszt. 

George Sand.PNG
Portrait of George Sand by Auguste Charpentier (1838)

An Unforgettable Chopin Story

Tad Szulc presented the following story in his book, Chopin in ParisGeorge Sand and Chopin travelled to Barcelona, Spain. Chopin had tuberculosis and hopefully sunny Spain would help alleviate his condition.  George Sand wrote the following:

“when we left the hotel in Barcelona, the manager wished to make us pay for the bed in which Chopin had slept, under the pretext that it had been infected. Police regulations obliged him to burn it.” The incredible creative duo had to pay for the bed in full!

This gives life to the expression ” adding insult to injury.” Most people think of Chopin as a composer without thinking about who he was and under the conditions of how he had to live.  I think this story makes his life quite tangible and invites sympathy. Finally, I think all should do their best to help struggling artists, actors  and composers; or else, our culture could disappear. 

My wife andI with guest artists are presenting a 90 live concert live concert broadcast internationally Nov 8 link below. Household tickets only $10.00. Selections from our 3 musicals will be featured with popular Broadway selections.  Question and answer session in the last 15 minutes. 

 

PATRA – Sung Through Musical

The last days of Cleopatra are filled with daring, intrigue, and love possibilities. When the villainous Octavian lands in Egypt to assert his victory over Antony and Cleopatra, Patra will do most anything to save her children and herself. She disguises herself as a hag; foretells Octavian’s future; takes a drug to commune with the dead; seduces Centurion Marcellus whom her drugged mind thinks is Antony; meets with Octavian; and initiates an encounter with a cobra. When Octavian tries to take advantage of her, she sings of love. Octavian exits without a word. He has fallen in love but tragically does nothing. The love-struck Marcellus offers her a way to escape. Yes, she dies but not how you think.  Her death changes Octavian from lead to gold as he vows to become the man she would have loved the most.

 

 

isolation

Isolation is the Norm for Creative Artists

Isolation is the Norm for Creative Artists. I think all parents would like to see our children with an intense passion and dedication to the arts.  This picture implies that the young lad, actually built his own violin. Notice the saw leaning against the table.  Who was David Rubinoff? He dreams about being as skilled as Rubinoff and His Violin.

Who was Rubinoff and His Violin?

Isolation
Dave spent a lifetime entertaining children and adolescents thanks to a life time grant from the U.S. state department through the efforts of his close friend, the march king, John Philip Sousa. On occasions I toured with him at numerous public schools.

David Rubinoff made a fortune in the 1930’s because of his love of music. He rose from the most humble beginnings in Kiev to incredible stature in America. An example being playing for 225,000 people at Grant Park in Chicago while conducting the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra. He told me, they turned away another 25,000 at the door. I was his arranger and accompanist for fifteen years. Jimmy Petrillo, head of the musicians union in Chicago, gave him a diamond and ruby medal commemorating this event. 

Isolation is the Norm

Raising ones level in performance takes countless hours of practice in solitude; or, in some cases, with a small dedicated, ensemble. Music has quite a bonus: It is one of the few professions you can improve on with age. Even during the current pandemic, opportunities come a-knocking. My wife, a fabulous singer and I were just asked to do an hour and fifteen minute concert which will be broadcast live around the world. We will also feature some excerpts from shows we jointly wrote. Scheduled date is November, 8, 2020. Details will shorly be posted. 

dso works - Featuring All Original Music, Shows, and More
Our website. DSOworks.com is anything but dull, even in this day and age.

Internal Link: Happy Halloween from the Oquaga Spirit

External link: Common Time is Anything but Common

The external link is my (David’s) other website.

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.

Image result for picture of the Seagle Music Colony in NY state
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piano Lessons

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.

Image result for Felix Mendelssohn picture of cover for his Song Without Words

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

Gasparilla In Pianist

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

resort number 1
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!

Image result for Link for patraopera
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.

Image result for patraopera,com

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!

Image result for patraopera.com
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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