February 6, 2013 |
JULIUS VanGuine is now the only member of Kensington High's basketball team who attends classes in the original building. Because of that . . . Well, let's allow him to tell us. "Our crowds haven't been too great this year and I definitely didn't think many of our students would be coming to the game," he said. "But at lunch, they were selling tickets and lots of kids were buying them. They were saying, 'We'll be there! You'd better win!' "I was thinking, 'This is pretty cool.' It wasn't like I felt I had to put on a show, but I did want to give the fans what they wanted.
January 26, 2013 |
Amid the plethora of recent triumphs by the Philadelphia Orchestra and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, it's almost a relief to report that their latest program, however wonderful, wasn't all the way there. So they're still human. And there's room to grow. Thursday's Verizon Hall stop in their journey showed occasional instances of less-than-sturdy transitions and tempos that didn't track with each other. A problem? Not if you heard the concert as an orchestra and conductor reaching beyond their usual standard.
December 14, 2012
L uca Sena, 62, of Society Hill, owns Penn's View Hotel and two restaurants, Ristorante Panorama and Revolution House, all in Old City. Born in Naples, Sena was 17 when he moved to Philly with his father in 1967. The rest of the family soon followed. The Sena family's first restaurant, La Famiglia, on Front Street, opened in 1976 and now is run by Luca's brother, Giuseppe. Q: Panorama opened in 1990 and you're still doing well. What's the secret to your longevity? A: I always kept an open mind, surrounded myself with younger people, having two sons [Carlo and Luca Jr.]
December 12, 2012 |
Word arrived by mail Monday that Philadelphia did indeed set a new Soul Train Dance world record. Writer Sheila Simmons, the principal organizer, got a congratulatory letter Guinness World Records along with the official certificate, which declares: "The largest Soul Train Dance consisted of 291 participants and was achieved by the Philadelphia Soul Train Line Dancers in Philadelphia, Pa., USA, on 13 February 2012. " The previous record - which lingered, but not for long, on the Guinness website this morning - was set by 211 dancers in November 2011 at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, Calif.
October 21, 2012 |
Success was all but assured at Yannick Nézet-Séguin's first Philadelphia Orchestra subscription concert as music director: Friday night's program was the Verdi Requiem , a big, bold, and loud piece whose requiem text arrives with fearsomely recurring emphasis on the Day of Wrath. Even when performances are reasonably competent, audiences experience a four-hour grand opera in 90 minutes. With a quartet of top opera soloists, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, the performance might well have matched former music director Riccardo Muti's supremacy in this repertoire.
October 20, 2012 |
Now it's l'Orchestre Yannick. Thursday night at the Kimmel Center, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the spirited 37-year-old Canadian conductor, opened his tenure as the Philadelphia Orchestra's eighth music director with a black-tie reception, concert, and dinner. Mayor Nutter urged the concert crowd to "keep the orchestra strong," and then introduced the maestro to his new city, asking for a welcome in "fine Philadelphia style. " The man of the hour never put down his baton for a microphone, didn't speak a word from stage all evening.
September 13, 2012 |
So many opera recordings are coming out these days - whether old performances from radio archives or new ones from the operatic provinces - that even a new Don Giovanni doesn't automatically have a sense of occasion. An exception, though, is conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin's new recording of Mozart's greatest opera - and his debut audio recording on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label - with the kind of starry cast that few opera houses could assemble. Headed by Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Luca Pisaroni (Giovanni and Leporello)
September 12, 2012 |
The publisher doesn't toss the morning paper onto your lawn, nor does the airline pilot walk down the aisle asking for your choice of beverage. So when the music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra popped up unannounced at the Kimmel Center box office Monday as season single tickets went on sale, the patron on the other side of the window was startled. And charmed. "He's a nice, young, exuberant and lovely person to represent the orchestra," Carolyn Platt of Abington said of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who this season becomes the orchestra's eighth music director.
August 12, 2012 |
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Another YNS triumph? That phrase, once used in modified form as Leonard Bernstein went from success to success, also applies to the last two weeks in the life of the music-director-designate of the Philadelphia Orchestra. After an acclaimed Mostly Mozart Festival week in New York, Yannick Nézet-Séguin debuted at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center with his soon-to-be-orchestra and clearly won new admirers, especially at the Wednesday program featuring Lang Lang playing Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Brahms' Symphony No. 4 . At Thursday's "Italian Opera Night," the spotlight was on singers Angela Meade and Bryan Hymel, both Academy of Vocal Arts graduates, for an audience that seemed to be experiencing much of this music for the first time.