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Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?

By Roy C. Dicks

Grant Llewellyn’s Decade with the N. C. Symphony – The Honeymoon Continues

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
An overview of music director Grant Llewellyn's past ten years with the North Carolina Symphony.

Tenor Jay Hunter Morris Says Long Haul Worth It

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
Texas-born tenor, Jay Hunter Morris, now in great demand, is thankful for those who believed in him during his two-decade journey to the top. One was Eric Mitchko, general director of N.C. Opera, who was Morris’ manager for several years and later hired him at the Atlanta Opera. Morris is repaying that faith by appearing in the company's concert of Wagner arias and excepts.

Brahms Requiem Becomes Impromptu Tribute to Robert Ward

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
A moving performance of Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem” by the N.C. Symphony and N.C. Master Chorale not only revealed the work’s warmth and beauty but also served as an unplanned but fitting tribute to Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward, who died April 3 at age 95. Ward came to North Carolina in 1967 to head the N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and later taught for a decade at Duke University in Durham, NC, the city where he continued to reside until his death.

N.C. Symphony Has Fine 2012 Fall Season

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
The North Carolina Symphony began its 80th season in Raleigh, NC, in September 2012. I attended three out of its six Classical Series concerts in Raleigh between September and December. Overall, the concerts were satisfyingly consistent and engaging, with intriguing repertory that belied any dumbing down or popularizing of the classical series.

Gergiev’s Gripping Shostakovich in Chapel Hill

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
On October 30, 2012, Carolina Performing Arts presented the Mariinsky Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev, in the second of two back-to-back concerts. The orchestra and the conductor again upheld their well-deserved stature in an all-Russian program.

N. C. Symphony Season Roundup: 2011-12

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
The North Carolina Symphony gave fourteen classical concerts on its 2011-12 Raleigh series. I reviewed five of them for the Raleigh News & Observer. Here they are, in reverse chronological order, starting with the May 11 season finale.

N.C. Opera’s “Trovatore” Raises the Bar

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
Raleigh-based North Carolina Opera finished its 2011-2012 season with a semi-staged concert performance of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” in Meymandi Concert Hall, one of the company’s strongest showings yet in its fledgling two seasons.      Born of two previous Raleigh-based companies, Opera Company of North Carolina and Capital Opera, North Carolina Opera has worked to find its proper balance in offering fully staged grand opera,

N.C. Opera’s “Faust” Boasts Met Regulars, Cutting Edge Projections

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
Opera is the most expensive art form to produce and it has a reputation as entertainment only for the elite. Eric Mitchko, general director of N. C. Opera, was confronted by both challenges when planning the company's concert production of Gounod's popular "Faust," in Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall.

Wallfisch Saves N.C. Symphony’s John Adams “Portrait”

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
The N. C. Symphony gave one of its most creative and informative concerts Friday night, a "Composer Portrait" of John Adams. Conductor Benjamin Wallfisch took over at the last minute for music director Grant Llewellyn, turning in a confident, exciting and sensitive performance.

Andrea Quinn Proves Her Mettle In Haydn and Elgar

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
Andrea Quinn returned as guest conductor of the N. C. Symphony in Meymandi Concert Hall, the site of her last visit here in 2004 as a finalist for the orchestra's music director. Although Grant Llewellyn ultimately landed that position, Quinn's performances, then as now, prove why she was such a worthy contender.

“Amadeus” in the Concert Hall: Great Theater, Fine Playing

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
Like most performing arts groups these days, the N. C. Symphony is trying out innovative ways to counter sagging ticket sales. It hit pay dirt Friday night with its own version of Peter Shaffer's play, "Amadeus." A co-production with Chapel Hill-based PlayMakers Repertory Company, the program was one of the most inventive and successful in many a season.

Rare Outing for Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 7 from N.C. Symphony

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
One N. C. Symphony programming concept this season is a series of four "Composer Portraits," each devoted to a single composer. The first, heard, in Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall, offered rare and alternative works by Tchaikovsky, played with considerable panache by the orchestra and insightful illumination from the soloist.

Composer J. Mark Scearce Commissioned for Two Ballets in Raleigh

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
Carolina Ballet commissioned a new score for the premiere of "Dracula" and "Masque of Red Death" from award-winning N.C. composer, J. Mark Scearce.

North Carolina Opera Has Mixed Success With “Tosca”

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
Opera is the most difficult of art forms. The demands are so high that productions rarely succeed in every department, success being measured by having more parts go well than not. The production of Puccini's gritty melodrama "Tosca" by the newly formed North Carolina Opera had several successful elements.

Bailey-Schmidt-Perlman in Introspective “Triple Concerto”

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
There was great beauty, poetry and refinement in the North Carolina Symphony's first Raleigh classical concert of the season, featuring Beethoven's Triple Concerto. The orchestra had a gorgeous sheen, the soloists demonstrated confident artistry and the conductor offered intriguing insights. But a bit more verve and excitement would not have gone amiss.

N.C. Symphony Finale Hosts Pancella and Powell

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
The N. C. Symphony's opera excerpts program Friday night could easily have been a serious, formal affair. But conductor Grant Llewellyn and vocalists Phyllis Pancella and Stephen Powell were determined to provide the opposite, turning this season's final classical series concert into a convivial, fun-filled evening that likely made a number of converts to opera by concert's end.

Impressive Moby and Intriguing Butterfly in Dallas

By Roy C. Dicks: What's the Score?
The world premiere of Moby Dick by Jake Heggie at the Dallas Opera showed great maturity and confidence from the composer.
Classical Voice North America