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The Metro Chamber Orchestra - An Evening of Music and Dance

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 2, 2003
La Guardia Drama Theatre
64th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10023

About the Author:

The Metro Chamber Orchestra - An Evening of Music and Dance

W. A. Mozart Symphony No. 29 in A Major-K.20
F. Schubert Symphony in B-flat Major - (D.485)
Philip Nuzzo, Artistic Director
And
Ballerina Valentina Kozlova and Dancers
Dance Conservatory Performance Project
(Website)
In Medea
And
Lament for Phaedra

Soprano, Therese Panicali

Paintings by Edward Bekkerman
abagallery@hotmail.com

Publicity: Audrey Ross
audreyrosspub@aol.com

Presented at La Guardia Drama Theater
64th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, NY, NY

Review by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 2, 2003

Valentina Kozlova (See Interview and Photos of her new studio) was born in Russia and is formerly with the Bolshoi Theatre, Bolshoi Ballet, Broadway (On Your Toes), and New York City Ballet. Ms. Kozlova has returned to Moscow more than once to perform in her homeland. (Publicity Notes).

Philip Nuzzo is a renowned Conductor and has conducted orchestras in Hong Kong, Egypt, and the USA. Philip Nuzzo is Artistic Director of the Metro Chamber Orchestra and has conducted this orchestra in works by Rossini, Weil, and Strauss. He will conduct the Czech Philharmonic in 2004 with an opera soprano. Therese Panicali has appeared in productions at the Paper Mill Playhouse, the Cairo Symphony, and Amato Opera in New York. Edward Bekkerman was born in Russia and studied on scholarship at the Arts Students League. His paintings exude dramatic expression color, and religion. (Publicity Notes).

W. A. Mozart Symphony in B-flat Major: Allegro moderato, Andante, Menuetto, Allegro con spirito. The acoustics and sight lines at La Guardia Drama Theater are excellent. Philip Nuzzo has command and connections to his orchestra. And, with sweeping string passages, Mozart's Symphony No. 29 was conducted in a relaxed, but well-timed and well-tuned performance. The audience was a bit unsophisticated in classical music requisites (clapping between movements and allowing cell phones to ring), but they certainly appreciated and attended to the spirited manner in which Mr. Nuzzo presented this work.

F. Schubert Symphony in B-flat Major: Allegro, Andante con molto, Menuetto, Allegro Vivace. Schubert's Symphony in B-flat Major had a nice, rapid entrance of strings, an exquisite solo flute passage, lovely woodwinds, a Minuet that sounded like a regal ballet entrance, a mature interpretation, and a very crisp ending.

Lament for Phaedra "Voices": Music by Sir John Tavener, Choreography by Valentina Kozlova, Costume by Lee Dieck, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Lighting Board Operator: Vincent Procker, Cello Solo: Vivian Penham, Soprano: Therese Panicali, Performed by Caitlin Dieck, as Phaedra.

(See Myth) Phaedra was one of Martha Graham's favorite mythological characters. (See Zlokower Graham Phaedra Review February 1, 2003 and Abrams Graham Phaedra Review January 28, 2003) Ms. Dieck was photographed in class with Valentina Kozlova recently (See photos at Ms. Kozlova's new studio), and she shows great promise with grace and pathos. She flew across the stage barefoot, with a large chiffony material transported through the air, dancing with long, brown hair falling like a waterfall. Ms. Penham, on cello, and Ms. Panicali, soprano, created a background of eery, repetitive, and very dissonant music. Sir John Tavener's score was brilliant, but disturbing, and Ms. Dieck projected the right attitude and affect for this tragic myth. Ms. Dieck used the entire stage to leap and swing her cloth on high or cover her head, as she symbolically recreated this myth.

Medea: Cave of the Heart - Opus 23: Music by Samuel Barber, Choreography by Valentina Kozlova, Paintings by Edward Bekkerman, Scenery and Masks by Sergei Betekhtin, Costumes by Sue Medeiros, Lighting by Stacey-Jo Marine, Lighting Board Operator Vincent Procker, Performed by Valentina Kozlova as Medea; Andrei Kisselev as Jason; Stephanie Lichtinger as the Princess; Clelia Montali and Marek Ranbom as the Children; Julia Blaustein, Lyla Medeiros, Grace Azmitia, Caitlin Dieck, Ayako Mike, Anuta Rathe, Sabrina Tharani, and Yekaterina Yurochkina as Medea's Evil Consciousness; Zoe LePage, Jenny Saylak, Elena Biagioni, Rachel Daniels, Caroline Rodriguez, and Alissa Stover as Allegories.

(See Myth) Valentina Kozlova personified a sophisticated, but very youthful Medea, who dramatized without the oft seen anger and angst. She seemed torn, as she eventually murders her family, as revenge for her husband's infidelity with the Princess. This myth was performed last year by San Francisco Ballet (See October 12, 2002 Review of Damned) in an interpretation more stark and shocking. Andrei Kisselev, as Jason, reveals his two personalities onstage in a very effective manner, and his passion for Stephanie Lichtinger, as the Princess, is well dramatized and contrasts to his distance from Medea.

Clelia Montali (Ms. Kozlova's real life daughter) and Marek Ranbom, as the children, were ready for this prime time appearance. The Chorus/Company that danced as the Evil Consciousness and Allegories was appropriately menacing and metaphorical. Philip Nuzzo's orchestra remained behind a black screen, in a theatrical technique usually reserved for Broadway. Ms. Kozlova's Dance Company and Mr. Nuzzo's Metro Chamber Orchestra combined forces tonight in an exciting and innovative feat, mesmerizing this audience and setting the ground for future dance/mythology/orchestral collaborations.


Valentina Zoslova as "Medea"
Photo by Boz Swope

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