February 8, 2017

Valentine’s Day magic is classical music paired with craft beer.

On Valentine’s Day, at WQXR’s downtown Greene Space, everyone will raise a pint glass to classical music’s great love affairs and epic breakups. The audience will hear some of the most romantic music ever composed, while drinking some of the best local beers ever brewed – including a love potion or two.

There will be performances from husband-and-wife pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung; tenor Stephen Costello & soprano Pretty Yende, the stars of the Met Opera’s Roméo et Juliette, appearing onstage together for the first time at this event; violinist Tessa Lark and bassist Michael Thurber, who are also an offstage couple; and the Attacca Quartet. Local craft breweries will provide an array of fine craft beers for the audience’s sampling pleasure. The evening, which is hosted by WQXR’s Matt Abramovitz, will be webcast live on Facebook and on WQXR.org.

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As Opera News notes in its February issue, Tucker Award-winning tenor Stephen Costello is now “at the top of his game.” In March, making his house title role debut, he headlines Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Met, starring opposite Pretty Yende in Bartlett Sher’s hit staging. Costello has just finished an earlier run at the Met, channeling Frank Sinatra as the Duke of Mantua in Michael Mayer’s hugely popular Vegas setting of Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Music and Arts has described the musical partnership of Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung as “a marriage of wondrous colours and dextrous aplomb, subtly balanced to make a musical performance sound as one.” That Bax and Chung are married in real life might explain some of their abundant artistic chemistry, which, combined with their eloquence, passion, and dazzling virtuosity, makes them one of the most appealing and impressive piano duos of our time. As Time Out Hong Kong wrote, “When Shakespeare wrote ‘if music be the food of love, play on’, he could not have expressed more accurately what the acclaimed piano duo of Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung has to offer the world at large.”

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WQXR’S Classical Beer Jam: Valentine’s Day Edition

Date & time:
Tuesday, Feb 14, 2017 at 7pm

Venue:
Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street (corner of Varick Street)

Artists & program:
Michael Thurber, bass; Tessa Lark, violin
Bach: Air on a G String and 3 Part Inventions
Stephen Costello, tenor; Pretty Yende, soprano; Jonathan Kelly, piano
Gounod: “Ah, lève-toi soleil” (Costello) & “Je veux vivre” (Yende) from Roméo et Juliette
Attacca String Quartet
Janáček: String Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”), III. Moderato-Andante-Adagio
Alessio Bax, piano; Lucille Chung, piano
Piazzolla/Bax/Chung: Milonga del Angel & Libertango

Tickets:
$30 general admission; 21+ and valid ID required; tickets & further info available at TheGreeneSpace.org

21C Media Group, February 2017