Tag Archives: Burbank Philharmonic

Burbank Native Julie Adams Wins Grand Prize At Metropolitan Opera Finals

Burbank native Julie Adams was awarded the top prize at Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert. Along with four other grand prize winners, she was chosen from more than 1500 initial applicants from throughout the United States and Canada.

The Grand Finals Concert on March 31 featured the top nine singers, all in their twenties. Each competitor sang two arias with the Met Opera Orchestra. Adams received huge applause from the packed house.

Soprano Julie Adams with her grandfather, Daniel Savant. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

Soprano Julie Adams at the Metropolitan Opera House with her grandfather, Daniel Savant, and 80 year resident of Burbank. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

Adams “impressed me as the most mature of the winners with her elegant account of an aria from Debussy’s lyric cantata L’ Enfant Prodigue and an affecting performance of Mimi’s ‘Donde lieta uscì’ from Puccini’s La Bohème,” said Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times. “Her voice is rich, full and slightly earthy in an expressive way.”

Julie Adams and mother Lisa. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

Julie Adams and mother Lisa. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

“Winning this competition was absolutely surreal. I am so honored and humbled to have had the experience that I did,” commented Adams. “[It] gave me great exposure to people in the opera world. Many agents, managers and opera companies were in the audience that day, and just to be able to sing for them was a dream come true.”

Growing up in a musical family in Burbank, she always loved to sing, Adams recalled. She started taking voice lessons in second grade.

“I sang in my second grade talent show, and have been singing ever since,” she added. “I was lucky to have gone to schools that have wonderful music programs.”

“Burbank is very lucky to have such wonderful music programs in their schools,” Adams also said. “I was really able to develop as an artist through my experiences in choir at John Muir and BHS.”

Julie Adams with her parents, Lisa and Mark Adams. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

Julie Adams with her parents at the Met. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

Adams participated in show choir at Muir Middle School and Burbank High School through tenth grade. In eleventh grade, Adams transferred to L.A. County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) for their musical theater and opera program.

Adams performed in her first opera at LACHSA and graduated in 2006. She then studied vocal performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for both undergraduate and graduate work. Adams graduated with her Masters of the Arts in vocal performance in May 2013.

The soprano has been studying with her teacher, Cesar Ulloa, for over six years. With his guidance, she chose four arias to prepare for the Met competition.

Adams credits regular daily practice for ensuring she was in peak form and comfortable with her performance selections.

“I am over the moon with excitement for my daughter,” commented Adams’ mother Lisa Adams. “As a mother, it is so rewarding to watch your child accomplish their dreams. I am beyond proud and thankful to all who have supported and brought her this far.”

Adams also recently won the 2014 Hennings-Fischer Competition held by the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra. She will perform with the orchestra at Forest Lawn’s Hall of Liberty in May 2015.

At the end of May, Adams heads to San Francisco to perform in the San Francisco Opera’s Merola program, from June to mid-August. She will sing the role of Blanche DuBois in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.

Joan Rivers with Cesar Ulloa, Julie Adams' teacher, in the audience at the Metropolitan Opera. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

Joan Rivers with Cesar Ulloa, Julie Adams’ teacher, in the audience at the Metropolitan Opera. (Photo Courtesy of the Adams Family)

 

Burbank Philharmonic Concert

Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 8:00PM is the opening night gala of the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra’s 23rd concert season!  Steven Kerstein is the Music Director and Conductor.

 

“Fashion Meets the Phil “ – A special evening of music and fashion.  Solo Violinist Danielle Belen and selected musicians from the Burbank Philharmonic will be performing in gowns that are designed for this special evening by the talented student designers at Woodbury University.

 

The FREE concert will be held at the wonderful Ambassador Auditorium, 131 St. John Street in Pasadena at 8:00PM (click here for directions).  Parking in the adjacent structure is $10, and be aware of very limited on-street parking in the area.  No Instrumental Petting Zoo at this concert.

 

The Program:

Orpheus in the Underworld – Offenbach
Tzigane – Ravel (Danielle Belen, violin soloist)
Excerpts from Carmen – Bizet
Rondo  Capriccioso – Saint-Saens (Danielle Belen, violin soloist)
Intermission
An American in Paris – Gershwin
Baccanalle from Samson & Delilah – Saint-Saens

Philharmonic Opens Season With “Fashion Meets The Phil”

In an inspired program bringing together fashion and classical music, the Burbank Philharmonic debuts its 23rd season on November 9, at 7:00 p.m., with a free concert at Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium. Led by music director and conductor Steven Kerstein, the Philharmonic is comprised of area studio and motion picture soundtrack musicians.

Soloist Danielle Belen is fitted in her gown, designed by Woodbury University fashion design program seniors. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Philharmonic)

Soloist Danielle Belen is fitted in her gown, designed by Woodbury University fashion design program seniors. (Photo Courtesy of Burbank Philharmonic)

“Fashion Meets the Phil” features the lush Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach), Tzigane (Ravel) with violin soloist Danielle Belen, Excerpts from Carmen (Bizet), Rondo Capriccioso (Saint-Saens) with violin soloist Danielle Belen, An American in Paris (Gershwin) and Baccanalle from Samson & Delilah (Saint-Saens.)

Ms. Belen and Assistant Conductor Bethany Pflueger will model gowns created by seniors in Woodbury University’s fashion design program, along with Concertmaster Carolyn Osborn, Principal Cellist Catherine Biagini and Principal Violist Ilona Geller. Ms. Pflueger will conduct the Carmen excerpts for the program.

“From the beginning, we have been committed to providing world class music free of charge to the community,” says Maestro Kerstein. “But our outreach does not stop there. We support an array of programs, from our Musical Menagerie for young children and our annual Hennings-Fischer Young Artists’ Competition to invitations to dress rehearsals. ‘Fashion Meets the Phil’ is an extension of this tradition.”

The Woodbury seniors designed gowns that pay homage to French couture, so the Philharmonic selected music by French composers or inspired by France for the concert. “When Steve first asked me to play this concert and told me there was a collaboration with the fashion school, I jumped at the chance,” recalls Ms. Belen, who performed Tzigane with the San Francisco Symphony a few years ago and just recently with the Oregon Symphony. For her appearance with the Burbank Philharmonic, Ms. Belen wears two gowns, one for each piece.

I absolutely love fashion and shows like Project Runway,” the violinist continues. “Woodbury has been very accommodating, listening to my ideas and suggestions. There is a fine balance in designing these dresses to have a modern edge and sense of the avant-garde, while taking into account practicality and the fact that ultimately I have to stand on stage and perform these difficult pieces on the violin – which is quite an athletic activity, may I say!”

Usually, the Burbank Philharmonic performs regular season concerts at Forest Lawn’s Hall of Liberty, but due to scheduling issues, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium will host the November 9 concert.  Directions to the concert and a link to print free admission tickets can be found on the Burbank Philharmonic website.

 

Burbank Philharmonic Announces Winners

The grand prize winners are pictured with Music Director Steven Kerstein

Joseph Morris(l) – Clarinet; Music Director Steven Kerstein; Elizabeth Beilman(r) - Viola

Joseph Morris(l) – Clarinet; Music Director Steven Kerstein; Elizabeth Beilman(r) – Viola

Mark your calendar for the Family Concert – April 20, 2013 at 7:30PM at the Forest Lawn Hall of Liberty in Hollywood Hills

Instrumental Petting Zoo ~ 6:30 pm
Christopher Bartz, Soprano Saxophone
Juhye Kim, Soprano
Fantasia for Soprano & Orchestra by Villa-Lobos
Arias by Mozart, Puccini & Verdi
Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) by Mozart

Burbank Philharmonic Announces July 4th Program at Starlight Bowl

Every year, the Burbank Philharmonic delights the audience at the Starlight Bowl each July 4th with their performance before the fireworks show

A July 4th Salute to America Program

Steven Kerstein, Music Director and Conductor
Stone Soul, Special Guest Soloist
The Star Spangled Banner…………………………………. Francis Scott Key
   United States Air Force Technical Sergeant Oscar G. Lopez Jr., Baritone
Armed Forces Salute…………………………………………arr. Bob Lowden
Colonel Bogey March…………………….………………….Kenneth J. Alford
Selections from West Side Story…………………….……Leonard Bernstein
   arr. Jack Mason
The Sound of Music…………………….…………….. Rodgers & Hammerstein
   arr. Robert Russell Bennett
American Salute……………………………………………….Morton Gould
Clarinet Candy…………………….…………………………. Leroy Anderson
Bugler’s Holiday…………………..…………………………. Leroy Anderson
Star Wars……………………..………………………………..John Williams
Seventy-Six Trombones……………………………………..Meredith Wilson
The Washington Post March…………………….…………John Philip Sousa
America the Beautiful………………………………………..Samuel A. Ward
The Stars & Stripes Forever…………………..……………John Philip Sousa
   Stone Soul with the Burbank Philharmonic
Come early and bring a picnic meal. BPO’s program starts around 6:30 PM.
The event is organized by the City of Burbank. For event details and to purchase tickets, visit the Starlight Bowl web site at http://starlightbowl.com/july-4-2012.html.