articles / Classical Californians

Classical Californians: Josh Shaw

Content image

Josh Shaw

This week our Classical Californian is Josh Shaw, the founding Artistic Director and CEO of Pacific Opera Project, the LA-based company that makes works accessible to new audiences with updated translations and imaginative doses of pop culture (like setting Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio as an episode of Star Trek). He’ll share the music that he’s been listening to while preparing for their upcoming season…

He begins with some selections of baritone Bryn Terfel singing arias of Handel, from a recording that got him interested in opera:

Josh Shaw - 1

Handel: Judas Maccabaeus - “I feel the Deity within…" (Bryn Terfel)

Handel: Judas Maccabaeus - "Arm, Arm ye brave" (Bryn Terfel)

Josh Shaw - 2

Handel: Alexander's Feast - "Revenge, revenge Timotheus cries" (Bryn Terfel)

Then an aria from an influential tenor, Nicolai Gedda... singing "Viens, gentille Dame" from Boieldieu's opera La Dame blanche.

Josh Shaw - 3

Boieldieu: La Dame blanche - "Viens, gentille Dame" (Nicolai Gedda)

The quintessential operatic moment, he says, is when Mozart's rakish hero Don Giovanni is joined by the spirit of the Commendatore he killed earlier in the opera...

Josh Shaw - 4

Mozart: Don Giovanni - "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco"

One of the upcoming operas in Pacific Opera Project's season is Dvorak's Rusalka, so he chose a duet, here sung by Ben Hepner and Renee Fleming.

Josh Shaw - 5

Dvorak: Rusalka - "Libej mne" (Hepner/Fleming)

Another upcoming work is the infrequently performed Don Bucefalo by Cagnoni. Here's an aria that the Don sings to the orchestra, imitating its instruments...

Josh Shaw - 6

Cagnoni: Don Bucefalo - "Trai, trai, trai"

And one more work that's on this season's schedule is the Gilbert & Sullivan classic HMS Pinafore. Here's the so-called "Bell Trio" called "Never Mind the Why and Wherefore" in a 1960 performance by the D'Oyly Carte Theatre.

Josh Shaw - 7

Gilbert & Sullivan: HMS Pinafore - "Never Mind the Why and Wherefore"

And some closing thoughts...

Josh Shaw - 8

Published on 07.03.2024