Tag Archives: Stuart Chafetz
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Summer heat: Versatile CSO, with Chafetz takes on Broadway, pop classics

The weather may be cool, but the Chautauqua Opera Company Young Artists and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra will heat up the Amphitheater Saturday night with hot Broadway and pop tunes, all about summer.

“Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, “Summer in Ohio” from The Last Five Years and “Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me, Kate are just some of the selections the Young Artists and the CSO will perform, starting at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night in the Amp. The program will be conducted by Stuart Chafetz, CSO principal timpanist and guest conductor.

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Michelle Kanaar | DAily File PhotoGuest conductor Stuart Chafetz, principal timpanist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, leads the CSO during the 2012 Season’s Independence Day Celebration.

Grab Bag: Chafetz, DeSare, CSO prepare diverse, patriotic repertoire for annual Independence Day celebration

Stuart Chafetz may be the only conductor who visits Sam’s Club once a year to buy 15,000 paper bags.

“[The cashiers] kind of look at me funny, like, ‘What’s this for? Boy, is this for camp?’ ” Chafetz said. “I just usually say, ‘Yeah, a lot of mouths to feed.’ We always have plenty of paper bags — the ushers hand you your program plus three paper bags.”

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Chafetz featured in Lazarus series

Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra principal timpanist and frequent guest conductor Stuart Chafetz will be the featured speaker for the Hebrew Congregation’s Shirley Lazarus Sunday Speakers Series at 8 p.m. Sunday in the Hurlbut Church sanctuary.

Chafetz has served as principal timpanist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra since 1997. This year, he guest conducted the annual Independence Day concert, which he has done for the past nine years, as well as the Opera Pops concert in August.

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Despite busy schedules, CSO musicians find time to perform throughout US

Though the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra welcomes guest artists every week, members of the CSO also travel across the United States to perform during the season.

Jeffrey Robinson, principal bassoon and member of the CSO for the past eight years, was absent the first half of the Chautauqua season, because he was subbing in the New York Philharmonic.

“I still thought about this place every day,” Robinson said. “I wish I could have been both places, but it just seemed like too good an opportunity and too interesting a thing to have happen to turn down.”

Robinson played with the NYPO for four months, which included a tour of the West Coast, a residency in the Vail Valley Music Festival, and concerts in Central Park.

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Rachel Silker, soprano Chautauqua Opera Apprentice Artist performs with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Saturday, July 14, 2012.

Opera’s Apprentice Artists prepare buoyant program to end their season

You might sit through an entire opera or Broadway show just to hear a favorite song. You buy a ticket for Carmen to hear the “Habanera” aria; you attend My Fair Lady for “I Could Have Danced All Night”; and when the orchestra swells with the introductory notes of your beloved piece, you are transported.

At 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater, Chautauqua Opera Company’s Apprentice Artists will sing only the favorites in their end-of-season pops concert, “Water Matters: Broadway — The Great Wet Way,” with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

After programming the Opera Highlights concert to reflect Chautauqua’s “Water Matters” theme during Week Four, the opera staff had a long list of water-related music that did not fit in the July 14 concert. Keeping the water topic for the Apprentice Artists’ second symphony concert seemed like the obvious choice.

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Katharine McGookey, a mezzo Apprentice Artist, performs Rossini's The Italian in Algiers. McGookey was a 2011 Chautauqua Opera Studio Artist.

Chafetz leads CSO, Apprentice Artists in second water-themed collaboration

“Two sticks down to one, I say,” said Stuart Chafetz, principal timpanist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.

Saturday, he will set down his mallets and pick up his baton to conduct the Opera Young Artists Pops Concert with the CSO at 8:15 p.m. in the Amphitheater.

It has been a busy week for Chafetz. Between racing to CSO rehearsal in the morning, to opera rehearsal in the afternoon, and then back to the Amp for CSO concerts in the evening, he barely has time to breathe. But Chafetz does not let it show.

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Symphony Partners offers chance to meet CSO principals

Members of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra lead normal lives as part of the fabric of the Chautauqua community — when they aren’t performing three times a week.

They attend morning lectures, take walks by the lake and their kids even attend Boys’ and Girls’ Club.

The Symphony Partners will host a Meet the Principals Reception, a special event to meet the fellow members of the community, at 5-7 p.m. next Wednesday, July 11, at the Chautauqua Golf Club. The reception is a chance for devoted fans and audience members to meet the musicians, ask questions and connect names on the program with faces on the stage.

It is the first time Symphony Partners will sponsor this specific reception, in addition to their regular Brown Bag and post-concert Meet the Musician gatherings on the Amphitheater back porch.

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The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, here in July 2011, performs its annual Independence Day Pops Concert at 8 p.m. tonight in the Amp. Daily file photo.

Sparks fly a day early with Chafetz, Ragusa and the CSO

On July 3, the sound of 15,000 paper bags popping like cannons in the Amphitheater will rival the fireworks on July Fourth — not to mention the vocal cords of fiery Broadway soprano Michele Ragusa belting out “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s annual Independence Day Celebration concert will rip-roar to life at 8 p.m. tonight. Featuring CSO timpanist Stuart Chafetz as the guest conductor for the 10th consecutive year, the concert will also spotlight Ragusa on several Broadway selections, and the audience will play its traditional role as the cannons in Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

Chafetz buys the paper bags himself, after testing which size creates the best sound.

“They’re No. 4 bags — that’s the number. No. 5 is too heavy, No. 3 is not quite the right sound,” Chafetz said. “There I was (in Sam’s Club) practicing, trying the different bags, blowing them up and popping them to hear the kind of sound.”

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