Night and Dreams: A Schubert and Beckett Recital

On Tuesday, Los Angeles Philharmonic Artist Collaborator Yuval Sharon presented a brilliant recital program, Night and Dreams: A Schubert and Beckett Recital. As founder and Artistic Director of opera company, The Industry in Los Angeles, Sharon has helped realize acclaimed new operas, including Hopscotch, the mobile opera which have challenged the art form to the core. His approach to the recital format is no less innovative. Sharon told me that loves the recital format, but wanted to do something new and daring.

The Night and Dreams program links 20th century playwright Samuel Beckett with 19th century composer Franz Schubert. Although separated by over a hundred years, both artists were innovators who experimented with their art forms and who dealt with existential themes. The program was comprised of Schubert songs and excerpts from Beckett plays, blurring the lines between the two by casting the singers as actors, and by allowing scenes and songs to alternate seamlessly as complete pieces. Soprano Julia Bullock provided silvery, pure tone, fabulous control and detailed attention to the text of her songs. Bass baritone Ryan McKinney was smart contrast with his large, dark sound and grander, operatic approach to his songs. Joining them were actors, Barry McGovern, Alan Mandell (both of whom worked with Beckett), Miles Anderson, Bella Merlin and Priscilla Pointer.

Night and Dreams: A Schubert and Beckett Recital was performed on Tuesday, March 21 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, directed by Yuval Sharon.

— Chiedu Egbuniwe