REVIEW: American to the Core
Heading along to see the latest effort from the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) was a moving experience for many in the GLBT community who packed in to see the show – American to the Core, a celebration of American music, featured a piece about the famed AIDS quilt, which commemorates lives lost.
I was one of rows of gay men who were drawn to the show that featured the New Zealand AIDS Quilt, which hung above the town hall’s pipe organ, reminding us of how lucky so many of us who survived the 1980s and 1990s are to be alive.
Leonard Bernstein’s Candide was a sublime piece, as was Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F. Ragna Schirmer (pictured), our pianist for the evening, was intense – a blonde bombshell, resplendent in pinstripes and absolutely gorgeous.
The New Zealand premiere of John Corigliano’s Symphony no. 1 followed the interval – confronting, unique and extremely loud in parts, whilst managing to be tender in others. Feelings of sadness and anger drifted in and out throughout the performance. Among the gay audience, it was impressive to see mainstream Auckland enjoying the performance too. Perhaps they got something different out of it than we did, but I’m sure they were just as moved.
| Jessel S.