On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show #213 Burlington, VT

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Jim Westphalen.

Hi all! This weekend we taped a radio show in Burlington, Vermont at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, a beautifully restored vaudeville house right in the center of town.

I was so excited for the taping because one of my favorite performers was invited back as a 10th Anniversary guest – soprano Nadine Sierra, who was originally on our show six years ago when she was 15. Back then I remember being astonished by how rich and beautiful her voice was, and I was really looking forward to hearing her sing again.

Nadine Sierra. Photo by: New York Times.

This time around the now 21-year-old Nadine sang a gorgeous aria from Charles Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet. Surveying the audience from my perch onstage, I could tell that they were as thrilled by her performance as I was. She also spoke about her surprise at winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions last year (that’s kind of like the American Idol of the classical world). It’s the kind of competition that launches major careers, so I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Nadine in the future!

As usual, the taping also featured a diverse array of outstanding kid musicians – and this show featured a whole flock of them. There was Leland Ko, a precocious 11-year-old who wowed everyone with his cello skills; JeeHae Ahn, 18, who gorgeously played Liszt on piano; and a quartet of teenage bassoonists who performed a new piece of music written by 17-year-old Timothy Woos (who has been honored by ASCAP as a composer).

The show closed with the 93-member Vermont Youth Orchestra playing a movement from Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra by Joseph Schwantner. The piece featured a cadenza section improvised by teenage percussionist Nick Bonaccio. You couldn’t see him too well from the audience as he was placed in the back of the orchestra, so I snuck in with my handy flip cam during dress rehearsal to give you a peek at his mad skills. Check out the video below – and don’t forget to tune in when this show airs the week of May 10th!

One Response

  1. [...] Another thrilling part of tonight’s show was Christopher O’Riley’s break piece. For those of you who have never been to a live taping, the break piece is a solo Chris plays at the midpoint of each show. When the program airs, you only get to hear a small portion of the break piece performance, but the live audience hears the whole thing. Sometimes Chris plays traditional classical repertoire and sometimes he plays new interpretations of music from other genres. For this show, he did something completely unique – he premiered a piece written by a 17-year-old composer from Vermont. That composer’s name is Tim Woos, and Chris met him when he was featured on a show we taped last month in Burlington, Vermont (airing this May). [...]

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