Friday, August 17, 2018
Stage

Pianist performs Mozart's final concerto with Florida Orchestra this weekend

Orion Weiss wants to learn to play all the Mozart piano concertos, which could be a lifelong project. "There are 27, so it's hard to play any of them a lot at this point," said Weiss, 31, who will be the soloist this coming weekend with the Florida Orchestra in the composer's final foray into the form, Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major.

Mozart was the soloist when the work premiered in 1791, and that turned out to be his last concert appearance. The composer, whose life was in disarray with financial and health problems, died about nine months later. But his last concerto is anything but gloomy.

"With Mozart, we know of instances where he wrote music that was completely opposite of what his state of mind might have been," Weiss said from his New York City apartment last week. "This piece is so uplifting, even though he was probably sick at the point he wrote it."

The concerto has a simplicity and directness of expression that you often find in an artist's later works. "There is amazing virtuosity, but somehow it's more integrated than in the earlier concertos," Weiss said.

Mozart would have played the concerto on a fortepiano, a much smaller, lighter and quieter instrument than the modern piano. Weiss keeps the period style of the music in mind in interpretive details such as rubato, phrasing and pedaling.

"What wouldn't sound sentimental or cheesy in Schumann or Chopin would stick out like a sore thumb in Mozart," he said.

Weiss has a new recital CD on the Bridge label of miniature works by Bartok (14 Bagatelles) and Prokofiev (Visions Fugitives) interspersed with Dvorak's fanciful Humoresque pieces.

Incidentally, the pianist pronounces his first name like the constellation. "My mom loved looking at the stars," said Weiss, who grew up in Cleveland.

The orchestra's program under guest conductor Cristian Macelaru also includes the overture to Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3, Scottish. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at Ferguson Hall of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa; 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $15, $30, $45. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.

Another pianist: Igor Lipinski has two recitals that promise to be different, because along with playing music, he does magic tricks. The pianist from Poland is studying for a doctorate at Northwestern University. Lipinski, who announces his selections from the stage and likes to get the audience involved, performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at St. Petersburg College's Music Center, 6605 Fifth Ave. N. $10. (727) 341-7984. On Sunday, he plays at 4 p.m. at Barness Recital Hall on the USF Tampa campus. $8-$15. (813) 974-2323; music.arts.usf.edu.

Starry soprano: Susanna Phillips, a young Alabama soprano who has become a regular at the Metropolitan Opera, gives a pair of recitals at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Historic Asolo Theater in Sarasota. She'll perform, with pianist Myra Huang, arias from operas by Gounod, Korngold and Carlisle Floyd as well as other works. $25-$45. (941) 306-1200; artistseriesconcerts.org.

Remembrance: Music, poetry, dance, drama and visual art are all part of Remembrance and Hope: A Tribute to the Survivors of the Holocaust by the Performing Arts Consortium of St. Petersburg. The performance is at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Palladium Theater. $10, $20. (727) 822-3590; spcollege.edu/palladium.

John Fleming can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8716.

Comments
What’s on stage: Countdown Improv Festival, comics Michael Coylar and Alonzo Bodden

What’s on stage: Countdown Improv Festival, comics Michael Coylar and Alonzo Bodden

SAY YES: COUNTDOWN IMPROV FESTIVAL Since its debut in Tampa last year, the 3-2-1 Improv Festival has grown in size and scope, adding acts and changing its name. Now the Countdown Improv Festival, this three-day celebration of spontaneity brings 39 gr...
Published: 08/15/18
Jobsite brings back 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' while celebrating 20 years

Jobsite brings back 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' while celebrating 20 years

The first come-to-Jesus meeting kicked off in November, as the Jobsite Theater faithful sipped beer and wine at a local pub and tried to come to grips with the future. This was, of course, inextricably tied up with its recent past, a season that sta...
Published: 08/14/18
A serious, if flawed, effort highlighting PTSD in Innovocative’s ‘Ugly Lies the Bone’

A serious, if flawed, effort highlighting PTSD in Innovocative’s ‘Ugly Lies the Bone’

TAMPA — A veteran of three tours of duty in Afghanistan returns home, her face disfigured in an explosion and dragging a stiff leg. Titusville, the Space Coast town where Lindsey Ferrentino set Ugly Lies the Bone, is reeling, too, from cutbacks to NA...
Published: 08/12/18
Updated: 08/13/18
This week: Innovocative Theatre presents PTSD drama, ‘Ugly Lies the Bone’

This week: Innovocative Theatre presents PTSD drama, ‘Ugly Lies the Bone’

INNOVOCATIVE THEATRE: UGLY LIES THE BONEAn improvised explosive device injures a veteran on her third tour of Afghanistan. She tries to get her life back in Titusville, but the road isn’t easy for Jess, her caregiver sister or her ex-boyfriend. Innov...
Published: 08/08/18
Live Oak Theatre announces 2018-19 season

Live Oak Theatre announces 2018-19 season

BROOKSVILLE — Live Oak Theatre Company has announced the 2018-19 season of shows and audition dates.The season includes three productions:• Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, will be presented weekends, Nov. 2-18.• It’s a Wonderful Life ra...
Published: 08/06/18
Florida Orchestra names Daniel Black as new assistant conductor

Florida Orchestra names Daniel Black as new assistant conductor

ST. PETERSBURG — The Florida Orchestra has hired conductor Daniel Black to share an increased workload in community concerts and other special programs."As our community programs expand, it’s time to make sure they have the unique guidance they deser...
Published: 08/03/18
Updated: 08/06/18
Hawk & Wayne, Steve Byrne and more — improv and comedy thrive in the summer

Hawk & Wayne, Steve Byrne and more — improv and comedy thrive in the summer

HAWK & WAYNE: KARAOKE-PROVImprov keeps going in the summer when everyone else is dark. (They don’t have the same demands as other theaters, and they’re a free-spirited bunch.) For the past nine years, Ricky Wayne, left, and Gavin Hawk, two of the are...
Updated one month ago
Lateness, fighting, phones: Seven etiquette violations to avoid at the theater (and a few to disregard)

Lateness, fighting, phones: Seven etiquette violations to avoid at the theater (and a few to disregard)

You might recall the evening of Nov. 8, 2016. Millions of Americans watched election returns coming in, including what seemed like every third audience member attending opening night of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The soft glow...
Updated one month ago
Amid ‘Hamilton’ frenzy, Straz season tickets sell out for the first time in history

Amid ‘Hamilton’ frenzy, Straz season tickets sell out for the first time in history

TAMPA — Since the announcement that Hamilton would come to Tampa in February, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has fielded inquires from hundreds of customers eager to get seats for the mega-hit musical. How much will thos...
Updated one month ago
Spring Hill playhouse presents Singin’ in the Rain Jr.

Spring Hill playhouse presents Singin’ in the Rain Jr.

SPRING HILL — A classic musical made famous by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor will come alive this weekend when the youth production of Singin’ in the Rain Jr. is presented at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd.The...
Updated one month ago