Saturday, 22 June 2024

Clear Lake Performing Arts turns 30; celebration planned

LAKE COUNTY – After three decades of bringing beautiful music to Lake County, Clear Lake Performing Arts is preparing to celebrate its 30th

anniversary.


The county's primary music support group, will mark its special day on Sunday, Nov. 16, with a special concert at Clear Lake High School followed by a no-host dinner at the Little Theater building at the Lake County fairgrounds.


Clear Lake Performing Arts was founded in 1978 under the tutelage of Jean and Lucien Mitchell. They had both been members of the San Francisco Symphony and Opera orchestras, and who wanted to help provide the same sort of cultural opportunities in Lake County – the place they had chosen for retirement.


Their first task was to recruit enough musicians to form a small orchestra and in this they were successful.


The first performance of what came to be the Lake County Symphony took place at the Konocti Harbor resort. Two years later John Parkinson joined as director and conductor and has since built it into one of the largest and best small-market orchestras in California.


Since its founding CLPA also has offered substantial support for the conversion of Lakeport's Soper-Reese theater into a music venue.


For the anniversary program Parkinson has chosen music from the best works of half a dozen 19th century composers starting with the overture from Austrian Franz Schubert's "Rosamunde." Although relatively unknown during his lifetime, Schubert achieved international fame after his untimely early death at the age of 31 in 1828.


The composer of Parkinson's next selection, the overture from "The Barber of Seville," had no such problem. Gioachino Rossini was the writer of 39 operas, many of them in the buffo or comic opera style, of which Barber is perhaps the best known. He was one of the most popular composers of his day.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was another well-known composer whose opera, "Marriage of Figaro," was nearly banned when it was introduced. The symphony will play the overture from this classic tale of social inequality as its next piece. French composer Jacques Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld" will conclude the pre-intermission portion of the concert.


During intermission the ladies of the CLPA Auxiliary will serve complimentary cookies and juice, after which the 20 young people making up the CLPA Youth Orchestra will present their much-rehearsed version of "The Anniversary Waltz."


Andi Skelton, who also doubles as Symphony Concert Mistress, will then lead her Konocti Fiddle Club into a medley of favorites.


The second half of the symphony program will open with Mozart's popular "Serenade in D, K. 239 while the concluding number will highlight another Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn with his "London Symphony No. 104" – the last of his 12 so-called London Symphonies.


At the conclusion of the concert many of the musicians will join CLPA members in a no-host catered buffet dinner at the Lake County Fairgrounds Little Theater building. Members of the general public are also encouraged to participate, since it's a perfect opportunity to get personally acquainted with both CLPA members and members of the orchestra.


The menu consists of sliced barbecue tri-tips, chicken thighs, potato and green salad, beans, rolls and soft drinks. Wines will be offered for sampling by CLPA Wine Committee enthusiasts. Cost of the dinner is $25, and advance reservations are a must. They can be made by calling 263-5876.


The concert will start at 3 p.m. and end in time for all those planning to attend dinner at the fairgrounds to arrive their by the scheduled meal time of 6 p.m.


Concert tickets are $15 for CLPA members and $20 general admission. Young people under 18 are admitted free of charge.


For more information about CLPA, visit the group's Web site at www.clearlakeperformingarts.org.


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