Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Category — Music

Matilda on Broadway [Outside Arts Event]

In the past week I visited the Matilda Musical on Broadway with a couple of friends. As I sat in the middle section, I took note of the proficient actors/actresses. I focused on the plot of the story and listened to the sounds of the music as the actors sang aloud. I recognized that there was much more to the Broadway show then the plot and the music. This Broadway show can absolutely fall into the category of art.

As my friends were enjoying the plot and the music, I began to look around. I took note of the audience who ranged from ages 5 to about 60. I noticed the set up- the stage was centered and the seats circled the stage. I recognized the luminous lights fixated on the actors. The set up and introduction of new scenes were oblivious and the production and design was phenomenal.

The Broadway show was indeed art. The set up, the makeup on the actresses, the clothing on the performers, the lights, the stage, the acting, the movements, and the music make the Broadway show an exceptional piece of art. I truly enjoyed the show and was amazed at the thought that almost everything can fit in the category of art!






December 13, 2013   No Comments


No, it’s not what you’re thinking: I didn’t visit one of the branches of the international company that retails Spanish clothing and accessories. 🙂

Zara is a “pop” singer of ethnic Kurdish background and is widely popular in countries in Europe and Asia. Usually, as with all pop singers, Zara’s songs are upbeat and lively, engaging people of the younger generations. However, on this tour, Zara focused primarily on songs of various time periods, cultures, and backgrounds. During the performance, Zara sang in English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, French, and Armenian and her repertoire included traditional songs, classical pieces, modern songs, and old-fashioned romances/ballads.

Zara sang many songs throughout the night, including Lara Fabian’s song, titled “Adagio,” as well as symbolic World War II songs and even “Une Histoire d’Amour.” The musicians accompanying her were incredible, as well as the dancers were during some of the waltzes.

And, while all of the songs were very enjoyable to listen to, one of the songs Zara sang that night was unlike any other. Dle Yaman, or “Դլե յաման”, (the first video below) is the song that caused the audience, regardless of nationality or origin, as a whole to be entirely unmoving and remain transfixed, whether on Zara or within the emotions that the song brought about. Originally, this Armenian song was a love song written a very long time ago, with the words accompanied by a duduk, which is a traditional woodwind instrument indigenous to Armenia. However, Dle Yaman has become one of the most common symbols and laments of the Armenian genocide.

Although I couldn’t find actual videos from her concert on November 3rd,2013, the following are a few examples of the arrangements that she sang during her performance:

Start the following video at 0:44 to view Zara sing.

Zara’s genuine emotions infused every song that she sang, her humble manner when accepting bouquets of flowers was definitely a rare encounter among celebrities of her caliber, and her happiness while singing encores definitely added to my enjoyment of the performance.


December 10, 2013   No Comments

Il Divo: A Musical Affair

For a few years, my brother and I have been fans of a band called Il Divo. However, to say that Il Divo is simply a band is a colossal understatement. Il Divo consists of four men who have the most angelic and perfect voices you will ever have the pleasure of listening to, whether it be on recording or live. The band sings operatic pop in many different languages. They do covers of songs and original songs with only some of the choruses in English. Luckily for me, I was able to hear these angels sing live on November 8th. My brother had gotten tickets for my birthday to their concert at the Marquis Theatre. The concert was part of the tour for their new album titled, “A Musical Affair.” This album was comprised entirely of Broadway show tunes, which, needless to say, was perfect for me. The combination of hearing Il Divo sing and hearing them sing Broadway songs was absolutely incredible. They also had guest singer, Heather Headley, who is featured on the album. Her voice is absolutely incredible and she has starred in many Broadway productions, such as The Lion King. I got chills after every single song they sang. This concert was very different from the other concerts I’ve been too. People dressed up and sat in a theatre with chairs made of red velvet, whereas in other concerts, I was standing in a crowd of young people jumping up and down and screaming. Another thing that really intrigued me about the concert was the fact that the members of the band strongly discouraged people from using their cell phones to take pictures or videos. One of the members would even gesture for someone to put their phone away from the stage. The singers really wanted the audience to enjoy the performance and not be caught up in taking pictures and videos. Often times, we do not realize how focused we are on capturing every minute of a concert, and we miss out on actually experiencing the concert.

November 22, 2013   No Comments


Going back to a show at Lincoln Center was amazing, especially because it was something different, something that I probably would have not gone on my own to see.

Many people seemed to have enjoyed it, but in all honesty, it did not exceed my expectations. This is not a bad thing or good thing at the same time. In reality, there’s always a stereotype for any kind of music/performance, and for opera, some characterize it as boring and hard to understand. Unfortunately, I have to agree after going to see this. HOWEVER, I am glad that I was able to experience this firsthand. I am glad that I don’t have to wonder anymore about opera (haha). I am not saying I didn’t enjoy myself or the performance, but I am saying that the opera isn’t for me.

As per the performance, set, composer, etc., I thought they were incredible. It was humorous and the colors really went well with the whole idea. I was very impressed with the child actors/singers and some of the music was just great!

After the opera ended, I kind of kept my comments to myself because I know there are many that really enjoyed it. It’s interesting that this art form is still alive, and although it isn’t my favorite, I am also glad that it’s still around.

October 21, 2013   No Comments

Tuesday’s Opera Outing

Attending the Metropolitan Opera on the evening before a philosophy mid-term exam was one of the greatest things I could have done, and did! I had seen other film an stage productions of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (including one I participated in during my junior year of high school), but Tuesday’s version was by far the most modern. Of course, people often imagine that Shakespeare’s plays are performed with a Renaissance setting, whether this mean the set looks antique or the setting really is Europe. However, this performance changed the way I thought of on-stage opera and the means by which the audience is captivated.

No one doubts the excellence of the Met, so the cast were bar none some of the greatest the opera world has to offer. Yes, the singing of opera is indeed an art form, but the set did just as good a job at sparking intrigue. When my high school put on our production of Midsummer, we tried very hard to replicate the Athenian and forest scenes to the letter. In particular, many of the forest scenes took place in front and within four towering green walls that had been constructed with a red door fashioned into their corners. In addition, a large tree branch had been constructed through the green walls in such a way that it had pierced the walls. At the start, the same frustration that I express towards Duchamp’s “In Advance of a Broken Arm”. Around halfway through the first act, though, I realized that the four walls symbolized the four lovers: Helena and Demetrius, Hermia and Lysander; the branch represented the Puck’s mistake with the love spell and the lover’s quarrels that followed. In many of the world’s cultures, the color red represents love and passion. This made me wonder if the doors represented the entryway to each of the four lovers’ hearts, and that each character who passed through the doors were following an intricate stage directions that followed intricacies of the storyline. Lastly, I wonder if the tree branch had been forced into the four walls or had grown through them gradually, each possibility leading to a slightly different interpretation of the story.

Overall, I had a fantastic time at Tuesday night’s outing to the Metropolitan Opera. In many ways, my opinion of the opera changed for the better. Therefore, I look forward to attending many more operas with the Macaulay class in the four years at Macaulay.

October 17, 2013   1 Comment