Pacific Opera Project presents Puccini

Los Angeles opera company and grant recipient Pacific Opera Project presented “Tosca” in September 2014, and “La Boheme” in December 2014. Both were conducted and, in “La Boheme,” accompanied by, grant recipient Stephen Karr. “Tosca” featured a twenty-two person orchestra that moved, along with the audience, from scene to scene.

Stage and Cinema wrote: “Josh Shaw and Stephen Karr have once again put together a fantastic operatic production showcasing some of the finest vocal talent available at an extremely affordable price. Under Shaw’s creative direction . . ., La Bohème has been superbly brought to life in a setting that is faithful to the original, as well as intimately and creatively wrought.”

POP will present Mozart's “Abduction from the Seraglio” in Spring 2015.


Tin's New Work Tops Billboard's Classical Chart

Composer Christopher Tin, whose work is primarily classical with a strong world music influence, continues to compose for films, video games, and commercials. Chris won two Grammy awards for his first album, the classical crossover “Calling All Dawns.”

The US premiere of “The Drop That Contained the Sea,” Christopher Tin’s sequel to “Calling All Dawns,” was performed at Carnegie Hall, New York, on April 13, 2014. The new work contains ten new pieces in ten languages, featuring another all-star collection of world and classical artists, including the Soweto Gospel Choir, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Anonymous 4, Dulce Pontes, and many more. Also featured is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which Chris conducted at legendary Abbey Road Studios.


The West Coast premiere was performed by IFS grant recipient Angel City Chorale on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles.

The CD of “The Drop That Contained the Sea” entered the Billboard Classical Music Chart at No. 1, and entered at No. 6 on the Billboard World Music Chart.


Dr Lee EdwardsDr. Lee MacCormick Edwards passed away on April 19, 2014 of ovarian cancer. She died in Edgecliff, Australia, an eastern suburb of Sydney, as she looked out to Point Piper where she was born on October 20, 1937. Lee lived in Locust Valley, NY; in addition to Edgecliff she also had homes in New York City and Vail. Lee was the granddaughter of the renowned Sydney surgeon and international yachtsman, Sir Alexander MacCormick, who after studying medicine under Joseph Lister at Edinburgh University in the 1880s, introduced antiseptic surgery to Australia. Lee's maternal grandfather, the chemist W. Howard Wright, founded Schenectady Varnish Company in 1906; the company grew to become the multinational SI Group, Inc., and Lee served on its Board of Directors up until the time of her death. Lee was an accomplished art historian and consultant and artist with a M.A. (1978), M. Phil. (1981), and Ph.D. (1984) from Columbia University. She lectured and taught widely in the United States, Europe and Australia and specialized in the arts and social history of the nineteenth century. She was on the art history faculty of her alma mater (class of 1976) Sarah Lawrence College from 2000 2008. Her book, "Herkomer: A Victorian Artist," was awarded the Henry-Russell Hitchcock prize by the Victorian Society of America for the best book of the year in 2001.
Lee was the President of the International Festival Society (IFS) from 2002 until 2013. The IFS makes grants to promising young American classical musicians on the cusp of their professional careers. She served on the boards of many other charitable organizations including the International Foundation for Art Research, The American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia and The American Australia Foundation.
A keen photographer, Lee exhibited her work annually; she considered it as an extension of her interest in the arts of the nineteenth century. Her last show in the United States, "My World," photographs of her native Australia, was held at Heimbold Visual Arts Center at Sarah Lawrence College in November 2012. All proceeds from her final exhibition, "Capturing the Moment" at Maunsell Wickes in Sydney in October 2013, were donated to support ovarian cancer research at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research and the St. Vincent's Curran Foundation in Sydney.
She was active in tennis, golf, kayaking, ocean swimming and golf croquet. She was a member of The Century Association, Colony Club, Metropolitan Opera Club, Piping Rock Club, The Creek, Sonnenalp Golf Club, Game Creek Club, Royal Sydney Golf Club as well as the club co-founded by her paternal grandfather, the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club in Sydney. With her husband, the artist Michael Crane, Lee attended the Salzburg Festival for thirty years. She was awarded the Goldene Kreuz of the State of Salzburg in 2005 for her work as head of the American Friends of the Salzburg Festival.
In addition to her husband she is survived by her loving daughter Alison Edwards Curwen, son-in-law Austin Curwen and grandchildren Darcy, Tag and Stapley Curwen. A memorial service in New York will be scheduled for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lee's honor can be made to the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation, c/o Tina Albright, Secretary, Curtis Mallet, 101 Park Ave., New York, NY 10178.

Published in The New York Times on Apr. 22, 2014 View here.