"Operalia" Competition for Joshua Guerro

Two years ago, tenor Joshua Guerrero was accepted into Los Angeles Opera’s Young Artist Program. In August 2014 he won second place, and the CulturArte prize, in the International Competition of Placido Domingo’s Operalia.

Since then Joshua has secured management with the CAMI Agency, and will be in Barcelona in January 2015, competing in the Francisco Vinas International Singing Competition.

 

Tim Fain's Hollywood Soundtracks

Violinist Tim Fain is internationally renowned as a new music innovator, orchestral soloist and chamber musician. He has collaborated and toured with Philip Glass, and is seen on screen and heard on the films “12 Years a Slave” (2013), “Black Swan” (2010), and “Bee Season”(2005).

 

International Festival Society Luncheon

by Arthur Reynolds

For many years gone by, mid-summer meant a week at the Salzburg Festival, and Salzburg Festival Week meant reunion with my same-time-next-year friend Marie Hadji.  

I lived in London then, so the direct flight from Stansted to Salzburg Airport was cheap and quick.  So was the taxi ride from the airport to Anif, where the aptly-named Point Hotel functioned as the meeting point for Marie, Lee Edwards, Betty Gates, Joe Piropato and many other superb friends united by their love of the music for which the Festival provides an annual showcase.

Unhappily, I was never able to spend more than a week at the Festival, but Marie always made sure I made the best of what time I had there. Preparations always began with a telephone call to Marie, whose knowledge of each year’s program was encyclopedic.  I would begin the conversation by offering to rent a car, whereupon Marie’s response would be no, she would rent a car, so we could go into town together.

I can't begin to count the number of Wienerschnitzels Marie and I consumed in the Point Hotel diningroom.  Or the number of stories she would tell about the music she loved and life she lived before any of us knew her.

Marie’s endearing bon ami had its roots in her birthplace: Kempten.  The largest town in the beautiful  Allgäu region of Bavaria, Kempten must have been the picture of Gemütlichkeit harmony when Marie was born there on July 23, 1940.  As with many moments in Marie’s life, the happy-go-lucky years of her infancy were not meant to last.

Once, over a shared bottle of Grüner Veltliner Marie described how in the spring of 1945, she and her mother, Anna né Deufel had joined a group of a dozen or so refugees fleeing the wartime chaos when an Allied fighter plane swooped down to strafe the field they were crossing.  Everybody in the little party fell to the ground in the hope of survival.  Marie remembers holding tightly on to her mother’s hand as they stood up when the attacker had gone.  She also remembers looking around to see that all of the their fellow travelers were killed.

Marie lost her father before she was a year old.  Not long later, Anna met and married Marie’s beloved stepfather.  Relatives moved to New York in 1950.  Then in 1952, Marie found herself in California, when her mother and step-father moved to the United States.

After earning her bachelor’s degree at UCLA, Marie married and gave birth to her son Eric in 1972.  They lived in Santa Monica for more than 40 years, where Marie embarked on a long, successful career as a paralegal.  From time to time her work brought Marie to the Troy & Gould law firm, where she met Joe and Brig Troy, who were then launching the American Friends of the Salzburg Festival together with Richard Colburn.  The rest as they say is history.

I’ve always thought that Marie’s married name - Hadji - was supremely appropriate.  She was the head pilgrim who made possible my annual pilgrimage to Salzburg, and that of so many cherished friends.  There were other times of the year when we talked, but only by telephone.  The last conversations concerned our preparations for a fund-raising recital/drinks party Betty and I gave in New York this past February. Marie and I made plans to see each other the day before and after the party; I reserved a room for her and thought to myself, at last we will meet on American soil.

Alas it was not meant to be.  Shortly before the event was to take place, Marie telephoned to say she could not join us owing to the return of the cancer that had stalked her several years ago.  My prayers that remission would come again went unanswered.  She left us on April 9th.

Consider how much poorer our lives would have been had that 1945 strafing run put an end to Marie’s life when she was not yet five years old.  Certainly my life is immeasurably richer because I knew her and will be immeasurably poorer because I will not see her or hear her cheery voice again.