A Song of Summer - and a reward of 28,811 baht!
soprano You-ree Rho with Santi Saengthong at the recital.
By Jai Pee
Around forty-five years ago, the
late British film director Ken Russell celebrated the life of the
English composer Frederick Delius in a film made for television entitled
“Song of Summer”. On March 24th and March 26th at
the Santi School of Music the arrival of summer was celebrated in song
by a glorious set of two recitals by Korean-born opera star You-ree Rho,
a relatively new part-time resident of the city. And what an explosion
of pure sound reverberated across the lanes near to Kad Suan Keow as Ms
Rho launched into some of the world’s best loved arias by Giaccomo
Puccini. Puccini was born in 1858 and died in 1924 so he was very much
contemporaneous with Thailand’s great King Rama V, Chulalongkorn. How
wonderful it was to celebrate the arrival of summer by listening to
arias that were written at the time of the reign of this great visionary
monarch. To do justice to the many magnificent achievements of this
celebrated and revered King would take extraordinary talent – and who
more fitting to honour this memory than You-ree Rho. She not only has
such enormous talent but she sings in the purest tones, accentuating
every phrase with careful precision and total professionalism. Her voice
is radiant and in the opening two arias from the classic Madama
Butterfly, especially in the famous “Un bel di” (One fine day), she
reached great heights in the highest of standards as her voice soared in
the warm night air. She contrasted these arias with the well-known and
more tender aria “O mio babbino caro” (Oh, my beloved father) from the
opera Gianni Schicchi, in a rendition that captured both the tenderness
and eloquence of this golden favourite. Arias followed from Turandot, La
Boheme and Tosca, all sung with deep affection and a sincere love for
the music she was performing. In between the arias, two delightful
interludes gave Ms Rho a much needed break from her demanding role –
both were provided by two of Santi’s teachers – Boo, a baritone with
rich deep tones sang a baroque song “Danza danza” by Francesco Durante
and violin teacher Mojin provided a beautifully nostalgic version of Sir
Edward Elgar’s “Salut D’Amour” written as an engagement present for his
future wife in 1888.
This was a charity event – all the
musicians and their wonderful accompanist Ajaan Santi, head of the music
school, gave of their time and professionalism free of charge so that
others might benefit from their talents. The monies raised – a
magnificent total of 28,811 baht - will be sent primarily to the
Baan Mae Sa School in Amphur Mae Jam some 200 plus kilometers north of
the city. Located in the mountains, this Karen school of 175 students
will be in receipt of a range of musical instruments to help improve
their love and understanding of music. The remainder of the money will
be sent to the Blessings Foundation to help that charitable organization
continue to provide clean well-water for local villages.
All those at the Santi School of
Music would like to thank Ms Rho for her two wonderful recitals that
will result in an enhancement of life for less fortunate people in the
Province. I hope it goes without saying that the generosity and support
of those attending the recitals through their bounteous donations is not
just appreciated for today alone – it will be remembered for a very long
time indeed by those in receipt of the gifts from this wonderful
endeavor of Ajaan Santi and Ms Rho.
Panu Kritaramruang; Mind at Matoom Art Space
Kritaramruang at the opening of his exhibition at the Matoom Art Space.
Panu was born in 1972 in Bangkok
but presently lives and works in Chiang Mai. He graduated from the
Department of Sculpture and Painting of Chiang Mai University. Since
graduating he has participated in several exhibitions in Thailand.
He is particularly interested in
the philosophy of human life and especially in Buddhist philosophy.
Often he will merge contrasting elements such as birth and death or
flowers in bloom with a dead tree in the background. With a special
expertise in transparent oil painting this makes his artwork more
interesting, showing the complexity of each element.
For the ‘Mind’ Exhibition, Panu
expresses the concept that with a clear mind and a conscious attention
to our own physical well-being, it is possible to look beyond a
beautiful surface and find an abstract beauty which reaches beyond the
initial, superficial attraction. He believes that we must take more time
for ourselves, return into the reaches of our minds, and when our mind
is peaceful from observing beauty, then our physical beings will be also
be calm and peaceful.
Matoom Art Space is located at
136/4 Ratchapakinai Road.
the many works Panu has on display for his exhibition titled Mind.
Exhibition opening was held at Matoom Art Space on Ratchapakinai Road.
Welcome to You-ree Rho – a singer of extraordinary talent
By Jai Pee
Newly arrived in Chiang Mai where she will live on a
part-time basis is Korean-born lyric soprano You-ree Rho. She has
already made contact with the Friends of Music Making in Chiang Mai and
with the Santi School of Music, where she is to give two charity
concerts on Saturday March 24th and Monday March 26th.
The recitals will be repeats of one another. The artist and Ajaan Santi,
head of the Music School, have decided that the money raised by
voluntary donation at the concerts will go towards purchasing musical
instruments for students at MaeSa School, MaeJam.
You-ree Rho is a lyric soprano
holding a Master’s degree from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of
Music Degree and Certificate in Music Education, as well as a
certificate from the Pescara Academy in Italy. She is an exceptionally
talented soprano with beautiful rich head tones. Her singing voice is
dynamic and expressive. Ms. Rho specially loves the opera repertoire,
particularly the works of Puccini and Verdi at which she excels vocally
and dramatically. She also is also a talented singer of Lieder and art
songs. Ms. Rho has been performing in various concerts and recitals, and
appeared numerously in operas such as Aida, Carmen, Die Zauberflöte, Le
Nozze di Figaro, Magic Flute, The Tenderland, Orphèe aux Enfers, Suor
Angelica, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, and Turandot. She has sung with
the Calgary Opera company, the Cowtown Opera Company and Opera Nuova in
Canada. She has been involved in a number of radio broadcasts, vocal
workshops and other voice training initiatives in Canada – in addition
to winning many competitions and receiving music scholarships. Ms. Rho
currently teaches voice and music theory in Calgary, and is a full
member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and the
Royal Conservatory of Music. Wow!! What a CV and to think she has come
to live here part of the year! So her two recitals at Santi’s School of
music, both starting at 7.30pm are not to be missed.
Accompanied by Ajaan Santi on the
piano, You-ree’s recitals will include the following great operatic
highlights of Giaccomo Puccini:
From Tosca: Vissi d'arte,
From Turandot: Signore,
ascolta! and Tu, che di gel sie cinta
From La Boheme: Quando
From Madama Butterfly:
Ancora un passo or via and Un bel di vedremo
From Gianni Schicchi: O
mio babbino caro
In addition there will be two short
interludes on violin by string teacher Mjin who will play Salut
D’Amour by Elgar plus a song by voice teacher Boo, called Danza,
Danza by Francesco Durante. JP from the Friends of Music Making in
Chiang Mai will introduce the recitals and provide a spoken dialogue
between the pieces.
What could be more enticing than
such an evening with great talent and such a delectable variety of arias
that surely all opera lovers know and cherish? Reservations should be
made for the limited seating through the Santi School of Music office
manager, Ken, on 053 224 344, or in person at the School on
Sirimangklanjan Soi 5, behind Kad Suan Keow.
Elephant art returns to Central Airport for National Elephant Day
Artist Jakraphan Chaijit is
joined by Crown Property Bureau Representative Pipatpong Israsena Na
Ayutthaya who oversees cultural promotion for the Crown Property Bureau.
Artist Jakraphan Chaijit brought his unique elephant
art to the 2nd Floor Northern Village at Central Airport
Plaza in honor of National Elephant Day again this year. His showing of
20 works at the mall runs through April 15, 2012 and features a light
filled perspective of elephants using watercolor,
acrylic and oil on canvas.
His works feature
not only real but mythical elephants such as Ganesha and the Lord Buddha
with elephants. Also on sale were elephant t-shirts, cards and other
Jakraphan Chaijit’s representation of the Lord Buddha and an elephant on
display until April 15.
A key event for the April calendar
Chiang Mai Fest 2012
3D artists will transform the
streets of Chiang Mai into works of art.
Earth Wind & Fire and the Tourism Authority of Thailand
are hosting a unique festival that is a fusion of art and music; the “Chiang
Mai Fest 2012” will be held from March 23 to April 7 at the Three Kings
Monument, Chiang Mai. The event is open to the public free of charge and
features a food and drinks fair from leading hotels.
Starting on March 23 through to April 5, it will be for the first time in
the Thai art history for people of Chiang Mai and even Thailand to see the
amazing “3D Street Painting”. Recognized talented chalk artists from Europe
and the USA will magically turn the surfaces of the roads at the Three Kings
Monument into boulevards of art and will turn pavements into canvas and
transform downtownorary outdoor gallery of original art and masterpiece
Want to try your hands and imagination on a street painting? Come join free
workshops on 3 D street paintings with the world class street painting
artists. The street painters will show you how to work wonders by using
colourful chalks and imagination on pavements. For more information please
call 053-292224 or [email protected]
Then from April 6-7, it is the time for music festival. Enjoy the
international concerts performed by various musicians such as Thomas
Kiessling, Garth Taylor, Il Quinto, Blues Brothers, Nueng Jakkawal, Mango
Republic, BaDeeBiDoo and many more. Stage performance begins from 1800 to
2230 hours at the Three Kings Monument, Chiang Mai. For more information,
please visit www.chiangmaifest.com.
Musicians will perform at
3 Kings Monument on April 6 and 7. Artists such as Garth Taylor, Il
Quinto, the Blues Brothers, Mango Republic and many more.
Arias and Lieder – The Friends of Music Making Enjoy!
left to right: Friends'
organiser JP with soprano Sophie Tanapura, accompanist Elvira Galioullina
and tenor Chayakorn Damrongtrongsiri after Saturday's recital at Santi's
At Santi’s Music School in his upstairs salon, guest
singers from the Bangkok Metropolitan Opera performed 6 lieder and 6 duets
and arias to an enthusiastic and dedicated music loving audience. Soprano
Sophie Tanapura, tenor Chayakorn Damrongtrongsiri and accompanist Elvira
Galioullina delighted the audiences with two repeat recitals entitled
Romance in the Romantic Era on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th
February. JP, the founder of the Friends group, gave informative lectures on
the Lieder Tradition before each performance.
These recitals, part of the Friends
exciting music program for this year, were a real treat. Never before had
there been a whole evening of singing for the Friends and unusually, and
extremely welcome, was the manner of presentation. There was none of the
false and sometimes silly cavorting in front of the audience as so often
happens at these recitals – these talented singers presented their work with
great poise and professionalism, glancing at each other for appropriate cues
in the duets and keeping an eye on their accompanist at all times. They were
real professionals giving the audience a wonderful selection of romantic
songs expressed with sincerity and feeling throughout. In the first two
Schumann duets, their voices complemented each other delightfully. In solo
songs, by Faure and Schumann again, listeners were able to hear the purity
and clarity of Sophie’s voice which aptly caught the mood of the lyrics with
charm and at times amusement. The long Beethoven song Adelaide was sung by
Chayakorn in a pleading, evocative and colourful manner that was so much
intended by the love-torn composer at the time.
The arias and duets were just as
appealing – selections from works by Donizetti, Lalo and Gounod rounded off
two splendid evenings. With the audience calling for an encore, the couple
once again delighted everyone by singing a very rarely performed duet from a
remote Mendelssohn opera – and they did so with great panache to the
amazement of the listeners. Their Russian–born accompanist Elvira was
marvelous in supporting them and she sustained just the right volume to be
heard without being overpowering. This was music at its best – what a pity
several people cancelled their seats at the last minute due to illness and
other reasons – they missed a real musical luxury! But those of us present
loved every minute!
A Woman’s Dream of the Night Sky
One of the colorful works of
Lisa Moses that is currently on show at Sangdee Gallery.
Lisa Moses opened her one woman show
titled “A Woman’s Dream of the Night Sky” at Sangdee Gallery on
Sirimangkalajarn Soi 5 on Saturday, February 25. Lisa Moses, an American
based in Chiang Rai, has a unique method of painting on acrylic, she
revealed her techniques at the show and it seemed quite an involved method
that produced colorful, unique paintings. Using a unique style invented by
her father, Joseph Zirker, it involves painting and collage on a
polyethylene sheet which is then backed with paper and the painting
literally peeled off.
Lisa Moses’ work is evocative of the
night skies as taken by the Hubble telescope; she said that the photos of
the stars and galaxies inspired her in her paintings that often feature
Asian themes. She presented one of her colorful works to U.S. Consul General
Kenneth L. Foster who opened the show. He then asked that the work be sold
and the proceeds donated to the SOLD project. In fact, a portion of all
proceeds from the show will go to SOLD.
The SOLD Project works to prevent child
prostitution and trafficking by offering at risk children and families
training, education and aid. Thailand director Tawee Donchai was on hand to
present details about the organization and the work that they do.
General Kenneth L. Foster joins Lisa Moses and her curator Jafee Yee to open
General Kenneth L. Foster and Lisa Moses with the work of art that he
donated the proceeds of its sale to the SOLD Project.