AmiciMusic will perform famous operatic scenes and arias from three great Viennese composers—Mozart, Lehár and Strauss—on the weekend of March 24–26 in three intimate locations.
The first performance will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at The Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village, the second on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the home of Michael Brodnax and Anthony Schlarb in Hendersonville’s Old Skyland Hotel Building and the third on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Orchard Inn in Saluda. Singers Amanda Horton and Jonathan Ross—both well known to Asheville audiences for their great musicality, spirit and chemistry— will team up with AmiciMusic’s artistic director Daniel Weiser on piano for these semi-staged shows filled with costumes and witty repartee.
“The intimate venues allow us to connect even more with our audience and improvise a bit,” says Horton. “Sometimes that proximity means we can speak, dance with, or sing directly to someone and it’s great fun to see the reactions up close. Offstage there’s often great conversation and camaraderie between the musicians and the audience.”
The trio will perform excerpts from some of their signature roles with Asheville Lyric Opera and numerous regional companies, including scenes from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute, as well as Lehár’s The Merry Widow and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.
“Knowing that the Asheville Amadeus Festival was the weekend before our performances, we thought we would make a connection to Mozart and then move on to two other great Viennese operatic composers,” says Weiser. “All the music is quite bubbly and spirited, which certainly reflects the great city where it was written.”
AmiciMusic, which means ‘music among friends,’ is a nonprofit chamber music organization based in Asheville and Baltimore, MD, and dedicated to performing in intimate venues and non-traditional spaces. AmiciMusic seeks to break down barriers between performers and audiences and strives to have a relaxed atmosphere at their concerts to highlight the spirit of community.
“We want our concerts to be very fun and informal experiences and we work hard to bring in the younger demographic by always having free seats for children,” says Weiser. “We also make our programs educational by doing short talks before each piece, providing interesting information about each composer that might enrich the listening experience.”
The Cathedral of All Souls is located at 9 Swan Street, in Asheville. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for church members. The Brodnax/Schlarb residence is at 538 North Main Street, in Hendersonville. Tickets are $35 and include food from master chef Tony Schlarb and drinks. The Orchard Inn is located at 100 Old Orchard Inn Lane, in Saluda. Tickets are $50 and include hors d’oeuvres. A cash bar will be available. Funds from the Orchard Inn concert benefit the Saluda Historic Depot.
Advanced discounts are available for Friday’s performance and reservations are required for Saturday and Sunday performances. For tickets/reservations, visit amicimusic.org. Tickets for Sunday’s performance are also available at the Orchard Inn, orchardinn.com, the Saluda Historic Depot at 32 West Main Street and at Thompson’s Store/Ward’s Grill at 24 Main Street, in Saluda.