Live: Christopher Johnson @ the Sembrich Opera Museum, 8/7/10

August 11th, 2010, 10:59 am by Greg

Exquisite classical pianist Christopher Johnson is a man truly obsessed by music. He possesses the sensitive soul of Frederic Chopin and the dark, passionate fury of Franz Liszt. He knows intuitively all the subtle nuances and thunderous notes his fingers can squeeze out any properly tuned grand piano.

At Saturday night’s recital, the Sembrich’s historic Steinway piano – formerly belonging to the legendary 20th century classical music icon Ignacy Paderewski – was no exception.

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LIVE: Bel Canto Singers @ the Sembrich Museum, 8/12/09

August 14th, 2009, 9:33 am by Greg

Chloe Schaaf

Chloe Schaaf

After more than a decade we finally had to give up our season tickets to Glimmerglass Opera this year. It’s made us very, very sad. We miss the relaxing drives to Cooperstown, the wonderful atmosphere of the intimate Alice Busch Theater, the innovative staging and most of all, of course, the glorious music.

But this summer we’ve still been able to get a bit of our opera jones on with Andrzej Pilarcyzk’s photos.

Here’s his latest report:

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LIVE: Christopher Johnson @ the Sembrich Opera Museum, 7/18

July 23rd, 2009, 10:01 am by Greg


American concert pianist Christopher Johnson dazzled a sold-out crowd at the Sembrich Opera Museum in Bolton Landing on Saturday, July 18 with his splendid piano recital, “Franz List: A Spiritual Journey.”

Introducing Liszt’s works with an explanation of the Hungarian-born Liszt’s life-long struggle with God and the Devil, Johnson then passionately launched into a program that featured the “Dante” Sonata, the Consolation No. 3 and the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, among other Liszt compositions.

With his fingers flying, walking or sometimes settling delicately on the keys throughout the evening, Johnson undertook his own spiritual journey, connecting deeply with the spirit of Liszt and flawlessly executing the master’s repertoire.

At 7:30pm on Saturday, July 25, the Sembrich Opera Museum presents the Lake George Theater Lab’s reading of William Luce’s play, “The Belle of Amherst,” featuring the company’s artistic director Lindsey Gates as in the title role of Emily Dickinson. Mezzo soprano Gisella Montanez-Case will frame the reading with a selection of old American hymns.

review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk.

LIVE: Lidia Kaminska @ The Sembrich Opera Museum, 7/11

July 14th, 2009, 4:31 pm by Sara


Polish-born classical accordionist Lidia Kaminska flew into Bolton Landing on Saturday to present an evening of works at The Sembrich Opera Museum that spanned the globe, and several centuries. Chopin, Scarlatti, Bach, Albeniz and Khachaturian filled the Sembrich’s salon-styled room as her fingers flew on the keys and buttons of her concert-grand accordion. With a smile and infectious enthusiasm Kaminska introduced the pieces and exchanged words with audience members, who asked questions about the instrument, her career and the program. Highlights of the performance included several works by the late Argentinian contemporary composer Astor Piazzolla and a moving version of Johann Strauss’ “Voices of Spring,” that concluded the concert.


Up next will be virtuoso pianist Christopher Johnson presenting a recital of “Franz Liszt: A Spiritual Journey,” Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Written and photographed by Andrzej Pilarczyk

Live: Schubertiade @ Sembrich Opera Museum

June 23rd, 2009, 11:01 am by Sara

The Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum in Bolton Landing presented the Lake George Opera Company’s apprentices performing “Schubertiade,” an evening program of lieder by Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Liszt and Brahms on Saturday, June 20.

Director John Douglas introduced each of the works with brief historical references and also shared piano accompaniment with Ukrainian pianist Elena Ryepkina. The talented young singers covered the operatic vocal range from bass-baritone to mezzo soprano effortlessly.

Opera and chamber music is alive and well at the Sembrich, which has presented some of the region’s best in the intimacy of the museum (think Caffe Lena) every summer for 20 years under the artistic direction of Richard Wargo.

Some upcoming event highlights include classical accordionist Lidia Kaminska (July 11), an evening of Liszt’s music by pianist Christopher Johnson (July 18) and a celebration of Mendelssohn (August 5-12). Of special note is “Celebrating Degas,” a series of musical performances, lectures, films and poetry recitals scheduled to run from August 15-29 in conjunction with the art exhibition “Degas & Music” at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls.

For more information call (518) 644-2431 or see

Ashley Kerr, mezzo-soprano

Ashley Kerr, mezzo-soprano

(photo and review by Andrzej Pilarczyk)

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