SummerFest Visions and Decisions: Musical Tales — with Composer-Narrator Bruce Adolphe

Jul 14, 2023 | Off the Hook Arts

By: Avery Heylmun

For the second night of Summerfest, Artistic Director Bruce Adolphe hosts the comical: Musical Tales. The artisanal talent of composing and narrating, emotions come alive, engaging the audience in laugher, longing, and contemplation. The church’s shape and acoustics allow the music to create an immersive experience for the audience transporting them to a world of captivating melodies.

‘The Nightingale’, an original by Bruce starts off the night. It tells a story of a musical bird and an emperor. People come to listen to the music of the nightingale but are soon replaced by a robotic bird with a similar tune. The Violinist, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, played the part of the nightingale and truly carried the tune of each bird in the piece; The humorous element was validated with audible reactions from the audience 

The second piece: Fantasy Pieces for the Cello and Piano by Robert Schumann, was expertly performed by Alice Yoo and Marija Stroke. The piece has a range of notes that fills the whole church; encapsulating the audience, and earning a standing ovation.

The final piece was a 6-person ensamble of The King, the Cat, and the Fiddle. The cat is played by Kelly Hall-Thompson and she is joined by Dorian Kincaid, Stephanie Mientka, Alice Yoo, Mark Lillie, and Marija Stroke. The playful storyline follows a king struggling to balance his accountant-to-fiddler ratio.  Ultimately, the King acquires a new perspective and a new talent (as he painstakingly masters the violin). The seven artists wrap up the piece by delivering a coordinated and celebratory finale, staying true to its light-hearted theme.

This evening was filled with laughter and entrancing tunes. This music performance is a testament to the musicians’ exceptional skill, artistic expression, and collaborative spirit. Their attention to detail and precision allowed for a seamless blend of sounds. The showcase not only spotlighted their individual talent but also the power and beauty of chamber music and a unique and intimate form of musical expression.