by John Stoehr
Jonathan Gray, a well-known Charleston musician and former bassist for the band Jump, Little Children, has been attending Spoleto performances for years and years. After spotting him at numerous shows, I saw an opportunity to get some perspective. So I called to ask what he thought about it so far.
On the Chamber Music Series
"Those are always a safe bet. The music is great and the performers are great. I go to as many of these as I can."
On Don John
"My wife and I loved it. [She also wore an conspicuous and awesome feather hat to the show; he wore a white suit and matching hat.] We're actually thinking of seeing it a second time. It was contemporary enough for young people and even though it was a little racy for the older crowd, it wasn't too racy. I didn't see anyone walk out."
On Charles Wadsworth's retirement
"The big difference between this year and years past is that Charles Wadsworth is leaving this time. He's as big a star as anyone out there. I used to see the chamber music concerts at the Dock Street a lot, because I could sneak in the back and see the show for free."
On Charles Wadsworth's successor
"There's a neat energy this year, because we're all waiting to see who will take over the chamber music series. It looks like it'll be the first violinist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The guy's name is Geoff Nuttall and it'll be interesting to see what happens. That would be a really great job to mix traditional with the avant-garde."
"I'm not familiar with the opera and I don't know a lot about opera in general, but I liked it. It was traditional. The music was pretty to listen to. The story was a bit dated, but that typical for opera. I had to rush to Wet Willie's afterward to do Heavy Metal Karaoke. I fantasize about the opera girls coming over to sing Judas Priest or something, but so far no opera singers have gone to karaoke."
On Music in Time I
"With ticket prices being what they are, the Music in Time is another safe bet. Sometimes it's a little too obtuse, but mostly it's great. I was familiar with Gavin Bryars. I'm a fan of this work of his where he has this guy singing 'Jesus blood never failed me yet' over a version by Tom Waits. So you know I got to love that."