With more than seven decades of history, the Chautauqua Quartet is an institution of its own.
Vahn Armstrong, Diane Bruce, Eva Stern and Jolyon Pegis walked out of Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. It was a humid Wednesday afternoon, just after 12:30 p.m. They had rehearsed with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra for three and a half hours. That evening, they would rehearse again. They were tired, they were hungry — yet they loved what they were doing.
In a Metropolitan Opera production of Wagner’s Lohengrin, the heroic tenor departed the stage on a magical swan after the final note of his aria. When the stage hands accidentally pulled the swan — a construction on a wooden trolley — offstage too early, the tenor was left center stage with nothing to sing. Looking to the audience, he said, “Anyone know what time’s the next swan?”
“The thing about opera is there’s so much going on, there’s so much that has to be coordinated,” said Vahn Armstrong, associate concertmaster of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, who related the story. “You just never know what’s going to happen.”
CSO musicians and guests will talk about performing for opera and ballet during today’s Brown Bag at 12:15 p.m. in Smith Wilkes Hall.
Members of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra lead normal lives as part of the fabric of the Chautauqua community — when they aren’t performing three times a week.
They attend morning lectures, take walks by the lake and their kids even attend Boys’ and Girls’ Club.
The Symphony Partners will host a Meet the Principals Reception, a special event to meet the fellow members of the community, at 5-7 p.m. next Wednesday, July 11, at the Chautauqua Golf Club. The reception is a chance for devoted fans and audience members to meet the musicians, ask questions and connect names on the program with faces on the stage.
It is the first time Symphony Partners will sponsor this specific reception, in addition to their regular Brown Bag and post-concert Meet the Musician gatherings on the Amphitheater back porch.