We entered the theatre gallery at the upper level. Walls are covered in paintings and there are carvings everywhere. At the western end of the theatre is a particularly magnificent piece of artwork in stained glass, “The Lost Boys of Sudan” by Rus Gruhlke, painter, sculptor and poet. He is the owner of Mountambrin Retreat, which he purchased from Alex Haley in 1975.
|View from the Gallery|
Orrett Rhoden opened the concert with works by Bach and Scarlatti which he played on the harpsichord. He acknowledged that the instrument wasn’t responding as it should, so to compensate he moved to the piano to play some well-known pieces by Chopin.
|Orrett Rhoden and Elaine Oxamendi Vicet (MC)|
|Bunny Rose and Sharon Martini|
Dr. Illo Humphrey, baritone, sang accompanied by Orrett Rhoden, his friend of thirty years. Later in the programme he sang unaccompanied. He is a mediaevalist so his selections were taken from that period. Most were in Latin or French, so he recited the words followed by their translation before singing. He also explained the influence of the synagogue and the Jewish chant on singing in the Catholic church of that time.
In the ‘intermission’ Bunny Rose, cabaret pianist, played and then accompanied Sharon Martini, soprano. When he didn’t feel competent to accompany her singing “I could have danced all night” from My Fair Lady, Orrett Rhoden stepped up to the plate, much to the delight of the audience.
During the second half of the programme, staff from Northern Caribbean University displayed their talents. They were Edison Valencia, pianist; Rafael Salazar, clarinetist; Rosette Chisholm-Salazar, soprano; and Jose Carlos Oxamendi Vicet, violincellist. The MC for the programme was Elaine Oxamendi Vicet, Chair, Department of Communication Studies at NCU.
L-R: Rafael Salazar, Rosette Chisholm Salazar, Illo Humphrey, Jose Carlos and Edison Valencia
Illo Humphrey, Orrett Rhoden and Jose Carlos Oxamendi Vicet brought the concert to a close with a performance of the Solemn Mass by Cesar Franck written for organ (played on the piano), violincello and tenor.
|L- R: Jose Carlos Oxamendi Vicet, Orrett Rhoden and Illo Humphrey|
The brilliance of the performers, the ambiance at Mountambrin and the small but appreciative audience all contributed to the success of the final concert of The First International Orrett Rhoden Music Festival of Jamaica 2012. We hope this will become an annual event.
On Sunday, March 25, 2012, The Boston Piano Quartet will be performing at the Mountambrin Theatre Gallery.