By September 3, 2023 Read More →

All About That Bass, ‘Bout That Bass

All About That Bass, ‘Bout That Bass
by Aaron Rowan

My friend Chris, a.k.a., Prairie Flower, is the proud owner of the most beautiful instrument I’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s an upright bass painted with a desert evening scene, complete with a cactus and a longhorn skull. Prairie Flower is one-third of a Modesto area favorite: old-timey trio Faux Renwah. If you’ve seen her band and her bass, you’ll appreciate what a spread of ear AND eye candy it all is.

A bass of a different kind is behind one of the most memorable moments of music I’ve experienced in Modesto. This bass belongs to another performer with roots in our county. It’s the rich bass-baritone voice of opera star Nathan Stark, who returns this month for another recital brought to you by Opera Modesto.

Nathan has gone from his hometown of Hughson to singing onstage at the Metropolitan Opera; appearing at venues throughout the US, Europe & China; earning vocal competition awards from San Diego to Cincinnati to Forth Worth; and even performing for an American president and a couple of first ladies on one occasion. The last time I saw him sing up close in Modesto, his program included a version of the noted Scottish folk ballad ‘Loch Lomond.’ His rendition is one of a handful of pieces that have stayed fresh in my mind years after the fact. What a spectacular, spirited delivery. Nathan, good sir, if you’re a reader of the View and this reaches you in time, I’m requesting that song once again at your concert here.

On September 17, Nathan will be joined by another veteran of Opera Modesto productions: basso profundo John Ames, who will help us explore the age-old question, “How low can you go?” The Sunday matinee, titled Basso Bravado!, sees these two deep and rich voices come together for a memorable program indeed. You may have read the recent news where Modesto was surveyed as having the greatest under-the-radar music scene in America. Quoting the press release: “…..brimming with a unique musical scene that’s both diverse and engaging.” Having spent years enjoying (and curating) much of the freshest and most eclectic live music programming our city has to offer, I can tell you that it’s outfits like Opera Modesto that best embody that description. Enjoy an afternoon of song like only Opera Modesto does, at 2 PM on 9/17, at the Mistlin Gallery. General admission is $30, or take up a seat at a VIP table for $50. Mark your calendar as well for our next epic collaboration together, the annual ‘Around The World’ multilingual concert on December 3. Be a part of this most glorious time in Modesto’s live music history, and be there for these fantastic operatic events. Intimate performances. Infinite playlist. MODESTO UNPLUGGED

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