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Sonatasia makes music magic at Peter Blake Gallery

Peter Blake turned his gallery into a classical musical hall with piano, violin, voices and dance Sunday with the appearance of the group Sonatasia. The afternoon’s performance was a rare treat of an experience “outside the box."

Sonatasia is the brainchild of local architect David Parker. Parker founded the group in January as a way to bring many different performing disciplines together in unique architectural spaces. Blake’s gallery was the perfect backdrop.

The afternoon’s perform- ance was divided into two acts. Folding chairs were arranged in a theater-in-the-round fashion in his inner gallery space. A piano hugged one wall. At the opening, the guests were instructed to gather into the outer gallery, where a red-cloaked vocalist, Vangie Gunn, serenaded the guests back to their seats carrying a small candle.

Pianist Ben Ginsberg opened with a lively interpretation of “Danzas Argentinas No. 3" by Alberto Ginaster. He was followed by Lacy Rostyak, an extraordinarily talented violinist, recently graduated from Cal Arts. She played from memory (as she did all pieces during the concert) Bach’s “Sarabanda."

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The tempo shifted to a group performance of “1000 Oceans" by Tori Amos. This piece, as did many that followed, included Rostyak on violin, Ginsberg on piano, husband and wife team Jeff (an incredible tenor) and Vangie Gunn with vocals, and dancers Katrina Callihan, Vince Trupsin and Kelsie Parker.

Pianist Trevor Gomes, displayed his talents at the keyboard playing pieces by Chopin and Susanne Vega. The featured work of the afternoon, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# Minor and “Moonlight," performed by Ben Ginsberg, left the audience speechless, and with wild applause.

The seamless and sensual blend of instruments, vocals and dance was passionately conveyed through the performers. It was an afternoon of magic, one that I hope repeats itself throughout the town.

Sonatasia is available for performances in homes and galleries, and donates a portion of all proceeds to local charities. Videos of the group can be viewed at www.youtube.com/sonatasia. For more information, contact sonatasia@yahoo.com.

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CATHARINE COOPER is a local designer, photographer and writer who thrives off beaten trails. She can be reached at cooper@cooperdesign.net or (949) 497-5081.


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