Francisco Noya has been the resident conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic for the past 22 years. Among his many responsibilities is the unheralded task of learning every score that is part of the orchestra’s monthly concerts, much like an understudy for the lead in a Broadway musical, ready to go onstage at a moment’s notice if the scheduled conductor cannot. Noya remembers it happening early in Larry Rachleff’s tenure, when his flight was delayed.
The talented, affable musician and educator had a bit more time to prepare and rehearse Saturday night, and it showed in his brilliant direction of three varied pieces that made for a pleasant evening of classical music at the Vets.
After a rousing rendition of Janacek’s “Kata Kabanova Overture,” acclaimed violinist Jennifer Frautschi joined Noya and the orchestra for a moving interpretation of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, op.61 in D major. Noya and Frautschi worked together flawlessly to make the work come alive, emphasizing the intricate solos.
The evening closed with a solid rendition of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 5, a piece that, surprisingly, the orchestra had never performed.
Many patrons miss out on the brief “conversations” held following the concert, where conductor and soloist chat informally with the audience members who stay behind while the “Beat the Crowders” rush for their cars. You could feel the respect that Noya and Frautschi had for each other and how it showed in their performance.
There were few empty seats Saturday night, and I understood that the Friday Rush Hour concert was well attended. There are still tickets available for the All-Tchaikovsky 2019 Gala Celebration with Bramwell Tovey on March 31 at Vets.
“A Night at the Opera” is the theme for the April 13 concert, featuring favorites from operas, including “La Boheme” “Turnandot” and, of course, Rossini’s familiar “William Tell Overture.” Guest conductor Marie Jacquot will be joined by tenor Jonathan Burton and soprano Julia Radosz. Call 248-7000 for tickets.