Mission: To seek and share inspiration

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CODA | April 2016


Chris Pinelo


I remember like it was yesterday.

In February of 1992, I was a junior at Oberlin College and every Sunday evening I faithfully called my parents in Fort Thomas to tell about all the exciting happenings in my life and to hear about everything happening back home. The subject dominating this particular Sunday conversation was the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s concert performance of Manuel de Falla’s opera La vida breve, which they had attended the evening before at Music Hall.

The concert featured fantastic singing, of course great orchestral playing, and something they hadn’t expected to see at a CSO concert, dancing! The performance was led by then-Music Director Jesús López-Cobos, but based on their joyous exuberance in recounting this concert experience, I thought perhaps another famous individual by the name of Jesus may have appeared in a cameo role.

Even though one of the degrees I was earning at that time was in vocal performance, this aspiring opera singer was admittedly not familiar with this particular opera and filed that happy, albeit one-sided conversation away.

Some years later in New York City, I was browsing through CDs at Tower Records and came upon the CSO’s recording of La vida breve, recalled the rave parental reviews and felt compelled to purchase the album. As it is with many things in life, I realized that Mom and Dad were right. I’d “discovered” an exceptionally beautiful piece on that CD, and I’m delighted these many years later for this opportunity to experience La vida breve live for the first time.

Check out the Latin Passion concert page and be sure to also check out the classic CSO recording.