Day 12: Sunday September 17
Back to NAPA to see The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Trinidad and Tobago (NPO) and and The National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) in joint concert with the Marionettes Chorale and other ensembles from Bravura Arts and UTT's (University of Trinidad and Tobago) Academy for the Performing Arts. (See September 13th's post).
A beautiful hall named after Lord Kitchener, hisself. Hues of brown skin, dipped in perfumes, wrapped in colorful African print and jewelry. Parallel to the magnificence of the hall and its patrons was seeing an orchestration of classical European instruments alongside Trinidad's native instrument, the steel pan; a large choir; a tenor and a soprano. I was not shocked by the latecomers (who continued to stylishly arrive up until 15 minutes before the end of the program) and loud ushers--a cultural reality that more amused me than annoyed me. A lady usher took the time to reprimand me for "eating" in the hall, which included my sucking on a mint. She then preceded to whisper loudly to admitted latecomers as she shined her flashlight a considerable distance from the floor, at times into our faces.
The conductor and composer, Dr. Roger Henry, composed some nice pieces; but it was clear that vocal arrangement is his comfort zone. He did a fine job; but I could have used more variety within the composition, especially for the steel pan. I encourage more exploration and "pushing the envelope" within the use of the steel pan and the classical instruments. Bravo to the the soloists, Krisson Joseph (tenor) and Natalia Dopwell (soprano)! I needed nothing more from their angelic sound!
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