Review: Payare and San Diego Symphony’s Shostakovich 10, plus Davone Tines’s “Were You There”

Posted on: January 16, 2019

“The electrifying Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare … returned to San Diego last week for his first concerts as the San Diego Symphony’s music director designate,” writes Mark Swed in Tuesday’s (1/15) Los Angeles Times. “Payare raised the roof of Copley Symphony Hall conducting Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony on Sunday afternoon…. A staggering one-man music theater program by baritone Davone Tines in a small alternative arts space followed the large orchestra matinee [as part of the orchestra’s January Hearing the Future festival]. Together they demonstrated what an orchestra can and must do…. Payare took Shostakovich fully at his horrific Stalinist word and then further amplified the horror. The San Diegans … shook the rafters…. [For] Tines’ astonishing ‘Were You There’ … the stage [of Sandbox performance space] was bare but for a folding chair and 11 naked light bulbs, each signifying a young black life lost to a racial attack…. After singing ‘Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,’ in which Tines absorbed, Christ-like, the world’s troubles for our sake, he folded the chair and placed it on the ground like a lifeless body. He then lay next to it and sang, on his back, ‘We Shall Overcome.’ ”

Posted January 16, 2019