Posted on

Die Fledermaus #259Z, At The MAC

Die Fledermaus, Symphony Orchestra, aria, songs, audience, people.

This post on the operetta Die Fledermaus (the bat) is written by artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC. Sunday afternoon, January 27, 2019 I had the pleasure to hear a wonderful performance of Die Fledermaus. The operetta was under the masterful baton of maestro Kirk Muspratt. The New Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra was outstanding. The audience was filled with people that know and love opera. The MAC gives us this performance that is filled with arias and love songs ~ this is a winner!

Die Fledermaus

  • The Bat

This lively and light hearted comic operetta, Die Fledermaus, “The Bat”, by Johann Strauss was admirably performed at the MAC at the College of DuPage. Most importantly, the music that Kirk Muspratt conducted with the New Philharmonic Orchestra was outstanding. Lead opera singers in this outstanding performance were as follows. Katherine Weber, Mikaela Schneider, Jesse Donner, Matthew Greenblatt, Sam Handley, Brittany Hebel, James Judd, Ashley Sipka, and Aaron Wardell. The lovely songs that they delivered will be remembered for a long time.

Because this music is so familiar to opera goers the world over it gives us joy to hear it live on the stage. For me the waltz is the most delightful orchestral piece in the operetta. Therefore, that does not mean that there as no other good music, for sure, the voices of these stars just carried us all away.

I was very pleased with the spontaneity of the musicians to all the lines. There is no prompter on this stage so all the details have to be worked out well ahead of the performance.

Orchestra

  • Symphony

Because of the solid preparation that the New Philharmonic orchestra puts into each symphony performance at the highest quality music. Conducted by Kirk Muspratt the orchestra is at it’s best. The musicians were sharp and clear and you could hear everything. This is complemented by the excellent acoustics at the MAC theater. Maestro Muspratt displayed is outstanding knowledge of Strauss’s masterpiece and delivered to us the best performance eve

Arias

  • Songs

The arias delivered to us by the vocalists were songs to the delight of everyone. Because the voices were complimented by the excellent props and lighting of the MAC, the performance went smoothly. It is amazing how well the voices of the soloists come to life when they are complimented with quality stage sets and lighting.

The beautiful tones of all the artist resonated within me, I only wish that the opera was longer. The arias just followed one after the other and in good form. Each of the soloists accurately follow the notes of the music with tempi of the maestro.

Because we had good seats I could see and hear everything. The theater is a nice size so that no matter where you sit you have a good view. I was seated on the center aisle to the left center of the stage.

Die Fledermaus at The MAC at College of DuPage.
Die Fledermaus At The MAC At College Of DuPage

Audience

  • People

Because the audience was filled with people that know and understand opera, they were delight to be presented such a fine performance. I attended this performance with my dear friends Sandra Ganakos and Robert C. Marks. Because Mr. Marks is an ardent supporter of opera and a major donor to Lyric Opera of Chicago he was pleased to appear in support the cast. Mr. Marks sits on the Ryan Opera Center Board and is a sponsor of Jesse Donner (Eisenstein).

Most importantly, The College of DuPage, is making possible a venue for local residence to participate is great opera. Therefore, the more exposure to high quality opera leads to high quality living. I am honored to have done my undergraduate studies here at the College of DuPage.

Alt Image Tag

Die Fledermaus, Symphony Orchestra, aria, songs, audience, people.

Posted on

Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing At Sunset #258Z

Chicago skyline 752B pen & ink drawing of downtown at sunset.

Chicago Skyline #258Z

  • #Chicago skyline 752B
  • Cross-hatching
  • Delineation


Chicago skyline #752B is a pen & ink drawing of Chicago is a cityscape done at early sunset. The view or perspective it taking from the northwest near Western Avenue.

The three tallest points in the skyline are those of the near north side, east Randolph Street, and the Chicago Loop.

At the near north side you have 875 N. Michigan Avenue (former John Hancock Center). In the center cluster you have the skyscrapers of the Aon Center and Trump Tower. The last cluster is on the right which shows Willis Tower.

Alt Image Tag

Chicago skyline #752B pen & ink drawing of downtown at sunset.

Posted on

Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing Of Near North Side At Sunset #751B#257Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing at sunset by Condren.

The original and prints of Chicago Skyline #751A are here.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #751A

  • Light
  • Cross-hatching
  • Delineation

This pen & ink drawing of Chicago skyline #751B is a cityscape of the near north side of Chicago at early sunset. In the center of the rendering is 875 N. Michigan Avenue (former John Hancock Center). To the immediate right is a cluster of buildings that comprise the near north side. The exception is the nub immediately to the right of 875, which is the Aon Center.

My original intent for the drawing was to make it much darker and with a mood of impending storms. However, while I was drawing I had my mind on the Scientific Theory of Luminiferous Aether. Thus, with light in my mind I let the glory of the sun take command of the drawing. Thus as I moved my pen along the paper it gently came to a halt as the drawing with finished!


Posted on

Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing From Lincoln Park #750B#256Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing overlooking Lincoln Park.

The original and prints of Chicago Skyline #750A are here.

This pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #750A is by skyline artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #749B

  • Landscape
  • Cross-hatching
  • Sky

This cityscape drawing is of Chicago skyline #750B looking south over Lincoln Park. Closest to the park is the immediate skyline of the near north side with show 875 (former John Hancock Center).

The linework in the drawing if very clean and clear. The use of hatching and cross-hatching is at a minimum so as to keep the forms of the park distinct from the skyscrapers. Effort has been taken to be as clear as possible without sacrificing quality draftsmanship.

Posted on

Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing At Sunset #749B#255Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing at sunset by Condren.

The original and prints of Chicago Skyline #749A are here.

This pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #749B is by skyline artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC.

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #749B

  • Sunset
  • Cross-hatching
  • Water

This Chicago skyline #479B drawing is done at sunset. The setting sun is on the left side of the drawing is from the east (behind Willis Tower) where it holds command. From this point the power of the sun’s rays are cast to the skyline and out onto Lake Michigan.

Making the pen & ink work effectively in creating spectrum in a work of art is difficult. For it takes great skill and care to use just enough line work to convey the gradual transition of tones. It is ever so common to cast stroke of in in random formations leaving poor results. Every single stroke has to be calculated. 

As I draw the lines with my pen I eye every element on the paper and keep moving my pen tip on a path that correctly satisfies the needed tone. It is with difficulty that I explain this process but it exactly what I do. As I move the pen and process strokes at the same time I look at the space and move the pen to fill in the need tone.

Also, as I move the pen I am very aware of the length of each stroke. If the space permits I make the strokes later and if not, then smaller. This is a quandary for I only know how to make the strokes as I move the pen. I cannot calculate the movements of the pen before hand. 

Posted on

Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing At Night #748B#254Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink of near north side at night.

The original and prints of Chicago Skyline #748A are here.

This pen & ink cityscape drawing of the Chicago skyline #748B is by skyline artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC.8Key elements Chicago skyline #747A

Key elements of Chicago Skyline #748B

  • Delineation
  • Time of day
  • Light

The innumerable hatching and cross-hatching lines are the hall mark of the rendering. The darkest region of the drawing is in the waters of Lake Michigan. After the water, the sky has the deepest tones of black. The most luminous area is around the banks of the lake and along the roadside of North Lake Shore Drive.

The light of the streets shows nicely from the base of the buildings. However, I was careful not to hat too much as the building got taller so as not to diminish their stature.

Posted on

Chicago Downtown Skyline Pen & Ink Sketch #747B#253Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink sketch of North Lake Shore Drive.

Prints of Chicago Skyline #747A are available here.

This pen & ink cityscape sketch of the Chicago skyline #747B is by skyline artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC.

Key elements Chicago skyline #747B

  • Delineation
  • Time of day
  • Light

The delineation of Chicago skyline #747B is short and simple. It is all preparing for the intense amount of hatching and cross-hatching that is to follow. The scene will be at night so most of the images will not be recognizable.

My interest in Chicago skyline #747A is more compositional thank formal presentation rendering. In fact this is not any form of architectural rendering for display. This is a free-hand sketch that is exploring the forms along Lake Shore Drive. You have a mixture of skyscrapers, trees, concrete, and of course water from Lake Michigan.

The light is this image is standard afternoon light that show all the froms. However, in the drawing that comes over this it will be in the dead of night. The lighting at the present will do to give us an image of the scene. However, there is nothing theatrical or dramatic in the light of day. The rendering that is to follow will offer a very theatrical vision of North Lake Shore Drive. Chicago skyline #747A is the preamble to #478.

Posted on

Chicago Downtown Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing At Night #746A#252Z

Chicago downtown skyline pen & ink at night by Condren.

The original and prints of Chicago Skyline #746A are here.

This pen & ink cityscape of the Chicago skyline #746B is by skyline artist Stephen F. Condren, BFA-SAIC.

Key elements to Chicago skyline #746B:

  • Pen & Ink
  • Time of day
  • Light

Clearly this rendering is done at night by the mere title and dark drawing. However, the night time brings out an interesting quality to skyline. The darkness gives you freedom to work different forms with the images of the buildings and landscape. You are now more free to work the shadows and architectural images into a more cohesive composition. You are not locked into copying all of the buildings in their proper place and proportion. Rather, you can work with their forms and create an even strong cityscape.

For example, the bottom of the drawing is the darkest. I have done this so that it will visually support the images above. The intense use of cross-hatching frees me up to look for light reflected in the image from the sky. I do not have to worry about capturing the seascape or waves. The composition is more important than the details.

Because the center ground of the drawing is based on the Plan of Chicago by Daniel H. Burnham Harbor. Mr. Burnham is a famed Chicago architect and we both share the same birthday! In the middle and just above the harbor is the world famous “Chicago Loop”. This area has the greatest concentration of skyscrapers in Chicago. Notable buildings are Willis Tower, Trump Tower, and Aon Center.

I have made the sky with intense cross-hatching to let light emit from the sunset.

Posted on

Chicago Skyline Pen & Ink Drawing Overlooking Lincoln Park At Noon #745B#251Z

Chicago skyline pen & ink drawing over Lincoln Park.

The original and prints of Chicago Skyline #745A are here.

Lincoln Park At Noon

Chicago skyline #745B cityscape drawing. This pen & ink drawing is looking south over the lawns of the zoo and Lincoln Park in Chicago.

Chicago Skyline #745B

It is my goal in the rendering to offer the viewer a personal note about the subject. Being a native to Chicago I am partial to art about Chicago. Further, having graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago it further underscores my love for this great city.

I am from the south side of Chicago. I grew up in the Jackson Park Highlands with is in Hyde Park Township and just south of the great Jackson Park. Being from the south side we did not venture north as often as my mother would have liked. My mother grew up in Lakeview along the north shore lake. Mom always talked about here time growing up along the lake and how wonderful it was.

So in honor of my dear mother whom I will cherish all of my life I dedicate this pen & ink drawing.

I have made use of a fine line pen for this drawing. My intent was to use the foreground as a visual support for the skyline in the rear of the rendering. There are both cumulus clouds (on the left), and stratus nimbus clouds at the center and to the right. The contrasting line movement from these shape enhance the contour of the drawing.

The skyscrapers in the background are many and most difficult to define. If you look carefully you can see the major super structures. Like any good drawing, it is best practice to use as few lines to convey the most meaning and that is what I have attained in this splendid rendering.

Posted on

Art Institute of Chicago Watercolor #191B#250Z

Art Institute of Chicago watercolor on Michigan Avenue.

Prints of this watercolor can be purchased here.

Art Institute #191B

Art Institute #191B is a landmark watercolor of the Art Institute of Chicago. Growing up as a child from the south side of Chicago I would spend many years at the Art Institute of Chicago. In grammar school on weekends, my father sent me to art classes there. He owned the art supply company Favor Ruhl & Watson. At that time it was the largest art supply company in Chicago.

This Beau Arts building was erected as the World’s Congress Auxiliary Building for the World’s Columbian Exhibition of 1893. This was the only structure built for the exhibition outside of Jackson Park. The structure was intentionally designed to become the main building of the Art Institute after the closing of the exhibition.

Key lements

My focus on the watercolor is Classical entrance of the building. The central block of the building was designed to have a dome over the center. However, since there were not enough funds available the dome was never completed.

The Chicago Club

Chicago Club interior after it's collapse in 1927.
Chicago Club Interior After Collapse

Most fortunately for the lives of local Chicagoan and the History of Art, the Art Institute moved. On June 17, 1928 the entire interior of the Chicago Club collapsed!

Imagine the Art Institute filled with people during this catastrophe. The loss of lives would be staggering and the loss of many world famous works of art would be forever lost!