Dream Orchestra Plays Symphony, Opera For Orange County

Golda Berkman

Soprano Opera singer, Golda Berkman, performance for Dream Orchestra at UCI’s Barclay Theatre Jan. 25

The Dream Orchestra will be performing Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 (pianist Hai-Kyung Suh), and “Chi il Bel Sogno,” from Puccini’s La Rondine (soprano Golda Berkman) and The Hopes and Dreams Medley on Jan. 25 at UC Irvine’s Barclay Theater. ‬

With the conductor’s survival through cancer, the orchestra will be wearing pink ribbons during the show for cancer awareness. The 60-piece orchestra will also be honoring cancer survivors that night.

The performance will bring together a diverse show featuring the young Opera singer, Golda Berkman. Soprano Berkman has been presented with the “Most Accomplished Young Opera Singer of 2013” award as well as receiving the Young Musicians Foundation Scholarship of Merit Award.

The OC Concert Guide spoke with 14-year-old Berkman and her father, Dream Orchestra’s sponsor Shallom Berkman, about the debut of Dream Orchestra’s 2014 season with conductor Maestro Daniel Suk.

OCCG: Who are your musical inspirations?
Golda Berkman (GB): My musical inspirations vary from genre to genre – for opera, my musical inspiration is one and only Renata Tebaldi! When I was very little, my parents always played classical music at home – I was exposed to the opera genre from the beginning. On the other hand I also love musical theater – I grew up watching all the classic Disney movies with the beautiful songs. Now as a teenager – my dad introduced me to the Beatles and I am a huge Beatles fan!

Shallom Berkman (SB): Golda has been studying singing since she was 5 years old. She began studying opera and classic music exclusively at the age of 8. Golda is also a classical pianist and a composer – she writes and reads music. Even though her passion is singing opera Golda is obsessed with The Beatles, and classic rock from the 60’s and 70’s such as Creedance Clearwater and The Doors. She sings primarily classical and opera arias, as well as musical theater pieces.

OCCG: When performing, what emotions do you try to evoke from the audience?
GB: I want to impact my audience and hopefully have them be transcended from the concerns of day. I hope that I can communicate deep emotion to my audience and bring happiness to the world.

Hai-Kyung Suh

Pianist, Hai-Kyung Suh, plays Rachmaninoff with Dream Orchestra at The Barclay Theatre

SB: The Barclay concert is a vision of Maestro Daniel Suk who is the founder and leader of Dream Orchestra. The Orchestra is a fully paid union, professional orchestra with the finest musicians from around the world and known icons such as LA Philharmonic and La Opera. The goal is to bring great music to the world as often as possible and inspire the next generation of classical music lovers. Maestro Suk discovered my daughter Golda when he approached the music teachers of Colburn Music School last year to find great young prodigy musicians. My daughter Golda was recommended as the top voice student. She had been studying opera at Colburn privately since she was 8 years old. Golda performed with the Dream Orchestra several times last spring to standing ovations and crowds of up to 1500! Maestro Suk has planned this to be the debut concert for Dream Orchestra and hopes that it will be the best event of the year!

OCCG: How did Hai-Kyung Suh impact the group emotionally and musically?
GB: Hai-Kyung Suh is one of the leading female pianists in world! Maestro Suk said that her interpretation of Rachmaninov makes him cry.

OCCG: Who decides each piece played during performances?
GB: Maestro Suk – is the music director of Dream Orchestra

OCCG: How does diversity play into the orchestra? What advantages does it bring to the performance?
SB: This is the most diverse orchestra I have ever seen – not just in diversity of race & culture, but of age as well. I believe that the diversity of the Dream Orchestra will help connect with and inspire a much larger audience, and also a younger audience – hopefully to inspire the next generation of classical musical lovers!

OCCG: Anything you’d like to add?
SB: The concert will be at the Irvine Barclay Theater in Irvine, CA on Saturday, January 25th at 7:30pm. The tickets can be purchased at www.ladreamorchestra.com or thebarclay.org. Ticket prices range from $30 to $100. Maestro Suk will lead the orchestra with Dvorak’s Symphony #9 “From The New World”, Hai-Kyung Suh will play Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #2, and Golda Berkman will sing “Chi il Bel Sogno” from Puccini’s La Rondine and “The Hopes and Dreams Medley” – which is a medley of arias arranged exclusively for this performance for the first time ever.