One could go on at considerable length about this creative, spectacular, unusual concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, this week. Embraced by an enthusiastic audience, Dessa commanded the stage, ably supported by a fine orchestra under the direction of more than competent Sarah Hicks. An aside, in many years of concerts and television viewings, I have never seen Ms. Hicks so spectacularly and appropriately dressed.
Multi-talented Dessa, rapper, singer, essayist, writer, with
a strong sense of the passage of life, made a number of references to the Ship
of Theseus, and the movement of time. In every dimension, this concert epitomized
the high standards of the musicians of the orchestra, the flexibility and adaptability
of its production staff and capabilities of the entire talented collaboration. In song after song, rapper Dessa used her voice, often blended with her fine quartet of companion singers to engage and enthrall her audience.
I also want to call attention to and salute the television production staff for its careful reticence and handling of the important visual element. Too many times media directors believe they must try to enhance the visual experience with restless cameras and unusual angles. Tonight’s concert was excellent, in every aspect.