Author Archives: dannyashkenasi

About dannyashkenasi

I'm a composer with over 30 years experience creating music theater. I'm also an actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and general enthusiast for the arts.

STILLES ENTSETZEN – AWESTRUCK, AWFUL REGRET – One More Week of the Carl Orff Competition’s Public Voting

  “Orpheus. Eurydike. Hermes” evokes the lead-up to Orpheus’ fateful turn to glance at Eurydice, the awestruck, awful regret at that moment and its terrible aftermath. “Orpheus. Eurydike. Hermes” beginnt kurz vor den fatalen Rückblick Orpheus zur Eurydike, welches stilles … Continue reading

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CARL ORFF COMPETITION – Let’s Hear it for the Underdogs

  Dear Danny, Your Orpheus,  Eurydike,  Hermes​ is a brilliant,  powerful piece,  spellbinding from its first note to the final silence,  tense,  tumultuous between,  each step possessed,  pauses as loud as the notes,  the whole astounding,  overwhelming.   Orpheus. Eurydike. … Continue reading

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HAPPY SONGS FOR DARK TIMES #1 – A Grand Hotel Extravaganza

Sometimes the right slice of music can be a sure fire happy picker upper. These are dark, soul depressing, body wearying times we live in.  More than once I have been hearing people talk about how they feel sick in … Continue reading

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Another Year, Another Trio of First Grade Operas.

Three first grade operas have performed in their classrooms in front of an audience of parents, grandparents and loved ones.  In three consecutive days 1-3’s “Diamond Kids”, 1-2’s “The Alicorns” and 1-1’s “Imagine” regaled audiences with stories, dialog, lyrics and … Continue reading

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MARCHING FOR OUR LIVES IN NYC

  March 24 – March For Our Lives –  Millions are on the streets in the USA.  Here are some impressions from New York City.  With appropriate and inappropriate songs that went through my head as Ed and I participated. … Continue reading

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ORPHEUS. EURYDIKE. HERMES

My Entry in the Carl Orff Competition I composed a chamber work, a song in the tradition of the “Lieder” of the salon, called “Orpheus. Eurydike. Hermes”. It describes the moment in Greek mythology when Orpheus, leading his wife Eurydice … Continue reading

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GETTING KINKY WITH JAKE AND WAYNE

Ed and I originally saw “Kinky Boots” when it was still in previews.  We had treated each other with reciprocal Broadway tickets for Xmas, because we had high hopes for a Harvey Fierstein / Cyndi Lauper musical collaboration.  The performance … Continue reading

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THE SIGHING STRINGS OF CINEMA

Phantom Thread – Psycho – Cloud Atlas – Platoon – Lorenzo’s Oil – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – American Crime Story: Versace – The Club – Schindler’s List – Jesus Christ Superstar – Moonlight – Jackie – … Continue reading

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Five Minutes in Lockdown

A few months ago I was conducting a third grade choir class in a Tribeca school, when an alarm sounded. “Lockdown”, one of the two classroom teachers in the room with me and 25 third graders announced. Swiftly, and calmly, … Continue reading

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LIGHT ENTERS THE HOME – with a “light”hearted music quiz

  I’ll have a picture with my puzzle, please Longtime visitors to my site will have noticed that I love sharing photos, under the “Two-fisted Touristing” rubric, of scenic vistas from around the world or places and events in New … Continue reading

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HAIKU NEW YORK

    The sky is paper Bleeding upward from the edge There are ink towers   My brother will be There to meet me at the dock Has it been five years?   Now there are seagulls Wheeling and diving … Continue reading

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Notes on Myself

Sometimes I am asked, in applications for grants or music competitions for example, to write about myself.  It is a certain special torture to have to act as your own greatest champion in writing (or in person), but that is … Continue reading

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In the Name of Love on MLK Day

    Today our nation commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The message and significance of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he represents for the aspirations of our country and the world weigh more heavily, sadly, today, than they … Continue reading

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IT’S A PUZZLEMENT

One of Ed’s Christmas gifts to me was three puzzles made out of photos he had taken.  This was for one of our traditional “little” gifts we give each other, and Ed boasted of a Groupon offer that allowed him … Continue reading

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The Map Room of Madison, Wisconsin

  On the second floor of a hundred year old house near Vilas Park in Madison, Wisconsin, is a guest bedroom known as the Map Room.     Three of its four walls have been wall papered by huge maps … Continue reading

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To the Woman Who Sat in Rear Mezz B 106 During Last Night’s Performance of THE BAND’S VISIT

This post is not really about “The Band’s Visit”, the marvelously unlikely new Broadway musical hit show, enchanting critics and sold out houses. This is about you, the sad selfish woman sitting diagonally behind me. You see, about halfway through … Continue reading

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