Top 10 Ensembles of 2012
The year's most memorable groupings in classical music, dance, and theatre
In no order:
1) ENSEMBLE VIII Within a few years, we'll see this choral ensemble's name alongside the most distinguished in its genre. Thanks to James Morrow and the group's artists, we have – right here in Austin – a musical force that is on its way to world-class status in the field of early music.
2) THE CAST OF 'ALL MY SONS' (Palindrome Theatre) Possibly the most striking aspect of a wholly fantastic staging.
3) JUPITER STRING QUARTET This chamber group's four members achieve both breadth and depth in their brilliant steering of intricate counterpoint.
4) THE DANCERS OF 'LIGHT/THE HOLOCAUST & HUMANITY PROJECT' (Ballet Austin) They delivered much grace in remembrance of a horrific tragedy.
5) THE CAST OF 'MIDDLETOWN' (Hyde Park Theatre) One of the largest ever in an HPT show, and every member was solid.
6) THE COMPANY OF 'TURANDOT' (Austin Lyric Opera) It brimmed with talented performers of all ages.
7) JILL BLACKWOOD, MARTIN BURKE, JASON CONNOR, AND AMY DOWNING IN 'THE SANTALAND DIARIES' (Zach Theatre) This foursome feted the final year of Zach's holiday staple in style.
8) CONSPIRARE AND AUSTIN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA These groups joined forces for a massive, power-charged concert of Bach, Bernstein, Stokowski, and Stravinsky.
9) THE CAST OF 'LEGALLY BLONDE: THE MUSICAL' (Summer Stock Austin) The kids sang and danced to the bubblegum-pop score with the energy of a nonstop sugar rush.
10) THE STORY WRANGLERS (Paramount Theatre) This group gives voice – and wonderfully silly staging – to stories by elementary school kids throughout Austin.