The Old Centrum; March 31-April 1.
I looked to my left during this concert and saw a 3-year-old dancing and jumping on her beanbag. I then looked over to my right and saw someone wearing a party hat and blowing a brightly colored pinwheel. On the podium was conductor José Valencia, playing the bass drum with a fish. (Get it? “Bass” drum?) Yes, another inspired experience with OP. The “bass” drum was a part of P.D.Q Bach’s Royal Firewater Musick, which had the audience in stitches. Before that, concert-goers danced to Erik Satie’s Gymnopedies. There were just a few parts of the program that showed what OP seems to be striving for: getting audience members to interact with music, and to be moved by it in many ways. OP’s motto, “Touch it; feel it,” was well-demonstrated this evening. My only issue with OP is consistency: There are times of really glorious, intense music making; then there are moments when it’s not so hot. Overall though, this group and its mission are terrific, and I’m sad we have to wait until fall to hear it again.