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Arts Beat for Oct. 15: Champlain Philharmonic fall concert set for Oct. 20

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Arts Beat for Oct. 15: Champlain Philharmonic fall concert set for Oct. 20

THE CHAMPLAIN PHILHARMONIC will perform  at the Mahaney Center for the Arts at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m.

By GREG PAHL

Celebrating its 15th concert season, the Champlain Philharmonic, under the direction of Matthew LaRocca, will present their Annual Fall Concert Series on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m., at Ackley Hall at Green Mountain College in Poultney, and Sunday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m., in Robison Hall at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts.

The program, entitled, “DANSA — Music from the Old Country” includes the wild and wonderful Eastern European dances of Brahms and Dvorak (based on music of the traveling “Gypsy” (Roma) bands); Veils and Whirlwinds, a piece by Middlebury College faculty member, Peter Hamlin; and the Doppler Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise, Op. 26, and Bizet’s Fantasie Brilliant Sur Carmen, both featuring Karen Kevra on flute.

Kevra has won attention as one of the country’s outstanding flutists through her distinctive warm and extroverted performances as a soloist and chamber musician. Her premier recording, “Works for Flute and Piano of Louis Moyse” earned a Grammy nomination and accolades from numerous American reviewers in 2004. She has been soloist with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for numerous concerts, and has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Music director Matt LaRocca is on the faculty of the University of Vermont and is also the Director of Music-COMP, an organization that teaches composition to students throughout Vermont and facilitates live performances of their music by professional musicians.

The Champlain Philharmonic is a community orchestra that performs regularly in Addison and Rutland Counties.

Tickets for the Middlebury performance are $15, $12 faculty, staff, emeriti, alumni, parents, $10 youth and $6 Middlebury students, and are available at the door or in advance at champlainphilharmonic.org. Visit the website to purchase tickets in advance. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Mahaney Center for the Arts parking lot.

RAHIM ALHAJ TRIO IN MIDDLEBURY*

RAHIM ALHAJ TRIO comes to the Mahaney Center for the Arts, 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. *Tickets for Moody Amiri concert will be honored.

As an Iraqi immigrant to the United States, oud virtuoso and composer Rahim AlHaj uses his musical talents to spread hope and peace. AlHaj — a  two-time Grammy-nominee — joins Iranian santur player Sourena Sefati and Palestinian-American percussionist Issa Malluf in a concert of Middle Eastern music demonstrating friendship, understanding, and an acknowledgement of humanity’s oneness as we all try to live in peace under the same sky.

The trio will perform at Mahaney Center for the Arts, Robison Hall, on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. A Performing Arts Series event. Tickets: $22 General public/$16 Midd ID holders/$10 Youth (18 and under)/$6 Midd students.

*Tickets purchased for the Moody Amiri concert originally scheduled for this date/time will be honored. Moody Amiri are unable to appear due to the current U.S. travel ban on Iranian nationals. The Rahim AlHaj Trio will perform in their stead.

The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Mahaney Center for the Arts parking lot.

“SAMSON ET DALILA” MET BROADCAST AT THT

When mezzo-soprano El?na Garan?a and tenor Roberto Alagna joined forces for a new production of Carmen at the Met, the results were electrifying. Now this star duo reunites for another sensual French opera when they open the season in the title roles of Saint-Saëns’s biblical epic “Samson et Dalila” to be broadcast in Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Darko Tresnjak makes his Met debut directing a vivid, seductive staging, featuring a monumental setting for the last-act Temple of Dagon, where the hero crushes his Philistine enemies. Sir Mark Elder conducts the first new Met production of the work in 20 years.

The source of this popular opera is a single chapter in the biblical Book of Judges, and the brevity of the tale did nothing to prevent it from becoming one of the world’s great stories of love (or at least passion) — as well as the archetypal depiction of a man betrayed by an immoral woman. Saint-Saëns’s opera, along with other artistic renderings across multiple genres, has had an important role in the popularization of this tale. Despite tepid success early on, “Samson et Dalila” eventually conquered the operatic world and has proven itself a magnificent evening of theater.

Scott Morrison will give a pre-show talk downstairs in the Byers Studio at 12:15 p.m. Run time is approximately three hours, 20 minutes with two intermissions.

Tickets are $24/$10 students and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, by calling 802-382-9222, at the THT box office Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., or at the door one hour before show time. The Town Hall Theater is located at 68 South Pleasant Street in Middlebury.

MONICA RIZZIO AT BRANDON MUSIC

MONICA RIZZIO BRINGS her AmeriCountryGrass to Brandon Music.

Photo/Joe Navas

Monica Rizzio will perform at Brandon Music on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Rizzio grew up on a ranch, barrel racing in East Texas. Somehow, many years later, she found herself crossing over the iconic bridges of Cape Cod and seeing the ocean for the first time. The versatile performer now calls Cape Cod home and her album “Washashore Cowgirl” is completely autobiographical, telling stories from that journey from Texas to the Cape.

Rizzio is the former front woman for Tripping Lily, a folk acoustic pop band, but left behind the acoustic condenser mic style and has brought back the cowgirl attitude and East Texas roots. Finding her outlaw country sound deep within the folk world, she likes to call her music AmeriCountryGrass.

“Washashore Cowgirl” — “washashore” being Cape Cod’s equivalent to Vermont’s “flatlander” — was nominated for Independent Music Awards Country Album of the Year. It has received many accolades.

The singer-songwriter has become one of the most reliable supporting acts as well, having shared the stage with Chris Botti, Boz Scaggs, Diana Krall, Joan Osborne and Slaid Cleaves this past year. She also has performed with Tom Rush.

Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 802-247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

INTERNATIONAL FILM SERIES

The 2018-2019 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2018 UK/ France/ Germany/ Zambia film “I Am Not A Witch” directed by Rungano Nyoni.

‘“I Am Not A Witch” came about because of a huge spate of witch accusations that took place over a particularly dry summer in Zambia,” says director Rungano Nyoni. “What drew me in particular was that these accusations of witchcraft were almost always aimed at women. I soon saw this phenomena repeated throughout different parts of Africa. Eventually my research took me to Ghana. For over a month I stayed in one of the oldest witch camps in the world (over 200 years old) — the first foreigner to sleep there apparently. It’s my stay at the ‘witch camp’ that informed the script.

The film, in English and Nyanja with English Subtitles, will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium at Sunderland on Saturday, Oct. 20. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

BLUES JAM IN MIDDLEBURY

Leicester-based English bluesman Tom Caswell will be hosting a Blues Jam in Middlebury at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Rough Cut. This is a revival of the legendary blues jam hosted between 2011 and 2017 at what was 51 Main At The Bridge, now Rough Cut.

The jam will feature both local and statewide blues musicians and is open to anyone wanting to hear great music. This is a monthly event on the third Wednesday of the month.

If you are a musician or singer planning to take part in the jam, there will be a sign-up sheet located near the stage. The host band, The Tom Caswell Blues Band, will begin the proceedings at 7 p.m. before people are called up from the sign-up sheet to form bands and play the blues. The jam will end with the host band taking the stage once more to wrap things up.

Although the music begins at 7 p.m., an earlier arrival is advised. Admission to the jam is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/tomcaswellblues.

MARK LAVOIE ON HARMONICA AT COLLEGE

There will be a solo performance on harmonica, “Long Way from Home,” by Mark LaVoie at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Robison Hall at Middlebury College’s Center for the Arts. LaVoie’s distinctive acoustic style is reminiscent of his mentor, the late, great harmonica legend Sonny Terry. The performance is free, and the public is welcome.

LIVE MUSIC AT NOTTE

There will be one live musical performance this week on Friday, October 19 at Notte Neapolitan Pizza Bar located downstairs at 86 Main Street in Middlebury, with a 7 p.m. dinner show featuring Mark Sikora. For more information, call 802-388-0002.

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