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Arts Beat for 9/29: 'La Traviata' coming to the THT stage

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Posted on October 7, 2013 |
By Greg Pahl



Art Beat for July 7: Festival to offer great music all week plus dancing

The Opera Company of Middlebury will present one of opera’s most beloved works, Verdi’s “La Traviata,” in a staged concert version at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Friday, at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, at 2 p.m.

Soprano Rochelle Bard stars in the role of the “fallen woman,” Violetta. A winner of several international competitions, Bard recently made her debut at Carnegie Hall in Beethoven’s C Minor Mass. A veteran Violetta — she reprises the role in November at Shreveport Opera — critics have hailed her “achingly gorgeous” voice and have called her “a poignant singing actress.”

Tenor Jamie Flora returns to the company as Alfredo. Flora was last seen as the decadent Nicias in the company’s 2011 production of “Thaïs.” His wife, Olga Perez Flora, returns as well, playing the role of Flora.

“We like to create long-term relationships with singers we really admire,” says Town Hall Theater Exectuive Director Douglas Anderson. “Jamie and Olga have become mainstays of the company. I think audiences like to see a mix of new singers like Rochelle and old friends like Jamie and Olga.” Other returning singers are Ricardo Rivera, Leroy Davis, and Vermonters Sarah Cullins and Erik Kroncke.

Maestro Emmanuel Plasson will once again conduct the OCM orchestra. He’ll leave Middlebury moments after the curtain falls on “La Traviata” to fly to London, where he will conduct the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. The Middlebury College Choir will sing the famous chorus numbers, under the direction of Jeff Buettner. Douglas Anderson directs.

Tickets are $40-$50, and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222, at the THT box office (Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.), or at the door.

MIKE & RUTHY IN RIPTON

The Ripton Community Coffee House, a nonprofit community concert series, welcomes back singer-songwriting duo Mike & Ruthy on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Now in their 16th year of performing together, Mike & Ruthy’s tenure with their trailblazing string band, The Mammals, put them on the international festival map through the 2000s, often accompanying the legendary Pete Seeger at many appearances in his busy twilight years.

As a second-generation folk family, Mike & Ruthy spend most of their time on the road, with their kids in tow, performing more than 100 concerts annually, ranging from major folk festivals to intimate house concerts.

Described as “rich, vintage Americana” by Time Out NY, Mike & Ruthy revel in the old-fashioned telling of a story. Their harmony-driven, fiddle and banjo alchemy echoes a sound from a golden age of music, yet their relaxed, often hilarious, and charismatic on-stage demeanor delivers a riveting live concert experience that is thoroughly in the present.

As always, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. with an open-mike set, followed by the featured performers. Open-mike performers are encouraged to call in advance and reserve one of the five open-mike slots.

Admission to the coffeehouse is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and teens, and $3 for children.  The economically challenged may pay what they can afford. Refreshments will benefit the coffeehouse. The coffeehouse is held on the first Saturday of each month, except August.  For more information, contact Richard Ruane or Andrea Chesman at 388-9782.

PIANIST RICHARD GOODE

Pianist Richard Goode, who has won worldwide acclaim for his interpretations of the classical masterworks, will return to the concert hall in Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, to play a program including Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy and Schumann.

Goode is one of today’s leading interpreters of classical and romantic music. He has been hailed worldwide for music-making of tremendous emotional power, depth and expressiveness. In regular performances with major orchestras, recitals in the world’s music capitals, and through his extensive and acclaimed recordings on the Nonesuch label, he has won a large and devoted following.

Goode records exclusively for the Nonesuch label, with more than two-dozen recordings over the years, ranging from solo and chamber works to lieder and concertos. His latest recording of the five Beethoven concertos with the Budapest Festival Orchestra was released to exceptional critical acclaim, described as “a landmark recording” by the Financial Times and nominated for a Grammy award.

Associate Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin will offer a pre-concert lecture at 2:15 p.m. in Room 221. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available.

Tickets are $25 for the general public. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 443-6433 or go to www.middlebury.edu/arts.

TWO BROTHERS TAVERN

There will be three live musical performances this week at the Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury.

On Wednesday, the tavern will feature Open-Mike Night, beginning at 9 p.m. Hosted by Kai Stanley, the Open-Mike Night follows Trivia one Wednesday per month. The stage is open to musicians and performers of all kinds on a first-come, first-served basis, and it’s free to enter. There’s no cover charge.

Then, at 9 p.m. on Friday, Two Brothers presents the Wolfpack, which offers high energy rock covers from all decades delivered with the audience in mind. Talented both individually and collectively the Wolfpack is a fantastic party band. There is a $3 cover.

From 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, the Aaron Audet Band performs for the Cocktails Curing Cancer fundraiser. Then, Audet will be backed by his full band for a night of dancing beginning at 10 p.m. The Aaron Audet band plays a variety of pop cover tunes — ranging from the Rolling Stones and G. Love to Pink Floyd and Dave Matthews. There is a $15 minimum donation for the fundraiser (7-10 p.m.) and a $3 cover for the 10 p.m. show. For more information, call 388-0002.

TWANGTOWN PARAMOURS

The Twangtown Paramours will perform at Brandon Music on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The music of the Twangtown Paramours has been called “sophisticated Americana,” and is a hybrid of the Nashville and Austin music scenes. 

The Twangtown Paramours include Mary Beth Zamer and Mike T. Lewis. This acoustic duo is known for their well-crafted and award-winning songs, top-notch lead singing, and fine harmonies. They have performed at nationally recognized venues such as Uncle Calvin’s in Dallas, Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs and the Bluebird Café in Nashville.

Tickets are $15. A pre-concert dinner is available for $20. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 465-4071 or e-mail info@brandon-music.net for reservations or for information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

INT’L FILM SERIES

The exciting 2014-2015 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2013 Germany/Israel/Luxembourg/France film, “Hannah Arendt,” directed by Margarethe von Trotta.

A biopic with a lively theatrical spirit, “Hannah Arendt” is a probing and clear-eyed study of the German-Jewish political philosopher who famously reported on the trial of Nazi official Adolf Eichmann. “To make a film about a thinker is a challenge; to do so in a way that is accessible and gripping is a triumph,” says Roger Berkowitz, Paris Review.

The film, in German, English, French, Hebrew and Latin with English subtitles, will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on College Street. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

LIVE MUSIC AT 51 MAIN

There will be three live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. On Thursday, the Andric Severance Quartet performs a sizzling stew of Latin, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz at 8 p.m.

Then, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Back Porch Society take to the stage. BPS plays a combination of original material and reinterpretations of blues, string band, stomp, and country standards.

Finally, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, the Bob Mackenzie Blues Band will perform. The Bob Mackenzie Band offers a solid selection of blues, classics, jump, swing, and rhythm & blues.

All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.

JAZZ AT COLLEGE

There will be a performance by the Dick Forman Jazz Group (DFJG) at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the concert hall of the Mahaney Center for the Arts.

The DFJG will present an evening of sparkling, sophisticated mainstream jazz. The group’s ballads, blues, bebop, and swing are sure to set toes tapping.  Long a favorite of Vermont audiences, the group features Forman on piano, with some of New England’s finest musicians: Paul Asbell, guitar; Michael Zsoldos, sax; Jim Daggs, bass; and Geza Carr, drums. It’s free.

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