Arts & Leisure

EMILY CASEY OF Orwell, will give a talk on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m., about her new collection of essays “Made Holy.” The conversation will take place at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury in conjunction with an exhibit of eight pieces of artwork done by Vermont artists to represent portions of one of Casey’s essays. PHOTO / LESLIE TWITCHELL
ORWELL — Emily Casey didn’t always like essays. “I had always thought of essays as boring, nature stories… that just didn’t appeal to me,” she said in a conversation last week. “But when I was in college other people were really pushing the boundaries of what an essay could be… Braided essays really spoke to me — with a theme weaving through thoughts.” Casey, a 2012 MFA graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, didn’t always like telling the truth either. “The publishing of my book ‘Made Holy’ coincided with the truth of telling about my own recovery,” she said. “The day the book...

MATTHEW DELIA-LOBO works on a coffee creation at Royal Oak Coffee on Seymour Street in Middlebury. Photo by Hope Allison
MIDDLEBURY — On the wall in Royal Oak Coffee, alongside the hanging plants and stylish geometric artwork, is a brightly-colored print entitled “The New Taster’s Flavor Wheel.” With more than fifty flavor and aroma possibilities, it’s clear that our collective understanding of coffee isn’t what it used to be. The wheel — and Royal Oak Coffee itself — represents the new kind of cafe experience that’s come to Middlebury. In a cozy one-room house, next to Fire and Ice on Seymour Street, co-owners Alessandra and Matthew Delia-Lobo have created a haven for the caffeine-addicted and coffee-obsessed...

LIVINGSTON TAYLOR WILL perform at Town Hall Theatre in Middlebury on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m., in celebration of over 50 years of making music.
MIDDLEBURY — Livingston Taylor’s career as a professional musician has spanned 52 years. He maintains a performance schedule of more than 100 shows a year, delighting audiences with his unique brand of popular music which includes mostly original repertory from his 13 albums. He’s bringing his show to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. Taylor picked up his first guitar at the age of 13. Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Taylor is the fourth child in a very musical family that includes Alex, James, Kate and Hugh. Taylor recorded his first record at the...
SALISBURY — BARN OPERA completes its second season “The Season of Love” with Giancarlo Menotti’s holiday opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” This production will be performed by an all-Vermont principal cast as well as a local amateur chorus, on Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14. There will be two performances each night, at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” is the story of a poor mother and her crippled son who exhibit extraordinary generosity by giving everything that they own to provide comfort for three kings that are on their way to visit the Christchild. In a...

JENNY BOWER WILL be one of the local performers during this year’s Mission Concert at the Vergennes Congregational Church on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2-4 p.m. Free admission.
VERGENNES — The fourth annual Mission Concert at the Vergennes Congregational Church will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2-4 p.m. The concert has traditionally presented a variety of musical styles presented by talented local performers. This year’s lineup follows that tradition; performers include: Jenny Bower on the church’s historic pipe organ; Molly Tatlock and Ron Mezile with vocals and piano; Jim Burns on old-time fiddle; Judd Markowski on accordion; Sarah Donnelly and Jenny Bower with vocals and piano; Honey in the Hive performing Celtic and traditional American music and Irish Step...
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Community Wind Ensemble will present its winter concerts on Friday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m., at Mount Abraham Union High School, and Wednesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m., at Middlebury Union High School. Admission is free. Conductor Jerome Shedd has chosen a program that includes the premiere of a work of his own. “Winter Song” is a short piece for solo euphonium and band, and will feature soloist Alice Weston. Another solo on the program will be “Oblivion,” a tango for flute and band by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, with flutist Susan English. The concerts will present other...

ORIGINALLY DIRECTED AND shot by the great Sydney Pollack over two days at Los Angeles’ New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in 1972, "Amazing Grace" was conceived as “the two-day concert recording of what remains Aretha Franklin’s (and live gospel music’s) best and biggest-selling album,” relates Wesley Morris in the New York Times.
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival continues its MNFF Selects film screening series on Sunday, Dec. 8, with the rousing and long-awaited documentary “Amazing Grace.” Featuring an utterly incandescent gospel music performance by the great Aretha Franklin, the film will screen at 2 p.m. at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury as a special holiday matinee. Offering a robust schedule of one film per month over eight months from October 2019 through May 2020, MNFF Selects will take its audiences on an entertaining ride in the months ahead. All the films will screen at Town Hall Theater...

FRANCESCO DABICA of Bristol slaps five with Santa in Holley Hall during Breakfast with Santa during Cool Yule in 2017. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
BRISTOL — Bristol will be bustling with a full month of holiday activities and celebrations through December from wreath making on Dec. 1 to merry-making on Dec. 31. Bristol CORE (the community promotional organization), Bristol Recreation Department, local churches and civic organizations have so much planned that you should start planning your fun now. “Cool Yule,” as it is known, is an annual holiday celebration that includes events, bazaars, concerts, activities and late night shopping. Favorite events include the Chocolate Walk, Breakfast with Santa, Community caroling, Christmas bazaars...

SANTA CLAUS WILL make several stops in Middlebury in December, where he will talk with children and listen to their wish lists, like he did here in 2017. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — Holiday magic returns to Middlebury with a festive and fun-filled month of December, complete with visits from Santa, horse drawn wagon rides, special event shopping nights, a breakfast with holiday characters, an “I Spy” contest with prizes, the Hot Cocoa Hut and free gift wrap for items purchased in Middlebury.  The month will be packed with activities that will spill over into November. Very Merry Middlebury festivities kick off on Saturday, Nov. 30, with the opening of the Hot Cocoa Hut on Cannon Park across from Ilsley Library and the Sheldon Museum. Grab a cup of cocoa for...

THE SALISBURY CONGREGATIONAL Church in Salisbury village will be the site of Barn Opera’s presentation of the holiday opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” on Dec. 13 and 14. The story centers around the three kings on the way to visit baby Jesus. Independent photo/John S. McCright
BRANDON/SALISBURY — Barn Opera of Brandon will complete its second season — “The Season of Love” — with a presentation of Giancarlo Menotti’s holiday opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” at Salisbury Congregational Church on Dec. 13 and 14. “Amahl” is the story of a poor mother and her crippled son who exhibit extraordinary generosity by giving everything that they own to provide comfort for three kings that are on their way to visit the Christ child. In a moment of self-protection, and unconditional love for her son, Amahl’s mother tries to right cosmic injustice by stealing some gold....


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