Orchestra theater – SingCo Music http://singcomusic.com/ Thu, 12 May 2022 20:03:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://singcomusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-38-120x120.png Orchestra theater – SingCo Music http://singcomusic.com/ 32 32 Contagious enthusiasm at the Newport Children’s Theater https://singcomusic.com/contagious-enthusiasm-at-the-newport-childrens-theater/ Thu, 12 May 2022 17:51:29 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/contagious-enthusiasm-at-the-newport-childrens-theater/ Above, left to right: Charlie Buchanan, Mia Rocco, Owen Frates and Catherine Cronin. An explosion of energy and color, with bodies humming, turning, diving and a prince trying to retrieve the princess he left out of his reach. For tweens and teens, a great way to weather a pandemic hiatus is to sing a Richard […]]]>

Above, left to right: Charlie Buchanan, Mia Rocco, Owen Frates and Catherine Cronin.

An explosion of energy and color, with bodies humming, turning, diving and a prince trying to retrieve the princess he left out of his reach.

For tweens and teens, a great way to weather a pandemic hiatus is to sing a Richard Rodgers waltz in triad harmonies, while imitating Rodgers and Hammerstein’s original “Cinderella” choreography to audiences eager for performances too. versatile and unexpected.

A live orchestra of 13 professional musicians will perform with fiddles, woodwinds, trumpets and other horns, under the direction of Jan Navarro who currently works with the Newport County Youth Chorus. Navarro has been teaching music for over 35 years.

The Newport Children’s Theater (NCT) is engrossed in the rehearsal process for its lavish annual spring musical, which runs May 20-22 at the Casino Theatre. It’s a ritual they’ve followed for decades, providing sanctuary and a forum for young people to find their voice.

At left, NCT actors Brennan Mahoney and Eliara Cabral rehearse.

At left, NCT actors Brennan Mahoney and Eliara Cabral rehearse.

For many families, it was a place to belong during a critical stage of development. What NCT did was recognize a theatrical need and harness it in the teen realm.

The actors squeal with excitement when director/artistic director Tara O’Hare Gnolfo asks them if they want to run past the scheduled end of their two-hour rehearsal time. It is unanimous.

“Dedicated don’t begin to describe [Gnolfo]said board member Erin Goddard. “She has so much heart for these kids.”

In Maddie Devine’s glowing eyes or Brennan Mahoney’s square jaw, one can conjure up childhood memories of Leslie Anne Warren and her prince, Stuart Damon, from the 1965 Cinderella special. magic,” said Gnolfo, who ran the theater for 12 years. “Something really special happens with this mix of kids. They support each other. They build each other up. You never have to discipline them when it comes to how they treat each other. They understand.”

When she participated in theater in her youth, she regretted not having one person in her life who pushed her to be “more professional”. So, she invited professional choreographers and others from the industry to teach her students.

“People who have more knowledge than me to pass on to children. They deserve to be inspired,” she said.

She dubbed “Cinderella” to provide more opportunities for her cache of talent.

Emily Marino, 17, from Bristol, has been performing with NCT since she was 12 and has been performing since she was 6. Her first role was in community theater as Molly in “Annie.” But she was looking for a more professional experience when she saw an NCT production of “Into the Woods.”

“[It was] this amazing performance in front of me, people my age doing this big thing,” she said.

The following year, Marino entered the set of “Fiddler on the Roof”. “Acting specifically here got me in. . . what a character needs and made me play better,” she said.

Her mother, Caroline, was initially hesitant to put her daughter in NCT. “[But] as soon as she arrived she was greeted by everyone, and she burst into a very tight-knit group,” she said.

“The focus is on building relationships with each other,” her mother said. “Lead roles, ensemble roles; there is always a place for them to shine; never a hierarchy at all.

Owen Frates, 13, of Middletown, has been participating since he was 9 years old. “It kept me coming back because everybody loves everybody and we’re a community, and it’s just fun to play,” he said.

He plays Lord Chancellor Sebastian, a villainous character. “I stand up in front of the prince and say, ‘Who do you think you’re talking to?'” he sneered, with some pleasure.

14-year-old Charley Buchanan balances acting with track and ice hockey. He entered the program in October, starred in the Christmas play “Babes in Toyland” and now plays a French revolutionary trying to overthrow the prince.

“I like it. It’s been a great game,” he said.[Tara] is really good at letting me do both. It’s the maximum that I had to sing and dance. I have a solo in one song, several other parts in others. It’s a huge challenge; I have no fondness for music.

Eliara Cabral, 16, from Portsmouth, one of the two Cinderellas, is a five-year veteran. Earlier this year, she played accomplice Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

How does Cinderella compare to Puck?

“Certainly a little less mischievous and a lot more sincere, more caring,” she said. “Usually when we do an analysis we get notes at the end, tips and advice. This improves our performance. For example, the reason Tara told me to wear this corset top was because it would help me with my character.

Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door. To visit newportchildrenstheatre.com.

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Downtown St. Clair is buzzing with parking lot work and the construction of a new theater https://singcomusic.com/downtown-st-clair-is-buzzing-with-parking-lot-work-and-the-construction-of-a-new-theater/ Tue, 10 May 2022 01:39:33 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/downtown-st-clair-is-buzzing-with-parking-lot-work-and-the-construction-of-a-new-theater/ Much of downtown St. Clair is completely destroyed. Areas of the parking lot around Riverview Plaza are blocked off as a long-awaited reconstruction project is underway. And at one corner, a large hole in the ground shows the first signs of the $3 million theater footprint that is expected to take shape later this year. […]]]>

Much of downtown St. Clair is completely destroyed.

Areas of the parking lot around Riverview Plaza are blocked off as a long-awaited reconstruction project is underway. And at one corner, a large hole in the ground shows the first signs of the $3 million theater footprint that is expected to take shape later this year.

But beyond all the orange cones and construction, local residents and community leaders said they were feeling optimistic.

Mayor Bill Cedar said there was a sense of anticipation as to what all of this would mean for the region.

“Everyone is excited,” he said.

“I think people generally accept it,” Cedar added when asked about the construction inconvenience, especially in the parking lot. “They understand how bad it was and (anticipate) how much it’s going to get better.”

Construction vehicles parked at the aging parking lot reconstruction site around Riverview Plaza in downtown St. Clair on Monday, May 9, 2022.

The parking lot reconstruction is being funded by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County as part of an agreement with the owners of the Plaza Mall finalized last year, and it is expected to be completed by mid-June – on time. for the busiest part of St. Clair. Summer.

Randy Maiers, the foundation’s president and CEO, said work on the ground began earlier this year and is “going full steam ahead right now.”

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Theater St. Gallen & Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen announce 2022-23 season https://singcomusic.com/theater-st-gallen-sinfonieorchester-st-gallen-announce-2022-23-season/ Mon, 09 May 2022 04:14:09 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/theater-st-gallen-sinfonieorchester-st-gallen-announce-2022-23-season/ Theater St. Gallen and Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen have announced their 2022-23 season. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on vocal and lyrical performances. Opera The season starts with “The anonymous lover” by Joseph Boulogne. Kazem Abdullah directs a production directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr. The cast will feature Joshua Stewart, Florina Illie, […]]]>

Theater St. Gallen and Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen have announced their 2022-23 season.

For the purposes of this article, we will focus on vocal and lyrical performances.

Opera

The season starts with “The anonymous lover” by Joseph Boulogne. Kazem Abdullah directs a production directed by Femi Elufowoju Jr. The cast will feature Joshua Stewart, Florina Illie, Äneas Humm, Libby Sokolowski, Jennifer Panara and Christopher Sokolowskki.

Performance dates: September 17, 2022

Vincenzo Neri, Christopher Sokolowski, Ekaterina Bakanova, Libby Sokolowski, Kristján Jóhannesson, Jennifer Panara, Elena Svetnitskaya, Manuel Günther, Äneas Humm, Christoph Filler, Georg Schiessi, Riccardo Botta, Theresa Steinbach, Amelie Petrich and David Maze.

Performance dates: October 29, 2022

“Die Zauberflöte” will be directed by Guta Rau and directed by Katharina Müllner. The cast includes Antonina Vessenina, Maria Kublashvili, Vuvu Mpofu, Libby Sokolowski, Yorck Felix Speer, pavel Kolgatin, Christopher Sokoloski, Äneas Humm, Riccardo Botta and Candy Grace Ho, among others.

Performance dates: December 1, 2022

There will be performances of “Hänsel und Gretel” under the direction of Olivier Tardy.

Performance dates: December 9 – 23, 2022

The company will present “Der Ring an einem Abend” with Bruno Riedl, Roy Cornelius Smith, Christopher Sokolowski, Alexandra Petersamer, David Maze, Kristján Johannesson, Libby Sokolowski, Riccardo Botta, Jennifer Panara and Christina Blaschke.

Performance dates: January 12-15, 2023

“The Time of Our Singing” will feature Vuvu Mpofu, Claron McFadden, Mark S. Doss, Kristján Jóhannesson, Joshua Stewart, Abigail Abraham and Jennifer Panara. Kwamé Ryan directs a production directed by Ted Huffman.

Performance dates: March 11, 2023

Verdi’s Requiem will be directed by Krystian Lada and conducted by Modestas Pitrenas. Birgit Bücker, Anna Blumer, Guang-Xuan Chen, Christian Hettkamp, ​​Swane Küpper and Oliver Losehand headline the cast.

Performance dates: May 6, 2023

“Andrea Chénier” will be directed by Rodula Gaitanou and directed by Modestas Pitrenas. Jorge Puerta, Alexey Bogdanchikov, Daniel Miroslaw, Gabriela Schrerer, Ewa Vesin, Jennifer Panara and Malgorzata Walewska will headline the cast.

Performance dates: June 23, 2023

There will be a series of concerts entitled “Revolutionary” in honor of French independence. “Sfergio – Narben der Seele” will feature Michaela Riener, Soetkin Baptist, Anne Rindahl Karlsen and Tomàs Maxé.

Performance dates: June 25, 2023

“Le Chant du Serpent will feature countertenor Samuel Cattiau alongside a baroque ensemble.

Performance dates: July 6, 2023

Orchestra concerts

There will be a summer concert featuring mezzo-soprano Jennifer Panara performing music by Joseph Canteloube. Modestas Pitrenas conducts a performance that also includes Bizet’s Symphony in C major.

Performance dates: August 26 & 27, 2022

Soprano Yeres Suh will perform music by Bach and Mozart alongside conductor Rubén Dubrovsky. The concert will also feature Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn.

Performance dates: December 16 -18, 2022

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American Theater Group presents Bill Bowers and “All Over the Map” https://singcomusic.com/american-theater-group-presents-bill-bowers-and-all-over-the-map/ Fri, 06 May 2022 14:22:35 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/american-theater-group-presents-bill-bowers-and-all-over-the-map/ NEWS | FEATURES | PREVIEWS | EVENTS originally published: 05/06/2022 (BASKING RIDGE, NJ) — The American Theater Group (ATG)the Somerset County Professional Theater Company which is celebrating its tenth season, will present Anywhere on the map, an autobiographical one-man show starring Bill Bowers, about his 30 years on the road, performing in 26 countries, on […]]]>
NEWS | FEATURES | PREVIEWS | EVENTS



originally published: 05/06/2022

(BASKING RIDGE, NJ) — The American Theater Group (ATG)the Somerset County Professional Theater Company which is celebrating its tenth season, will present Anywhere on the map, an autobiographical one-man show starring Bill Bowers, about his 30 years on the road, performing in 26 countries, on Broadway, at the White House – and in the best elementary school cafeterias. The show begins previews on June 9, opens on June 11, and runs through June 18 at the Fellowship Cultural Arts Center in Basking Ridge, NJ.

“We are thrilled to introduce Bill Bowers, a true theater artist and storyteller,” said Jim Vagias, ATG’s Production Artistic Director. “His performance will take the audience on a journey not just around the world, but through the human experience we all share. We have been fortunate to have Bill perform other shows for us over the years and they always have. were enthusiastically received by sold-out crowds.

The tickets are available for purchase online or by calling 908-580-3892. Fellowship Cultural Arts Center is located on the scenic Fellowship Village campus at 8000 Fellowship Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Tickets are priced from $35-55 with student and senior discounts available. Performances take place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 2:30 p.m. There is an additional performance at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday June 18.

American Theater Group presents Bill Bowers and

All theater patrons must prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by showing their vaccination card and photo ID. Digital copies on smart phones with both sides of the card are acceptable, as are hard copies. Masks must be worn in the theater and common areas for resident safety.

“We are thrilled to welcome the American Theater Group back to the Fellowship Cultural Arts Center for their performance of ‘All Over the Map’ in June. We are especially thrilled to welcome Bill Bowers on stage for his unparalleled storytelling! said Brian Lawrence, President and CEO, Fellowship Senior Living.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for more info

As an actor, mime and educator, Bill Bower traveled all 50 states in the United States and 26 countries in Europe and Asia. His Broadway credits include THE LION KING (Zazu) and THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (Leggett), and he has appeared on the stages of Theater for a New Audience, St. Anne’s Warehouse, EST, Radio City Music Hall, The Kennedy Center, Steppenwolf , LaMaMa and New York Fringe. He is featured in the movie Two weeks noticeand on television in Disney’s Out of the box, remember WENN, One Life to Life, and All my children. Bill holds an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and an honorary doctorate from Rocky Mountain College. He is the pupil of the legendary Marcel Marceau. www.Bill-Bowers.com

American Theater Group (ATG), founded in 2012, produces new and classic works primarily by American playwrights with an emphasis on developing new works and rediscovering unjustly overlooked old ones. It also offers quality arts in education initiatives, including its annual DramaFest for students and its PlayLab program for BIPOC and queer playwrights. ATG programming is made possible in part through funds from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

The Fellowship Cultural Arts Center’s The multi-purpose 257-seat Mitchell and Ann Sieminski Theater benefits from the design work of top theater, lighting and sound professionals who have created this state-of-the-art space. Open to the public, the lineup includes theatre, opera, symphony, jazz and ballet with performances by the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, New Jersey Ballet, Light Opera of New Jersey, American Theater Group, Centenary Stage Company and Trilogy Repertory.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month, click here for more info


]]> The Colonial Theater will host its first show in 53 years in downtown Augusta https://singcomusic.com/the-colonial-theater-will-host-its-first-show-in-53-years-in-downtown-augusta/ Thu, 05 May 2022 20:06:21 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/the-colonial-theater-will-host-its-first-show-in-53-years-in-downtown-augusta/ AUGUSTA – The first paid public performance in more than five decades at the Colonial Theater, long vacant and undergoing renovations, takes place on Friday evening. Local native Kent Axell, who works as a magician and mentalist in Las Vegas and elsewhere, will perform his mind-reading act at the theater, which has been temporarily set […]]]>

AUGUSTA – The first paid public performance in more than five decades at the Colonial Theater, long vacant and undergoing renovations, takes place on Friday evening.

Local native Kent Axell, who works as a magician and mentalist in Las Vegas and elsewhere, will perform his mind-reading act at the theater, which has been temporarily set up with 300 seats for the performance.

For the first time since Dean Martin, Elke Sommer and Sharon Tate appeared in the film “The Wrecking Crew” on screen at the Colonial Theater in 1969, paying patrons will catch a performance at the theater at 139 Water St., so even that it is in the middle of a major renovation project to bring it back to life.

“This is the first paid performance in 53 years,” Kathi Wall, the theater’s executive director, said of Axell’s performance. “This is an important step. I think that says, more than that, we are on our way to becoming a more functional venue for arts and entertainment in the Augusta area. We can get out of this. And we will get a little closer to the capital which will have its own place of art and culture.

Rayno Boivin, left, and Brian Monk connect seating sections Thursday at the Colonial Theater at 139 Water Street in downtown Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Axell grew up in Manchester, then studied acting in New York and now performs as a magician and mentalist in shows in Las Vegas and on the road. Axell said he was honored to be part of the theater’s renaissance by performing in its first paid public show since it closed more than half a century ago.

“I’m so honored and so excited to be a part of this – it’s truly amazing,” he said. “I was in the theatre. It’s so beautiful. It’s nice. It’s been pretty dilapidated over the past few years, but it’s really been patched up. You can’t produce “Grease” in there right now, but you can definitely do a mind-reading show.

Wall said that with the theater in its current state, public safety codes allow it to accommodate up to 300 people for the show. When the theater is fully restored, the plan is to have seating and a capacity of 1,000 spectators.

Its temporary seating includes 200 seats donated by Kennebec Valley Community College, which is redoing its auditorium and planning to install new seating. Peachey Builders of Augusta installed the seats at historic theater.

Wall said the donated seats were in good condition.

The Kennebec Savings Bank provided another 100 temporary and mobile seats for Friday night’s performance.

Tickets are $25 and sell out fast. Thursday afternoon, there were only three tickets left, according to the website where you can buy ticketsthe event is expected to raise approximately $7,500 to help fund the ongoing efforts to renovate and expand the theatre, which was originally built in 1912 then replaced by the existing building in 1926.

The Colonial first showed silent films and had an orchestra pit in front of the stage. At some point the stage was extended above the orchestra pit and a sound system capable of playing audio for films was added shortly after World War I.

Friday night’s show will feature Axell’s mind-reading act, though he’s open that he doesn’t actually read minds. He said he orchestrates situations, using principles of deception, to make it look like he can read minds.

“People who come will probably think they’ve seen a psychic — that’s the point of the show,” Axell said. “They should expect to see what it’s like to be in a room with a mind reader.”

Axell said he heard about the Colonial Theater’s restoration efforts and approached Wall and Michael Hall, a member of the theater’s board of trustees and executive director of the Augusta Downtown Alliance, to organize a paid show there for help with restoration.

“I thought about it and thought, ‘Why not? Wall said he held a show at the theater that was far from sold out. “No, we are not a finished theatre. But could we succeed, in warm weather, not in the middle of winter? Yeah. And the response has been wonderful.

Brian Monk, left, and Rayno Boivin measure and position another row of seats Thursday at the Colonial Theater at 139 Water Street in downtown Augusta. Last month, Kennebec Valley Community College donated 204 seats that were removed from an auditorium being renovated on the Fairfield campus. Those seats are placed in front of a temporary stage that will host “Lifting the Curtain with Master Mind Reader Kent Axell,” scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday. It will be the first paid performance at the theater in 53 years. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The event consists of having a cash bar and offering theater candy for purchase. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Fundraising for the overall projectpreviously estimated to cost around $8.5 million, is underway. Over $1 million has been raised so far. Plans include adding a new building to the side of the structure to provide space for bathrooms and improve accessibility.

the project recently received $160,000 into National Park Service historic preservation funds to restore the theater’s windows and exterior doors.


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The Day – Jr. Mack performs at the Oat Theater in Norwich on May 11 https://singcomusic.com/the-day-jr-mack-performs-at-the-oat-theater-in-norwich-on-may-11/ Wed, 04 May 2022 15:57:46 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/the-day-jr-mack-performs-at-the-oat-theater-in-norwich-on-may-11/ Are there musical artists who claim to be real blues musicians or artists who are significantly influenced by the blues? Or are they trying to demonstrate the extent of the influence by adding “blues” as a modifier hyphen to their chosen genre? Why yes! No shortage! You know what I mean: blues-rock, folk-blues, country-blues, blues-polka, […]]]>

Are there musical artists who claim to be real blues musicians or artists who are significantly influenced by the blues? Or are they trying to demonstrate the extent of the influence by adding “blues” as a modifier hyphen to their chosen genre?

Why yes! No shortage!

You know what I mean: blues-rock, folk-blues, country-blues, blues-polka, blues-Renaissance polyphony… That kind of thing.

What you don’t hear so much about anymore is a secular artist whose work is steeped in gospel.

All of which explains why Jr. Mack’s performance on Wednesday at the Norwich Arts Center is so intriguing. Mack, the self-taught guitarist/vocalist plays a fusion of Deep South blues and gospel that is rich and deeply moving. He holds a residency at Tera Blues in New York and is also a frequent guest on many projects featuring folks from the Allman Brothers Band, so this break in his schedule to play in our part of the world is a musical blessing. .

Jr. Mack, 7:30 p.m. May 11, Donald Oat Theatre, 62 Broadway, Norwich; doors open at 7 p.m.; $25, $20 members, $23 military, students, seniors; www.norwicharts.org.

$25 adults; $23 seniors/military/students; $20 Members Tickets @ www.norwicharts.org.

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A Performance Review of Stan State Opera Stages | Theater https://singcomusic.com/a-performance-review-of-stan-state-opera-stages-theater/ Mon, 02 May 2022 22:45:00 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/a-performance-review-of-stan-state-opera-stages-theater/ View of the Snider stage. (Signal Photo/Morley Brown) The Stanislaus State Music Department hosted an April 21 performance of Opera Scenes featuring various scenes ranging from German and English operas to contemporary musical numbers. There was a little something for everyone in the audience that night. With the mixture of traditional costumes and concert outfits, […]]]>






View of the Snider stage. (Signal Photo/Morley Brown)


The Stanislaus State Music Department hosted an April 21 performance of Opera Scenes featuring various scenes ranging from German and English operas to contemporary musical numbers.

There was a little something for everyone in the audience that night. With the mixture of traditional costumes and concert outfits, the artists provided a fun evening for those present.

A community member who attended, Liana Rodriguez, was thrilled to get to know one of the artists personally.

“One of the interpreters is my patient, she invited me,” she explained.

For each performance, a title and information card was projected to provide context, followed by a background image appropriate to the scene of the song being performed.

In the first half of the evening, the program focused on German and English opera scenes, including a lively and comic duet from Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisor d’Amor (The Elixir of Love). Later stages featured familiar musicals such as Chicago’s “When You’re Good to Mama” and several scenes from The Secret Garden, while West Side Story’s “America” ​​ended the evening on a high. vibrant.

Reflecting on his favorite scene, music teacher Dr. Joseph Wiggett said all of them were his favorites.

“None of the scenes were easy and they were incredibly well prepared, professional, and I couldn’t be prouder of their work,” Wiggett said.

Despite mask and social distancing mandates, the performers gave a fantastic performance, ensuring they were clear and body language elements weren’t lost. It was clear to see the emotion behind every performance.

In light of the recent crisis in Ukraine, two songs from Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul – “Lullaby” and “Now, O Lips, Say Goodbye” – have been dedicated to the people of Ukraine. Bathed in blue and red stage lights, the performers gave a moving performance as both songs reflected the hopes and feelings of doom in the environment of war.

Judging by the positive audience feedback for the show from community members, family, friends, and students, the Opera Stage Spring Semester turned out to be a great evening outing.

Wiggett added that he hopes for full production in the future after the department took a hit in registrations due to COVID-19. As more mandates continue to ease, he hopes enrollment will increase, which will push for more opera stage production.

Upcoming performances from the Music Department include the Spring Orchestra Concert on May 3. Future performances can be found on the music department’s list. website.

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Review: Chicago Opera Theater’s Quamino Map Pulls Back the Curtain on Black Lives Matter in the Georgia Era https://singcomusic.com/review-chicago-opera-theaters-quamino-map-pulls-back-the-curtain-on-black-lives-matter-in-the-georgia-era/ Sun, 01 May 2022 16:02:05 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/review-chicago-opera-theaters-quamino-map-pulls-back-the-curtain-on-black-lives-matter-in-the-georgia-era/ Map of Quamino is the 22nd opera by Belizean-born composer Errollyn Wallen, who trained at the University of London and Cambridge. The libretto is by playwright Deborah Brevoort and the result is a richly layered look at a different London that has been mostly unspoken. Slavery was outlawed by George III in 1807, but there […]]]>

Map of Quamino is the 22nd opera by Belizean-born composer Errollyn Wallen, who trained at the University of London and Cambridge. The libretto is by playwright Deborah Brevoort and the result is a richly layered look at a different London that has been mostly unspoken. Slavery was outlawed by George III in 1807, but there were a number of free people of African descent in London who were taken from colonial conquests in Africa and the islands called the West Indies, including the Bahamas. There was also a Black Nobility which was an entity unto itself and this is the world that Black Billy/Juba Freeman (Curtis Bannister) enters.

I may be one of the few people who didn’t dive into the Regency Era series Bridgerton by Chicago writer Shonda Rhimes. Map of Quamino tells the story of black life before Shondaland in Georgian England, directed by Kimille Howard. The British Army requested the help of slaves in America during the Revolutionary War. Black Billy is taken under the wing of cartographer Quamino Dolly (Damen Geter) who encourages him to take a new name after being baptized, and Black Billy becomes Juba Freeman. Curtis Bannister is a joy to hear and see. Its soft and powerful tenor is the centerpiece of this story of love, enslavement by other names and classism. Geter’s growling baritone is a lovely counterpoint to Bannister’s tenor and a sonic motif that reinforces the relationship of mentor and apprentice between Quamino and Juba.

Joelle Lamarre, Flora Hawk and Kimberly E. Jones: Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Juba is a violinist who played for the slave master in Carolina, but he sold his precious violin to board the last ship for London. He sees the beautiful and charitable Amelia Alumond (Flora Hawk) and is stunned by her beauty and beautiful clothes. Hawk has a silky soprano that rises without a hint of sharpness. Their love is met with formidable resistance from Amelia’s mother Grace (Kimberly E. Jones) and older sister Elizabeth (Joelle Lamarre). Jones and Lamarre are as much comic relief as nobility in Map of Quamino. Jones and Lamarre may be familiar to those who have seen Anthony Davis Amistad or Terence Blanchard’s opera Fire locked in my bones at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Elizabeth is quite funny as the fiancee of Captain Archibald Campbell (Keanon Kyles). Elizabeth wants her marriage to be perfect and she is a bridezilla to Amelia. When Amelia is caught kissing the impoverished Juba, her mother and sister descend on her and berate her for being near such a low-born man. Elizabeth pushes her towards several suitors for the Captain and Grace’s marriage.

I found the story interesting but a little jerky. Quamino’s character serves more as a metaphor than a central part of the story. He doesn’t have a lot of history and he is revealed to be an indentured servant. The details of how he and Juba know each other are mostly talked about, aside from the fact that they knew each other in North Carolina. I wanted to know more about the berserk character Dele Piebald (Tyrone Chambers II). Chambers is a Greek chorus of one, warning Juba to put pepper on his feet to keep the bloodhounds at bay. Why is Dele crooked and lame? It has a lush tenor that I wanted to hear more of.

Flora Hawk, Damien Geter and Curtis Bannister: Photo by Michael Brosilow.

Wallen’s music has what is called a large vocabulary. There are items from several categories, including Baroque, Classical, Jazz, and American Broadway. The flesh peddlers and lowlifes characters have a heartbreaking number led by Mistress Paddington (Leah Dexter) and Tawny Betty (Veena Akama-Makia). Dexter has a knack for comedy and a beautiful voice as she weaves around the stage offering a taste of her birch paddle stick. Tawny Betty sells cookies and other naughty things for pence and shillings. Juba knows Mistress Paddington as Patsy from the plantation. I wanted to know more about their history.

Map of Quamino would benefit from a more complete scenario and a longer lifespan. Rather, it is an operetta with witty comedy and a mixture of genres. The opening scene could be shortened a bit and the choreography should have been left out entirely. The chorus sings beautifully but felt stiff and uncoordinated in this long opening song. Director Kimille Howard comes to this production with experience as an assistant director at the Met in New York. Unlike the opening scene, the rest of his staging is fluid and the Flesh Peddler/Lowlife number is done perfectly. The orchestra is conducted by Jeri Lynne Johnson, a decorated Music Maestra and the first black female conductor I have seen. The orchestra played beautifully but could have played more pianissimo when baritone Geter sang. Its bass notes got lost in the music. There are some things to sweeten up but overall it’s great music and acting worth your time.

Map of Quamino only lasts three performances until May 1, with the last performance at 3 p.m. today. Tickets are $20 to $150. Duration is 90 minutes without intermission at the Studebaker Theater in the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave. For more information on the Chicago Opera Theater, please visit chicagooperatheater.org/. This organization brings new music and artists from the human diaspora. Remember Covid protocols at all theater performances – vaccinate, mask up and support the arts in Chicago.

For more information on this production and others, see www.theatreinchicago.com.

Did you enjoy this article and our coverage of the Chicago art scene? Please consider supporting Third Coast Review’s arts and culture coverage by making a donation by PayPal. Choose the amount that works best for you and know how much we appreciate your support!

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Palladium Theater upgrades could be on the horizon • St Pete Catalyst https://singcomusic.com/palladium-theater-upgrades-could-be-on-the-horizon-st-pete-catalyst/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 19:26:37 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/palladium-theater-upgrades-could-be-on-the-horizon-st-pete-catalyst/ A plan to improve Hough Hall, the main 800-seat auditorium of the Palladium Theatre, is in the very early stages. Built in 1925 as the first Church of the Scientist Christ, the location at 253 5and Avenue N. is listed on the Register of Historic Places, both locally and nationally. It is therefore out of […]]]>

A plan to improve Hough Hall, the main 800-seat auditorium of the Palladium Theatre, is in the very early stages.

Built in 1925 as the first Church of the Scientist Christ, the location at 253 5and Avenue N. is listed on the Register of Historic Places, both locally and nationally. It is therefore out of the question to make bold changes to the building itself.

St. Petersburg College, owner of the Palladium, commissioned a study from a Tampa architectural firm to determine what needs to be done to transform a nearly 100-year-old church building never designed for live performances , in an acoustically sound performing arts venue. .

“We need to improve the theater, and we’re at the stage of trying to figure out what the next steps are now that we have this plan,” Palladium executive director Paul Wilborn said. “We are taking steps to turn Hough Hall into a real working theater and add some of the elements it never had.”

Near the top of the list, the open stage is being transformed into a true proscenium, which would give the Palladium the flexibility to “close” smaller shows and “open” larger productions.

These adjustments directly affect the sound in the room, and therefore the audience experience.

“We’re the Gin Blossoms one night, and the next night The Florida Orchestra, or chamber music,” Wilborn said. “Or a choir. Or dance. The room is very ‘live’, and it works great for classical music and things like that, but when you have a rock band in there, pounding drums, it’s kind of a noisy room. We had to be very careful with our sound.

The old seats – long the subject of public dissatisfaction – will be replaced.

John Collins, who is an advisor on Palladium’s improvement plan, spoke about the sound issue Wednesday night at the Preserve the ‘Burg Awards event. “In order to have a performing arts center of the quality that we want,” he said, “we can no longer have the sound of a motorbike coming down the street.” Photo by Mark Parker.

“No one would know the difference outside the building,” Wilborn said. “And we’re not changing the historical nature of the interior either. We are looking to soundproof the windows and have heavy curtains that can fall down and dampen the sound of a loud show.

Improvements to the parking lot and the creation of an outdoor courtyard are also under discussion.

St. Pete College and the Palladium Board of Trustees have issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to determine what the next step will be.

Still, Wilborn insisted, there is no set timeline for other actions, from fundraising to construction to any sort of major renovation.

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Return of the Mākaha Sons to the Hilo Palace Theater https://singcomusic.com/return-of-the-makaha-sons-to-the-hilo-palace-theater/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 02:01:00 +0000 https://singcomusic.com/return-of-the-makaha-sons-to-the-hilo-palace-theater/ The Mākaha Sons return Saturday, April 30 to the Hilo Palace Theater stage. (Photo courtesy of Hilo Palace Theatre) It’s been over two years since the Hilo Palace Theater last hosted a live concert, but that changes this weekend with the return of an iconic act. The Mākaha Sons will once again adorn the historic […]]]>
The Mākaha Sons return Saturday, April 30 to the Hilo Palace Theater stage. (Photo courtesy of Hilo Palace Theatre)

It’s been over two years since the Hilo Palace Theater last hosted a live concert, but that changes this weekend with the return of an iconic act.

The Mākaha Sons will once again adorn the historic Palace stage on Saturday, April 30. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature new songs and old favorites, including “Take a Walk in the Country.” Ticket prices are $35 for general admission or $45 for priority orchestra seats in advance. The cost of all tickets increases by $5 if purchased on the day of the concert.

The Hilo Palace Theater.
(Photo by Nathan Christopher

Hilo Palace Theater executive director Phillips Payson told Big Island Now in an email that this will be the first full-capacity live concert at the Palace since the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down in 2020. All restrictions have been lifted and concessions including beer and wine will also be available at the Palace Grounds Café.

Payson said the theater was thrilled to welcome live music back to its stage – and a full audience.

“It’s a surreal feeling to welcome people into space,” he said. “There’s elemental satisfaction among a cheering audience, and we’re excited to be heading into a jam-packed summer with a diverse lineup of exciting events.”

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Payson added that it’s an honor that such an iconic group is the first to return to the theater stage.

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“We are thrilled to have the Mākaha Sons back on our stage,” he said in a press release announcing the concert.

Prior to the pandemic, the Palace hosted The Mākaha Sons for an annual Valentine’s Day concert. The trio played the last live concert at the theater before closing in 2020 and COVID restrictions went into effect.

“It is an honor to welcome them back to the Palace as the first band to usher in the return of live concerts to the historic theater,” Payson said in the statement. “Welcoming the iconic harmonies and joyful banter of the Mākaha Sons on the Palace stage is an absolute treat.”

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With 22 albums, 23 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, and a book of over 150 songs, The Mākaha Sons have more than earned a place in people’s hearts. And Saturday viewers will not only be able to enjoy the band’s tunes — which many fans know just by hearing them — but they’ll also have a cool place to listen to them.

“After more than 10 years of active fundraising and development, the Palace Theater finally has air conditioning, which will be turned on for the concert,” Payson said in her email. “The Mākaha Sons have been very supportive of the project by having proceeds from many of their past shows go to the Theater Comfort campaign.”

It is sure to be an evening of good music and fun.

“Hi, Hillo. We are so happy to be returning to the Hilo Palace Theater,” band member Uncle Jerome Koko said in a special video message from The Sons on the Palace YouTube channel. “Go over there and get your guys tickets before it’s all sold out.”

Tickets for Saturday’s concert can be purchased in advance by clicking on here or in person at the Palais box office or by phone at 808-934-7010 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Friday. They will also be available on the day of the show if it is not full.

Video from the Hilo Palace Theater YouTube channel.

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