Around Town: September Festivals

 

Several art and craft fairs, such as this one recently held in Lake Forest's Market Square are still scheduled for Fall 2021. (J Jacobs photo)
Several art and craft fairs, such as this one recently held in Lake Forest’s Market Square are still scheduled for Fall 2021. (J Jacobs photo)

 

Fall is for Festivals from toasting fall beer at Octoberfests and enjoying the fruits of the season at an Applefest to browsing fine art and crafts at art fairs and swaying to the blues in Millennium Park .

Here is a quick rundown of some of the fun outdoor fests to still catch in September in and around Chicago

 

Blues will be back at Pritzker Pavilion September 2021. (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events photo)
Blues will be back at Pritzker Pavilion September 2021. (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events photo)

Music

Sept. 17 Englewood Jazz Festival Sponsored by the Chicago Park District, the festival is at Hamilton (Alexander) Park, 513 W. 72nd St.  from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m..

Sept 18, Blues at Millenium Park  Part of Chicago in Tune, audiences can move to the music on the lawn or sit in in the Pritzker Pavilion (Fandolph Street east of Michigan Avenue.)

Sept. 25-26 Hyde Park Jazz Fest from 1 to 10 p.m. Sept. 25 and noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 26 Free but a $5 donation requested. Check Hyde Park Jazz Festival for locations around Hyde Park.

 

Octoberfest in Lakeview (Photo courtesy of Special Events Managements)
Octoberfest in Lakeview (Photo courtesy of Special Events Managements)

Beer and Food Fests

Sept. 16-26: Glendale Heights Oktoberfest in Camera Park, 101 E Fullerton Ave, Glendale will be all week. Hours are Mon-Thur 5 to 10 p.m., Fri, 5 to Midnight, Sat. Noon to Midnight and Sunday, Noon to 10 p.m. Admission $5 after 5 p.m., ages 16 and under free.

Sept. 18-19 Sam Adams Taco Fest Held in Lakeview on Southport Avenue between Addison and Roscoe, the hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more info check Chicago events.

Sept. 19: Bloody Mary Fest Held in Everts Park, 111 North Ave. in Highwood a little city (just over a square mile) that is known for great restaurants, the drink (and food, and music)  event goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sept. 23-26: Manteno Oktoberfest includes a carnival and parade that involves the whole town. Visit Manteo for details.

Sept. 23-26: Puerto Rican Festival Held in Humboldt Park, look for details of this food, arts and music festival at prfestchicago.com)

Sept. 24-25: Chicago Gourmet takes over the Harris Theatre Rooftop on Randolph Street at Millennium Park. It’s not all fancy food, so go for really good tacos and burgers. For tickets and details visit Gourmet.

Sept. 24-26: Oktoberfest Chicago Held in Lakeview at 1429 W. Wellington, the event is Fri,  5 to 10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sun. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Cost: $10 Friday and Saturday and $5 Sunday.

Sept. 24-26: Apple Fest is a popular Long Grove festival that is a chance to see the historic town while munching on apple cider donuts, chocolate and caramel dipped apples. Held downtown Long Grove at 308 Old McHenry Road and the Stemple Parking Lot, the hours are Fri noon to 11 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sun 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. cost is $5., ages 6 and under free.

 

Eye-catching art at an ACE booth at the Chicago botanic Garden. (IJ Jacobs photo)
Eye-catching art at an ACE booth at the Chicago botanic Garden. (IJ Jacobs photo)

Arts and crafts

Sept. 18-19: Riverwalk Fine Art Fair  is held in Naperville at Main and Jackson and along the river from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sept. 18-19: Artfest Michigan Avenue An Amdur Productions juried art fair, about 70 artists will fill the courtyard space at 401 N Michigan Avenue between the former Tribune Tower and the Apple store, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sept. 18-19: West Loop Art Fest  covers four blocks in the booming West Fulton Street, North Sangamon Street area from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sept. 18-19: Renegade Craft Fair  A popular Wicker Park neighborhood festival, the booths will be up along Division Street  between Damen and Ashland Avenues from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sept. 20-26: American Craft Exposition |Usually known by its initials, ACE features one of a kind exceptional works by about 100 artisits. Formerly held on Northwestern universityh’s Evanston campus and the at the botanic Garden in Glencoe, ACE has gone virtual this year of 2021. Find more information at American Craft Expo | An Exhibit and Sale of Fine American Craft.

Sept. 24-25: West Town Art Walk Art walks were once popular on Friday nights in towns across the country.  A few have moved, reinvented themselves where art galleries still exist or have moved in such as in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. This festival covers Division to Hubbard and Halsted to Kedzie but free Pedicabs are available to visit the galleries on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. For more details visit West Town Art Walk | West Town Chamber

 

Jodie Jacobs

Upcoming concerts

 

Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)
Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (J Jacobs photo)

 

Chicago’s famed Gospel , Blues and Jazz festivals won’t  happen until this fall (hey, it takes time to bring back their featured performers). To see who what and when visit Chicago festivals reimagined.

But the Chicago area will still be swinging, rocking and keyboarding the classics outdoors, this summer.

Check out Aurora for rock, the Grant Park Music Festival for classics and a 4th of July salute, the Windy City Smokeout bands and Ravinia Festival for all of that from rock to pop and classics.

Aurora

Just west of Chicago, Aurora  has a terrific rock concert line up this summer. There are a few tickets left for REO Speedwagon, July 1, 8 p.m. at the River Ridge Park. Then,  on July 16 there is Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. For tickets and more concert schedule info visit Aurora Pop/Rock.

Windy City Smokeout

The popular eat, drink and good band festival takes over Parking Lot C at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, July 8-11, 2021. Headliners include Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Brett Eldredge and Darius Rucker. For more info visit Windy City Smokeout.

Grant Park Music Festival

Held in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, the longtime Chicago summer concert series starts  July 2-3 with a mix of crowd pleasers from John Williams’ Summon the Heroes, Scott Joplin’s Overture to Treemonisha and a Robert Lowden arrangement of the Armed Forces Salute to pieces from Leonard Bernstein’s  West Side Story,  Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and John Philip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. The Festival continues with such classics as Rossini’s Overture to Willian Tell on July 7 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 on July 9-10. For complete schedule and other information visit Grant Park Music Festival

Ravinia Festival

Located at the south east end of Highland Park, the historic music festival brings in world renown artists in classic, folk, pop and jazz genres, plus it is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  The July schedule features  pianist Jorge Frederico Osorio playing Mozart on July 9 with Marin Alsop conducting the CSO, jazz/pop singer Kurt Elling  July 13 and Rock band Counting Crows, Aug. 19. For tickets, complete schedule and other information visit Ravinia.org.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Awesome musical production from Lyric Opera

 

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Vocalist Norm Lewis in The New Classics at Lyric Opera of Chicago. (Photo by Kyle Flubacker)
Vocalist Norm Lewis in The New Classics at Lyric Opera of Chicago. (Photo by Kyle Flubacker)

he Lyric Opera of Chicago has come up with an amazing substitute for the large-scale musical it produces on its large-scale stage at the end of its operatic season.

Titled “the New Classics-Songs from the New Golden Age of Music Theater,” it is about a 70-minute-long mix of dramatic, sad, wistful and powerful show numbers that some listeners will know but others may not find familiar.

And instead of coming from the Lyric’s grand stage, the production was mostly recorded back stage in an intimate, former Civic Opera space.

Hosted by David Chase who also accompanies the singers along with  members of the Lyric Orchestra, the program reintroduces some notable musical theater by notable composers.

Vocalist Gavin Creel opens the program with the obscure Stephen Sondheim “What More Do I Need” from Saturday Night followed by Nikkie Renée Daniels’ wistful rendering of the well-known “The Heather on the Hill” from Brigadoon. Norm Lewis then wows with “Stars” from Les Miserables.

Jenn Gambatese changes the mood with “Gimme Gimme” (Love) from Thoroughly Modern Millie and Heath Saunders offers a moving “Something Wonderful” from The King and I.

Jo Lampert puts the best interpretation I’ve heard on “Omar Sharif” from The Band’s Visit and Amanda Castro “flamingo” taps the way to the top of her building with “Raise the Roof” from The Wild Party.

Chase segues to historic references between numbers to the Civic Opera and more show tunes sung by the cast (introduced above) that also include “Love Changes Everything” “I Will Never Leave You,” “Dear Theodosia,” ”Way Back to Paradise,” “I’d Rather be Sailing,” “Popular,” “If Only” and “Rain.”

Guess which shows those songs came from or better yet, click on the production. It  premiere this Thursday, June 10 at 7 p.m. CT on Lyric’s Facebook and YouTube channels. For more information visit The New Classics.

Jodie Jacobs

Ravinia Festival plus CSO and Grant Park Festival welcome summer

 

Main gate at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. (J Jacobs photo)
Main gate at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park. (J Jacobs photo)

Music will again be heard in the Pritzker Pavilion, across the road at Orchestra Hall and north of the city at Ravinia in Highland Park. The openings this summer come as Chicago and Illinois allow more public gatherings because of the reduction in COVID cases and increase in vaccinations.

What will be different is ticketing and number of people allowed so check their websites.

Ravinia Festival

Opening night is 8 p.m., July 9, 2021.with conductor Marin Alsop, pianist Jorge Frederico Osorio and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the Pavilion. The program is composer Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 and Beethoven’s Symphony No 7. .Tickets are $35-$145 Pavilion and $15 on the Lawn.

What you need to know

The season contains 64 concerts from June through September with the earliest programs free streaming live with no park admittance and a free July 3 “thank-you” concert to invitees. Then the schedule continues with a diverse program.

Tickets are divided into two parts with the first half from July to Aug. 15 going on sale to the public beginning June 15 at Ravinia.org. Donors can buy tickets beginning May 13 depending on level of contribution. The second half concerts are on sale July 21. Check Ravinia Festival Calendar and Tickets for more information.  For Donor ticket times visit Ravinia/DonationLevels. Scroll down to donor timelines.

Ravinia Festival is just north of Lake cook Road  betgween Green Bay Road and sheridan Road in Highland Park. Attendees are encourage to take the Metra which stops at the Ravinia’s main gate.

Jazz Grandstand Friday, June 11, 6:00 p.m. - Livestream from Bennett Gordon Hall Ravinia Steans Music Institute RSMI Program for Jazz Free livestream on YouTube.com/RaviniaFestival - No in-park admission. (Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival)
Jazz Grandstand Friday, June 11, 6:00 p.m. – Livestream from Bennett Gordon Hall
Ravinia Steans Music Institute RSMI Program for Jazz
Free livestream on YouTube.com/RaviniaFestival – No in-park admission. (Photo courtesy of Ravinia Festival)

 

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is welcoming audiences back to Orchestra Hall with the opening concert on May 27, 2021 with a special tribute to healthcare workers from Rush University System for Health.

According to a CSOA statement, three distinct programs created with artistic guidance by Music Director Riccardo Muti, will be presented May 27 through June 13. Featuring music for brass and percussion, string ensembles and orchestra, they will be led  respectively by conductors Michael Mulcahy, Erina Yashima and Edo de Waart on consecutive weekends. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 1:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

What you need to know

Ticket availability is limited due to current restrictions on audience capacities for performance venues. Tickets for the CSO’s May and June concerts go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. CDT on May 11, 2021, and will be available at cso.org or by calling 312-294-3000. For protocol and more ticketing information visit CSO.org/SafeandSound.

The concerts are in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

 

Grant Park Festival will be at the P:ritzker Pavilion. (J Jacobs photo)
Grant Park Festival will be at the P:ritzker Pavilion. (J Jacobs photo)

Grant Park Music Festival

The music festival opens Fourth of July weekend in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with Independence Day Salute programs beginning July 2 at 6:30 p.m.  The opening concert features the Grant Park Orchestra and conductors Carlos Kalmar and Christopher Bell.

The program includes

John WilliamsSummon the Heroes Scott JoplinOverture to Treemonisha
Arr. Robert Lowden: Armed Forces Salute Florence Price:Dances in the Canebrakes Leonard Bernstein: Selections from West Side Story, George WalkerLyric for Strings, Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky1812 Overture 
John Philip SousaStars and Stripes Forever. For whole program and season visit 2021 Season :: Grant Park Music Festival.  For more information visit Grant Park Festival.

What you need to know

Seats are free but due to crowd restrictions, reservations are required for the  Seating Bowl and on the Great Lawn.  Reservations may be made online or by phone. Passes will be touch-free and issued with a barcode to be printed at home or displayed on smartphone. Health & Safety protocols—masks are mandatory—in order to gain entry to the Pavilion.

For the Independence Day Salute  only, reservations will become available on Wednesday, June 30. For other concerts reservations will become available at 10 a.m. on the Monday before the concert. Reserve online using the link provided with each concert listing. Also visit Grant Park Music Festival | Classical Concerts in Millennium Park

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion is in Millennium Park south of Randolph Street and east of Michigan Avenue.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Porchlight does Broadway with a rock and roll beat

 

3 Stars

Felicia P. Fields with the Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago to be presented to her at Chicago sings Rock & Roll Broadway from Porchlight Music Theatre, ((Photo courtesy of Porchlight )
Felicia P. Fields with the Guy Adkins Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Music Theatre in Chicago to be presented to her at Chicago sings Rock & Roll Broadway from Porchlight Music Theatre. ((Photo courtesy of Porchlight )

Watching Porchlight Theatre’s “Chicago Sings Rock and Roll Broadway” on Youtube last night, made me realize how much I missed going to Chicago area venues for good musicals and plays.

Well-staged with superb instrumental back-up, the cast takes on the mammoth task of covering musicals through the decades from “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Hair” in the 1960s and “The Wiz” and “Promises Promises” in the 1970s  to more recent shows such as “Kinky Boots,” “Waitress,” “Beautiful”  and “Head over Heels.”

Past benefit concerts were, among others, covers from Disney, Stephen Sondheim, The Beatles and Motown.

Choosing a song or a couple of stanzas from each show, their theme this year is Rock and Roll but not all music chosen fall in that genre. So, if deciding to tune in to support local artists, Porchlight and, just as important, the theatre’s education arm to area youth, don’t worry if your ear prefers other musical genres.

The benefit is fun to watch and hear because the music ranges from standards to lesser- known songs. You are bound to find a favorite performance. Among mine was Sawyer Smith’s magnificent take on “Wig in a Box” from “Hedwig & the Angry Inch, (1998).

A virtual event that can be viewed through April 18, 2021, Chicago Sings is a fundraiser similar to the broadcasts that have aired since COVID shuttered arts and entertainment venues a year ago, except this event brings the cast and musicians together.

It also includes the presentation of the 2021 Guy Adkins award for “excellence in the advancement of music theatre” to Felicia P. Fields and greetings from several Broadway stars including E. Faye Butler and Sean Allan Krill.

Porchlight Theatre’s “Chicago Sings Rock and Roll Broadway is on YouTube through April 18, 2021. Tickets are $25. Running time is about 90 minutes. For  tickets see Porchlight and for information visit  Porchlight Music Theatre.

Jodie Jacobs

 

A Valhalla of a different kind

Valhalla Media working on a production to live stream from the Studebaker Theater in Chicago. (Photo by Kyle Flubacker,)
Valhalla Media working on a production to live stream from the Studebaker Theater in Chicago. (Photo by Kyle Flubacker,)

Hear the word Valhalla, and Norse mythology and Germanic tales come to mind or if an opera buff it is Wagner’s Ring cycle with Brünnhilde intoning the famed Valkyrie role. But to the Chicago Opera Theater and the Met Guild in New York City when the word Media is added to Valhalla it refers to the talented company that is bringing COT’s current productions and a Met Guild Masterclass to viewers during the pandemic.

During this past year of arts and entertainment venues closing their doors and turning to streaming live or taped programs just to stay in the public’s consciousness and keep some revenue streams flowing, putting productions on digitally is different but not a surprise. What may arguably surprise the A&E groups who use and may contact them is that Valhalla Media is two opera singers: Alexandra “Lexi” LoBianco and Nikolas “Nik” Wenzel.

To the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LoBianco is the talented soprano who is a frequent guest artist and in demand at opera houses around the world, and Wenzel is a talented bass member of the Lyric Chorus.

So why did two well-regarded opera singers form a company that live streams opera and concerts? And why the name Valhalla?

“You might thing that because Nik and I sing Wagner that it would be the reason. However, this name goes beyond our singing and into so much more,” said LoBianco.

“When we picked Valhalla Media one of the main reasons was because in order to gain access to Valhalla, you must cross the rainbow bridge. Inclusion was at the heart of why we chose the name. The image of Valhalla being a place where everyone was included and that we strive to make the best choices to support organizations that champion diversity was at our core,” she said.

They started the company in 2020 when appearance contracts were canceled and, as LoBianco said, “the rug was pulled out from under the classical music community.”

The idea was to mount their own productions which they did in the Studebaker Theater in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building. They started with a recital for Will Liverman with pianist Paul Sanchez on June 26 that showcased African-American composers‘ and a debut Shawn Okpebholo’s new work followed on June 27 by  Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel Live in Concert.

“Our first production was one of the very first truly live digital broadcasts that weekend, nothing taped. We had Will and his pianist on stage,” said LoBianco.

They pulled in Southern Illinois University Journalism Director Jan Thompson who is known for documentaries to work with them as video director.

“She called the shots. The bulk of her professional career is doing live and classical music. She can break down a score to know when  and what shots to do,” said LoBianco.

She recalled that they had a “decent turnout” of viewers thanks to friends and social media. “Then opera companies saw and heard about us,” she said.

That included Chicago Opera Theater. “They said they’d like to work with us to help make their season happen,” said LoBianco.

The recording and staging was at the Studebaker which LoBianco and Wenzel like. “The sound there is good. Sound is an important part of opera, she said.”

Among the COT shows are The Transformation of Jane Doe, Sept. 15, 2020 and most recently the Midwest premiere of Taking Up Serpents, Feb. 27, 2021.

Currently they are working on The Puppy Episode for March 20 followed by La Hija De Rappaccini for April 24, 2021.

Some of those productions are part of COT’s Vanguard initiative for developing new operas and encouraging operatic composers. Others are a regular part of what the 2020-2021 season was supposed to have.

COT’s General Director Ashley Magnus said, “Streaming productions has worked well for us this season, allowing us to produce in a year when no live audience is possible, and expanding our reach outside of Chicago.”

“We are thrilled to be working with COT for the season,” LoBianco said.

Valhala Media will shortly be going over to NYC to work with the Met Guild to do a Masterclass with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo to happen April 22.

“While I wish we could continue to produce our own content, which we plan to in the future, we are immensely grateful to be able to provide the digital backbone through our platform and for the film & audio portion of this new, crazy world.,” said LoBianco.

Talking with the pair by phone from their home in Park Ridge, IL the two partners in work and life explained they both had back stage theater experience so knew it takes more than a fine voice to make a production work.

“Nik and I both come from tech theater backgrounds. We came to this (forming Walhala Media) with the understanding it take more than the singer to put on a production. I’ve been a stage hand and so was Nik.”

Wenzel  added, “Alexandra and I talked about forming our own company even before COVID hit. We always had a passion for classical music, and the tech background that comes with that. We’re familiar with every aspect of production.”

However, they still plan to continue in their chosen field of performing.

“I love my job with the Lyric.  I have a contract for 25-30 weeks,” said Wenzel

In spite of all the rave reviews and the demand for her in a wide range of roles LoBianco said, “I’m humbled by the amount of work I have. I’m very lucky.”

She added, “We love what we do.”

Jodie Jacobs

 

Ravinia Festival to open in July

Music lovers also sit outside the Pavilion to enjoy Ravinia. ( J Jacobs photo)
Music lovers also sit outside the Pavilion to enjoy Ravinia. ( J Jacobs photo)

Ravinia, the country’s oldest outdoor music festival, announced today it will be back operating a summer season outside beginning sometime in July.

First opened in 1904, Ravinia Festival had to close its gates last year to protect guests, staff and musicians from the COVID virus. But with the lowering of cases and easing of restrictions it will be doing what it does best, presenting a wide range of good music.in its 36-acre park in Highland Park, IL. Just expect to follow recommended protocols that will be announced along with ticket and program information.

“All of our performances will take place outside in our open air Pavilion with reserved-in-advance, distanced seating offered in the Pavilion, on the Lawn, and al fresco at our dining spaces,” said a Ravinia statement released March 16, 2021.

“We are delighted that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return in July to its summer home here at Ravinia for its annual six-week summer residency. Our anticipation is doubled with Marin Alsop set to lead seven concerts with the orchestra in her first season as our Chief conductor and curator,” the statement said.

Ravinia’s lineup will b e announced in late April.

For more information visit Ravinia Festival and LiveMusicReturns.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Celebrate Black and Women’s History Months with imaginative concert and dance videos

M.A.D.D. Rhythms Starinah "Star" Dixon (photo by William Frederking)
M.A.D.D. Rhythms Starinah “Star” Dixon (photo by William Frederking)

Black History Month of February and Women’s History Month of March overlap in creative music and videos when diversity and inclusion are combined.

M.A.D.D. Rhythms, a Chicago tap group whose initials stand for Making A Difference Dancing, premiers “Rhythm Symphony” by Starinah”Star” Dixon on Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. CT and “I Get So Lonely” by KJ Sheldon on March 8 at 1 p.m. CT. Find them on M.A.D.D. Rhythms YouTube.

The videos are part of M.A.D.D. Rhythms’ 20th Anniversary Season’s events that also  include a documentary premiere, M.A.D.D Rhythms’ publishing debut, social media happenings, classes and the Chicago Tap Summit. For more. Information on the 20th Anniversary events visit MADDRhythms.

 

Then, on March 13 at 7 p.m. CT, look for  “Resilience: Hope, Healing and Harmony” a combination of music and videos that deal with pandemic and political challenges.

Presented by “6Degrees composers” founded by Regina Harris Baiocchi in 2010 to promote and inspire music by women with different traditions, the the program features “War Chant” based on Illinois Poet Laureate’s “War Chant of the Architect.”

Also on the program are the art songs “Journey” and “Things Change” for children’s choir and piano, a 3-D animation by Kyong Mee Choi that is the first part of an animated song cycle and “Doxology” for pipe organ.

For more information visit Hothouseglobal.

 

Lyric Opera brings sun and love in virtual concert

Lyric Opera of Chicago (Lyric photo)
Lyric Opera of Chicago (Lyric photo)

If tired of everything Covid and weather related from staying in but wearing a mask and social distancing when going out to weariness of snow tunnels and sloshy streets, look for the free online concert gifted by Lyric Opera of Chicago and Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola. They think it’s nice to find some sun and love where not expected.

The result is “Sole e Amore” (Sun and Love), a virtual concert of works by familiar Italian composers that will be on U-Tube and Lyric’s Facebook at 6 p.m. Feb. 21, 2021.

Sung by Lyric’s 2020/21 Ryan Opera center Ensemble, Mazzola chose intimate songs—arie da camera, that are not operatic arias, but instead offer new ways to enjoy the genre’s popular composers.

As an example “Un bel dì vedremo” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is generally recognizable but not the song, “Terra e mare.”

The concert also includes relatively unknown works by Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, Catalani, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, and Respighi.

“This concert is a very beautiful step into the romantic Italian world of singing, passion, and love,” says Mazzola.

For more information visit Lyric Opera of Chicago and Sole e Amore.

Jodie Jacobs

Arts Across America: a virtual program worth bookmarking

Kennedy Center in Washington DC (Photo courtesy of the JF Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts)
Kennedy Center in Washington DC (Photo courtesy of the JF Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts)

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a bi-partisan founded institution designated as our country’s National Cultural Center, has often televised arts  awards and programs. With COVID forcing the closure of music festivals and theaters the Kennedy Center is now presenting several performances on line. They are free and worth a view.

For example:  Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 4 p.m. ET the program  has Jewish music performed live by Chloe Pourmorady and Joey Weisenberg from the National Museum of Jewish History.

Then, on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 4 p.m. ET,  the Savannah Music Festival partnering with South Arts, is presenting Greenville, Georgia blues musician Jontavious Willis in a “Just You, Just Me Musical Conversation” between the Drum and the Voice. It features drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.  and vocalist Juquan Vickers in African-American spirituals.

For more information visit Kennedy Center.

 

Jodie Jacobs