Bits & Bytes: ‘Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman;’ BPL’s 10th anniversary; River Art Project; ‘CHASM;’ ‘Books and Blooms’

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By Monday, Jun 5 Arts & Entertainment
Roy Cox
Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes will perform at 'Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman,' a celebration of woman composers to be presented at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington by Close Encounters With Music on Saturday, June 10.

CEWM to present ‘Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman’

Renana Gutman

Renana Gutman

Great Barrington — Close Encounters With Music will present its gala celebration, “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman,” on Saturday, June 10, at 6 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. In addition to celebrating CEWM’s 25th season, the event will pay tribute to women composers and 100 years of women’s suffrage.

Ieva Jokubaviciute. Photo: Monika Po

Ieva Jokubaviciute. Photo: Monika Po

The centerpiece of the concert is a newly commissioned “quilt” of miniatures by Thea Musgrave, Tamar Muskal, Joan Tower and Judith Zaimont, musical portraits of suffragettes and other ladies of valor who advanced the causes of women and everyone else with their steadfastness, ingenuity and idealism. The quilt will receive its world premiere by the evening’s performers: violinist Peter Zazofsky, pianists Renana Gutman and Ieva Jokubaviciute, Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes, and cellist and CEWM artistic director Yehuda Hanani. Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn make cameo appearances on the program, which is replete with songs and sonatas displaying the genius of Clara Schumann, Fannie Mendelssohn, Amy Beach and Augusta Holmès; Maria Theresia von Paradis’ “Sicilienne;” and Piano Sonata in G Major by Marianna Martinez. To add to the festivities, there will be a fanfare for the occasion of the 90th birthday of Thea Musgrave.

Tickets are $35–$50. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Playwrights Lab to celebrate 10 years

Great Barrington — Berkshire Playwrights Lab will celebrate its tenth anniversary on Friday, June 9, at 7 p.m. at its new home of Saint James Place. The evening will begin with a party and silent auction for underwriter and patron ticket holders followed at 8:30 p.m. by a performance at 8:30 p.m. revue of some of the best short plays performed at BPL galas through the years, including “School” by David Mamet, ”The Woman From 43” by Dean Imperial and “Hello Dad” by Mark Malone.

BPL is the region’s only professional theater dedicated exclusively to the development of new plays. More than 45 short and 40 full-length plays have been presented since 2007, several of which have been given full productions at other companies.

Tickets range from $50–$250. The cost for the party and performance is $250 per Underwriter ticket, $150 per Patron ticket, and show-only tickets for $50 per person. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call BPL at (413) 528-2544.

–E.E.

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Stephen Hannock, 'Flooded River at Dawn (Mass MoCA #24).' Image courtesy the River Art Project

Stephen Hannock, ‘Flooded River at Dawn (Mass MoCA #24).’ Image courtesy the River Art Project

River Art Project to raise awareness of water, natural environment

Stockbridge — The River Art Project at Stockbridge Station will present an exhibition Friday, June 9, through Monday, Sept. 4. An opening reception on Friday, June 9, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. will include an opportunity to meet the artists and presenters, refreshments and live music by the Whiskey Jack String Band.

The River Art Project aims to raise awareness of the beauty and importance of the river environment and to offer educational opportunities to educate about how to protect the resource. The project features recognized painters Bart Elsbach, Mary Sipp Green, Stephen Hannock, Scott Prior and and Jim Schantz, all of whom work with the river as their subject matter. The exhibition will include an educational component with programs from environmentalists who can speak about protecting water and air and will offer ways to be proactive. Additionally, half of the net proceeds of each sale will be donated equally to the Housatonic Valley Association and Riverkeeper.

For more information, call the River Art Project at (413) 298-5163.

–E.E.

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‘CHASM: The Splendor of Voice and Percussion’

The Berkshire Children's Chorus sings at a house concert in April.

The Berkshire Children’s Chorus sings at a house concert in April.

Norfolk, Conn. — On Sunday, June 11, at 4 p.m., Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus, under the direction of Gabriel Löfvall, will team up with the Berkshire Children’s Chorus, under the direction of Julie Bickford, accompanied by some of the area’s most dynamic, up-and-coming percussionists to present “CHASM: The Splendor of Voice and Percussion” in the Music Shed at the Yale Summer School of Music.

Performing at the shed represents a kind of homecoming for both groups: Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus were founded in Norfolk 25 years ago by Paul Halley and Berkshire Children’s Chorus’ director Bickford is a former Chorus Angelicus chorister and director. The performance will be a first-time collaboration for the groups. The percussion team is headed by Norfolk native Andrew Thomson, who was the first to suggest the collaboration of voice and percussion. The program will feature both beloved and new compositions, including two pieces that will receive world premieres.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Berkshire Children’s Chorus at (413) 229-2465 or voices@berkshirechildrenschorus.org.

–E.E.

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‘Books and Blooms’ library fundraiser

The vegetable garden of Mary Ellen and Andrea Geisser of West Cornwall, Conn. Photo: Mary Ellen Geisser

The vegetable garden of Mary Ellen and Andrea Geisser of West Cornwall, Conn. Photo: Mary Ellen Geisser

Cornwall, Conn. — “Books and Blooms,” the Cornwall Library’s summer kick-off benefit event, will take place Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10. The focus this year will be on kitchen gardens.

At 6 p.m. on Friday, June 9, at The Library is a talk by Ellen Ecker Ogden will give a talk titled “Kitchen Garden Design: The Art of Growing Food,” which will be followed by a cocktail reception and silent auction. Tours of five gardens in West Cornwall, Cornwall and Falls Village will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 10. Features of the garden tour include an organic farm, a raised-bed vegetable garden lying below a partially blasted rock formation, and a garden designed to respect both the traditional character and contemporary purposes of a 1735 colonial home.

Admission to the talk is $30; admission to the tours is also $30. Both days’ activities can be attended for a cost of $50. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Cornwall Library at (860) 672-6874.

–E.E.


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