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Encores and Curtain Calls
Photo courtesy of ATP
Cindy Ritter, Jessica Gelter and Michael Duffin capture past and present in this scene from Zeke Hecker’s new original musical, “Now and Then,” a classic love triangle with a twist that opens July 17.

Encores & Curtain Calls: Theater, music and laughter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Never mind June, the July summer arts scene is bustin’ out all over and it seems only fair to at least touch upon some of the less-known possibilities lest they go unnoticed in the sheer abundance of riches. Original musical theater Happening right under our noses — indeed, opening this evening — is “Now and Then,” a musical theater romance … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Three tales of summer

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One of the most poignant moments of the Superman saga occurs in “Superman Returns,” when we see our solitary protagonist descending toward earth from the darkness of insterstellar space, hearing, as he does so, to a desperate, densely layered cross-section of earth-born voices, beseeching the cosmos for intercession. A bit further on, Lois … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: Mohawk Trail Concerts opens new season

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

“For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness.” — Reba McEntire The rich harvest of early summer is already dropping, like eager fruit, into our midst. One which you may wish to breeze … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls

Thursday, July 4, 2013

“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  — Henry James Now’s the time to start circling summer music dates for July and August; having kicked off last week, the Old Deerfield Sunday Afternoon concerts will … 0

The elusive creature called harmony

Thursday, June 27, 2013

If melody is the defining profile and identity of a piece of music (would any of us recognize “Let It Be” or “The Star Spangled Banner” if it were left out?), harmony is its lifeblood, its emotional heart. The proof: play or sing any great tune, such as … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls

Thursday, June 20, 2013

“I only sing in the shower. I would join a choir, but I don’t think my bathtub can hold that many people.” — Jarod Klintz Choral singing — a merely pleasant, but marginal pasttime? Banish the thought. To set the record straight, get a load of this, from … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls: ‘Faure Requiem’

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Several decades ago, I was fortunate enough to hear performance of the “Faure Requiem” under the direction of Blanche Moyse, who for many years was a founding member and director of the Marlboro Music Festival in the Brattleboro, Vt., concert choir. The music was — in short — … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

“Look! You want to see? See! Feast your eyes, glut your soul on my cursed ugliness! Look at Erik’s face! Now you know the face of the voice! You were not content to hear me, eh? You wanted to know what I looked like? Oh, you women are … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls

Thursday, May 30, 2013

“The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”  — Henry Wordsworth  A dark cinema screen: a deep monk-like voice, layered upon itself, ominously chanting … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

“It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony. — Benjamin Britten The official consensus on Benjamin … 0

Troubled? Then stay with me

Thursday, May 16, 2013

“In the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are made of songs & the floor dances” — Rumi Rosie Fanale describes herself as “a woman 61 years old, a pianist and multi instrumentalist since the age of 5, classically trained for 25 years” and “a … 0

PVS offers climactic cinematic finale

Thursday, May 9, 2013

“A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.” — Gustav Mahler The year is 1960. Leonard Bernstein, in his radiant prime at 42 and having ascended to directorship of the New York Philharmonic, somehow finds time to pen one of musical theater’s most exquisite and … 0

Encores & Curtain Calls

Thursday, May 2, 2013

“No one feels another’s grief, no one understands another’s joy. People imagine they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.” — Franz Schubert When composers are spoken about, perhaps no other creator gets the greatest share of votes for sweetness and innocence as … 0

The strings of spring

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blessed be the sound of plucked strings. What is it about them that so harpoons the human heart? If one probes into the earliest historical remnants of ancient Grecian urns, you will find that the first instruments represented there are the aulos, the progenitor of the modern flute, … 0

The emperor’s new tune?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

“One simply can not judge Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin’ after a first hearing. Pity I don’t intend hearing it a second time.” — Gioacchino Antonio Rossini Writing about the arts is a ticklish endeavor: you want to be fair and open minded and, at the same time, you don’t want … 0