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Arts Beat for Nov. 13: From voice to violin, all sorts of music on offer this week

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Arts Beat for Nov. 13: From voice to violin, all sorts of music on offer this week

Head to the college’s Mahaney Center on Thursday evening to hear the French ensemble Modigliani String Quartet perform classic chamber music.

By Greg Pahl

The acclaimed French ensemble Modigliani String Quartet will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, in Robison Hall at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts. The program will include Mozart’s Quartet in D Major, K. 575; Debussy’s Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10; and Dvo?ák’s “American” Quartet in F Major, Op. 96.

Formed in 2003, the “Quatuor Modigliani” (Amaury Coeytaux and Loic Rio, violin; Laurent Marfaing, viola; and François Kieffer, cello) has earned a place among the world’s finest chamber music ensembles. Only one year after the group was formed, the quartet attracted international attention in 2004 by winning the Frits Philips String Quartet competition in Eindhoven, followed closely by first prize honors at the Vittorio Rimbotti competition in Florence in 2005 and the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York in 2006. Today, the quartet is a regular guest at the world’s top venues.

Thanks to generous support from the Sunderman Family Concert Endowment Fund, this concert is free; no tickets are required. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 South. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot. For more information, call 443-6433, or visit middlebury.edu/arts.

TWO SINGER-SONGWRITERS AT BRANDON MUSIC

Touring the globe, living their musical dream, folk/Americana singer-songwriters Caroline Cotter and Emily Scott Robinson will share the stage at Brandon Music at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17.

With an angelic voice and lyrics laid bare, Robinson is pioneering her own brand of roots music she calls Southern Gothic folk. She enchants audiences with stories and songs that are equal parts playful, darkly funny, heart-wrenching and redemptive. In 2017, Robinson was named a winner of the 2017 Wildflower Festival Performing Songwriter Contest.

Cotter’s captivating soprano voice and award-winning songwriting takes you all over the world: from a Parisian salon, to an Indian ashram, to a bluegrass festival campfire to the depths of the human heart. Dreaming as I Do, Cotter’s 2015 debut national release, showcases original compositions from her time exploring the globe. Receiving national recognition, the album reached No. 5 on the Folk DJ charts in February.

Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

CHELSEA BERRY AT BRANDON MUSIC

Singer-songwriter Chelsea Berry returns to Brandon Music on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m.

As a vocalist and performer, she evokes the style of artists such as Cheryl Crow, Janis Joplin, KD Lang and Melissa Etheridge. Berry’s music transcends its indie rock roots and touches listeners with its poetic lyric, bold melodies and pure, clear powerful vocals.

Berry has appeared on the cover of Boston magazines such as The Noise and Northshore Magazine. She has been featured multiple times on Boston’s 92.5 The River and Sirius XM’s The Loft as well as dozens of local stations from Maine to Florida. She has played venues such as Boston’s House of Blues, the Shalin Liu in Rockport, Mass., Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Concert tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

COMMUNITY CHORUS THANKSGIVING CONCERT

The Middlebury College Community Chorus takes to the Robison Concert Hall stage at Middlebury’s Mahaney Center for the Arts for its annual Thanksgiving concert, this year with the theme “Heart and Home.” Performances will take place on Saturday evening, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m.

Conductor Jeff Rehbach leads the 100-voice chorus as pianist Timothy Guiles accompanies the ensemble.

The group delights in presenting music by Moira Smiley, who grew up in New Haven, and now travels across the globe to share her music and songs. “Stand in That River” encourages us to “Come and stand in that river, current gentle and slow, send your troubles down-water, down on that water flow.” The program includes many other works by both modern and classical composers.

Admission is free. For additional information, check at middlebury.edu/communitychorus or contact Rehbach at 989-7355.

SURREAL, FANTASTIC OPERA BROADCAST LIVE

Following the rapturous response to his last opera, “The Tempest,” the Met presents the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel,” on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m.

This radiant new opera is inspired by the classic Luis Buñuel film of the same name. Hailed by The New York Times at its 2016 Salzburg Festival premiere as “inventive and audacious … a major event,” “The Exterminating Angel” is a surreal fantasy about a dinner party from which the guests can’t escape. Tom Cairns, who wrote the libretto, directs the new production, and Adès conducts his own adventurous new opera.

There will be a pre-show talk downstairs in the Byers Studio at 12:15 p.m. by Greg Vitercik, courtesy of the Opera Company of Middlebury.

Tickets are $24/$10 students, and may be purchased at townhallteater.org, by calling 382-9222, at the THT box office (Monday - Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.) or at the door, if available.

HOLIDAY ART SHOW

The Jackson Gallery in Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater will be filled with original, handmade and hand printed art, fine crafts and jewelry. This exhibition, which opens with a reception on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m., will feature 22 regional artists whose work represents a wide variety of media and styles. This year’s exhibit will include several artists who are new to the show as well as more three-dimensional works, both decorative and functional.

This holiday season show has become a tradition at THT and features unique and affordable works available for immediate purchase.

The exhibit, which runs through Dec. 31, is free. The Jackson Gallery is located in the lower level of Town Hall Theater in the center of Middlebury. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday noon to 5 p.m., and an hour before any public events in the building. For further information, call 382-9222 or visit townhalltheater.org.

SONDHEIM’S FOLLIES

Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical “Follies” is being staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.

New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the “Follies” girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.

Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent “Follies” in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke.

Tickets are $17/ $10 for students and may be purchased at townhallteater.org, by calling 382-9222, at the THT box office (Monday - Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.) or at the door, if available.

CELEBRATING IRVING BERLIN AT THT

Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater Education presents “Blue Skies: Celebrating the Music of Irving Berlin” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. Students from THT’s fall musical theatre workshop team up with seasoned community singers to perform a jazzy tribute to America’s songwriter.

Favorite local performers will take you on Mr. Berlin’s journey from his days as a dirt-poor immigrant selling lyrics in Tin Pan Alley, through two world wars, the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, and to the fame and fortune of “White Christmas,” the world’s best-selling song — stopping along the way to share the songs that shaped a nation.

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 ages 12 and under, and may be purchased at townhallteater.org, by calling 382-9222, at the THT box office (Monday – Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.) or at the door, if available.

STEPHANIE STOUFFER’S “HOLIDAY LEGACY”

Beginning on Friday, Nov. 17, the Compass Music and Arts Center in Brandon is presenting a special holiday exhibit of Stephanie Stouffer’s original paintings and commercial products displaying her designs. “Holiday Legacy” is a testament to the work Stouffer has created during her 35-year career.

The original paintings, from which cards and product designs were produced, are not available anywhere else, and as Stouffer’s illustrations have become a staple of the season and are still produced in limited numbers, never has such a collection been presented at once. The exhibit runs through Dec. 31.

The Compass Music and Arts Center is located in Park Village at 333 Jones Drive in Brandon (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Road). For more information, visit cmacvt.org.

INTERNATIONAL FILM SERIES

The 2017-2018 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2016 Switzerland / France / Belgium / USA film    “I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck.

Based on an unfinished book by James Baldwin and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, this documentary chronicles the history of activism during the civil rights movement. “‘I Am Not Your Negro’ is a cinematic séance, and one of the best movies about the Civil Rights era ever made,” according to Jordan Hoffman in The Guardian.

The film will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on College Street (Route 125). It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

TWO BROTHERS TAVERN

There will be two live performances this week at Two Brothers Tavern located at 86 Main St. in Middlebury. Join Two Brothers every Wednesday at 9 p.m. for The Open Mic, an evening of music, comedy or anything else. Alternately hosted by Mark Sikora and Kai Stanley, come cheer on your friends or let loose on the stage. It’s free to enter and there is no cover charge.

Then, on Saturday, the tavern presents The Bob MacKenzie Band at 10 p.m. This band offers a solid selection of blues classics, jump, swing and rhythm & blues that will take you back through the decades of great blues music. There is a $3 cover charge. For more information, call Two Brothers at 388-0002.

DANCE ALUMNI AT COLLEGE

Last but not least, there will be a public performance at Middlebury College by recent dance alumni of excerpts from their latest work at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 in the Dance Theater at the Mahaney Center for the Arts.

Tickets $15 general public. A full schedule of activities is available online at middlebury.edu/academics/dance.

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