RR Arts Preview

Cellist Sophie Shao and Friends to perform Friday at Middlebury College.

Contributions should be sent to jim.lowe@rutlandherald.com at least two weeks in advance.

Sophie Shao and Friends

MIDDLEBURY – A perennial Middlebury College favorite, cellist Sophie Shao has been praised by the World News for her “sensitive, stylistic playing, with great finesse, emotion, and gorgeous tone,” and she has amassed an extensive collection of talented musical friends. Shao returns to the Mahaney Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 10 for her 11th consecutive season, with a new ensemble including violinists Zachary DePue and Arnaud Sussmann, violist Matthew Lipman and Nathan Farrington on double bass.

Together they will perform selected duets by Mozart, Penderecki and Meyer, plus rarely heard double-bass quintets including Dvorák’s Op. 77 and Offenbach’s Divertimento über Schweizer Lieder in celebration of the composer’s 200th birthday. Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin will give a free pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m. in Mahaney Arts Center Room 221.

Reserved seating tickets are $28, $10 for youth; call 802-443-MIDD (6433) or go online to www.middlebury.edu/arts/tickets. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 South/S. Main Street.

Hilton Park Americana

BRANDON – Hilton Park performs its unique style of Americana and folk at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at Brandon Music for Mother’s Day weekend.

The folk trio from southern Maine is made up of father, Bruce Hilton; youngest son Connor and close musical partner, friend and neighbor Gregg Pannier, a classically trained organist and piano virtuoso.

Although the trio started out writing and playing music together for its own enjoyment, within a very short time (eight months) it was recognized by the New England Music Awards (NEMA) as one of the best roots acts in New England, and by the Boston Examiner as the band that has “reinvented acoustic.” Hilton Park’s stage show includes up to 10 acoustic instruments (six and 12-string guitars, dobro, mandolin, bouzokki, Weissenborn and dulcimer).

Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295 or email edna@brandon-music.net. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.

‘Maria by Callas’

MIDDLEBURY – The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and the Opera Company of Middlebury will co-present the documentary “Maria by Callas” at 7 p.m. Monday, May 6 at Town Hall Theater. This special screening will be a benefit event for the two nonprofit organizations and will be part of the lead up to OCM’s presentation of Massenet’s opera “Cendrillon,” beginning May 31.

Conceived as a highly personal look at the life of Maria Callas, first-time director Tom Volf has constructed a thoroughly engrossing film that reveals much about this globally revered opera diva. As Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times described the film and its star, “Closer to a deity than a singer to her devotees, Maria Callas was an extraordinary opera star who brought dramatic intensity and emotional intelligence to her roles, not to mention an off-stage life that included a much-publicized love affair with one of the world’s wealthiest men, fellow Greek Aristotle Onassis. Everything she did made newspaper headlines. But who was she, and what was it like to be in her presence?”

Director Tom Volf initially planned to do a conventional documentary to answer these questions, and in fact spent a year interviewing some 30 friends of the diva, who died in 1977 at age 53. Instead, Volf decided it would be more intimate and revealing to do a film on Callas almost entirely in her own words, using performance footage, TV interviews and home movies, as well as letters and unpublished memoirs movingly read by contemporary opera luminary Joyce DiDonato.

Tickets are $25; call 802-382-9222 or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.

Annual student exhibit

RUTLAND – The Chaffee Art Center will again showcase young artists from over 25 Vermont public and private schools and home-school groups in grades K-12 for its annual student exhibit. This year’s theme, “It’s All About the Arts,” expresses passion and commitment to encompass all of the arts. The exhibit will be on display until June 7.

Hours are: noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; call 802-775-0356, or go online to www.chaffeeartcenter.org. The Chaffee Art Center is located at 16 S. Main St.

B. Amore and artists

MANCHESTER – stART Space invites the public to a dialogue, art tour and reception with Rutland Herald art critic B. Amore and artists Gregory Smith and Michael Watson. Amore recently wrote a review of an exhibition connecting the artworks of Smith and Watson that was published in Art New England. Join Amore for a dialogue with the artists and curators 5 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4. The show runs through May 11.

“Both sculptors,” writes Amore in her review, “demonstrate a respect for the concept of ‘truth to materials.’ The essential nature of their chosen medium is clearly present, transformed by the mystical process by which matter becomes art. Their experiments with form and space open our eyes to new ways of seeing sculpture.”

For information, call 802-768-8498, or go online to www.startspace.art. stART Space is located at 263 Depot St.

Amaryllis in concert

MIDDLEBURY – Amaryllis: Vermont’s Early Voice will present its spring concert, “Love ‘n’ Lust: Madrigals and Tunes from 16th-Century England,” at two venues: Sunday, May 12 in Lincoln at United Church, 2 p.m., and Monday, May 13 in Middlebury at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 7:30 p.m.

The 15-voice a capella ensemble will perform madrigals by leading composers in the time of Elizabeth I and James I. There will also be two very grand selections from a 1601 compilation of 25 madrigals in honor of Queen Elizabeth, each one ending with the refrain, “Long live fair Oriana!” The concert will also feature lusty popular tunes set in canon (or rounds) by Thomas Ravenscroft. Amaryllis, now in its seventh year, is based in Middlebury and directed by Susanne Peck.

Admission is by donation ($15 suggested); call 802-453-3513 or go online to www.amaryllisvt.org.

BMC Music School

BRATTLEBORO – The Brattleboro Music Center Music School is holding a spring celebration Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5. A faculty recital is a benefit for the Music School Scholarship fund and the Brattleboro Union High School Music Department.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 4, the BMC will host student recitals throughout the day. All are welcome to stop by to enjoy musical selections. At 4 p.m. Sunday, May 5, a faculty recital features Kathy Andrew on violin, Judith Serkin on cello, and Bruce Griffin on the piano, with soprano Junko Wattanabe, in works by Turina, Beethoven, Handel and Haydn.

Tickets for the faculty concert are $20, $10 for students, $30 for patrons; call 802-257-4523, or go online to https://bmcvt.org. The BMC is located at 72 Blanche Moyse Way.

Sculpture workshops

WEST RUTLAND – The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center will present two workshops, Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26, focusing on techniques for working creatively with stone and wood. “Dry Stone Wall Building” with Dan Snow will be a hands-on introduction to the basics of dry-jointed stonework. Alexandra Forbes leads “Carve a Wood Spoon,” a workshop for beginners with no previous woodcarving experience, or advanced carvers who are hankering to carve a ladle, spoon or spatula.

For details on these and more workshops, call 802-438-2097, or go online to www.carvingstudio.org.

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