Berkshire Weekend Cultural Preview, May 16-20, 2012

CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN MULTIMEDIA FOLK OPERA GETS WORK-IN-PROGRESS SHOWING at MASS MOCA

Composer Paola Prestini

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – MASS MoCA will present a work-in-progress showing of Paola Prestini’s new multimedia opera Oceanic Verses in the Hunter Center on Friday, May 18, 2012, at 8 p.m. Set against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, Oceanic Verses is about people who flee and people who stay, people who sail to escape and people who sail to arrive.

Oceanic Verses musically paints a picture of Italy as it once was, a cross-section of cultures expressed through song. By examining and researching the Salento region which maintains many ancient traditions and still speaks Griko, a much forgotten language, Prestini creates a work that illuminates the complex ethnic mosaic that has shaped her cultural heritage. The story is derived from the texts of the songs chosen and intermittent poems from a variety of Italian poets through time coloring the work with the various influences of Salento region.

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DAEDALUS QUARTET to PLAY BEETHOVEN, SCHUBERT AND BERG at MAHAIWE

The Daedalus Quartet is Matilda Kaul, violin; Jessica Thompson, viola; Min-Young Kim, violin; Thomas Kraines, cello (photo Lisa-Marie Mazzucco)

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – As part of the Close Encounters With Music series, the Daedalus Quartet will perform an all-Viennese program at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at 6 pm. Selections include Schubert’s Quartettsatz, Beethoven’s majestic Razumovsky, Opus 59, No.1; and Alban Berg’s Quartet Opus 3, completing a musical journey through Imperial Vienna to the era of Klimt and Freud.

Recognized as one of the leading quartets on the scene today, members of the Daedalus are Min-Young Kim, violin; Matilda Kaul, violin; Jessica Thompson, viola; and Thomas Kraines, cello.

The program reflects how composers inspire each other across time, and, in this instance, also across town. Schubert took inspiration from his hero, Beethoven, and especially from the almost symphonic Razumovsky Quartet, and ran with it. The results are evident in the two-movement Quartettsatz, foreshadowing Schubert’s later chamber music masterpieces.

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SOUL-R&B OUTFIT RETURNS to CLUB HELSINKI

Tre Williams

Tre Williams

(HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Revelations featuring Tré Williams returns to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at 9pm. The group’s sound marries the grit of the streets to the midnight blues of the rural South, the rawness of Stax and propulsive drive of Motown. The Revelations’ live shows have been compared to the live revues of James Brown or Ike and Tina Turner.

Ever since Tré Williams left the South for New York City, his searing baritone has enraptured those from Harlem’s Amateur Night at the Apollo to rap’s seasoned veterans. His silk and gravel tone recalls that of David Ruffin and Johnnie Taylor. Williams’s soul-shaking sound landed him a record contract with hip-hop icon Nas, and then he was the first R&B male singer signed to Roc-a-fella Records.

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EXHIBITION CHRONICLES FACES from CENTRAL ASIA to WESTERN EUROPE

(LENOX, Mass.) – Afghanistan To France; 6,000 Miles of Portraits, an exhibition of photographs by Molly and Aurélien de St André taken on a road trip in a vintage 1960s Volkswagen van from war-torn Central Asia to present-day France, is on display at LOCAL beginning Friday, May 19, 2012, and running through June 22. There will be an opening reception with the artists on Saturday, May 19, at 5pm at LOCAL.

Molly and Aurélien de St André are artists who own Moho Designs, a local screen printing and design company. Molly, a Berkshire native and Simon’s Rock graduate, has spent five years teaching and making art in central Asia. Aurélien, a painter and graphic designer from La Rochelle, France, who has worked in exotic places such as Kabul, Istanbul, and Reunion Island off of Madagascar, has just survived his second Berkshire winter.

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WAGNER’S ‘RING CYCLE’ at THE MET GETS ENCORE SCREENING at THE CLARK AND MAHAIWE

Deborah Voigt is Brünnhilde in the Met's 'Ring Cycle'

(WILLIAMSTOWN and GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The ever-popular Met Live in HD broadcasts in the region turn their gaze toward Robert Lepage’s innovative, high-tech staging of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle) in coming days, where the performances can be seen at The Clark in Williamstown and the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington.

The Ring Cycle encore series continues with Siegfried (May 16 at Mahaiwe; May 17 at The Clark), and Götterdämmerung (May 18 at The Clark, May 20 at Mahaiwe).

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CHORAL GROUP TO TACKLE JENKINS’S ‘REQUIEM’

Berkshire Lyric

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Berkshire Lyric, a choral performance and education organization that will celebrate a half-century next year, will present Karl Jenkins’s iconic choral powerhouse, Requiem, on Sunday, May 20, at 3 p.m., at St. Joseph’s Church on North Street.

Requiem is one of the 21st century’s most recognizable choral pieces, and also one of its most unique. In addition to traditional Latin commonly encountered in a Requiem Mass, the piece also incorporates movements featuring Japanese haiku poetry and the sounds of Asian instruments. Requiem was written in 2005 by Jenkins, a composer with a background in film music. It is a very popular work in Britain, and this will reportedly be its first performance in western Massachusetts.

Berkshire Lyric’s performance will include full orchestration with strings, harp, flute, French horn and percussion, as well as both the Berkshire Lyric Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus, an addition not commonly seen in performances of Requiem.

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SETH ROGOVOY to READ at YBAR in PITTSFIELD, MASS., on TUESDAY, MAY 22

Seth Rogovoy

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Seth Rogovoy is the featured reader at yBar on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at 8 pm (291 North St.) in Pittsfield as part of the Tuesday Night Writers Room series, a project of the WordXWord Festival hosted by Emily Pulfer-Terino and Gabriel Squailia. Best known for his award-winning writing about music and his books about Bob Dylan and klezmer, Rogovoy will shift gears for his yBar appearance and read from “How Many Great-Grandparents’ Divorce Saved My Life,” a work-in-progress about his family, mostly focusing on the life and times of his recently deceased grandmother, most of whose relatives were murdered in the Holocaust. He may also read a few poems he wrote for the recent April 30/30 Poetry Challenge, and something about the role that height – or lack of such – plays in the E Street Band.

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