The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include performances of works by Tchaikovsky, Bach, Handel, and Nathaniel Dett … plus a whole lot more…
Pianist, actor and playwright Hershey Felder figured out how to keep working during the pandemic. Felder relocated to Florence, Italy, and from there he is streaming several of his popular one-man shows, in which Felder impersonates great composers and performers, plays their music, and tells their stories. Live from Florence kicks off the first of four livestream events presented via Berkshire Theatre Group on Sunday at 8pm, with TCHAIKOVSKY. This program was filmed on location where Tchaikovsky actually lived and worked in Florence, and offers a timely, seasonal focus on The Nutcracker ballet. Future concerts in the series, streamed live from Florence, including Puccini, Rachmaninoff, and klezmer.
As one would expect, there are a number of holiday themed cultural events popping up all over the region this weekend. Over at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass., a virtual concert called “Holiday Getaway” stars company actors Alan H. Green, Alysha Umphress, and Joel Waggoner. Streaming of the concert – which promises hilarious new holiday songs as well as traditional favorites – begins tonight at 7:30pm and runs through Wednesday, December 23 at 7:30 pm.
The Crescendo chamber music series based in Lakeville, Conn., offers a special livestream on Saturday at 4pm called “christmas music of three cultures,” featuring the Crescendo Chorus, soloists and a Period Instrument ensemble. The program’s centerpiece will be portions of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Contrasting with Bach’s work are Villancicos, music of the South American Colonial Baroque in South America, and excerpts of Navidad Nuestro (Our Christmas) by the renowned Argentinian composer Ariel Ramirez. Music by Black composers based on spiritual and gospel will also be included in the event, including composer Nathaniel Dett’s masterful motet Chariot Jubilee, which premiered in 1921.
The Hudson Valley Philharmonic’s annual performance and singalong of Handel’s “Messiah” will go virtual this year, with excerpts from the 2019 performance of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and Cappella Festiva, with lyrics on the screen and commentary by Guest Conductor Christine Howlett. The event takes place on Saturday at 2pm on the YouTube channel @BardavonPresents.
MASS MoCA in North Adams continues its Auditory After Hours series giving visitors
a chance to engage with art while listening to a bespoke experience curated by cutting-edge musicians on Saturday night at 7, 7:30, and 8pm, when the LA-based experimental hip-hop trio Clipping dives into its archive to create a darkly atmospheric gallery soundtrack with material from an abandoned audiobook score. Entitled “The Depths,” this new chapter is intended to immerse the listener in a cold, Atlantean soundscape during their nocturnal spelunking of the galleries. Upcoming artists in the series include Sylvan Esso and Kaki King.
And the Wanda Houston Band will livestream a special holiday themed concert of R&B and jazz from the Egremont Barn in South Egremont, Mass., tonight at 7pm.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of the Rogovoy Report, available at rogovoyreport.com
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