14 Sep 2014
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Music and Art in the Air

St. Catherine's Players annual production opens Friday; Greenwich Choral Society performs Saturday.

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This week there are several opportunities to take in the visual and performing arts in Greenwich. Check it out ...

Say “Hello, Dolly!” with St. Catherine’s Players

Opening Friday night is St. Catherine’s Players’ family musical “Hello, Dolly!” featuring several Greenwich thespians.

The Players’ annual production can be seen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, March 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 in the St. Catherine of Siena Parish Hall, corner of Riverside Avenue and Route 1 in Riverside. The Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8 p.m., the Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

A complimentary reception will be held after the Friday, March 4th performance for all theatergoers.

Maida Lowin (Greenwich) is playing the title role of Dolly Gallagher Levi, the matchmaker. Ed Krumeich (Greenwich) is Horace Vandergelder; Matt Victory (Stamford) and Joe Guttadauro (Norwalk) are Barnaby Tucker and Cornelius Hackl. Rebecca Cooper (Greenwich) and Emily Harris (Riverside) are Mrs. Molloy and her assistant Minnie Fay. Lauren Nicole Sherwood (Stamford) and William Armstrong (Old Greenwich) are Ermengarde and Ambrose Kemper; and Patty Cirigliano Kohn (Weston) is Ernestina Money.

Stuart Adelberg of Old Greenwich will be directing his 21st show for the group. Rita Lapcevic of Riverside is musical director and newcomer Dave Durell is the orchestra conductor. Vincent Yax and Melody Andersen (both of Cos Cob) are the producer and production stage manager, respectively. Bill Wright (Old Greenwich) is technical director.

All tickets are $18 and all seats are unreserved with a first come – first seating policy.

To order tickets, call (203) 661-2942; log on to www.stcatherinesplayers.com or go the St. Catherine of Siena Rectory, 4 Riverside Ave., Riverside; United Way of Greenwich, 1 Lafayette Court, Greenwich; or at Colonial Imaging in the Mill Pond Shopping Center in Cos Cob. For information, e-mail stcatherinesplayers@yahoo.com

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‘Of War and Peace’ with the Greenwich Choral Society

The Greenwich Choral Society will present a program of soul-searching music that is especially meaningful today, in a world filled with both turmoil and hope, on March 5 at 4:30 p.m. at Christ Church Greenwich.

 “Of War and Peace” is designed to be a moving tribute in a program for chorus, orchestra and soloists, conducted by GCS Music Director Paul F. Mueller. The highlight will be by Joseph Haydn's compelling Mass in Time of War, composed in 1796 as Napoleon's army was advancing on Vienna. In this Mass, Haydn - often called "the father of the symphony" - alternates ominous moments of anxiety and foreboding with brighter sections of hope and entreaties for peace.

Completing the program will be works by Mendelssohn, Britten, Persichetti, Rutter and Tippett. It is stunning to realize these works, inspired by events spanning hundreds of years, speak eloquently to us today as the specter of war and vision of peace remain with us.

“In light of the recent tragic events in Arizona, and the upcoming tenth anniversary of the tragedy of 9-11, not to mention Egypt,” Maestro Mueller said, “the universal images found in this beautiful music, inspired by centuries of conflict and the frailty of the human condition, is especially compelling. What inspired me as I contemplated this program was a verse from Alfred Lord Tennyson—‘Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace.’ That is what we’d love this music to do!”

Joining the orchestra and 120 voices of GCS are soprano Tharanga Goonetilleke, mezzo-soprano Maria Elena Armijo, tenor Chad Cygan, and baritone Edward Pleasant.

Soprano Tharanga Goonetilleke received enthusiastic reviews for her performance with GCS in 2009 in Carmina Burana. A graduate of Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, she was first woman from Sri Lanka to attend Juilliard, where she earned her master’s degree. Recently, she made her debut with the New York City Opera in the role of Resi in Strauss’ Intermezzo.

Mezzo-Soprano Maria Elena Armijo of New Mexico has a wide-ranging repertoire that includes oratorio, opera, operetta, jazz, and musical theater. She has performed with companies throughout the United States and Europe.

Tenor Chad Cygan earned his Master’s of Music at Juilliard and is working on his doctorate at CUNY Graduate Center. He is on the faculty at the John A. Coleman School in New York and has composed 20 works. He has appeared with the Oratorio Society of New York as well as at St. Peter’s Basilica, Notre Dame Cathedral, the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and the Moscow Conservatory.

Baritone Edward Pleasant has performed with GCS many times including a special Big Band-style performance last season. Recently, Pleasant wrote, produced and starred in a one-man show about the life of Nat “King” Cole called Sincerely, Nat. He also has performed with the New York City Opera as Jake in Porgy and Bess in an Emmy-nominated 'Live from Lincoln Center' telecast, performed Haydn’s Mass in Time of War at Carnegie Hall.

For information, log on to the website, or call (203) 622-5136 or email greenwich.choral@verizon.net. Christ Church Greenwich is at 254 E. Putnam Ave. 

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Francine Funke’s ‘Floral Phenomena’

 "Floral Phenomena" is, a colorful mixed media exhibition by Francine Funke, opens Thursday at The Gallery at Greenwich Tavern in Old Greenwich.

The art of the Stamford-based Funke ranges from large mixed media wall pieces and installations, to acrylic paintings on canvas and paper, to original drawings, to  3-dimensional works on paper—and to her Mechanical Botanical and Floral Phenomena Series called “Photographic Combines”.

Funke says of her new exhibit, “The Floral Phenomena Series explores a wide variety of floral and botanical forms, and the myriad ways I express them artistically. My paintings on canvas and works on paper have a unique, 3-dimensional quality, which is created by the use of dimensional paint and aniline dyes. This 3-D concept is explored again in my pop-up, cut paper, whimsical floral representations.”

Her signature pop-up chair sculptures, called “Dimensional Drawings”, were chosen by the legendary, Gene Moore, Director of Tiffany & Company, to be displayed in all five of their windows on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Funke’s artwork has been exhibited in numerous major museums nationwide. Her installation, “Plumes”, traveled to the Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Russell Senate Rotunda on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, where her exhibition was sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

The Greenwich Tavern (1392 E. Putnam Ave.) exhibit will be on view during restaurant business hours noon to 10 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday; and noon to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, until May 4.

For information, log on to www.greenwichtavern.net or call (203) 858-3082.

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‘Art to the Avenue’

You know spring just has to be around the corner when the Greenwich Arts Council hosts its annual preview of ‘Art to the Avenue.’

Last week, downtown merchants and businesses had the opportunity to view the colorful, inspiring works of 130 artists whose works will adorn the display windows and interiors of their establishments during the month of May.

Each May, the council transforms the downtown landscape into one huge art gallery where visitors can stroll from the top of The Avenue to its terminus at Railroad Avenue, and most of the sidestreets in between, and see works of oil, pastel, watercolor, photography, mixed media and sculpture.

Arts Council Paul Master-Karnik said last week there are 130 businesses participating for the 2011 edition of ‘Art to the Avenue.’ “We pretty much have an equal number of artists and businesses. The bulk of the artists have participated before  but we have some new artists,” he said.

Optician Melissa Brockway of Optics by Gruen, located at 229 Greenwich Ave., said she enjoyed viewing the works and was selecting artist whose work “is eye-catching” for her shop’s windows.

And judging from the works on view in the arts council’s galleries, Brockway wasn’t disappointed – and neither will visitors who take in the monthlong art show that begins May 5 and continues through the month.

For information, log on to the council’s website www.greenwicharts.org or call (203) 862-6750.

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