If Douglas Moore is no longer a name to inspire even a flicker of recognition, then his signature work, The Ballad of Baby Doe, still has a place in the collective consciousness of opera buffs. After all, no less a soprano than Beverly Sills turned the piece into a star vehicle two years after its 1956 premiere, and no less a label than Deutsche Grammophon made a recording — back when making a recording meant something.
The pas de deux tradition at Chautauqua has become a highlight demo for the Charlotte Ballet, the long-time resident dance company here, and what a night — oh, what a night it was — with 10 sample experiences by eight choreographers for 12 dancers the Institution is privileged to call neighbors each summer.
This could have been designed as a sexy show. Well, at least provocative. Maybe PG-13.
This season, every concert represents a podium audition for Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra music director, a coveted position that has been vacant since 2011. The audience has been given a chance to vote in this democratic process, with some weight also given the musicians — who can tell in eight bars if a maestro has the real goods.
Molly Smith Metzler’s new comedy, The May Queen, currently running on the Bratton Theater stage, has echoes of “The Breakfast Club,” “Grease,” “Mean Girls,” “Carrie,” “Peggy Sue Got Married,” and every other story of high school wherein the girls are mean and the guys are shallow and selfish.
What is music about? It’s an ancient and rather silly question, but it comes up every time the music of Dmitri Shostakovich is played — as it was at Saturday’s concert by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.
Sometimes the gap between one tradition, or one era, and another seems just too vast to bridge, to make the connection between the comforts of, say, the familiar older melodies when set against the risks of our moment, in this here and now.
This young man, his name is Cristian Macelaru, put his brand on the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Tuesday evening in the Amphitheater. For this was no ordinary New World Symphony they played together, even though there is a world full of the New Worlds now — too many, really, some of them like weeds growing in music videos and advertisements and ever more on the variety of airwaves.
Home is where the heart is, as the old saying goes, but in the works by the six artists currently on view at the Fowler-Kellogg Art Center, home and heart appear to coexist warily, like estranged spouses under the same roof.
Flowers … let me count the ways. From 17th-century Dutch painting to Andy Warhol, flowers have provided inspiration and imagery for countless works of art.