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The Arts

Full of character

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Magic flutes, valkyries, rampant consumption — some themes in opera can be hard to relate to, and not just for the audience. Singers, like actors, perform best when they can lose themselves in a character — when they can find that common thread that connects them with their role. But how do you find something in common with a 13th-century family in Florence?

Week Four Writers-in-residence to bridge gaps in writing, culture

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The Writers’ Center this week welcomes Jacqueline Osherow and Janice Eidus, two writers who will lead workshops into the cross-currents of culture and the center of writing. Both writers will read selections from their work at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall and later in the week as part of the Chautauqua Jewish Writers’ Festival.

Dance students present first gala of 2011

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The Chautauqua School of Dance will perform the first of two Student Galas at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Amphitheater. The Workshop, Festival and Apprentice dancers had one to two weeks to rehearse both classical and new works. It’s a test of their ability, but Ballet Mistress Glenda Lucena said this group of students has already stood out from others.

Opera, with an American flavor

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The works of John Adams, Leonard Bernstein, Jonathan Dove, Benjamin Britten and Lee Hoiby, among many others, will be featured in the Opera Highlights concert, held at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in the Amphitheater. The performance will feature eight Apprentice Artists from the opera company’s Young Artists program and members of the CSO, under the baton of Steven Osgood.

King to show changes in perception of nature through art

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Elaine King will deliver her lecture, “Artists, Nature and Environmental Change” at 7 p.m. tonight in the Hall of Christ. King, who is an art critic and historian and a professor in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, said her lecture will focus on artists’ portrayal of nature within a historical context. But the discussion will not focus strictly on paintings or pastel colors — it will be a broader dialogue about the evolution of the natural world and current environmental problems.

Despite genuine insights, CTC’s ‘Three Sisters’ mostly overdone

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The good news is that Chautauqua Theater Company is staging Anton Chekhov’s 1901 “Three Sisters,” one of the greatest plays ever written, through July 17. Further, good reports can be made of the chosen translation: by the late Slavic academic-turned-actor Paul Schmidt, it renders Chekhov’s then-contemporary idiom (the play is set in a stultifying provincial city in 1900) into plausible, listenable and unstilted American English, with only a few questionable decisions.

CTC Brown Bag features ‘Shakespearean titans’

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Actors and instructors will be on the spot in front of audience members at today’s Brown Bag lunch as they work through Shakespearean text with no prior rehearsal. This week’s Brown Bag lunch, which begins at 12:15 p.m. today at Bratton Theater, will be led by Associate Artistic Director Andrew Borba and Peter Francis James.

Larson’s book traces rise of Nazi Germany

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Martha Dodd was a young, beautiful American living in Berlin in 1933. The daughter of the U.S. Ambassador, she cavorted in elite circles of German society and fell in love with top Nazi officials. Not until the first spasm of Hitler’s vicious executions did she turn against her suitors and become a Soviet spy.
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