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Ellie Haugsby

Transformer failure leaves Chautauqua in the dark

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Chautauqua Institution lost electric power throughout the grounds just before 3 p.m. Thursday on a sweltering and humid afternoon. A transformer at the local National Grid substation failed, and power was not restored until 6 a.m. Friday. George Murphy, vice president and chief marketing officer, described the scene on the second floor of the Colonnade after initial word reached President Thomas Becker’s office that the blackout might last for 24 hours.

Lynch: Arts are an absolute necessity for the nation

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Robert Lynch’s career began with a lie. It was January 1975. He’d had his hand in the creation of the New England Artist Festival and Showcase, today called the New England Arts Biennial. The team of founders — including Lynch — marketed it as “New England’s largest gathering of artists, craftspeople, performers, poets and other creators.”

Soltes links art, religion and politics in ‘eternal triangle’

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“What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening?” If the average Chautauquan didn’t know the answer to this riddle, he would have been punished by the plague in Sophocles’ play “Oedipus the King.” What he also probably didn’t know was that this riddle highlights an “eternal triangle” of art, religion and politics.
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Bonnefoux: ‘Inspiration and passion’ transform life, art

It’s hard to imagine a 14-year-old Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux green in the face and shaking from nerves, but that’s what the Hall of Philosophy audience visualized when Bonnefoux transported them to his dance jury examination at the Paris Opera Ballet. At age 21, Bonnefoux held the title reserved for the most distinguished of dancers in France. Bonnefoux has served as artistic director of Chautauqua Dance since 1983. He is also the artistic director and president of the North Carolina Dance Theatre. He has choreographed more than 60 ballets.

Stamberg to advocate for museums, says art is thriving

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Susan Stamberg has asked questions since 1972. As the host of such NPR programs as “All Things Considered,” “Morning Edition,” and “Weekend Edition Saturday,” it was her job to pick the brains of her guests. When she comes to Chautauqua, however, it will not be to question but rather to answer.

Togetherness through music

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“The beauty of music is that it brings people together,” guest conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya said. “You have to become friends to make music together.” Harth-Bedoya was speaking about his friendship with cellist Alban Gerhardt. The two appear with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater.

Mood for a Melody

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Many consider a week at the Chautauqua Institution a vacation, a chance for relaxation. For some, this comes in the form of engaging in social dialogue or listening to lectures; for others, it means watching the waves of Chautauqua Lake lap against grass and sand. For Alexander Gavrylyuk, a visit to Chautauqua assumes no less than performing in front of thousands of spectators hanging on every whim of his keyboard.
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Riedel: Understanding al-Qaida is the key to its defeat

Bruce Riedel, former CIA analyst, presented a dilemma to the audience during his 10:45 a.m. lecture Tuesday in the Amphitheater. He asked the crowd to imagine being given pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. However, it can’t be certain whether the tasked puzzle has 500 pieces or 1,000 pieces. Either way, there are only 100 pieces at the moment. What’s worse: Not all of those pieces belong to that particular jigsaw puzzle, but it’s unknown which ones don’t belong.

A grand spectacle

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Following last season’s grand Norma, the Chautauqua Opera Company achieved even finer results Saturday evening with a fine but under-appreciated Giuseppe Verdi work that represents a midpoint between the bel canto style of Norma and the full-out “music drama” Verdi and Wagner were to develop later in the 19th century: 1849’s Luisa Miller. While, it’s never been a crowd-pleaser like Rigoletto or La traviata, it’s a passionate story — full of melodrama, but also full of feeling — and the music is wonderful, culminating in a third act that ranks among the great single acts in Verdi’s huge output.

NOW Generation reception focuses on spreading the word

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The younger set of Chautuauqua Fund donors opened the 2011 Season by greeting old faces and meeting new friends at President Tom Becker’s cottage on Saturday evening. The Beckers held the reception to welcome the NOW Generation back to the Institution. The NOW Generation is a group of Chautauqua Fund donors who are less than 50 years old.

Porch Discussion covers importance of attracting all ages

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Chautauqua offers many activities for youth and adults, but a certain age group is still looking for a place to connect. These topics were at the center of the second weekly Trustees’ Porch Discussion on Wednesday. Sherra Babcock, director of Chautauqua’s Department of Education, and Jack Voelker, director of recreation and youth services, led the discussion, titled “Creating Family Experiences.”
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