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Emma Morehart

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Muffitt to speak on students as 21st-century musicians

Students in Chautauqua’s School of Music have more to learn than technique, intonation and timing. They also have to grasp time travel. “The difference is that, whereas the Beethoven symphony hasn’t changed since it was written in the early 19th century, the context in which it’s being performed and heard is dramatically different,” said Timothy Muffitt, music director of the Music School Festival Orchestra. “So we, as musicians, have to have an awareness of that.”

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.

Opera’s Lesenger sees his art as expression of spirituality

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Opera is part of Jay Lesenger’s soul, but his soul has been burdened lately. At 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, Lesenger, the general and artistic director of the Chautauqua Opera, will explain the challenge the arts are facing right now. His lecture is titled “Opera as a Spiritual Journey: My Confession.” “I also will talk about the time that we’re in right now, which is a very difficult time,” Lesenger said. “Our souls are burdened now because of the economy and because of the lack of exposure to the arts in schools. So the focus will be on how we got there and the impact of what’s going on today.”

Massey to weep and wail in today’s mini-concert

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Echoes of weeping, wailing, worrying and lamenting will fill the Amphitheater today. But don’t worry — it will just be the Massey Memorial Organ as organist Jared Jacobsen performs a somber mini-concert at 2 p.m. Jacobsen will play Franz Liszt’s “Variations on Bach’s ‘Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen,’” which translates to “Weeping, Wailing, Worrying, Lamenting,” and Olivier Messiaen’s “Dieu Parmi Nous,” or “God Among Us.”
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CTC’s McSweeny, Benesch to reflect on life through theater

Although Ethan McSweeny and Vivienne Benesch have known each other personally and professionally for 15 years, there’s still more to learn. At 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, the two will interview each other about “Art and Soul,” the theme of this week’s Interfaith Lecture Series, as it relates to the theater, in “Soul and Story: Choosing a Life in the Theater.”

Sacred Song service to celebrate ‘Art and Soul’

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For one of the only times during the Chautauqua Season, the music at this Sunday’s Sacred Song service will not be the main element of the evening. Some audience members may zone in on the candles; others may notice the robes; and many in the back of the Amphitheater will take in banners that run from ceiling to floor.

Performance artist brings Bonhoeffer’s prison letter to life

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From makeshift jail cells across the U.S., Al Staggs brings to life the letter that a distraught Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from his German prison in the early 1940s. “We have for once learnt to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled — in short, from the perspective of those who suffer,” the letter states.
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Chikane to speak on methods to fight injustice

The Rev. Frank Chikane has been tortured, detained, put under house arrest, suspended from his ministry, criticized and nearly killed because of his fight for equality in South Africa. But he doesn’t name any of those when speaking about the biggest challenge he has faced so far. “The challenge was I had to accept that Christians can do horrible things,” Chikane. “That’s why you will hear me talking about it (in the lecture), that I’m scared of religion. I’m scared of it. Because people can kill you in the name of God and believe in it.”

Kelly to present life of dichotomous German activist

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Geffrey Kelly has made studying the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer a second career. He has written four books about the German pastor and activist, teaches about him at La Salle University and was a board member of the International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society for 26 years. He received an honorary doctorate for his research on Bonhoeffer and has edited translations of Bonhoeffer’s writings. Bonhoeffer broke a lot of the rules of his time and taught that faith should be external and active, Kelly said. To Bonhoeffer, pursuit of justice and faith were inextricably linked. These teachings resonated with Kelly during an unexpected time in his life when his faith most needed it.

Dorrien to trace histories of major ideological movements

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Gary Dorrien will take the Interfaith Lecture Series audience on a century-long journey this week. He will begin with the life of Reverdy Ransom as a civil rights activist in the early 1900s and will end with Benjamin E. Mays’ work with Martin Luther King Jr., stopping on the way to discuss social and religious turning points that led to the concept of the Black Social Gospel.

Senate chaplain to speak on running without stumbling

Bill Bates is the new team captain for the Chautauqua Fund.
One of the critical goals of government is to give people the ability to run without stumbling, said the Rev. Barry C. Black, the U.S. Senate chaplain. At 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, Black will explain in his lecture, “Running Without Stumbling,” that one of the government’s roles is to prepare people for “seasons of emergencies.”
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Saperstein focuses on Jewish values

Rabbi David Saperstein has been called many things in Washington. A profile of him in The Washington Post called him “the quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill.” Newsweek named him the most influential rabbi in the country in 2009, and major news outlets like The Wall Street Journal and Religion News Service identified him as one of the most influential people in shaping religious issues in elections.
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