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The Chautauquan Daily

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Still rockin’, after all these years

In the late 1960s, Tommy James and the Shondells and Felix Cavaliere’s The Rascals, then known as The Young Rascals, could be found at the top of the charts in America. The latter scored big with their soulful hits “Good Lovin,’” “Groovin’” and “People Got to Be Free,” while the former rocked and rolled with “Hanky Panky,” “Mony Mony” and “Crimson and Clover.”
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Fodor receives first Chautauqua Play Commission

From now until July 31, Chautauqua Theater Company will be busy with the 2011 New Play Workshop Festival. In addition to the three new plays in this year’s NPW Festival, CTC, in conjunction with the Writers’ Center, is commissioning a play for the first time. The recipient of the Chautauqua Play Commission is playwright Kate Fodor. While Fodor is the first recipient of the Commission, this is not her first time in Chautauqua. Fodor already has brought two of her plays to CTC to be workshopped in NPW Festivals in the past.
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Americans for the Arts’ Lynch to cover importance of creative instruction

A musician who also is a writer who also is a wood carver who also is a CEO — that’s Robert Lynch. Lynch is the president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, a national organization that promotes the arts in communities and education. In the last of Week Four’s lectures, Lynch will discuss the current state of the arts in America, the state of support for non-profit arts organizations and what direction the art world should go in the future.
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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.
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Mitnick’s unintentional play ‘Elijah’ opens NPW Festival

Playwright Michael Mitnick sat down at his kitchen table late one evening in September 2009 to experiment with a few pages of a play he intended to use as his senior thesis. He finished the next morning with the entire first act of what would later become “Elijah” and would earn him a place in Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2011 New Play Workshop Festival. The play opens at 8 p.m. tonight in Bratton Theater as the first of three new plays making their debut in this season’s festival.
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Love of opera informs Nusbaum, VanBlargan’s Chautauqua tale

Ron VanBlargan and Susan Nusbaum have a truly great Chautauqua story. While many couples have married or met on the grounds, VanBlargan and Nusbaum can claim both. With strong memories that span several stages of both of their lives, VanBlargan created his own legacy, naming Chautauqua as a beneficiary in his will. VanBlargan and Nusbaum’s romance was sparked by an Opera Guild cast party in 2003. VanBlargan served on the Opera Guild board, while Nusbaum was an incoming member; the two were assigned to plan the cast party.
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Dance Circle hosts lecture on ballet fundamentals

Mimi Eddleman and Maris Battaglia have been in the ballet world for years. Eddleman, founding co-president of the Chautauqua Dance Circle, still takes classes in New Jersey. Battaglia, member of the CDC and frequent guest speaker, has taught the Workshop dancers at Chautauqua Dance for 22 years. The two will merge their knowledge of ballet at 3:30 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall in a lecture titled “20 Ballet Steps that Everyone Should Know.”
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Songs of Britten, Russians featured in Artsongs recital

This week’s Artsongs recital, held at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, will feature songs of famous Russian composers, as well as those of Benjamin Britten, a legendary 20th century British composer. The program will showcase the voices of three Young Artists: bass Heath Sorensen, mezzo Courtney Miller and soprano Kasey King, all new to the Chautauqua Opera Company.
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Poet laureate Dove to speak on forgotten prodigy

On a morning in May of 1803, Ludwig van Beethoven sat behind his piano on the stage of Augarten Theatre in Vienna and premiered his now-famous Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47. Reading the score over his shoulder was George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, the up-and-coming, biracial, African-Polish prodigy. The sonata had just been finished the night before, and there was no time for a rehearsal. The violinist took a chance at improvising, mimicking a difficult piano run, and Beethoven beamed. “Once more, my dear fellow!” he jumped up and shouted, and the two played the movement again.
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Chamber music programs teach students artistry

There are lessons musicians learn while playing chamber music that they don’t learn when playing in an orchestra. Leadership, sacrifice and responsibility make the chamber ensemble one of the most difficult, and most rewarding, experiences. The Student Chamber Music Recital at 2 p.m. today in McKnight Hall marks the beginning of a summer-long series of daily chamber music concerts for students of the Chautuauqua School of Music.
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That mesmerizing moment

Violinist Joan Kwuon loves the thrill of performing for a live audience and having an active dialogue with an orchestra. “It never gets old,” she said. “That moment, being surrounded by the sound from the orchestra and contributing the solo line is really quite mesmerizing.” Kwuon will join guest conductor Christopher Seaman and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater for a concert featuring works by Richard Wagner, Sergei Prokofiev and Antonín Dvořák.
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Opera’s Lesenger sees his art as expression of spirituality

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.”
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