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The Arts

Writers-in-residence foster new poets, voices

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This week, the Writers’ Center will launch a new batch of poets and help prose writers fine-tune their voices. To kick off their week-long stay at Chautauqua, poet-in-residence Aimee Nezhukumatathil and writer-in-residence Ron MacLean will both read selections from their work at 3:30 p.m. Sunday on the front porch of Alumni Hall.

CTC’s Late Night Mask Show full of silly fun

Author Dan Ephron
Masks, clown noses and a silly show are scheduled to take place at 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Chautauqua Theater Company’s Late Night Mask Show. The show will take place outside rehearsal shacks 64 and 65. Although it falls during Week Two programming dates, the show will take on the theme from Week Three, which is “American Intelligence: Technology, Espionage and Alliances,” said Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch.

Lesenger uses master class to instruct singers on acting

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An opera production derives from the music, not the other way around, said Jay Lesenger, artistic/general director of Chautauqua Opera Company. Sometimes directors will have a concept in mind before delving into a production, but Lesenger said he believes in a firm understanding of opera and its traditions before interpreting the music for the stage. “I’m not of the school that I have to do something different to make it true,” Lesenger said. “I’m all for innovation, but that’s not how I go about looking at a piece. I don’t say, ‘How can we do this differently?’ I just say, ‘How can we do it well?’”

Vamos teaches master class on importance of musical family tree

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In the music world, teachers are family. Musicians can trace the lineage of their instructors through generations, forming a musical genealogical web. Technique, fingerings and style are inherited from those teachers, but for students, after months and even years of working with the same teacher, it’s not about the basics. It’s about the personal connection that drives students to work even harder in the practice room because it is no longer a teacher who inspired them; it is a life-long friend.

From stage to classroom, Gavrylyuk returns to teach piano master classes

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In the past two weeks, the Chautauqua School of Music has held master classes with some of the most seasoned professionals in the music industry. These teachers have had successful solo and chamber music careers, and most hold positions in the most prestigious conservatories in the country. Alexander Gavrylyuk is also a seasoned professional, soloing at major concert halls around the world and winning all the big-name competitions. Gavrylyuk holds his own on the list of distinguished master class coaches, but he’s only in his 20s.

Sandel brings ethics discussions to Amp, CLSC

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A longtime visitor to Chautauqua’s Amphitheater, Harvard University professor Michael Sandel returns to ask the question: What’s the right thing to do? Sandel will speak twice today. He will give a morning lecture at 10:45 a.m. in the Amphitheater, as well as a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle lecture at 3:30 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy. Sandel’s lectures come to Chautauqua nearing the end of the Week Two theme of “Applied Ethics: Government and the Search for the Common Good.”

Opera singers find new voice with musical theater

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When the average person thinks of American musical theater, the names Rodgers and Hammerstein no doubt come to mind. However, in the Musical Theater Revue, put on by Studio Artists of the Chautauqua Opera Company at 10:30 p.m. tonight and next Tuesday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, Richard Rodgers will be nowhere to be found.

Singers explore diverse topics in weekly Artsongs

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Love, death and the meaning of existence are all themes that will be sung about in this week’s Chautauqua Opera Studio Artists Artsongs recital at 4 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ. Three singers, all Chautauqua first-timers, will be singing: soprano Alize Rozsnyai, baritone Nickoli Strommer and tenor Joshua Baum.

Belly dancer to discuss, demonstrate art form

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Nancy Loyan Shuemann lives a double life. Like Superman, she juggles two occupations, and one requires quite a costume. As a published author, her writing takes up most of her day. At night, though, she grabs her saber, throws on her beaded bra and skirt and shares her love of belly dancing

CLSC Week Two selection trails MLK’s assassin

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As a Civil Rights crusader, the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equality runs alongside the Week Two theme of “Government and the Search for the Common Good.” Yet his gospel of nonviolence was a dangerous one to preach. The first Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection for Week Two is Hellhound on his Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for his Assassin by Hampton Sides.

Brown Bag event to foster discussion of CTC’s ‘Three Sisters’ production

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Chautauqua Theater Company’s production of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” is set as the topic of discussion at the Brown Bag lunch at 12:15 p.m. today in Bratton Theater. General Manager Robert Chelimsky said the event will focus on the choices made in the CTC production, which means that a lot of attention may be turned to guest director Brian Mertes. “The director becomes the interviewee to a great degree,” Chelimsky said. “It tends to be very focused on what they were going for conceptually.”

Voice concert showcases 5 students’ talents

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For Voice Program faculty member Donald St. Pierre, teaching music is not just about the notes on a page. It is about reminding students why they got involved with music in the first place. At 7:30 p.m. tonight in McKnight Hall, singers will bestow another warm greeting to the Chautauqua community through song with a voice concert. It is the first concert in a series of Wednesday night performances that will offer a glimpse into the hard work these students have done throughout their stay at the Institution.

Creech’s comic confusion leads to Young Readers book

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In the south of Switzerland, they speak Italian. So the first time Sharon Creech visited Switzerland in 1982, she made sure to learn Italian. But when the Newbery Award-winning author of Walk Two Moons returned to the country in 2007, she found that hopping between English and Italian was much more difficult than it used to be.

CTC’s first 2011 production previews tonight

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Chautauqua Theater Company begins the first of 15 performances of its production of Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” with a preview of the play at 8 p.m. tonight in Bratton Theater. The company’s preview performance is open to the public and allows the guest director to see the show with an audience before he leaves Chautauqua.
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