Find a good parking place up at Fort Lewis College and keep it for the weekend. The college will host three tempting cultural events: “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” the opening production of The MET Live in HD and a rare appearance of Norman Krieger.
The FLC Theatre Department will open “Vep,” a farce by Charles Ludlum, tonight(Friday). Two actors (Austin Cohen and Kieran Pock) play all the parts in this mock comedy-mystery.
“It’s a pastiche of notable works spanning the gamut from ‘Hamlet’ to horror movie to Hitchcock’s film ‘Rebecca,’” Director Ginny Davis said. “Ludlum freely mixes styles from melodrama, farce, Elizabethan theater, realism and post-modern theater.”
The students on and behind the stage have been “a director’s dream,” Davis said, “rising to the challenge with humor, curiosity, determination and grit.”
For years, Davis said, “Vep” has been on the table, especially because it’s a small show to start a season that promises “Gypsy,” a very big musical, opening Nov. 8. “Vep” will run weekends through Oct. 19. Tickets are $16 adults, $10 staff and non-FLC students and seniors. For more information, visit durangoconcerts.com or call 247-7089.
The MET Live in HD will open its season at the college at 11 a.m. Saturday, live-streaming Puccini’s “Turandot.” This is the sumptuous Franco Zeffirelli production with the new Metropolitan Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting.
Set in Peking in fake times, Puccini’s opera is about an icy princess whose suitors are beheaded when they can’t tell her what she wants to hear. In her terms, it’s the answer to three riddles. But she finally succumbs to Calaf, tenor Yusif Eyvazov. Not only has the singer been going to the gym lately, but his character is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Obsessed with the princess, Calaf wins the day after singing about the night: the most famous aria in the opera: “Nessun dorma.” When the princess, soprano Christine Goerke, finally surrenders, all is well in the palace. And, just in time, the becalmed princess calls off all the quid pro quo investigations.
The opera runs three hours 12 minutes, so bring a blanket and a thermos. For more information, call 247-7657 or visit www.durangoconcerts.com.
Pianist Krieger will perform in a recital at 3 p.m. Sunday in memory of Mickie Thurston. She was a key member of a group of Durango volunteers who in 1995 formed the Artist in Residence program at the college. A.I.R. enhances musical offerings by inviting professional musicians to perform and give free master classes for students. Krieger will launch his master class at 2:30 p.m. Monday in Roshong Hall.
Thurston was a life-long music lover and strong supporter of FLC and its music department.
Krieger is well known to Durango audiences, as he taught at the college and performed regionally before establishing an international reputation through performances and recordings. He has appeared with major orchestras all over the world, including the London Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.
For the Memorial Recital on Sunday, Krieger will play Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 31 No. 2, “Tempest,” followed by three Gershwin preludes and three works by Frédéric Chopin. After intermission, Krieger will play Brahms’s Sonata No. 1, Op l, which he has recorded for Decca with the London Symphony under Conductor Philip Ryan Mann.
Krieger is professor of piano at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Tickets are $25 at the door of Roshong Recital Hall on campus.
Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist and member of the American Theatre Critics Association.