If February brought us a theater extravaganza, March looks like a musical feast.
Last month, locals reorganized calendars to fit in four remarkable dramas. Merely Players’ imaginative interpretation of “Macbeth” closed Sunday after a sell-out run. “The New Colossus,” a performance piece by Tim Robbins and The Actor’s Gang of Los Angeles, filled two nights at the Community Concert Hall. Durango High School Troupe 1096 staged “Trap.” And the Fort Lewis College production of Lee Blessing’s drama, “Two Rooms,” has one more weekend. The four-character hostage drama about an American prisoner in Beirut and his wife, a fierce advocate in America, is a tight, well-directed, and intelligent interpretation. Don’t miss it.
But it’s March now, and spring is sort of in the air. Beginning tonight, music events will fill the week’s calendar and beyond. At 7 p.m. in Roshong Recital Hall (Jones 205 at Fort Lewis College) new faculty member Joe Nibley will be joined by pianist Lisa Campi Walters in an unusual concert featuring trumpet works by Purcell, Hummel, Charlier and Broughton. Designed to have a storytelling arc, the recital ranges from Baroque music to modern jazz.
The program, Nibley said in an interview, came to him quickly “because all the pieces played a major role in my development.” In addition, the three-act musical structure emerged as a storytelling device because Nibley’s father teaches film analysis and screenwriting.
“I’ve had many conversations about the three-act structure in films, and subconsciously picking ‘three-act’ pieces makes use of storytelling easier.”
Nibley said he will expand on that premise in the recital with occasional references to such things as the original Star Wars trilogy and its musical score.
Tickets are $15 adults, cash or check at the door. FLC students and those 18 and younger are admitted free.
HHHAt 7 p.m. Sunday, the FLC Artist in Residence program welcomes back violinist Kasia Sokol-Borup. She will give a master class at 4 p.m. today and perform a solo recital Sunday evening in Roshong Recital Hall at the college. Sokol-Borup has chosen a demanding repertoire that includes selections from Telemann’s “Fantasias for Violin,” Prokofiev’s “Sonata, Op. 115” and after intermission, Bach’s “Partita for Solo Violin in D Minor.”
Sokol-Borup is a former FLC professor of violin, during which time she also was concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony and artistic director of the Chamber Music Festival. She’s moved on to Salt Lake City, but she’s returning for the master class, which is free, and the ticketed recital: $15 for adults, cash or check at the door. Lucky students are admitted free, so come early for a good seat in Roshong Recital Hall.
HHHSunday afternoon will also see the beginning of the 13th annual Bach Festival at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 902 East Third Ave. Two free concerts at 2 and 4 p.m. will feature two separate groups of young performers. It’s a phenomenon to behold and demonstrates the promising combination of youth and ambition tackling Bach.
At noon Monday, the first Bach’s Lunch will be performed, and the series will continue through Friday. Expect to hear a half-hour recital with the added bonus of lunch in the Parish Hall to follow. Tickets for the recital alone are $10. Add the lunch, which serves vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives, prepared by the inimitable Cheryl Birchard and her kitchen gang easily identified by their festival aprons.
Harpsichordist Marilyn Garst and flutist Andreas Tischhauser will launch the Bach’s Lunch program with a dazzling presentation from Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” and “Sonata in E minor.” Fast, furious and sure to raise your blood pressure, the program has been in rehearsal for weeks only to whiz by in 30 minutes.
Check out the festival website for additional recital listings. A $100 Festival Pass gets you into all events. Individual tickets for the two evening performances are $20 adults, $5 students/children. You can buy tickets at the door, but this tends to be a sold-out event, so advance purchases are recommended. For more information, visit www.DurangoBachFestival.com or call 903-7427.
HHHOn March 13, tenor Wes Dunnagan will join Garst at 7 p.m. for the third recital in the intimate and evergreen Unitarian Recital Series.
“We will track the growth of German Lied,” Dunnagan said in an interview, “a rich musical and literary culture from W.A. Mozart to Franz Schubert, eventually reaching into the 20th century.”
Like Nibley, Dunnagan is a new faculty member at FLC and has performed across the United States and Europe. Among other works, Dunnagan will sing Mozart’s “Evening Sentiment,” Schubert’s first cycle, “Die Schöne Müllerin,” and in the second half of the program, works by Fauré and Puccini, some of which were later used in his operas. Dunnagan will close with songs by Benjamin Britten.
Tickets are $20 adults, $8 children and students with ID at the door. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 385-8668.
It will be the end of a busy week for the much-in-demand tenor. Dunnagan will also be the featured soloist in the Bach Festival’s Wednesday evening concert.
Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist and member of the American Theatre Critics Association.