Mid May. It’s time for chamber music and 10-minute plays.
The fifth annual Durango Chamber Music Festival got off to a colorful start Friday. “Rhythm, Romance and Revelry,” this year’s edition, will continue Friday and May 24.
Festival impresario C. Scott Hagler asked three musical colleagues to assemble the concerts. Linda Mack Berven and company opened May 10 with “Rhythm,” works from Monteverdi to Gershwin.
On Friday and May 24, violinist Nathan Lambert and trumpeter Marc Reed will assemble parts two and three: Romance and Revelry.
Romance is three works by Brahms, Max Bruch and Dvorak.
Soprano Roni Turner, violist Sharon Neufeld and pianist Mika Inouye will open with two songs by Brahms.
“Roni has one of the most beautiful, clear voices you have ever heard,” Lambert said. “Everyone who loves music should hear her sing.”
Bruch’s “8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano,” will center the concert with clarinetist Joshua Mietz, Neufeld and Inouye. Dvorak’s big String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major will anchor the evening with violinists Nathan and Kristina Lambert, Neufeld and cellist Hans Freuden.
The final concert, May 24, will feature Fort Lewis College Music Department Chair Marc Reed and fellow brass players plus winds and percussion. Works by Bach, Stravinsky and Giovanni Gabrielli, among others, will be performed. Pianist Mack Berven returns to join the revelers in works by contemporary composers.
Tickets are $18 and $10 in advance – (800) 838-3006 – or take your chances at the door.
The Durango Arts Center 10-Minute Play Festival will serve up part one Friday. If you haven’t been before, give it a try. Five 10-minute plays will have staged readings from a contest sponsored by DAC. Part two will take place Sept. 13-14.
The 10-minute play has been around for a few decades. It achieved national recognition when it was first introduced by the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 1977.
Annual editions of Louisville winners are now published, and festivals have sprung up all around the country. Dinah Leavitt Swan initiated one in Oxford, Miss., which is still growing. A few years ago, Swan revived the idea at DAC with her husband, Terry, who is president of the board. The Swans act as consultants to DAC Contest Director Theresa A. Carson, who issues a national call.
This year, 128 scripts came in from all over the country. Readers sift through the scripts in a blind competition. Five finalists are chosen, and those scripts will be presented by local actors Friday, in the arts center’s theater. The evening is free. Jurors select the Grand Prize Winner, but the audience selects a People’s Choice Award.
As a footnote, aspiring local playwright Joan Green submitted “Placebo” to the 2013 Oxford festival and on May 7 took fourth place.
“The audience reaction was a hoot,” Green wrote in an email sent at the end of the festival. “People were giggling about it in the reception afterwards. And I have a boatload of good wishes from Oxford to Dinah and Terry Swan, who are sorely missed.”
firstname.lastname@example.org. Judith Reynolds is a Durango writer, artist and critic.