The Greater Middletown Concert Association’s spring season begins Feb. 10, by bringing the internationally-recognized Fireworks! chamber cross/over instrumental ensemble, based in New York City, to the MHS Performing Arts Center in Middletown at 3 p.m.
Following on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. will be the Spanish tango opera, Maria de Buenos Aires, by the newly-acclaimed Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla and sung fully-staged by the Connecticut Lyric Opera accompanied by the full orchestra of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra with the Mystic Ballet.
On Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m., the well-loved Irish group, The Morgans, will present a St. Patrick’s Day theme special program.
A favorite Italian opera Don Giovanni by Mozart will round out the season on May 11, at 7:30 p.m., when the Connecticut Lyric Opera and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra once again appear on the appropriately-large stage in the 700-seat auditorium of the MHS Performing Arts Center in Middletown.
The flexible and high-energy instrumental ensemble Fireworks can literally play anything, regardless of category, vintage or orchestration. It tours through North America each year and has appeared on prestigious stages such as Carnegie Hall, The Library of Congress, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and The Chautauqua Institution, as well as radio’s WNYC and television’s NBC’s “The 10 Show.”
In Feb. 10’s concert Fireworks’ American Music Program moves from the bluegrass fiddles of Appalachia to the earthy hallelujahs of the Sacred Harp, from Louisiana Zydeco to Chicago Blues, and from composers Ives and Copland music to even newer sounds. This chamber ensemble of eight outstanding string, woodwind and keyboard musicians is electrifying the entire music world.
Maria de Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla will include exciting set tango dance pieces that are integral to the opera. It is a true tango opera (tango operita.), and the Mystic Ballet will be part of the production. The opera begins with Maria as a young woman leaving a poor suburb of Buenos Aires and heading for the center of the city. There she is overwhelmed by the music of the tango and walks the streets under its influence.
After her death her shadow, a new and older Maria, lives on the city’s streets experiencing a surreal visit from a goblin ghost that ends in an ecstatic religious-like event and surprise ending. Piazzolla’s music enhances the drama of his Maria de Buenos Aires, and the dance of the tango scenes captivates the audience as well. The opera is sung in Spanish with English titles projected above the stage.
The Morgans return in response to its acclaimed 2009 Middletown appearance. They have an extensive repertoire of not only Irish music but also folk songs that include sea chanteys and all things nautical. Instrumentally The Morgans play a variety of traditional instruments from the wind, string and percussion families. Their singing features rhythmic multi-part harmonies along with melodious solo ballads. Member Tom Callinan is originally from Middletown. He was Connecticut’s first “Official State Troubadour” and continues to delight his audiences as a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
Don Sineti of Mystic Seaport fame, noted for his powerful voice, and three other talented members of the band bring The Morgansto Middletown once again. Irish step dancers will round out the program of St. Patrick’s celebration. [Sunday, March 10, at 3:00 p.m.]
Don Giovanni, Mozart’s much-performed Italian opera will blend comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements. It is the Don Juan story (Don Giovanni is Don Juan) of that outrageous young Spanish nobleman who thinks he must conquer many women daily with his seductive art. Donna Elvira, whom he has formerly wooed and abandoned, and Zerlina, a country girl in the process of marrying her fiancé, along with Donna Anna whose father’s murder was Don Giovanni’s fault, are the three central female characters.
Don Giovanni’s servant Leporello is ever present and adds a comic touch to the plot. In the end Don Giovanni encounters something that he cannot overpower! This opera is sung in Italian with English titles projected above the stage.
Ticket prices are $30 (front) and $25 (rear) for each of the two concerts and $40 (front) and $35 (rear) for each of the two operas. Combined tickets for more that one concert or opera performance are available at reduced prices. Call 860 347-4887 or 860 346-3369 for all tickets.
Major credit cards are accepted. Information is presented on the website www.GreaterMiddletownCncerts.org. E-mail is email@example.com. Checks for tickets may also be sent to GMCA, P.O.Box 2622, Middletown, CT 06457.