Summerscape has been humming along nicely for weeks with
dance performances and movies and operas and plays; now
the focus shifts to the central event of the season, the
Bard Music Festival. And this year they’ve taken on a doozy
of a composer, Richard Wagner (pictured).
Is there a more controversial figure in traditional classical
music than the brilliant man whose vicious anti-Semitism
and gift for translating German mythology into art was cheerfully
adopted and championed by the Nazis and Adolf Hitler? (If
you say “Arnold Schoenberg is more controversial,” we’ll
punch you in the face.) Wagner’s operas are brilliant and
ecstatically beloved. The Wagner and His World concerts
this weekend, featuring the American Symphony Orchestra
with numerous chamber ensemble and singers, will feature
highlights from his greatest operas and orchestra pieces,
alongside works by his contemporaries and those composers
who influenced him.
Bard Music Festival will present a series of concerts in
the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater and in Olin Hall on
the Bard College campus (Annandale-on-Hudson) this weekend
from tomorrow (Friday, Aug. 14) through Sunday (Aug. 16).
Each event is ticketed separately; prices range from $20
to $55. The BMF continues the following weekend, too. See
the calendar listing on page 33 for complete info, and visit
fisher center.bard.edu for information and tickets.
that fringe festival time of year again, as folks far and
wide are exploring the nether regions of creativity. And
if Woodstock didn’t have enough to celebrate this year—what
with the ruby anniversary of that other famous festival
and the upcoming release of its cinematic spinoff—the Woodstock
Fringe Festival opens another year’s performance potpourri.
Featuring three world premieres, including a new play about
the local legend of the Cardiff Giant and a multimedia work
of shadow puppetry by the Cave Dogs, the festival also offers
music, workshops, a legendary Shakespearean clown and a
free series of staged readings. All set among the fields,
forests and history of the Byrdcliffe Colony.
This year’s Woodstock Fringe Festival performances kick
off tonight (Thursday, Aug. 13) at 8 PM with the premiere
of The Night the Cardiff Giant Sang Rossini on the Lawn,
and events continue through Sept. 6. All events take place
at the Byrdcliffe Theatre (Upper Byrdcliffe Road, Woodstock).
Individual tickets are $25, $20 for students and seniors;
full festival passes are available for $75. For more information,
including a complete schedule, visit woodstockfringe.org.
goes MASS MoCA again, trying to make everyone else look
Any one of the artists on Saturday’s first-ever MASS MoCA
Fest could pull a sizeable till on their own. You’ve got
Josh Ritter (pictured), a world-class storyteller whose
star has been rising steadily in the folk-pop universe and
has yet to peak. And Ben Kweller, the still-young pop phenom
who went country for his latest album (Changing Horses)
and turned in one his best pieces of work.
there’s Kaki King, the Georgia-born singer-guitarist with
dazzling technique and songs to match. Also: Elvis Perkins
in Dearland, the band, whose self-titled 2009 release flies
in the face of the average singer-songwriter fare common
to the Americana idiom.
So, Ritter, Perkins, King and Kweller, separately, would
be four great shows. Together, the combination is unbeatable.
Josh Ritter, Ben Kweller, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Kaki
King will all perform at MASS MoCA (87 Marshall St., North
Adams, Mass.) this Saturday (Aug. 15). Samantha Crain opens
the 3 PM show. Tickets are $47, and include museum admission.
To purchase tickets, or for more information, call (413)
662-2111 or visit massmoca.org.