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Bang on a Can Marathon with Terry Riley

This is the third year that the New York scenesters of Bang on a Can have been in residence at MASS MoCA, and they are ending this stint—forgive us—with a bang.

On Saturday at 4 PM, this “wildly eclectic” collection of composers and players will kick off a six-hour marathon concert. And no, you aren’t expected to sit there in your seat at the Hunter Center the entire time; wander around the nearby galleries, have a drink or go in the corner and stand on your head. Here’s what MASS MoCA says you might hear: jazz, classical, Balinese chant and minimalism. (Balinese chant?) Minimalism will be represented by the legendary father of the form, Terry Riley.

This is the second time in six months that Riley has performed in the area. What on earth are you waiting for?

The Bang on a Can Marathon will be at MASS MoCA (1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, Mass.) on Saturday (July 24) at 4 PM in the Hunter Center. Tickets are $20. For more information, call (413) 664-4481.


Summer is here, and all the New York hipsters seem to have headed north. Case in point: popular stream of consciousness comedian Reno, who will perform tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday nights at TSL in Hudson.

Reno, who has starred in her own HBO specials and turned up on such assorted outlets as VH1, Comedy Central and NPR, is famed for her fearless explorations of her own life, related with a wicked, even abrasive sense of humor. As The New York Times suggested, Reno “dares to suggest the unsuggestable.” Of late, her comic wit has been aimed at timely issues of politics and the war.

Has this brought her any mainstream rejection? Apparently not. As Reno told one interviewer, “I’m way too underground for people to give a shit, I guess.”

Reno will perform tomorrow (Friday, July 23) and Saturday (July 24) at 8 PM at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson). Tickets are $12.50 for TSL members, and $17.50 for nonmembers. For more information, call 822-8448.

The Mines of Sulphur

In a sprawling mansion on the misty and distant English moors, a trio of lowlifes commits a murder. Shortly thereafter, a band of wandering actors takes refuge from the weather in this same manse and stages a production that seems to reveal the crime, thereby making themselves targets of the murderers’ nefarious plans. But before the silencing of the players can be accomplished, it is discovered that one of the actors is infected with the plague. Opera ensues.

Yes, though it may sound like a B-movie adaptation of one of the bloodier Shakespearean plots (in fact, the title is taken from one of Iago’s speeches in Othello), The Mines of Sulphur is a “widely hailed” 1963 opera by Richard Rodney Bennett, a work which was praised by The Scotsman as a “masterly score, brilliant in its conception and stunning in its impact.”

That the synopsis sounds more cinematic than operatic should come as small surprise: Bennett has provided scores for a number of movies and TV productions. (Quick, off the top of your head, name another classical composer who’s contributed to Dr. Who.) This onetime student of Pierre Boulez is known for his wide-ranging influences (“Debussy, Joplin, Monteverdi, signs of the zodiac, the poetry of Rilke and Herrick, Greek legend and Kandinsky”) and for his musical versatility: He’s put in time as a jazz pianist, singer and composer as well. So, expect depth and texture from The Mines of Sulphur—not to mention a fair amount of crowd-pleasing tension and implicit threats of physical violence.

Glimmerglass Opera (Cooperstown) will present Richard Rodney Bennett’s The Mines of Sulphur beginning Saturday (July 24) and running through Aug. 22. For more information, call (607) 547-2255.

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