Bits And Pieces 02.21.13

Local culture news
Thomas Bohlert and Trudy Craney, standing, from East Hampton, are part of Bach & Forth, a new ensemble, which will have its first performance on Tuesday in Manhattan.

Bach & Forth Forms
    Bach & Forth, a new chamber music ensemble featuring Thomas Bohlert on organ and piano and Trudy Craney, a soprano, both of East Hampton, will perform on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York. The ensemble also includes Terry Keevil (oboe, English horn, duduk), Rebecca Perea (cello), and Linda DiMartino Wetherill (flute).
    Bach & Forth’s goal in formulating its concert format is to present the old and new in music, and everything in between. Although this concert will predominately feature performances of Baroque music, including arias and chorale preludes by J.S. Bach and a Telemann trio, it will also include Eugene Ysaye’s unaccompanied cello sonata, songs of Margaret Garwood, a contemporary American composer, and a composition by Mr. Keevil for the Armenian oboe, the duduk.
    Tickets, available at the door, cost $20, $15 for senior citizens, and $10 for students. Bach & Forth will perform a different program at St. Peter’s on May 14. The church is at 619 Lexington Avenue.

Neoteric Symposium II
    Neoteric Gallery will make its presentation of short talks by South Fork artists and kindred spirits a monthly event, starting with “Neoteric Symposium II” tomorrow from 8 to 10 p.m.
    Scott Bluedorn, the owner of the gallery and a speaker this month on worm farming, has modeled his series on the Parrish Art Museum’s popular PechaKucha events. The speakers will have 10 minutes and 10 slides to discuss their work and passions.
    Other speakers this time out will be Mark Crandall on “Hoops 4 Hope,” Denise Lassaw on “The Art and Life of Ibram Lassaw,” James Ryan on “Cymatics: Visible Sound,” and Serge LeComte on “The Philosophy of Logic.”
    Admission is $10 and refreshments will be served.

Bay Street Challenge
    The board of the Bay Street Theatre executive committee has issued a $100,000 challenge grant through March 15 for every dollar the theater raises from donations and subscriptions. Those who wish to support the theater will have their purchases and donations matched dollar for dollar through this grant.
    At the same time Bay Street Theatre will also begin what it is calling a “listening tour” to gain feedback from the community as to how its programming might better serve the community’s needs and interests. The theater plans to conduct these sessions over the next six months with locations to be announced.

Shakespeare Auditions
    The Roundtable Theatre Company and Academy will have several events in the next few weeks.
    It will hold auditions for its 2013 season on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. Equity and non-Equity actors are encouraged to participate in the auditions for plays, musicals, and readings. Those interested should prepare both a Shakespearean monologue and a contemporary monologue. The time limit of three minutes will be strictly applied. Singers have been asked to prepare 32 bars in their key. The auditions will be held at LTV Studios in Wainscott.
    The group will also begin spring sessions of its Shakespeare acting class and Shakespeare reading workshop at Guild Hall. The acting class starts March 11 and will take place Mondays, 6 to 9 p.m., through April 29. The reading workshop begins March 6 on Tuesdays through April 24, 6 to 8 p.m. Registration can be made through Jennifer Brondo at Guild Hall.

‘Rebel Angels’ Rehearsal
    An open rehearsal for “Fall of the Rebel Angels,” an evening-long multimedia performance inspired by the work of the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, happens Saturday night from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Watermill Center. The piece, according to a press release, will employ dance, multichannel video projections, and prerecorded Baroque music mixed with contemporary electronic soundscapes in order to investigate visceral physicality, sensuality, and the spectacular.
    Rubens was one of the most important painters of the royal courts in Europe in the early 17th century. His portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological, allegorical, and religious themes represent the height of the extravagant Baroque tradition. Ms. Galasso and her collaborators will reckon with and channel the emotionality of his works into movement, through a contemporary lens of guttural, animalistic physicality. The paintings, with their palpable sense of violence and sensuality, are the fodder for this abstract performance work, one that is far from the original topic in terms of recognition, yet embodies the core ideas.
    Ms. Galasso and collaborators will present a live-performance excerpt of “Fall of the Rebel Angels,” drawn from the material created during her residency at Watermill, as well as discuss the themes and process behind the project.

Play Rescheduled
    The inclement weather earlier this month has led to the rescheduling of “The Mistress of Monticello,” which was to have been performed on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9. The Southampton Cultural Center has moved performances to tomorrow and Saturday. The play was written and directed by Tina Andrews, who also wrote the miniseries “Sally Hemings: An American Scandal” for CBS.
    Tickets are $10 and $5 for students under 21 and are available at the door beginning 40 minutes before the start of the performance.

Latin Jazz at Parrish
    Richie Siegler, a percussionist and founding director of Escola de Samba BOOM, will bring the Richie Siegler Quartet to the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill tomorrow at 6 p.m. for an evening of Latin and Brazilian-influenced jazz. Joining Mr. Siegler are Max Feldcrest on vibes, John Ludlow on alto sax, and Jeff Koch on bass. Tickets are $10, free for Parrish members. Reservations via the museum’s Web site,, are strongly recommended.
    Mr. Siegler, who organizes the summer drumming sessions at Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack, has been drumming since the age of 4, and was leading two bands working in and around his Greenwich Village neighborhood by the time he was 12. His longtime passion for Latin music led to his founding of Escola de Samba BOOM, a 50-member percussion group dedicated to the rhythms and joys of Brazilian samba.

‘Hansel and Gretel’
    The Stony Brook Opera will present a new chamber version of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera “Hansel and Gretel” on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Southampton Cultural Center’s Levitas Center for the Arts. The piece is scored for a chamber ensemble of flute, clarinet, horn, string quartet, and piano with a cast of six and a small children’s chorus, as in the opera. The opera will be sung in English translation, and there will be theatrical lighting and costumes.
    Tickets cost $20, $10 for students under 21 with ID, and $5 for children under 12. They are available online at or at the door beginning 40 minutes before the performance.

More Opera
    In Celebration of the bicentennial birth dates of Wilhelm Richard Wagner and Guiseppi Verdi, Prentiss Dunn will introduce two operas at the Levitas Center — Wagner’s “Parsifal” on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Verdi’s “Don Carlos” on March 9, also at 2. Tickets cost $10 and are available at the door.
    “Parsifal,” Wagner’s last opera, is said to be among his greatest single works. This score, according to a release, contains some of the most sumptuous orchestral music of the 19th century as well as metaphysical and dramatic content gleaned from such diverse but mutually enriching sources as Buddhism, Christianity, paganism, and Shopenhauerianism.    
    The program will end with a discussion of possible psychological and spiritual interpretations of this work. Mr. Dunn’s lecture, using DVD excerpts from the James Levine Met production, as well as illustrations on piano, will focus on Wagner’s unique vocal and instrumental procedures, including how to recognize and benefit from his leitmotif system.
    “Don Carlos,” a late-period work considered by many opera lovers to be Verdi at the height of his powers, is based on an epic poem by Friedrich Schiller. A DVD of van Karajan’s Salzburg production will be shown on March 9.

‘Big Jim’ Seeks Investors
    Eric Salzman and Ned Jackson are seeking investors for “Big Jim and the Small-Time Investors,” an opera and music theater piece they are composing. Mr. Salzman and Mr. Jackson held a reading last spring at the Flea Theater in New York City and the work is scheduled for performance by the Center for Contemporary Opera next year. But they are short of funds, Mr. Salzman said.
    “Big Jim,” according to a press release, is about an L.A. con man, a kind of dot-com televangelist who is peddling a virtual reality scheme that purports to let its viewers imagine that their wildest fantasies have come true.
    Mr. Salzman and Mr. Jackson are trying to raise $12,000 to $15,000 to complete the composition, make the necessary revisions, orchestrate, and meet various other costs connected with printing, copying, and setting up auditions. They are working with U.S. Artists, a nonprofit organization that helps artists create or complete major projects, to raise some of the needed money. Information about making a donation to the project can be found at

Helen Keller Ballet
    Ann Reinking and Melissa Thodos, award-winning choreographers, are teaming with the composer Bruce Wolosoff, a South Fork local, to create “A Light in the Dark,” the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. It is their second full-length contemporary story ballet, this one telling an intimate family story about the extraordinary woman who was deaf and blind yet went on to become a world-famous writer, political activist, and inspiration.
    Performances will be on March 2 at 8 p.m. and March 3 at 2 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in downtown Chicago.