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SUMMER AT THE CFA
June 30 – July 23, 2015
CFA Summer BrochureSUMMER AT THE CFA: EVENING PERFORMANCES
1. Las Cafeteras – Wednesday, July 1, 7pm, CFA Courtyard (Rain location: Crowell Concert Hall); FREE!
2. Regina Carter Quartet (U.S. Debut) – Thursday, July 16, 8pm, Crowell Concert Hall
3. Work-In-Progress Showing of /peh-LO-tah/ and Conversation with Marc Bamuthi Joseph – Thursday, July 23, 8pm, CFA Theater, FREE!

SUMMER AT THE CFA: FREE AFTERNOON TALKS AND PERFORMANCES
4. Elizabeth Willis: Live Poetry – Tuesday, June 30, 12:10pm, CFA Hall, FREE!
5. Taking Over Space: Exploring Three-Dimensional Paintings by Marela Zacarias – Tuesday, July 7, 12:10pm, CFA Hall, FREE!
6. This Is It! The Complete Piano Works of Neely Bruce: Part VI (World Premiere) – Sunday, July 12, 3pm, Crowell Concert Hall, FREE!
7. How to Seduce an Audience? A Talk by Tamilla Woodard and Ana Margineanu – Tuesday, July 14, 12:10pm, CFA Hall, FREE!
8. Okwui Okpokwasili: Embodied Performance/Making the Invisible Visible – Tuesday, July 21, 12:10pm, CFA Hall, FREE!

SPECIAL EVENTS
9. Blackbird: A Benefit Concert for the Stephanie Nelson Memorial Scholarship Fund – Saturday, July 25, 8pm, Crowell Concert Hall

Programs, artists, and dates are subject to change.

Click here to buy your tickets online.

CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to the winners of the Wesleyan University Concerto Competition—Josh Davidoff ’18, Harim Jung ’16, and Paula Tartell ’18—who will be performing a free concert with the Wesleyan University Orchestra on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall.

This Saturday, the Wesleyan University Orchestra, under the direction of Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Nadya Potemkina, presents Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and the winners of the Wesleyan University Concerto Competition.

The concerto competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate Wesleyan students. The three winners have the opportunity to play a piece of their choosing, either a published arrangement or an original composition, accompanied by the Wesleyan Orchestra or Wind Ensemble. This year’s winners are Josh Davidoff ’18 (clarinet), Harim Jung ’16 (double bass), and Paula Tartell ’18 (piano).

WUOConcertoComp_575pxMr. Davidoff is a freshman from Evanston, Illinois. He picked up the clarinet in fourth grade, but it was not until his sophomore year of high school that he realized his intense passion for classical music. He came to Wesleyan after a summer spent touring the country with the National Youth Orchestra, a 120-person orchestra of which he was Apprentice Orchestra Manager. He has continued to pursue music at Wesleyan and is currently studying with Private Lessons Instructor Charlie Suriyakham.

“Music has been very prevalent in my first year at Wesleyan,” he says. “It is related in some way to most everything I do.”

This Saturday, he will perform the Première Rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra by Claude Debussy, a piece originally composed for the Paris Conservatory’s clarinet examinations in 1910. Mr. Davidoff describes it as incredibly challenging but deeply satisfying to play.

“This piece is particularly significant in music history because it is one of the first to use blankets of harmony, instead of more traditional progressions of chords,” Mr. Davidoff says. “It explores a pallet of sound, rather than a trajectory.”

A New Jersey native, Mr. Jung is a junior pursuing a double major in Music and Psychology. He played cello until middle school where he discovered his passion for bass. He has rigorously studied classical double bass since the age of thirteen, and also plays electric bass as a hobby. At Wesleyan he studies with Private Lessons Teacher Roy Wiseman.

This Saturday, Mr. Jung will perform the first two movements of Giovanni Bottesini’s Bass Concerto No. 2 in b minor, a concerto he has been practicing all year.

“I am particularly drawn to this bass concerto,” Mr. Jung says. “Not only because of its virtuosity, but also for its romantic and operatic compositional style.”

He describes this particular bass concerto as the Paganini of all bass concertos, heroic and strong.

“I imagine a baritone walking on stage and starting with this strong note,” he says. “That’s the image that comes to mind when I play this piece.”

Ms. Tartell is a freshman from Great Neck, New York. She started playing piano as a six-year-old, taking lessons locally until high school when she began commuting to New York City for her music schooling. After taking a break from music her first semester at Wesleyan, she entered the concerto competition as a way to get back into playing.

“I honestly didn’t feel like myself when I wasn’t practicing seriously,” she says.

This semester, in addition to preparing the concerto, she is studying with Private Lessons Teacher William Braun.

Ms. Tartell will perform Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto in a minor in this Saturday’s concert. Premiered in Leipzig in January of 1846, it is the only piano concerto that Mr. Schumann ever completed.

“The Schumann really spoke to me,” she says. “It speaks not in a conventional, flashy way but reminds me of the person who is soft spoken yet says a lot.”

CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to stage manager Julia Tyminski ’17, and Albert Tholen ’15 and Grace Nix ’15, who are performing as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in the Wesleyan University Theater Department production of Eugène Ionesco’s “The Bald Soprano,” which runs through Saturday, April 25, 2015 in the CFA Theater.

Wesleyan University's Theater Department presents "The Bald Soprano." Sitting (left to right): Sara Fayngolz '17, Natalie May '18, Peter McCook '16, Grace Nix '15. Standing (left to right): Edward Archibald '17, Albert Tholen '15. Photo by John Carr.

Wesleyan University’s Theater Department presents “The Bald Soprano.” Sitting (left to right): Sara Fayngolz ’17, Natalie May ’18, Peter McCook ’16, Grace Nix ’15.
Standing (left to right): Edward Archibald ’17, Albert Tholen ’15. Photo by John Carr.

In 1950, Romanian playwright Eugène Ionesco wrote The Bald Soprano, one of the seminal plays of Theater of the Absurd. He was inspired by the cliché dialogues between the imaginary Mr. and Mrs. Smith in an English phrasebook for beginners. Albert Tholen ’15 and Grace Nix ’15 play Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the production by the Wesleyan University Theater Department, directed by Professor of Theater Yuri Kordonsky.

“We are a proper British couple with a twist,” says Ms. Nix with a sly smile.

The entire play takes place in the living room of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in their home on the outskirts of London. “It’s a drawing room drama,” says Mr. Tholen. “One that goes horribly awry.”

With The Bald Soprano, Mr. Ionesco rejected coherent plot, character development, and the concept of realistic drama. Through dark and daring humor, the play discusses the futility of meaningful communication in contemporary society, and the tragedy of language in a universe driven by chance.

“It’s a very different logic of causality in this world,” says Ms. Nix. “An illogical logic.”

Ms. Nix and Mr. Tholen, along with the other four actors in the cast (Edward Archibald ’17, Sara Fayngolz ’17, Natalie May ’18, and Peter McCook ’16), have been working with Professor Kordonsky since the beginning of the semester. Together with dramaturge Rachel Sobelsohn ’17, assistant director May Treuhaft-Ali ’17, and stage manager Julia Tyminski ’17, they spent the first two weeks of rehearsal analyzing different translations of the play, originally written in French, to draft their own composite script.

“We spent hours talking about single words,” says Ms. Nix. “Until we arrived at a script, which we felt was the best expression of what this play is trying to say.”

“It’s nice to have ownership over the language in that way,” says Mr. Tholen. “It’s become our script.”

Professor Kordonsky gave the actors a great deal of creative responsibility throughout the process. They would divide into subsets and work on specific moments in the script, then come back together as a cast and share. They created scene after scene, gradually bringing both clarity and complexity to Mr. Ionesco’s absurdity.

“I think more than anything else, Mr. Smith is like a coat that I wear,” says Mr. Tholen. “I don’t get on stage and become him. It’s more of an attitude.”

“It’s the total acceptance of a different world,” says Ms. Nix. “Even though it doesn’t make any sense, it feels right.”

The Bald Soprano invites its audience to view the play from the actual stage of the CFA Theater, rather than from the house seats where one faces a proscenium.

“For this play you want an intimate connection with the audience,” says Ms. Nix. “If the audience were farther away, I think we would lose that connection and some of the urgency of the play.”

Sitting on the stage of the CFA Theater, the audience finds itself right there in the living room of Mr. and Mrs. Smith — in close proximity to the play’s simple set: a couch, some chairs, a clock.

“The set looks relatively realistic,” says stage manager Julia Tyminski ’17. “But the minute the show starts you realize it’s an absurd production, yet the actors are playing it as if it’s realism, and that’s where the comedy comes in.”

Wesleyan University’s Theater Department presents
The Bald Soprano by Eugène Ionesco
Wednesday, April 22 through Friday, April 24 at 8pm
Saturday, April 25 at 2pm and 8pm
CFA Theater
$8 general public; $5 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $4 Wesleyan students

Directed by Professor of Theater Yuri Kordonsky. Designed by Professor of Theater, Retired, Jack Carr (set and lights) and Artist in Residence Leslie Weinberg (costumes).

Artist in Residence Patricia Beaman presented two exhilarating world premieres, including Women of Myth Unleashed with renowned Baroque soprano Christine Brandes, juxtaposing the traditional form and mythological subject matter of the Baroque era with 21st century modern movement and contemporary issues, on March 27, 2015, at the CFA Theater. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

 

 

 

Singer-songwriter Omnia Hegazy performed on March 27, 2015, at Crowell Concert Hall. Ms. Hegazy was accompanied by drummer Max Maples, bassist Carl Limbacher, electric guitarist Coyote Anderson, and Natalia Perlaza on Arabic percussion and tabla. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

 

Sadia Shepard ’97 presented a literary talk about narrative strategies in writing and film on March 25, 2015, at The Russell House. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

The reception for seniors Luca Ameri, Raphael A. Leitz, Dat Vu, and Derrick Qi Wang in the Art Studio Program of Wesleyan’s Department of Art and Art History, took place on March 25, 2015, in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

The opening reception for the Middletown Public Schools Art Exhibition took place on March 7, 2015, at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The exhibition ran from March 7 through March 14. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

Ronald K. Brown, artistic director of Evidence, A Dance Company, held a Master Class on March 7, 2015, at the Cross Street Dance Studio, as part of DanceMasters Weekend. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.

 

David Dorfman, artistic director of David Dorfman Dance, held a Master Class on March 7, 2015, at the Bessie Schonberg Dance Studio, as part of DanceMasters Weekend. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view all the photos on flickr.

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