Even on the still-frigid Dartmouth campus there are signs of spring – at least in the form of mud, puddles and copious potholes. But cheerier signs will soon be arriving – along with a blooming array of events at the Hopkins Center for the Arts!
Here’s a quick preview of the live performance events coming this spring – and stay tuned for highlights of what’s happening on Hop screens in film and HD video!
Thursday, March 28 – Seth Parker Woods’s Thursday Night Live show is the first of several “Festival of New Music” events spread throughout this spring. Seth is a cellist, and he’ll play Bach’s Suite in G major for solo cello plus contemporary works, some with electronics. Seth is a lecturer in the Music Department who last spring wowed us with a collaboration with Music professor Spencer Topol involving a cello made of ice. Other very cool Festival events take place later in spring and will include works by Dartmouth student composers. All Festival events are FREE.
Wednesday, April 3 – Jazzmeia Horn is an amazing new voice who brings back the sense of jazz as a radical, joyful music. She connects strongly with the great jazz traditions but has a very modern freshness and performance style. Hear her tear it up at the 2018 Grammy Awards:
Thursday & Friday, April 4 & 5: Did you love the thrilling movement in the NBC live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar? Guess who choreographed it. Camille A. Brown also has a “concert dance” company called Camille A. Brown & Dancers with whom she’ll perform the show ink. This is dance theater – dance that tells stories, specifically about black identity. Accessible but thought-provoking, and involving dancers who are creative forces in their own rights and musicians you’ve seen in the bands of late-night shows and heard on A-list recording projects. Want to absorb Brown’s movement language through your own skin? Her dancers will give a master class! Below, see excerpts from ink:
Wednesday, April 10 – The English Concert’s US premiere of their production of Handel’s opera Semele is a great intro to opera and Baroque music. This is a really fun opera written in English, telling a story of naughty and all-too-human Greek gods, goddesses and mortals. And to top it off, the chorus – which plays a really big part in this opera – is conducted by a Dartmouth alum who is a true rising star in Baroque vocal music and a terrific guy. I’d be happy to arrange an interview.
Tuesday, April 16 – Understory is a completely unique experience that connects to important themes and, to top it off, is free! Created by composer Carla Kihlstedt under a STEM Arts commission from the Hop, it is a sound installation in which 50 members of the talented Brooklyn Youth Chorus will stand in trios around the Hood Atrium and perform a musical piece to “speak for the trees” that stood on the Dartmouth campus before Europeans arrived. Audience members wander through and absorb the work at close range. Kihlstedt created it in collaboration with Dartmouth’s Environmental Studies and Native American programs’ faculty and students, and this is the work’s world premiere.
Thursday, April 25 – Pianist Mitsuko Uchida is a legend in classical music. She is known for going deep into whatever she plays and bringing up fresh beauty and understanding. She has been touring the world with this program of Schubert works, and we get to hear it here. Although she spends each summer just down the Connecticut River as the director of the Marlboro Music Festival, this is her first Hop concert – and it’s one for the ages. Below, hear Uchida play Schubert impromptus:
Wednesday & Thursday, May 1 & 2 – Patinoire is an absorbing, suspenseful, whimsical solo show by Patrick Léonard, a legendary member of the circus scene of Montreal (and founding member of Les Septs Doigts de la Main troup), the capital of “new circus” in North America. There’s nothing like what he does in this show – balancing ordinary objects into improbably towers he climbs in improbably ways, juggling things you wouldn’t think could be juggled, all of it unfolding as just an ordinary milquetoast fellow going about his business. Neighboring Quebec as we do, we get to bring in a lot of the incredible circus from that province, where artists are learning from each other, egging each other to push through new limits of physicality and creativity. Below, get a taste of the precise “clumsiness” that has earned Léonard the honorific “maître de chutes” (master of tumbles):
Saturday, May 4 – The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble’s concert features a fine and substantial (23 minutes!) work by a student, Adam Rinehouse ’19. Adam’s story of how he came to create this is interesting and says a lot about how students can be a dedicated, accomplished and really well-mentored musicians even on a campus that is not a music conservatory. Below hear a sample of the thrilling sound the ensemble is known for:
Sunday, May 5 – How did the exceptional primatologist, humanitarian and activist Jane Goodall become who she is? Find out in Me, Jane, a funny and engaging musical about her early years, based on Goodall’s own memoirs. When she was coming of age in post-war England, the world didn’t believe women could achieve great work in science. But Jane’s parents told her to aim high and follow her passion, and her love of nature and endless curiosity led her to blaze trails for other women in science. This original musical was created by an A-list team under the umbrella of the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences. Below, see a preview of the show:
Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19 – Two chances to hear Handel’s complete Messiah, by the Handel Society at Dartmouth. Messiah is actually not about Christmas – it’s a story of Christ’s entire work, culminating in the Easter story. The soloists – soprano Sarah Moyer, counter tenor Douglas Dodson, tenor Brian Giebler and bass David Tinervia – are marvelous young visiting concert artists, but the big star in this work is the chorus itself, which tells the bulk of this powerful story. Below Giebler sings the tender aria “If God Be For Us” from Messiah:
Friday & Saturday, May 24 & 25 – Fresh from Broadway – yes, Broadway – for which he choreographed the just-opened, totally remade version of Rodger and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma, John Heginbotham returns to Dartmouth to co-lead the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble with choreographer Rebecca Stenn. This show has John and company collaborating with the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble and incorporating a lot of improvisation into the process. There is also work collaborating with visiting artist and new music luminary Tyondai Braxton.
Saturday, May 25 – The Hop spring season ends with a Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra in which the orchestra is the house band for an episode of the public radio show From the Top! Hosting the concert/show will be pianist Jeremy Denk, a great raconteur in addition to tearing up the ivories (his Goldberg Variations blew us away at the Hop several seasons ago). Also, the concert includes a Hop-commissioned work by a young Mexican-American composer that is inspired by the monumental “Epic of American Civilization” murals in the Baker Library, painted by Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco. What an awesome finish to the year – and what a tribute to the high-level of music being made on the Dartmouth campus!