This year, the art world’s ability to rally and produce engaging and vital works has been a constant glimmer of hope amidst global turmoil. With the revived Friday Five, we bring you our weekly choice of the top five things to check out in the near future—highlights from all over, as well as from the Flynn. And as you enjoy, please consider supporting these artists and arts organizations. Every donation counts. We hope these diverse works from all corners of the art world ignite your curiosity, fuel your imagination, and help strengthen and energize our community.
In addition to these weekly selections, we also keep a more comprehensive rolling list of ongoing and upcoming happenings at our ONLINE ARTS GUIDE.
Spruce Peak Arts in Stowe presents Patti Casey and Colin McCaffrey in a livestream event. These two Vermont-born award-winning singer/songwriters create gorgeous vocal harmonies and rock solid acoustic instrumental work.
Are our lives determined by chance, fate, or free will? What role does choice play? In This is Not a Theatre Company’s interactive online performance Readymade Cabaret 2.0, the play’s structure is determined by the audience, who roll dice to choose which scenes we perform, and in what order.
In 2018, Heartbeat Opera collaborated with 100 incarcerated singers in six prison choirs to create a contemporary American Fidelio told through the lens of Black Lives Matter. In 2020—the year of George Floyd’s murder, a pandemic which ravages our prison population, and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth—Heartbeat curated a song cycle, brought to life in vivid music videos, mingling excerpts from Fidelio with Negro spirituals, and works by Black composers and lyricists, which together manifest a dream of justice, equity... and breathing free.
Each performance includes: live opening remarks (5m), an opera-film featuring nine interconnected music videos (45m), and a live panel discussion with special guests (30m). Each program will feature a panel discussion addressing a special theme represented in Breathing Free, including mass incarceration, prison choirs, carceral justice and reparations, Black artistry and queerness, activism, and allyship.
Pianist Orin Grossman is an audience favorite at the Quick Center for the Arts. From serving as Academic Vice President at Fairfield University to his time touring the world to share his expertise on all things Gershwin and beyond, Dr. Grossman has a passion for music that is unmatched. Orin will appear live from the Quick Center stage to your home to share a beloved and often discussed great American musical.
Porgy and Bess was George Gershwin’s greatest labor of love and his most controversial masterpiece. When it opened on Broadway in 1935 it was attacked on all sides for its racial themes, its dark plot, the use of operatic devices such as recitative, and its length. The opera’s treatment of African American life has always stirred controversy, yet the opera contains Gershwin’s greatest music, some of which is familiar to everyone. This presentation explores the story of Porgy and Bess and the fascinating history of its life on the stage. It will include a performance of Summertime, My Man’s Gone Now, It Ain’t Necessarily So, and Bess, You Is My Woman Now in special arrangements by the great American pianist, Earl Wild.
Until MMDG can share the joy of dance with patrons in theaters again, they continue to Dance On! (online). Dance On! Video Vault is a series of curated archival collections that provide a rare chance to rediscover dances from the earlier years of the Mark Morris Dance Group with lively introductions by Mark Morris himself.