"MAPLE LEAF SEVEN" Traditional Jazz Band

Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM

This fall, Vermont’s popular “Maple Leaf Seven” Traditional Jazz Band will open our four-concert 2018-2019 Series. Instrumentation of the Band’s seven members includes trumpet, clarinet, tenor sax, trombone, piano, bass and drums. Some vocals are used also. The musicians will perform a jazz “retrospective” program taking listeners from the “birth” of jazz through the Dixieland and Swing eras to examples of how jazz and swing continued to influence popular, classical and theater music.

The “Maple Leaf Seven” will start with the famous “Maple Leaf Rag” of composer/pianist Scott Joplin and continue playing pieces of Joe Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and many others. They will include Oliver’s “Sugar Foot Stomp” and lead up to Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” and Gershwin’s “Our Love is Here to Stay.” The many jazz favorites in the band’s performance will delight the audience of this experienced and fun-loving band. The “Maple Leaf Seven” Traditional Jazz Band from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, brings its popular concerts to many types of venues during its busy annual schedule throughout the Northeast and beyond.

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CARMEN by Georges Bizet

Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7:30 PM

Eugene Onegin is an 1879 operatic masterpiece of Russia’s foremost composer, Tchaikovsky. He has filled the opera with soaring lyrical scenes as well as varied Russian rhythms. The audience is charmed by his music’s beauty and simplicity.

The French opera Carmen was composed by Georges Bizet. One of the most popular operas of all time, it was set in 19th century Spain. The beautiful but defiant gypsy Carmen captures the love of two men. One, Don Jose, is a handsome but unsophisticated soldier, and the other, Escamillo, is a dashing toreador scheduled for bull fights in the city’s arena. The ensuing story is one of love, jealousy and revenge. A new take on this perennial operatic favorite will include an updated staging that will bring new relevance to the story while taking away none of the original drama and charm.

The familiar music of Carmen with its beloved arias, choruses and orchestral interludes continues to please audiences around the world. Carmen’s passionate role makes this French opera especially unforgettable.

Carmen was first performed at the Opera Comique in Paris on March 3, 1875. There it shocked and scandalized its conservative French audience when it broke the operatic conventions of the time. However, within the following ten years this Bizet opera received international acclaim. The “Habanera” in Act 1 and the “Toreador Song” in Act 2 are among the best known of all operatic arias.

(Sung in French with English titles projected above the stage) (A fully-staged live opera presented by Connecticut Lyric Opera and Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra)

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Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 7:30 PM

The Hal McIntyre Orchestra is a celebrated 13-piece “big band” jazz band that performs throughout the United States and abroad. It is now under the direction of Don Pentleton, but it was originally founded and directed by Hal McIntyre, saxophonist and clarinetist. Born in nearby Cromwell, he grew up in that town, forming his own jazz octet in 1935 when he was 21 years old, and followed by membership in the Benny Goodman band. Glenn Miller noticed this talented musician and hired him as a founding member of the Glenn Miller Band. Later in 1941, Miller encouraged him to form his own band which became the world famous Hal McIntyre Orchestra. His career ended when he died in a tragic fire at the age of 45.

The “Hal McIntyre Orchestra” lives on and will bring the best of sounds and selections for our enjoyment. Added to some of the band’s instrumental numbers, will be vocals in a tribute to Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee.

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TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM

Turandot is the final opera of acclaimed Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. It takes place in ancient China with music that includes Asian accents throughout. The opera contains one of the most famous tenor arias composed for opera, “Nessun Dorma”, and has more chorus passages than Puccini’s other operas like “Madama Butterfly” and “La Boehner”.

Calaf, a prince in disguise, falls in love with the cold Princess Turandot. To obtain permission to marry her, a suitor has to solve her three riddles. Any wrong answer results in his death. When Calaf passes the test, Turandot still refuses to marry him. He offers a way out if she is able to learn his name before dawn the next day then at daybreak he will die. Unexpected events and solutions follow leading to a loving fairy-tale ending! Ping, Pang and Pong add dramatic humor as Commedia del’arte characters in the opera.

Puccini died in 1924 not having finished the third act of Turandot. The famous conductor Toscanini then directed it unfinished. However, the opera since then is usually finished with an ending created by composer Franco Alfano.

(Sung in Italian with English titles projected above the stage.) (A fully-staged live opera presented by Connecticut Lyric Opera and Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra)

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