Live concerts will be back for the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra’s fourth season, beginning Aug. 29 with a “Season Kickoff & Serenade” concert that launches a new format.
The return comes after a year of virtual performances described as created through “digital innovation and pandemic limitations” for the ensemble led by founding music director Matt Scinto.
“I’m very grateful to our supporters for making a seemingly impossible online season work for our orchestra, helping us reach thousands of individuals and collaborating with great people and organizations here on Cape Cod,” Scinto said in the new season announcement. “We are supercharged and ready to get back to the magic of live concerts.”
That first live performance in 18 months will debut “OPEN,” a format that combines performance, audience interaction, and a behind-the-scenes look into an orchestra rehearsal. The Harwich Port concert will feature Dvořák’s “Serenade for Strings,” exploring the composer’s American ties and his work, followed by a wine and cheese reception and a season preview presentation. The program takes place at 3 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Pilgrim Congregational Church, 533 Route 28, Harwich Port.
The fourth season will then take the orchestra to other towns. Upcoming Oct. 23-24 will be a “Ghost Hunters” program in Chatham and Harwich Port, examining the story of Liza Tower Hill, the “Witch of Barnstable,” plus ghost stories and music by Vaughan Williams, Bartok and Haydn. In mid-November, the orchestra will move to Martha’s Vineyard and Yarmouthport with a “Shaw, Barber & Tchaikovsky” program that will also feature “Entr’acte,” written by Caroline Shaw in 2011. A December show will turn the typical Christmas concert on its head with a theme of “Summer Holiday” in Chatham and Harwich Port, with soprano Sarah Joyce Cooper singing for Barber’s “Knoxville, Summer of 1915,” plus works by Price and Ives, to benefit WE CAN as it celebrates 20 years of women-empowerment programs.
For 2022, the orchestra returns in February to the automobile barn at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, where it performed a remote concert. The new “CCCO @ Heritage: Walker, Copland, Forrest & Beethoven” will feature the world premiere by composer-in-residence Cody Forrest showcasing CCCO cellist Joseph Gotoff.
The season will conclude April 9-10 in Chatham and Harwich Port with “The Lark Ascending,” a collaborative concert with Mass Audubon and Wild Care Cape Cod. Concertmaster Jean Huang will be featured in Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending,” while a quintet of woodwinds takes on Peteris Vasks’ “Music for Fleeting Birds,” and the concert concludes with Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.
The chamber orchestra’s stated mission is to connect local arts communities and people in an inclusive way, and spotlight living composers as well as music from the classical canon. Tickets and information: https://www.capecodchamberorchestra.org/, 508-432-1668, or at the door.
Tennessee Williams festival to explore ‘Is censorship ever appropriate?’
The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival is on for its 16th season, running Sept. 23-26 and following the same theme as its smaller, distanced event last year: “Tennessee Williams & Censorship.”
The event will include four Williams plays; the “Longing Lasts Longer” rock manifesto by Penny Arcade (with a connected interactive workshop); a “Sex” play from 1926 that got Mae West thrown in jail; and a satire in which women from the Mayflower re-create a witch story from 1616. Featured artists will be from the Cape, but also from Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Illinois.
Beyond live performances, there will also be workshops, parties and educational programming, all connected to playwright Williams and the censorship theme. One-time events will be a burlesque show headlined by Lefty Lucy, along with a connected workshop; and an interactive censoring display of the 1951 film “A Streetcar Named Desire,” led by the former festival executive director Jef Hall-Flavin.
The festival will take place at various venues around town. For festival or day passes and information: https://www.twptown.org/ and 866-789-8366.
In an email blast this week, festival organizers addressed the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Provincetown. They noted the positivity rate has decreased significantly, most festival events are outdoors or in tents, and assured they will continue to work with local officials on necessary COVID-19 precautions — including moving indoor events as needed. “Our shows will be entertaining and they will be safe,” they said.
The censorship theme is the same as 2020, but the emphasis has changed from Puritans and Williams’ own battle with censors, according to co-founder/curator David Kaplan. “In 2021, we’re discussing when, if ever, censorship is appropriate,” he said in announcing the season.
Plays will include Williams’ 1940 “Battle of Angels,” the run of which was cut short by Boston censors; “Why Did Desdemona Love the Moor?” an unfinished short story by Williams in which a Black screenwriter in 1940s Hollywood has a secret affair with his film’s white leading lady, which was never produced because of the interracial relationship; “The Municipal Abattoir,” staged last year on a dune; and “The Demolition Downtown,” a pointedly political short play by Williams in which “a suburban family shuts themselves up in their house as explosions rock their country’s capital.”
For the first time, as part of the Tennessee Williams Institute classes, there will be three Undergrad Days organized around specific themes and designed for students to take the ferry from Boston to Provincetown for a day of performances and workshops.
Those and the regular institute workshops, all at an extra cost to festival passes, will include creative responses to censorship. The graduate-level institute will feature a symposium on attempts to censor theaters from ancient Greece to Soviet Russia to America in Williams’ time and later.
Presenting context for discussion will be institute scholars who are college professors or instructors: Sharon Marie Carnicke on how Stalin’s censors altered Stanislavsky’s writing and how that influence continues today; Gregory S. Carr on the history of the “Black Lysistrata” closed down by the Federal Theatre Project in 1937; Felicia Hardison Londré on the parallels between Moliere’s 17th-century battles with the Jesuit order and Williams’ 20th-century battles with the Catholic Church; and Rebecca Mark on Mae West’s play “Sex.”
Bilezikian to be honored by symphony
Cape Symphony has announced that supporter Dorene Bilezikian will be honored Sept. 30 at its Crescendo: An Evening of Joy” gala at the Wychmere Beach Club in Harwich Port.
The fundraiser for educational programming will include a performance by the symphony, dinner, silent and live auctions, humorist/commentator Jimmy Tingle as emcee/auctioneer, and giving Bilezikian the Warren Marsh Cultural Ambassador Award.
The honor singles out community leaders who “have a history of recognizing the importance of artistic and cultural endeavors in the Cape community.” Bilezikian “has provided her time, talents, and treasure to so many worthy causes and passionately supports music and art that enriches the lives of Cape residents,” said symphony executive director Michael Albaugh in announcing the award.
Doreen and her husband Charles founded the Christmas Tree Shops in 1970 and she was involved in numerous aspects of the business. She is also past chair of the Cape Cod Economic Development Council, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and the Cape Cod Museum of Art, as well as past president of the board of governors of the Cape Cod Conservatory for Music and Arts, now a part of the Cape Symphony. She is currently chair of the Bilezikian Family Foundation.
For more information, visit https://capesymphony.org/ or call 774-470-2282 ext. 110.
Contact Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll at [email protected] Follow on Twitter: @KathiSDCCT.