So many events, so little time! Activity in the classical arena increases with the arrival of spring as long-planned events reach fruition. This week, the biggies are UNC's Festival on the Hill, spotlighting Black Mountain College, America's answer--sort of--to Germany's Bauhaus School (but with a much heavier music component). At UNC, there are four concerts, starting March 30, and two days of seminars; future trips to Asheville and environs may never be the same...
Thursday, March 30
Brentano String Quartet with Mary Nessinger, mezzo-soprano. Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill. 8 p.m. $50-$28. 843-3333 or www.unc.edu/performingarts.
Friday, March 31
David Holzman, piano. Hill Hall, Chapel Hill. 8 p.m. $15, seniors $12, students $5. 962-1039 or music.unc.edu.
Saturday, April 1
Barbara Rowan and Francis Whang, duo-pianists; Mayron Tsong, Thomas Otten and Elizabeth Tomlin, pianists; and Terry Rhodes, soprano, Jonathan Hiam, reciter, and Richard Luby, violin. Hill Hall, Chapel Hill. 6 p.m. $15, seniors $12, students $5.
Sunday, April 2
Carolina Choir and UNC Chamber Singers, Gamelan Nyai Saraswati with Richard Luby, violin, and Mayron Tsong and Thomas Otten, pianists. Hill Hall, Chapel Hill. 3 p.m. $15,
seniors $12, students $5.
The N.C. Symphony's a bit out of synch with the church calendar, but its presentations of Bach's largest work, the Passion According to St. Matthew, should be landmarks by any standard. Grant Llewellyn conducts, the choir is being prepared by Rodney Wynkoop, and the slate of soloists is strong. Patrons have a choice of Duke Chapel (March 30) or Meymandi Concert Hall (March 31 and April 1). Here are the particulars:
Thursday, March 30; Friday, March 31; & Saturday, April 1
Karina Gauvin, soprano, Paula Murrihy, alto, James Gilchrist and John Tessier, tenors, Philip Cutlip, baritone, Stephen Powell, bass, Choral Society of Durham (Rodney Wynkoop, director), and NC Symphony, Grant Llewellyn, conductor. Bach: Passion According to St. Matthew. Duke Chapel, Durham. March 30, 8 p.m. $25, seniors/students $19. Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh. March 31 and April 1, 8 p.m. 733-2750 or ncsymphony.org.
Otherwise ... the Ciompi Quartet spreads its wings to collaborate with an Iraqi master of the oud, and N.C. State University offers a reading of composer J. Mark Scearce's latest score at an atypical time and place.
Wednesday, March 29
Rahim Alhaj, oud, and Ciompi Quartet. Nelson Music Room, East Campus, Duke University, Durham. 8 p.m. $15, Duke students $5. 684-4444 or duke.edu/web/dukeperfs/index.html.
Monday, April 3
J. Mark Scearce, composer/lecturer, John Cheek, piano (Lenoir-Rhyne College), and Ameir Al-Zoubi, reader. The 99 Beautiful Names of God (reading in advance of April 12 premiere). Bryan Room, Gallery of Art and Design, Student Center, NCSU, Raleigh. 1 p.m. Free. 515-2981.
The Sands of Time--Long Leaf Opera Presents Kismet, by John W. Lambert
Long Leaf Opera has found a permanent home, at last--the altogether felicitous auditorium of East Chapel Hill High School--where the company presented Kismet, the musical that Robert Wright and George Forrest adapted from the compositions of Alexander Borodin. LLO's large cast met or exceeded all the essential requirements. www.cvnc.org/reviews/2006/032006/Kismet.html
The Odd Couple--Capital Opera Raleigh's Mozart/Leoncavallo Double-Bill, by Joe Kahn
Operas too short to fill whole evenings are usually paired with similar works; the most famous of these shotgun weddings is the one that pairs Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana with Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. But Capital Opera Raleigh tried a different wedding: Pagliacci and The Impresario, Mozart's ageless comedy--and it worked. www.cvnc.org/reviews/2006/032006/CapitalOpera.html