We are so cultured

Friday, October 9, 2009

Who would've thought that in one week a person living in or around Cape Girardeau could enjoy an opera, a symphony orchestra and a Ukrainian dance company?

The cultured, the curious and the classes who need extra credit can see the opening concert of the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Bedell Performance Hall.

The orchestra has added a little something extra this year. In the way of larger metropolitan orchestras, it will have a small opening talk before the performance to give the audience perspective on the piece and let them know what they are about to hear.

Sara Edgerton, the artistic director of the symphony orchestra, said Gary Miller, director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts, will give a speech at 6:45 p.m. while people are taking their seats before the concert. This pre-concert talk is meant to enrich the audience's experience, teaching them history of the harpsichord and Johann Sebastian Bach and letting them know what to expect from the concert.

Miller will also play harpsichord in the concert. His wife, Mary Miller and St. Louis harpsichordist Maryse Carlin will join him for the Triple Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor by Bach.

Edgerton said the husband/wife harpsichord performance is ironic considering Bach would have played it with his two sons. They're keeping it a family affair.

The orchestra will also play Antonin Dvorak's "Mein Heim (My Home)" Overture, Op. 62 and end the concert with Dvorak's "New World" Symphony. Their next performance isn't until December, so catch them now.

If you can't wait until Tuesday, Town Plaza Theater resumes its simulcast of the Metropolitan Opera series "The Met: Live in HD" on Saturday. The first of nine to air is Puccini's "Tosca."

As in years past, SE Live will preview the upcoming operas with the help of Barbara Herbert, an opera aficionado who hosts "Sunday Night at the Opera" on KRCU. In "Opera Bites" (on Page 13A), Herbert explains the story you'll see and what makes it so special.

To round out the week, the colorful Virsky Ukrainian Dance Company will perform authentic Ukrainian folk dances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

If people in and around Cape Girardeau are uncultured, it's by no fault but their own.

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