Arts Talk

It's such a busy time right now with so many arts organizations winding up their seasons. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to revive our readers' query: "What did you do in the arts this week?". On Friday, I heard a lovely concert by the combined vocal ensembles of SUNY Broome. On Sunday, I caught the really fine Tri-Cities Opera production of one of my favorite Broadway shows, Sweeney Todd. How about you?

-- Barb Van Atta, BAMirror Editor

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By Matthew Pitcher In honor of Black History Month, the Gallery at SUNY Broome is presenting “ORIGINS: Traditions of African Art.” The Bundy Museum in Binghamton generously made items from its private collection available to the college. Library archivist Robin Valashinas, assisted by several students, selected approximately three dozen pieces from Mali, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Congo, and the finished display is nothing less than amazing. As one of Valashinas’ assistants, I have been in and out of this exhibit at least a dozen times since it...
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By George Basler The Cider Mill Playhouse, now marking its 40th year, is making a major move. In December, the venerable Endicott theater announced it had signed a contract with Actors Equity Association, the national union for actors and stage managers, making it the first Equity theater in Broome County. To the general public, this move could seem like “inside baseball,” but it will mean big changes for the playhouse. By the 2017-18 season half the actors in a production, or the first five hired, whichever is less,...
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In case you haven't noticed, November is overflowing with cultural events. To take full advantage of all opportunities, you may have to do as I did and get out a calendar and a pile of season brochures to do my planning. Which brings me to this quick reminder: Some of the early season brochures from Tri-Cities Opera are incorrect in terms of this weekend's performance times. Iolanta will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 12-15) at the...
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By Barb Van Atta For centuries, theater companies have used ethnic makeup to alter the race of Caucasian performers. This tradition, however, does not align with the racial and cultural sensitivities of the 21st century. Thus, in recent weeks, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players canceled a staging of The Mikado after facing stinging online criticism for the use of "yellowface" in promotional material for a production featuring primarily non-Asian performers (for New York Times coverage, visit http://tinyurl.com/ngaj4ej). Similarly, complaints arose when Metropolitan Opera promotional material...
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By George Basler Tri Cities Opera has begun its 2015-16 season with a few changes that mark a somewhat different direction for the venerable opera company. The company will continue to perform its core repertoire of classic operas, but it also wants to present newer works, including ones by American composers. “There is so much incredible music being written that’s not easily accessible to the public,” said Eric Frei, assistant musical director with the company. TCO's expanded focus was on display last Thursday night (Sept. 17) during a welcome recital,...
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