Arts Beat Holiday Season Preview, Part 2

By Mark G. Auerbach

Hershey Felder

Hershey Felder Presents Live from Florence, Season 2, will be live-streamed by Berkshire Theatre Group. The series will expand beyond its home base in Florence, Italy, with a season of new musical and dramatic stories set and filmed in Paris, Vienna, Venice, Warsaw, central Spain, as well as Florence. The programs include: “Mozart and Figaro in Vienna,” premiering Jan. 9, 2022, about the outrageous collaboration between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte that created the perfect comic opera, “The Marriage of Figaro”; “The Verdi Fiasco,” premiering March 27, about the disastrous opening night of Verdi’s immortal “La Traviata”; “The Assembly,” premiering May 29, featuring the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and telling the real-life story of Holocaust survivor Eva Libitzky’s visit to diverse urban schools and the shocking events that occurred; “Chopin in Paris,” premiering Aug. 7, adapted from Felder’s critically acclaimed stage play “Monsieur Chopin” about the music and life of Polish pianist-composer Fryderyk Chopin; “The Crazy Widow (of Moses de Leon),” premiering Oct. 16, set in Avila, Spain, and focusing on 13th century Jewish mysticism that is the basis for Kabbalah; and “A Musical Surprise for Holiday Time,” premiering Dec. 18, 2022, the subject of which will be decided by viewers who have purchased season tickets. For details: www.berkshiretheatregroup.org.


Holiday Season Preview, Part 2

A Swingin’ Little Christmas brings Jane Lynch (Broadway-bound as Fanny Brice’s mother in “Funny Girl”) and her partner in song and comedy, Kate Flannery, to The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Dec. 10, with Tim Davis and the Tony Guerro Quintet. Lynch, from TV’s “Glee,” “Hollywood Game Night,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” joined forces with Flannery from TV’s “The Office” and “Dancing with the Stars,” for this holiday album, which hit Billboard’s Top 10 Adult Contemporary chart. For details: www.mahaiwe.org.

Hershey Felder

An Evening with Kristin Chenoweth. Broadway’s favorite brings her “For the Girls” concert to UConn’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 11. The Tony and Emmy winner will spin some showtunes and holiday favorites. For details: www.jorgensen.uconn.edu.

Conductor Keith Lockhart at a Boston Pops Holiday concert in 2015. (WINSLOW TOWNSON/SUBMITTED)

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra take center stage at UConn’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 4 for their annual Holiday Pops concert, full of holiday favorites, a visit from old St. Nick, and another special guest narrator. For details: www.jorgensen.uconn.edu.

Die Fledermaus (“The Bat”), Johann Strauss’ beloved opera, is a New Year’s tradition in opera houses worldwide. Connecticut Lyric Opera and Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra bring live opera performance back to The Bushnell on Dec. 30. Adrian Sylveen conducts. Jan Mason directs. For details: www.bushnell.org.


Selected holiday concerts

The Holyoke Civic Symphony celebrates the holidays and Beethoven’s 251st birthday, with Maestro David Kidwell on the podium, Dec. 12 at Holyoke’s United Congregational Church. Holyoke tenor Charlie Berrios is the soloist. For details: www.holyokecivicsymphony.org.   

MOSSO: the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra will present a brass concert on Dec. 14 at St. Mary’s Church in Longmeadow, and an afternoon concert at the Longmeadow Adult Center on Dec. 17. For details: www.springfieldsymphonymusicians.com.

Tian Hui Ng

The Pioneer Valley Symphony streams a Holiday Pops on Dec. 18. The program features premieres of new works from composers Ivan Enrique Rodriguez and Clifton “Jerry” Noble Jr., honoring American holiday celebrations of all kinds. Featuring the PVS Chorus and Youth Orchestra. Led by Music Director Tian Hui Ng, E. Wayne Abercrombie, interim chorus director, and Steven Bathory-Peeler, Youth Orchestra director. For details: www.pvsoc.org.


Mark G. Auerbach studied theater at American University and the Yale School of Drama. He has worked for arts organizations nationwide, and reported on the arts for print and broadcast. Mark produces and hosts “ArtsBeat,” “Athenaeum Spotlight” and “On The Mark” for WCPC, Channel 15, and WSKB-FM 89.5. He’s a regular contributor to Pioneer Valley Radio and a member of the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association.

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