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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for February, 2016

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at Diana Wortham Theatre

Monday, February 1st, 2016

ASHEVILLE NC – Diana Wortham Theatre is pleased to announce the highly anticipated return of New York- and London-based Aquila Theatre Company, a Mainstage Series favorite, with a re-imagined and invigorating staging of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 8:00 p.m.

While the classic tale of two star-crossed lovers is arguably one of the best known of all of The Bard’s plays, Aquila’s striking and moving adaption of Romeo and Juliet takes the viewer’s breath away with a few special twists, thanks to the innovative direction of Artistic Director, Desiree Sanchez. The timeless words and the story remain the same, but instead of focusing purely on the relationship of Juliet and her Romeo, Sanchez highlights the interactions and nuances between Lady Capulet and her rebellious daughter, revealing a severe yet ardent theme of the play.

Rather than let the parental role be split between Juliet’s mother and father, Sanchez is bold enough to eliminate the paternal Capulet character altogether, allowing Lady Capulet, “a perfectly poised ice queen with her weeping heart of fire” (DC Metro Theater Arts), to speak her husband’s lines as well, including the infamously intense altercation between parent and child that ultimately comes to blows. Symbolizing the mother-daughter connection, a 30-foot-long gown links the two ladies as they navigate the treacherous waters of arranged marriages, teenage rebellion, and all that befalls this famous household.

A highly physical performance, the company utilizes costumes reminiscent of ballet, enabling quick, precise movements in scenes of sword fights and confrontation. Taking from the performance style that Shakespeare and his players would normally have adopted for the stage, Sanchez and the crew behind this production have reincorporated the physically challenging elements that often get subdued in modern Shakespearean shows, the energy that would be used to rile up the crowds from the balconies to the standing room by the stage. “We have here a remarkable fusion of design, text, and performance, of consciousness, scenery, sound, light, space, meaning, and movement,” said Sam Hall in a review for DC Metro Theater Arts out of Washington, D.C.

Pre-performance discussion: Aquila Theatre company members will lead a pre-performance discussion at 7:00 p.m. prior to the 8:00 p.m. performance, in The Forum off of the main lobby. Pre-show discussions are free to ticket holders. Seating is limited and offered on a first come, first served basis. We regret that patrons may not be admitted to pre-show discussions after 7:10 p.m.

Aquila Theatre’s Asheville performances are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. Further support is provided by Performance Sponsors Michael & Catty Andry, Dr. Alan & Suzanne Escovitz, and Maureen & Frank Hantke; and by Mainstage Theatre Series Sponsors Bank of America and Merrill Lynch; with additional support provided by Media Sponsors WNC magazine and WCQS 88.1FM.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre is marked by the location of the theatre’s marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and White Duck Taco, and into a large interior courtyard with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s main lobby and box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The 2015/2016 Mainstage Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, the North Carolina Arts Council, 67 Biltmore Downtown Eatery & Catering, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Violin Star Performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto Asheville Symphony

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Asheville SymphonyASHEVILLE NC – Celebrated violinist Bella Hristova makes her Asheville Symphony Orchestra debut on Saturday, February 13, when she takes on Beethoven’s beloved Violin Concerto in an ASO Masterworks concert at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

Asheville Symphony Music Director Daniel Meyer will conduct the 8 p.m. concert, which also includes Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Strauss’ Metamorphosen.

“We’re excited to have Bella Hristova make her ASO debut with Beethoven’s bold and brilliant Violin Concerto,” Meyer said. “A concerto of symphonic proportions, Beethoven’s single entry into the genre remains at the pinnacle of music ever written for the instrument, and this will be an opportunity to hear a great concerto performed by a shooting star.”

Acclaimed for her passionate, powerful performances, beautiful sound, and compelling command of her instrument, Hristova was recently recognized with a prestigious 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant, given to outstanding instrumentalists and based on excellence alone. The Washington Post’s The Classical Beat has stated she is “a player of impressive power and control.” Her engagements in 2015-16 include the Buffalo Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Delaware Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Erie Philharmonic and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Hristova is stepping into the ASO concert in place of Stefan Jackiw, who was originally scheduled to perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Jackiw has had to withdraw, with regret, for personal reasons.

The Mendelssohn and Strauss works will be performed during the first half of the concert.

Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, subtitled “Fingal’s Cave,” musically captures the composer’s visit to and impressions of this special archipelago in Scotland.

Crushed by the demise of Germany and its storied cultural history, Strauss composed an elegiac and deeply stirring work for twenty-three solo musicians called Metamorphosen. With its arching, spun lines of intertwined strings and a wistful nod to the funeral march from Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Metamorphosen aches for a bygone era of serious but deeply Romantic music.

Bella Hristova’s appearance is generously sponsored by Metro Wines.

Single tickets for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto are $22-$62 depending on seating section; reduced youth pricing is available. Single tickets and season ticket packages can be purchased at www.ashevillesymphony.org, by calling 828-254-7046, or in person at the U.S. Cellular Center box office at 87 Haywood Street.

The Asheville Symphony Orchestra performs and promotes symphonic music for the benefit, enjoyment and education of the people of Western North Carolina. The ASO presents concerts in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center. Related organizations include the Asheville Symphony Guild, Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Symphonettes, and education initiatives such as the Asheville Buncombe Youth Orchestra, Music in the Schools, MusicWorks!, Spotlight on Young Musicians, Symphony Talk and pre-concert lectures. 

Masterworks 4
February 13, 2016 • 8 p.m.
Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Daniel Meyer, conductor
Bella Hristova, violin

Mendelssohn               Hebrides Overture
Strauss                         Metamorphosen
Beethoven                    Violin Concerto