Arts at Bowling Green State University

Apollo’s Fire to bring the spirit of Bach’s coffeehouse to BGSU’s Kobacker Hall

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Back when Bach’s music was new, the composer and other professional and student musicians would hang out at Cafe Zimmermann, a coffee house in Leipzig, Germany, to play the latest sounds. Apollo’s Fire, a Baroque music ensemble based in Cleveland, will take listeners back to that time in the mid-18th century when it presents “A Night at Bach’s Coffeehouse” Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. The free performance is part of Apollo Fire’s three-day residency presented by the Dorothy E. And Duwayne H. Hansen Musical Arts Series (https://www.bgsu.edu/musical-arts/events/residencies/hansen-musical-arts-series.html). During the residency the ensemble will hold open rehearsals and master classes for flutists and string players. The BGSU visit will feature an 11-member version of the ensemble, which was founded by Jeannette Sorrell 26 years ago. Kathie Stewart, the ensemble’s flutist, has been a collaborator and friend of Sorrell since before she started Apollo’s Fire. The two musicians met at Cincinnati Conservatory, where both were pursuing graduate work. Sorrell was studying harpsichord and conducting, and Stewart was working on a doctorate in flute performance. In Cincinnati, Stewart discovered her love of Baroque music. In the course of her studies, Stewart had played music from the history of flute from early music through contemporary. Her attention always seemed to return to the Baroque period. While later music tends to be “messy,” she said, “Baroque music is calm and clear. It gets messy enough, but then it all resolves.” By this time, Stewart said she was working hard on her instrumental studies. “But I wasn’t loving it.” The conservatory had a Baroque flute.  She took the instrument into a practice room to try to play music by Bach and Telemann. “It was horrifying,” she said. She found a book to guide her, and with that she applied herself to the period instrument.  “I tried things that were awkward and didn’t make sense on modern flute. They made perfect sense on the Baroque flute. I learned from the instrument what Baroque music was all about. Finally I was…


No Bravo! at BGSU this spring

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Bowling Green State University announced its premier arts events for the spring semester there was one particularly notable event, and one notable absence. Oscar-winning actress and BGSU alumna Eva Marie Saint will return to campus on March 29, a year after her last visit. Eva Marie Saint (left) speaks during a question and answer session moderated by Lesa Lockford at the 2018 Bravo! BGSU. The Oscar-winning actress will return to campus March 29 for the re-dedication of the Gish Theatre. During that 2018 appearance, she took part in Bravo! BGSU, an arts gala that raised funds for scholarships in the arts. Bravo! Is no more. While the event was successful in raising annually  just under $60,000 for scholarships that benefit dozens of students, the cost of staging the event was disproportionate to what it raised. “Each year it got better,” said Dean William Mathis, of the College of Musical Arts. “We got better at it. It really hit its stride. … Artistically it really started to flow.” The event had been initiated by President Mary Ellen Mazey, and remained a presidential event. Mazey expressed the hope that it would become the premier arts event in the region. But the organization fell more and more to the arts units on campus. “The event started take on some tradition and people started to recognize it. We were very proud of the content and the quality,” Mathis said. “It was really started on a shoe string … and as it gained more momentum and got more people involved, we really needed to sit back and analyze what we were doing.” That analysis by the arts coordination committee co-chaired by Mathis and Dean Ray Craig of the College of Arts and Sciences started last summer, now with a new president, Rodney Rogers, at the helm of the university.  “Because of the time and resources that it took, we weren’t sure we were getting return on the investment,” Mathis said. Later, Mathis added that “Bravo! wasn’t expanding our audience.” Some who attended were regulars at university arts events,…


BGSU arts events through Dec. 15

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS At the galleries – The School of Art’s Faculty and Staff Exhibition continues through Dec. 12 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Included are works in mixed media, digital, print, paint, glass and graphics. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 27 –  The BGSU University Choral Society and Graduate Brass Quintet present “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” a selection of traditional and popular holiday choral arrangements. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free Nov. 27 – The Accorda Trio will perform a guest recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 28 – The College of Musical Arts’ Faculty Artist Series presents violinist Penny Thompson Kruse.  She is a professor of violin and has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician with such orchestras as the Eastern Festival Orchestra, Hutchinson Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia of Kansas City. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 29 – The BGSU Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Moss, will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets purchased in advance are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets purchased on the day of the performance are $10.  BGSU students with an ID card are admitted free. Nov. 30 – Guest vocalist Salvatore Champagne, the Robert W. Wheeler Professor of Voice and director of vocal studies at Oberlin College and Conservatory, will present a master class for students and the public. He began his singing career in 1988 as the tenor soloist in a European tour of Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest conducted by the composer and for the next 10 years was a guest artist in many of Europe’s finest opera houses and concert halls. He appears throughout the country giving master…


Visitors see arts in action at annual BGSU showcase & sale

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Song and dance  and more spilled into the corridors, classrooms, corners and stages of the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts Saturday during the 14th ArtsX. The gala showcases the creativity of all the arts on campus. This year ArtsX invited special guests Verb Ballets, a Cleveland-based company. The company adopted the name Verb Ballets because it evoked action, said Richard Dickinson, associate artistic director. The company’s performances at ArtsX showed how fitting that name was. In the second of the Verb’s two performances Saturday evening, it blended humor and sensuality to the music of Mozart in K281. That sensuality was evident throughout, whether on the contemporary “Between the Machine” with a pulsating score that mixed jazz with industrial sounds, to the climatic setting of Ravel’s “Bolero,” where European and Indian classical dance moves blended with flamenco. Verb didn’t restrict its action to the stage. It also presented classes for community and university dance students earlier in the day and performed and worked with middle and high school students on Friday. Dickinson said the company particularly enjoyed the middle school, where a two-hour delay on a Friday meant the energy level was particularly high. The company’s performances Saturday had people buzzing in the halls of the Wolfe Center and Fine Arts Center as they perused the jewelry, ceramics, glass, prints, and more on sale.  Artists also demonstrated their techniques. Music suffused the event from traditional sounds from Beethoven to taiko drums to the experimental work of doctoral students. As usual there was far more going on than any one visitor could take in. While the crowd attending seemed smaller than in the past, the energy of the participants was still high.        


Verb Ballets brings contemporary & classic dance moves to ArtsX

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Verb Ballets is pool putting the moves on ArtsX. The annual arts gala is being held tonight (Saturday, Dec. 1) in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts on The Bowling Green State University campus. The Cleveland-based dance company will be the special guest performers. This is the first time ArtsX has brought in a featured guest without a connection to the university. That marks a further step in the development of the gala that started 14 years ago. Verb Ballets is a fitting artist for this year’s theme “Let the Arts Move You.” The company moves in a variety of ways. The full-time company of classically trained dancers mixes both classic and contemporary ballet, said Jen Garlando, Verb Ballets’ director of marketing. The ballet’s performances at 5:30 and 7 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre at ArtsX will demonstrate that range. The company will open with the Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote by the great 19th century Russian choreographer Marius Petipa and the music of Ludwig Minkus. Staging is by the legendary Cuban choreographer Laura Alonso. The classical pas de deux shows both technical virtuosity and glamour. The piece comes from the company’s ongoing exchange with Cuban dancers, Garlando said. “K281” choreographed by Adam Hougland brings together modern and classical moves for a quirky and humorous take on a beloved Mozart piano sonata. From Mozart, Verb Ballets will move to a DJ mix of industrial sounds to create driving pulse for “Between the Machine” by Charles Anderson. In a cross-cultural exchange, the choreography for Ravel’s “Bolero” will blend Indian and modern dance styles. “Its drive, propulsion, and intensity build with the famous crescendo” is how the company describes the work. “The piece, choreographed by Heinz Poll, the company’s founder, is a visual masterpiece set to the driving force of the well-known score.”  Romanian dancer Daniel Precup set the company’s premiere of “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” a song about the complex struggles of love by the French singer-songwriter, Jacques Brel.  The performances will be the culmination of Verb Ballets’…


BGSU moves into the holiday spirit with ArtsX

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s pre-holiday celebration of the arts will highlight movement Dec. 1 as Verb Ballets, a Cleveland-based contemporary ballet company, takes the stage. Their bold artistry, unique styles and technical excellence have captivated audiences of all ages. The company’s two performances, at 5:30 and 7 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre in The Wolfe Center for the Arts, are just two ArtsX activities scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. The 2018 ArtsX, with a theme of “Let the Arts Move You,” will also showcase musical, theatrical and dance performances; exhibits and demonstrations; hands-on activities; and art sales for holiday shoppers looking for unique, handmade gifts. A tentative schedule is available at bgsu.edu/artsx.


BGSU Arts Events through Nov. 28

At the galleries – “The Shodo Way of Writing: Calligraphy Scrolls from the BGSU Asian Studies Collection” exhibition continues through Nov. 18 in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Presented by the BGSU Galleries, the exhibition includes 30 calligraphy scrolls by contemporary Japanese masters of these traditional arts.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 7 – Award-winning documentary filmmaker Dr. Matthew Donahue, a lecturer in popular culture, will present and screen “The Amsterdam T-Shirt Project,” highlighting the artists, vendors and creators of souvenir T-shirts in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the souvenir T-shirt capital of the world. The presentation and screening will begin at 1 p.m. in the Pallister Conference Room, Jerome Library. Nov. 7 – The Faculty Artist Series presents Caroline Chin on violin. She is an assistant professor and has been described by the Chicago Sun Times as “riveting and insightful, who lights up in passages of violin pyrotechnics.” She has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 8 – The Prout Reading Series presents readings by MFA students Erin Carlyle and Katy Cesarotti. Carlyle, a poet, and Cesarotti, a fiction writer, are MFA students in the creative writing program. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Nov. 8 – The BGSU Early Music Ensemble and Graduate String Quartet will present a recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 8 – The College of Musical Arts hosts the SPLICE Festival 2018, featuring music written for instruments and electronics. The first concert is at 8 p.m. in the Cla-zel Theatre, 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green. The festival runs through Nov. 10. For a complete listing of events, visit https://splicemusic.org/festival/ii/program/. Nov. 9 – The SPLICE Festival 2018 continues with a concert at 10:30 a.m. and a talk at 1:30 p.m., both in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center; a workshop at 3:30…


Deeply moving ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’ leaves BGSU audience at a loss for applause

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “Considering Matthew Shepard” ended in silence. A packed Kobacker Hall went quiet as the C-triad softly hummed by the members of the vocal ensemble Conspirare and the 100 singers filling the mezzanine faded out. At first it seemed the usual pause at the end of a concert. But the silence extended in length, and somehow increased in depth. The conductor-composer Craig Hella Johnson stood in front of the stage head bowed. Silence. Then his head rose and his gestured to the performers on stage. The audience erupted. The applause rapturous, as loud as the previous moments were soft. On their feet, the audience called the ensemble out for three curtain calls. The applause did not so much break the silence as let loose the emotions it contained. The listeners and performers had for the past 100 minutes lived the story of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man beaten and left for dead in October 1998 outside of Laramie, Wyoming. When he died several days later he became an icon for those who opposed hate crimes and longed for greater tolerance.  The oratorio was performed Monday by Conspirare at Bowling Green State University. When, a few minutes after the performance ended, about 150 members of the audience assembled in Bryan Recital Hall, members of the panel who were there to discuss the work and the meaning of Matthew Shepard, said it was hard to speak about the experience. Katie Stygles, assistant director for Diversity Education and LGBTQ+ Programs at Bowling Green State University, said she was still processing the experience. “I still have tears flowing over. It’s just so beautiful.” She sees the students she serves in Matthew Shepard. Susana Pena, director, School of Cultural and Critical Studies, said that when the news of Shepard’s death came, the nation had reached a point where it was open to hearing this tragic story, and acting on it. Olivia Behm, a graduate student, said she grew up in the world shaped by Shepard’s death. “Considering Matthew Shepard,” she said, was more than research into the facts, but…


BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 3

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATION Through Oct. 21 – Bowling Green State University’s School of Art announces the opening of “So Much More: Ohio’s African-American Artists.” Over the course of its planning, the exhibition has evolved from a tribute to the legacy of athlete, actor, visual artist and BGSU alumnus Bernie Casey, and other African-American alumni to a broader intergenerational conversation among alumni, current students and invited African-American artists from Ohio addressing the intersection of racial identity and personal expression.  The exhibition, in the Willard Wankelman Gallery in the Fine Arts Center, runs through Oct. 21. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Sept. 29 – BGSU is part of the collaborative “ScupltureX – Igniting Change: Teaching Artists and Social Practice” with the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Toledo Museum of Art, and Contemporary Art Toledo. The BGSU exhibition, sponsored by David and Myrna Bryan and curated by Saul Ostrow, features the work of regional sculpture faculty. BGSU also will host a series of presentations, including talks by Ostrow and Mel Chin, on campus Sept. 29.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Sept. 17 – The Grammy-winning choral ensemble Conspirare presents “Considering Matthew Shepard” as part of the McMaster Residency in the College of Musical Arts. Under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson, the group will perform the three-part oratorio, an evocative and compassionate musical response to the murder of Matthew Shepard. Shepard was a young, gay college student at the University of Wyoming who in October 1998 was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. The performance begins at 7 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. A talkback with BGSU panelists and Johnson will follow the performance at 9 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall. Admission is free for all BGSU faculty, staff and students with ID at the door. Advance tickets for community members are $7 for…


BGSU plans events around performance of ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The image of young Matthew Shepard, attacked and left to die alone in a Wyoming field because of his sexual orientation, is a horrific reminder of what intolerance, fear and hatred can wreak. But from his 1998 death have come important national conversations and now, a choral work that explores not only Shepard’s death but also his life and legacy. The award-winning choir Conspirare will perform conductor and composer Craig Hella Johnson’s evocative and compassionate “Considering Matthew Shepard” at Bowling Green State University Sept. 17. Guest choirs from the University of Toledo and area high schools will join BGSU choirs as part of the performance. The concert will be the centerpiece of a series of engaging campus and community events in the choir’s two-day residency at the University, which is supported by the Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies. The 7 p.m. Sept. 17 concert takes place in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. It will be followed by a talk-back session from 9-9:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall with Johnson and other panelists. Admission is free for all BGSU faculty, staff and students with ID at the door. Advance tickets for community members are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Call the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or purchase online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. Conspirare is considered today’s leading choir; they and their conductor, Johnson, have each won Grammy awards. “Considering Matthew Shepard” debuted at number four on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart and has also been nominated for a Grammy. “Considering Matthew Shepard” transports listeners through a tapestry of musical textures and idioms in a poignant concert experience inspiring hope, compassion and empowerment. The Washington Post called the three-part oratorio “powerfully cathartic,” and wrote, “Like Bach’s large-scale choral works, this spellbinding piece draws on many styles masterfully juxtaposed, though Johnson’s sources are the American vernacular. A Prologue, Passion and Epilogue … combine spoken text, cowboy song, American hymnody and popular song, spirituals, jazz and dazzling polyphony, all woven into a…


Choral ensemble brings contemporary Passion inspired by the murder of ‘the boy next door’ to BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Craig Hella Johnson first heard the story of Matthew Shepard, he knew he wanted to compose a piece of music about it. Maybe, he thought,  a song. Johnson, the music director and founder of the chamber choir Conspirare, ended up writing a three-movement oratorio. Conspirare will perform “Considering Matthew Shepard” at Bowling Green State University Monday Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. The performance is part of a two-day residency by Johnson and Conspirare. (See details of residency here.) The performance will be followed by a talk back in Bryan Recital Hall. Advance tickets for community members are $7 and $3 for students and children. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Call 419-372-8171 or purchase online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. Johnson remembers it was a singer in the ensemble who first told him about Shepard’s death. The story of the young gay man’s torture and death in Laramie, Wyoming, outraged the nation. It captivated Johnson for the same reason.  “He just looked like the boy next door,” Johnson said.  “It was quite extraordinary that this could happen to him. … It could have been me.” One section of “Considering Matthew Shepard” is “Ordinary Boy.” “That’s the crux of it,” the composer said.  People hear about hate crimes, but “he put a face on it.” He added: “Hate crimes are spiking again, I’m sad to report. We don’t hear about most of them.” And the way Shepard died, tortured and left tied to a fence barely alive had symbolic resonance.  Coming up with a musical response to Shepard’s death took a long period to germinate.  “It grew over time,” Johnson said. He has often performed Bach’s Passions and realized this was the form he needed to use. From “maybe a song” the idea bloomed into more than 100 minutes of music. In an age of listening to music on shuffle, few people are composing long-form works. Johnson said: “I know we have the capacity for these larger arcs, and I’m interested in continuing to experience that.” Johnson didn’t want to compose something…


BGSU Arts Events through Sept. 29

Sept. 5-29 – BGSU is part of the collaborative “ScupltureX – Igniting Change: Teaching Artists and Social Practice” with the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Toledo Museum of Art, and Contemporary Art Toledo. The BGSU exhibition, sponsored by David and Myrna Bryan and curated by Saul Ostrow, features the work of regional sculpture faculty. BGSU also will host a series of presentations, including talks by Ostrow and Mel Chin, on campus Sept. 29.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Sept. 5 – The Faculty Artist Series presents Charles Saenz on trumpet. As a professor and coordinator of the College of Musical Arts’ brass area, Saenz has performed with numerous ensembles, released a solo recording, “Eloquentia,” in 2015 and is a member of the Tower Brass Quintet. His recital starts at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. The performance will also be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/bgsumusic/live. Free Sept. 6 – The Prout Chapel Reading Series, hosted by the BGSU Creative Writing program, presents poet Tony Lograsso, a teaching associate in the Department of English, and fiction writer Anne Carney. The readings will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 11 – Tuesdays at the Gish presents “The Glass Castle” (2017, U.S., 127 minutes, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton), with an introduction by Mariia Spirina (cq), doctoral student in American culture studies. The film follows Jeannette (Brie Larson) and her wildly eccentric parents (Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts). Based on journalist Jeannette Wall’s bestselling memoir, the film intertwines events from her unpredictable nomadic childhood with scenes of Wall as a young writer who comes to terms with her parents. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union (Theater). Free Sept. 11 – The Guest Artist Series presents pianist Heather Lanners. Lanners, a Canadian pianist, has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe as an active soloist and chamber musician. Her recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 12 –…


Ghanaian master drummer Bernard Woma has wake up call for BGSU students

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Master drummer Bernard Woma has greeted presidents and royalty to his native Ghana. On Tuesday morning he greeted students in Bowling Green State University’s School of Art with the throbbing sound of drums, and the swirl of dancers. Most of those in the audience in the lobby of the Bryan Gallery were students in Rebecca Skinner Green’s African art class, but the ranks of listeners swelled as the rhythm reverberated around the building. They didn’t stay observers for long. On the second dance, members of Woma’s Saakumu dance troupe summoned those in the audience to join the line, instructing them as they danced, on the steps and gestures. “We share the music together,” Woma said. “We share the experience together, so you better understand.” Ghanaian music is participatory. Woma has been coming to BGSU every few years since 2001. This week’s two-day stay with his dance troupe will culminate with a free performance Wednesday night at 7 in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre in Wolfe Center for the Arts. He said that when he first opened his Dagara Music Center in 1998, a BGSU group led by Skinner Green and Steven Cornelius was the first to come to study there. Woma said he was born to be a drummer. He came out of his mother’s womb with his fists clenched as if gripping a pair of mallets. That marked him as a gyil player. His grandfather played the instrument, a Ghanaian xylophone, as did his uncle. While his father didn’t play he loved to dance. So Woma grew up in a home full of music and dance. At 2 he was banging out the melodies he’d heard. His musical education began long before his formal “European” education. When he completed that, he headed to the capital city of Accra where he joined the National Dance Ensemble. The government brought together the best musicians from the country’s more than 60 ethnic regions. By the time President and Mrs. Clinton came to visit in 1998, he was the master drummer of the troupe. Clinton was intrigued by the enormous ceremonial drum, and…


Arts Beat: Sharing the bravos – ‘Emilie,’ electrifies; ‘Montreal, White City,’ haunts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bravo! BGSU this weekend was a major arts event, showcasing some, but by no means all that transpires here culturally. Like the food served at Bravo! this was just a taste, delicious to be sure, but a sampling. As the spring semester unwinds, it’s hard to keep up with everything going on. Yet there are events that bear documenting.   “Emilie” Among those performing at Bravo! BGSU was Hillary LaBonte, who with Caroline Kouma, reprised a duet from Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte,” which was staged two weeks ago. That opera was a frothy entertainment. Just a couple days before Bravo! though, LaBonte had the stage to herself in a very different opera. Working with conductor Maria Mercedes Diaz Garcia and the Vive! Ensemble, which the conductor founded, she sang “Emilie,” a solo opera by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho and Lebanese author Amin Maalouf. Here LaBonte portrays leading 18th century French intellectual Emilie de Chatelet. We find de Chatelet in the process of writing a letter to her lover, the father of the child she carries. De Chatelet was a woman of great passions, both physical and intellectual, and all these weave together. She spills her heart into the letter. Her quill is amplified so that there’s a telegraphic urgency as she writes. That’s just one of the ways the composer uses electronics to expose Emilie’s inner life. Emilie is consumed by a sense of foreboding, about to give birth, she expects the worst. She speaks of her hopes for her child, hopes for a parent as loving and encouraging as her father. Rare for the time, de Chatelet received a full education in the sciences and arts. She played harpsichord. The instrument electronically amplified plays a prominent part in the orchestra. It tracks, even anticipates, her thoughts. She is devoted to astronomy, physics, mathematics, and philosophy. There is nothing cold about her calculations and observations. They burn like the sun, whose constitution she ponders. Emilie is at this point completing her translation into French from Latin of Newton’s “Principia.” This is the cutting edge…


Bravo! is a love fest for Eva Marie Saint & the arts at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Eva Marie Saint’s Falcon spirit does has its limits. President Rodney Rogers found this out before he left for Bravo! BGSU on Saturday. Saint, the Oscar-winning actress and 1946 graduate of Bowling Green State University, was staying in the president’s house with her son and daughter, during their visit back to campus. The visit was capped off by her receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the university. (Click for related  story.) Standing at the podium to deliver the award, Rogers said he’d started to leave the house wearing an orange bowtie. “Lose the orange tie,” Saint told him. “Black is classic.” When Eva Marie Saint tells you to do something, he said, you do it. So the president of BGSU appeared at Bravo! BGSU with nary a patch of orange. The awarding of the Lifetime honor to someone Rogers called “our most celebrated” graduate, capped off an evening celebrating the arts are BGSU. Bravo! BGSU now in its fourth year raises money for scholarships for arts students. This year 340 tickets at $125 were sold, more than last year when $75,000 was raised, according to Lisa Mattiace, the president’s chief of staff. Another $9,000 came in  from the silent auction. Students who benefited from those scholarships were evident throughout the night. Performances and art demonstrations were staged through the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Students screened their films and read their poetry. They sang musical theater tunes and art songs. A jazz group jammed and the Combustible Ensemble improvised music for dancers. One of those Bravo! Scholars, Kimberly Tumblin, was painting in a hallway.  She appreciated the scholarship. “It just helps out my family a lot.” She also saw it as “a validation” of her work. Tumblin, who is from Coshocton, came to BGSU on the recommendation of her high school art teacher, who is a graduate of the university. Tumblin intended to study digital arts, but really loved painting. She was intimidated by the medium’s long tradition, especially given she was interested in more traditional styles. But at BGSU she got the encouragement she needed,…