Cameron Carpenter pulls out the stops
For a lot of folks, the organ brings to mind solemn church services and formal concerts. Those in the audience at N.C. State University’s Stewart Theatre on March 19 will have such notions completely blown away.
An extraordinary musician and flamboyant performer, Cameron Carpenter, stops here on his current 45-city tour for a program that may go from Johann Sebastian Bach to Patsy Cline and from Leonard Bernstein to Leonard Cohen, along with some of Carpenter’s own compositions. (Each program varies and is announced from the stage.)
With his rock star attire and Mohawk haircut, Carpenter puts on a flashy show, enhanced by the one-of-a-kind instrument he brings along. The International Touring Organ takes a large truck to transport and three hours to set up. The complex machine, which includes sounds digitized from organs around the world, gives Carpenter consistent quality at every stop and creates sounds a single local organ could not achieve. Multiple banks of speakers behind the organ ensure the full range of Carpenter’s musical effects is properly projected.
The 34-year-old UNC School of the Arts and Juilliard graduate garners rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post but also stirs up controversy over his athletic playing style and choices of music.
To find out what all the fuss is about, go to live.arts.ncsu.edu for more information and tickets ($26-$30).
Casting call for ‘Beertown’
Raleigh Little Theater is holding auditions for “Beertown” March 14 and 15. No, the show is not a play on the “Drunk Town” ads shaming the downtown drinkers. “Beertown” is a national touring project by Dog and Pony DC. The show relies on audience participation, right down to asking audience members to bring a nut-free potluck dessert to share. Before the night is over, audience members will vote on which artifacts should be added to the town’s time capsule. Participants can change the play’s ending and its length night after night.
The auditions are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 6:30 p.m. The show previews on May 5 with performances scheduled for May 6-22 with possible extension through May 29.
If you want to know more about the show – but don’t want to perform in it – RLT will host a release party on April 2 for for Beertown Brown, a beer brewed especially for this production by Raleigh Brewing. The party will be in the Rose Garden next to the RLT and is free. Guests will get to see an except of the show, take part in a panel discussion and see a screening of “Brewconomy,” a documentary about North Craft beer. The party starts at 7 p.m. with the film from 8 to 9 p.m.
New directors at ballet
Carolina Ballet has named two new directors and a guest teacher for their summer intensive training program.
Principal dancer, Margaret “Peggy” Severin-Hansen has been named the program’s artistic director and Shelley Jacobsson has been named its managing director. Melissa Podcasy will be a guest teacher for the session. She is a former Principal Dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet and Basel Ballet of Switzerland, and the founding ballerina of Carolina Ballet.
Severin-Hansen, a founding member of the Carolina Ballet, trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City and the Royal Danish Ballet. Jacobsson has worked as a coordinator for the intensive program since 2010.
“I am so pleased that we have such talented and passionate individuals with deep ties to this company and its mission to lead the next chapter of our world-class training program,” Robert Weiss, artistic director and CEO of Carolina Ballet, said in a statement.
If you’ve ever spent a spring day wandering the grounds of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum and wondering about the man whose name graces the grounds, consider a visit to the exhibit gallery of N.C. State’s D.H. Hill Library on March 18. From 6 to 8:30 p.m., the Friends of the Library are hosting a lecture in Nelson Hall, Poole College of Management, that’s free and open to the public, followed by a ticketed reception and tour of the exhibit “Plan – Plant For a Better World.” The lecture will be by Dr. Richard Olsen, director of the U.S. National Arboretum and a one-time student of Raulston’s.
Copies of Bobby Ward’s book “Chlorophyll in His Veins, J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador” will be available to purchase at the event.
Tickets are $50 for members of the Arboretum and Friends of the Library, $25 for young alumni (out of school for 10 years or less), and $75 for all others.
Contact Friends of the Library, 919-515-2841, to buy tickets. Reservation deadline is March 14.
Gift to NCMA
The North Carolina Museum of Art’s Gallery 2, a 2,800-square-foot multipurpose temporary exhibition gallery, will now be named the Joyce W. Pope Gallery in memory of the late Joyce W. Pope. The renaming follows a $500,000 grant from the John William Pope Foundation to name one of the museum’s gallery spaces in the memory of the late Joyce W. Pope.
Joyce W. Pope was president of the Pope Foundation from 1986 to 1992, and a patron of the arts. She served as a founding member of the Raleigh Fine Arts Society.
“This is a wonderful way to honor my mother’s dedication to the arts,” Art Pope, chairman of the foundation, said in a statement. “She would be humbled. But I also think she would be delighted to know that many visitors, particularly student visitors, will continue to enjoy fine works of art during their Museum trips in a gallery that bears her name.”
The first exhibition to be presented in the newly renamed gallery is “American Impressionist: Childe Hassam and the Isles of Shoals.” It opens March 19 and runs through June 19.
By correspondent Roy C. Dicks and staff writer Mary Cornatzer