In the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, two figure skaters faced off, both to music from Carmen. Mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran, herself a former figure skater, tells an epic story of ersona and international competition and French composer Georges Bizet’s music, joined by NYC jazz trio Harriet Tubman.
A year before the Berlin Wall fell, at the height of the ice-skating mania of the late 1980s, the geopolitical battle between East and West, communism and capitalism, took to the ice. Two figure skaters, Debi Thomas representing America and Katarina Witt East Germany, competed for gold — in what came to be known as the Battle of the Carmens.
Alicia Hall Moran is a multi-dimensional artist performing and composing opera, theater and jazz. Pushing the boundaries of music in concerts and collaborations noted for their flair, intelligence, and audacity, Moran celebrates the traditions of her ancestors and teachers. She has gained international recognition for her technical virtuosity and brilliant interpretation of song, with her critically acclaimed pieces the motown project, The Five Fans, and BLEED.
In partnership with husband and collaborator jazz pianist Jason Moran, she was awarded a 2017 Art of Change fellowship by the Ford Foundation, and has generated work for the Venice Biennale, Whitney Biennial, and Walker Art Center, among many others. She made her Broadway debut as Bess in the Tony-winning revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and she has collaborated with artists including Carrie Mae Weems, choreographer Bill T. Jones, musicians and writers from Simon Schama to Carl Hancock Rux.
Here she will perform with jazz trio Harriet Tubman, named after the leader of the Underground Railroad and inspired by her ideals of ffreedom, and formed in 1998 when drummer J.T. Lewis, guitarist Brandon Ross and bassist Melvin Gibbs came together.
Lisa Sausville, the Executive Director of Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife, a Vermont non-profit established in 1985, will talk about strategies for landowners and others to consider as they look to manage woodlands for wildlife.
Learn about both public and private organizations that can help with the development of a forest management plan, enrollment in current use, obtain recommendations from a biologist or forester and find financial resources to help with land management.
Lisa will also share some options for actions that can have a quick benefit for wildlife species on any property.
The mission of Vermont Coverts is to encourage a long-term commitment to maintain and enhance diverse wildlife habitat and healthy ecosystems.
Resident historian Cornelia Brooke Gilder will dig into Born in Our Basement: The Lenox Horticultural Society, an organization founded here in 1894 in the summer residence of George and Sarah Morgan. The society onder the guidance of John Huss, Ventfort Hall’s master gardener.
Gilder will describe the competition and camaraderie between the Lenox’s estate superintendents. Wintertime lectures, festive dinners and warm, informal gatherings in greenhouses were followed by hotly contested and extravagant flower shows during the growing season. Gilded Age Lenox was home to some of the most knowledgeable horticultural talent of the era, including Thomas Reynolds, the ‘indispensable’ gardener for Edith Wharton at The Mount.
A Victorian tea will follow.
The annual North Bennington Winter Festival will return with the Lake Paran Plunge and a day of events across town, opening the day at 8:30 a.m. with a full pancake breakfast served by the Cub Scouts. The plunge, a signature event, sends volunteers into ice-cold water at 11 a.m., and events continue throughout the day.
Weather permitting, a wagon ride will stop at each of the sites around the village, and bonfires are set up throughout the village to keep everyone warm. Taraden will also be offering pony rides from noon to 3 p.m.
Park-McCullough House will join in this year with snowman building and a fire pit with all the fixings for s’mores in front of the big house from noon to 3 p.m., free and open to all.
Southshire Community School will hold free cookie decorating starting at at 10 a.m., and the Friends of the John G. McCullough Free Library will host a pop-up book and media sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with gently read books, rare and antiquarian books, DVDs and CDs. The sale will benefit library programs, materials and services.
Power Guru will give a solar display fair with electric car rides, wine and beer and cheese tasting from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Bennington Area Arts Council will hold a winter art show at the train station from noon to 3 p.m. Head Start will offer photo ops and snacks, and The Left Bank will have massages and acupuncture.
The NorShaft Lions 9th Annual Chili Fest will serve 25 different chilies from the traditional beef (hot, medium and mild) to chicken, turkey, venison, vegetarian, white, corn, chocolate dessert chili and more at St. John the Baptist Church Community Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and The Girl Scouts will hold a bake sale at the church.
The Village School of North Bennington is also hosting a Winter Carnival between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. with activities for both children and adults. Kids can enjoy interactive STEM games, a bounce house, carnival food, glitter tattoos, games of skill and chance, a video game tournament and much more while adults can shop at a used book sale and White Elephant Sale.
Local restaurants will warm the crowd. Kevin’s Sports Pub and Restaurant will have a pig roast: Beer, Bourbon, BBQ and Bacon. Pangaea will serve craft cocktails all night along and early bird dinner specials starting at 5 p.m.
Powers Market will host a spirits tasting and cheese tasting, partnering with Spirits of Old Bennington to offer a tasting of the distillery’s line of gins, rums and whiskeys.
Temple Anshe Amunim welcomes the Birthday of Trees with a family-friendly Tu B’Shevat seder and celebration. The new year of the trees welcomes the emergence of spring. Jews mark the holiday with a traditional Seder, similar to a Passover Seder, and with planting of trees in honor of or in memory of loved ones.
The evening will begin with the Sabbath of Song and an evening full of music exploring the enduring connections between Judaism and nature. Adult and student leaders of the Temple Anshe Amunim community will speak. A dinner will follow highlighing fruits and nuts from trees, like apples and apricots and walnuts.
To make a reservations, please contact the Temple Office at 413-442-5910 or write to TempleOffice@AnsheAmunim.org.
The Met: Live in HD production of Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera Tosca, recorded live from the Metropolitan Opera.
Classic themes of passion, jealousy, rage, and revenge are all at play in the new production, conducted by Emmanuel Villaume and directed by Sir David McVicar. Sonya Yoncheva and Vittorio Grigolo star as the heroine Tosca and her lover Cavaradossi, both making role debuts, with Željko Lučić as the villainous Scarpia.
The Williams College Department of Music presents a performance with highlights from The Magic Flute and Marriage of Figaro by Mozart; The Death scene from Boris Godunov by Modest Mussorgsky; Lensky’s aria from Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky; Scenes from Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill, Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert & Sullivan and the barcarolle from Les Contes d’Hoffman by Jacques Offenbach.
Williams Opera Workshop is a project involving talented Williams student singers working together to prepare operatic scenes. This offers singers the opportunity to further develop skills in stage acting and character development while working as part of an ensemble. The workshop culminates in this final concert performance co-directed by Erin Nafziger and Keith Kibler.
Phyllis Kornfeld will share art and stories in Set Free in the Penitentiary, Part II about her work creating art with people who are incarcerated.
Drawing on a mix of diverse influences from the worlds of bluegrass, country and rock and roll to develop their own sound that is at the same time distinctly familiar and completely original, one that they have called Northern Rock.