RENT, the musical most responsible for helping to increase the popularity of musical theater amongst the younger generation, opens at the Wilmington Drama League opens on January 29.
It is the Delaware premiere of the show that won both a Pulitzer and several Tonies.
Based upon Puccini's “La Boheme”, the setting is transferred from the Parisian tenements to NYC's East Village. The tuberculosis that affects the lead female Mimi is replaced by AIDS. In the mid-'90's the epidemic was at its peak, taking the lives of young and old people alike. Two of the characters have HIV; two are afflicted with full blown AIDS. In fact, WDL has partnered with AIDS Delaware for the production. The production focuses on a community of artists who struggle to survive and “celebrate life in the face of death.”
Idina Menzel was discovered in "Rent," went on to play the guacamole-pussed witch in Wicked and recently performed solo at The Grand in support of her new album.
An Austrian-American thank you
The Austrian-American Society hosts a “Dankkonzert” (Thank You Concert) at the Music School of Delaware on January 16. The Society was founded decades ago by recently deceased Delaware arts icon Charlotte Shedd. The self-described Grande Dame of Culture had a weekly talk show on WDEL for years. Aisle Say recalls her signature high-pitched screed of a voice provoking seismic shudders in one's body throughout her weekly discourse.
But Shedd's heart was in the right place and for one aspiring singer a year, she offered a life-changing opportunity. The recipient of last year's scholarship will 'sing' her thanks.
Lyric soprano Kelly Curtin won the Society's 2009 scholarship for six week’s study with leading international vocalists and coaches at the prestigious Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. While in Salzburg, she studied with world-renowned teachers and performers.
The theme of Miss Curtin’s program is “Night and Dreams.” She will perform songs and arias by American, Austrian, English, French, German and Italian composers including Samuel Barber, Debussy, Fauré, Gounod, Puccini, Respighi, Shubert and Strauss.
The concert is free and open to the public. 3 pm on January 16 @ 4101 Washington St.
The Austrian-American Society's 2010 scholarship competition for instrumental and vocal students of classical music (instrumentalists ages 18-30, vocalists ages 21-35) will be held at the Music School of Delaware at 4101 Washington Street, Wilmington on Sunday, March 21, 2010. The first prize is aforementioned. There are cash prizes for second and third place winners.
Applicants must be legal residents of Delaware or reside within 25 miles of Wilmington. For applications and information: Geralyn M. Alexander 3205 Falcon Lane, Limestone Hills Wilmington, DE 19808 or call 302-239-2058. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 6:00 p.m., March 5, 2010.
Delaware Music School is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year with a big celebration at The Grand. “Einstein's Mozart” will be performed at the school on January 10th at 3PM. It speaks to the inspiration that the former received from the latter. The event features the renown Serafin Quartet and poet Kate Light.