Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ArtsBuzz: Boca arts fest to return March 4-12

Singer Jackie Evancho,‭ ‬who created a sensation this summer
on America’s Got Talent.



By Skip Sheffield


The Festival of the Arts Boca is going lean and green for its fifth season March‭ ‬4-12‭ ‬at‭ ‬Mizner‭ ‬Park in‭ ‬Boca Raton.

That’s‭ “‬green,‭” ‬as in‭ “‬young.‭”

One of the headliners in the concert finale March‭ ‬12,‭ ‬operatic soprano Jackie Evancho,‭ ‬is just‭ ‬10‭ ‬years old.‭

“We tried to calm the pace a little this year,‭” ‬Charles Siemon,‭ ‬chairman and co-founder of the festival,‭ ‬said Tuesday at the Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park.‭ “‬It’s a younger festival,‭ ‬and younger artists are less expensive.‭”

Younger does not necessarily mean not as good.‭ ‬Classical music is filled with child prodigies,‭ ‬from Mozart to violinist Joshua Bell,‭ ‬who headlined the Boca festival two years ago.‭ ‬Evancho was discovered on‭ ‬America’s Got Talent last summer and has since recorded her debut album,‭ ‬O Holy Night,‭ ‬a selection of Christmas music,‭ ‬on Syco/Columbia Records.

As with the Palm Beach International Film Festival,‭ ‬there was an element of doubt if Festival Boca could continue in‭ ‬2011.‭ ‬In the case of Festival Boca,‭ ‬it was Richard and Barbara Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation to the rescue.

‭“‬We provided the seed money to continue this year,‭” ‬acknowledged Dick Schmidt.‭ “‬It is good that the city has stepped in to manage the amphitheater.‭ ‬It’s a shame politics came into play with a cultural event like this.‭ ‬As far as I know this is the only performing arts festival in‭ ‬America that is privately funded.‭”

As in previous years,‭ ‬the festival begins‭ ‬7‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Friday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬4,‭ ‬with the Future Stars Competition of young performers,‭ ‬presented by the Rotary Club of Boca Raton.

The literary component begins at‭ ‬4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬5,‭ ‬with a talk by Kate Walbert,‭ ‬author of‭ ‬A Short History of Women,‭ ‬in the Cultural Arts Center.‭ ‬The Canadian Brass headlines at‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday in the Amphitheater.

Literature continues at‭ ‬4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬6,‭ ‬with Kevin Bleyer,‭ ‬Emmy award-winning writer for‭ ‬The Jon Stewart Show and author of‭ ‬Earth:‭ ‬The Book.‭ ‬The musical component continues at‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Sunday with the American debut of Montenegrin classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic.

As the literary program is a‭ “‬work in progress,‭” ‬the Monday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬7,‭ ‬author has yet to be announced.‭ ‬At‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Monday evening,‭ ‬Ballet Hispanico debuts.

The Latin vibe continues‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Wednesday with Piano Latino,‭ ‬featuring veteran Eddie Palmieri,‭ ‬Dominican Grammy Award-winner Michael Camilo and Cuban-born Alfredo Rodriguez,‭ ‬discovered by Quincy Jones at the‭ ‬2006‭ ‬Montreux Jazz Festival.

Improvisational pianist Gabriela Montero of Venezuela promises to take requests at‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Thursday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬10.‭ ‬Another literary event is set for Friday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬11,‭ ‬but the author has yet to be announced.

The Russian National Orchestra is not touring this year,‭ ‬so the Boca Raton Symphonia is providing live music for the family musical movie classic The Wizard of Oz at‭ ‬7:30‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Friday.

Distinguished writer-in-residence Doris Kearns Goodwin returns at‭ ‬4‭ ‬p.m.‭ ‬Saturday,‭ ‬March‭ ‬12,‭ ‬and the festival finale,‭ ‬A Night at the Opera,‭ ‬stars Evancho and the Young Stars of the Metropolitan Opera,‭ ‬accompanied by the Boca Symphonia.

Individual tickets are‭ ‬$35-$125‭ ‬and packages are available.‭ ‬Call‭ ‬561-368-8445‭ ‬or‭ ‬866-571-ARTS,‭ ‬or visit‭ ‬www.festivaloftheartsboca.org.

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