Rock out with your chaconne out

Now that Christ has risen, you can experience great performances in every genre apart from choral.

Third Coast Baroque is back with its second program Groove!, a not-just-for-nerds evolution of musical dance rhythms – the catchy chaconne and the fateful passacaglia (the original signal of the evening’s end before any fat lady ever sang).  Learning music history with Third Coast’s Artistic Director Rubén Dubrovsky provided so much so geek-joy in their inaugural concert ¡Sarabanda!, one could not help but be infected by the maestro’s enthusiasm.  The talent assembled for Groove! reads like a Who’s Who list of early music in Chicago: sopranos Nathalie Colas & Josefien Stoppelenburg, mezzo-soprano Angela Young Smucker, tenor Nolan Carter, violinist Martin Davids (Callipygian Players), violinist Jeri-Lou Zike (Haymarket Opera Company), gambist Craig Trompeter (Haymarket Opera Company), violonist Jerry Fuller (Ars Antigua), lutenist Brandon J. Acker (Newberry Consort), and harpsichordist Mark Shuldiner (Rook). 

Chicago Opera Theater concludes its ambitious season with the Midwest premiere of Philip Glass’ Walt Disney bio-opera The Perfect American. This will probably be the beleaguered company’s final performance at the Harris Theater, having found a new home at the remodeled Studebaker Theater in the Fine Arts Building.  Audiences are warned in advance that they will not be hearing tunes like "Whistle While You Work" stretched out into an opera aria, or a fugue based on "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." Instead, prepare for music that illustrates Disney’s paranoia in the era of McCarthyism, and a portrait of an icon in final days suffering from lung cancer.  Yay! Disney opera!

For something more familiar, and a venue that is the polar opposite of the Harris, the fledgling company Opera Ouvert remounts its highly successful La bohème Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Nitecap Coffee Bar in Pilsen.  The formidable Cathy O’Shaughnessy (Music Director of Chicago Fringe Opera) directs a cast that includes sopranos Sladjana Saric as  Mimì and Andrea Hansen as Musetta with tenor Joachim Luis as Rodolfo and baritone Daniel Grambow as Marcello.  Space is limited, but the space is cozy, intimate, and effectively “reaching out” to bring music to new communities. VAC readers have access to a $15 discount on tickets which includes a 3-course meal using the promo code VACROCKS at this link.

Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago has cornered the market on securing world-class artists in recital. Barihunk/DILF Daniel Teadt, headlines their Spring Lieder Lounge on Sunday afternoon at PianoForte in the South Loop.  The St. Charles native is joined by pianist Shannon McGinnis, co-founder of CAIC.  Teadt – whose engagements have included New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, and the New York Festival of Song – graduated from University of Illinois, Urbana, and is an alumnus of prestigious training programs such as the Merola Opera Program and the Ravinia Steans Music Institute.  Teadt and McGinnis will perform folk song settings of Benjamin Britten, Poulenc’s Tel jour, telle nuit, and Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer. Readers of Vocal Arts Chicago can enjoy a 30% discount on Sunday’s recital with the promo code WAFARER.  Listen to The Editor of Vocal Arts Chicago interview Daniel Teadt on the most recent episode of Opera Box ScoreOpera Dads!

Finally, some of us may need a break from church, but that should not prevent you from checking out the Church of Beethoven in Oak Park which is more of a community center that regularly presents high quality performances.  This Sunday at 10:30am soprano Christine Steyer presents a Spanish program (de Falla, Rodrigo, Lorca) with VAC favorite Brandon J. Acker on classical guitar.  Word of this young man’s numerous talents is getting around – even WFMT shared his most recent video transcription of Bach for electric guitar.  Check out his YouTube channel and prepare to swoon.