EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 10, 2013

Shalin Liu welcomes 2013

Kathy Mattea, Flamenco Dance Project and Wendy Chen among great acts in month of January

By Gail McCarthy
Staff Writer

---- — This month’s program of Rockport Music events represents the ever-broadening scope of music that the nonprofit organization brings to the waterfront Shalin Liu Performance Center.

Scheduled concerts feature everything from fiery flamenco dance and music to the return of a gospel ensemble. In between is HD opera and classical music.

Rockport Music Executive Director Tony Beadle said 2013 will showcase music of all kinds, as well as some new features.

“We’re delighted to present a wide variety of music and other events,” he said, noting in particular a spring event when residents can be part of the audience during the national live broadcast of NPR’s news quiz show, “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!”

The year kicked off last weekend with the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast of Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” featuring Francesca Zambello’s 2003 production of the Trojan War epic.

Passionate sounds and movement take center stage this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m., when the Flamenco Dance Project performs at the center. The troupe includes musicians and dancers from both sides of the Atlantic dedicated to the evolving art of this centuries-old tradition.

The program features critically acclaimed guitarist Juanito Pascual, flamenco singers Barbara Martinez and Seville native Alfonso Cid, and dancers Jose Moreno and Sabrina Avilés.

Classical music takes over on Sunday, Jan. 13, when award-winning pianist Wendy Chen performs at 3 p.m., with a pre-concert talk at 2 p.m.

At 14, Chen debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under conductor André Previn. IN 1990, she became the youngest winner of the National Chopin Competition.

Program highlights will include Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” Chopin’s “Nocturne, Op. 48, No. 1 in C minor,” Liszt’s “Mephisto Waltz No. 1,” and several works by Astor Piazzolla.

The National Theatre of London in HD presents a Victorian farce with “The Magistrate” on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. This show features Academy Award-nominee and Tony Award-winner John Lithgow in the title role in Arthur Wing Pinero’s “uproarious” work, directed by Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader.

A second Met HD broadcast takes place Saturday, Jan. 19, at 12:55 p.m. featuring Donizetti’s “Maria Stuarda” with a pre-opera lecture by Elizabeth Seitz starting at noon.

This is the opera No. 2 in Donizetti’s trilogy of operas about Tudor history. Joyce DiDonato sings the title role of the defiant Mary, Queen of Scots.

Later the same day, the nine-piece Cryogenic Renaissance Orchestra performs at 8 p.m. The group is described as a mini–big-band led by jazz composer, arranger and trumpeter Greg Hopkins.

Hopkins is a longtime professor of jazz composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He also was a soloist and arranger for the Buddy Rich Band from 1972 to 1974 before settling in the Boston area.

Back by popular demand after its concert last season is New England Gospel Ensemble, under the direction of James Early. That show is at 3 p.m., Jan. 20, and promises an afternoon of celebrated inspirational music.

On Sunday, Jan. 27, at 5 p.m., multiple Grammy Award-winning country and folk singer Kathy Mattea graces the stage.

From her signature ballad “Where’ve You Been” to the iconic “Eighteen Wheels and a Dozen Roses,” Mattea has long been known as an impeccable singer-songwriter with an unmistakable voice. Her 17 albums and 30 hit singles are woven through with bluegrass, gospel, and Celtic influences. They have garnered multiple Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, and Grammy awards.

With her latest release, “Calling Me Home,” Mattea, accompanied by her all-star band, embraces the rich musical heritage and timeless melodies of her Appalachian roots.

“Mattea remains one of Nashville’s most spiritual singers, and the songs she sings about love lost and humility are as fine as can be,” USA Today reported.

IF YOU GO What: Shalin Liu Performance Center. Where: Rockport, How: For tickets and information, visit www.rockportmusic.org; call 978-546-7391; or visit the box office at 35 Main St. in Rockport, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.