Castleton on solid ground
There’s a photo elsewhere on this page of the back road some of us take to get to Castleton Festival events under a few feet of water after Monday’s long, heavy rains. Whorton Hollow Road is dry now, and Castleton’s seventh season continues this weekend. You could take this as a metaphor for survival — of the sound foundation of roads and bridges in the rural Piedmont in general, but also of the same sort of foundation for Rappahannock’s own summer music and opera (and now jazz) festival.
This is Castleton’s first season without its co-founder, the force of nature known as Lorin Maazel, but its offerings this season — including, for instance, principal conductor Rafael Payare’s transformative mind-meld with a young but remarkably deft Castleton Orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth last Sunday, and a sweet and pitch-perfect production of “Our Town” by the CATS crew at Theatre House — are evidence that Maazel and his wife and festival co-founder Dietlinde Turban Maazel not only have set their house on solid ground, but have settled on the right blueprint and builders for a sturdy future.
If you haven’t bought tickets yet this summer — or decided to become a supporter, even in a small way — visit castletonfestival.org soon. (Supporters get their own baton, by the way.)
— Roger Piantadosi
Met’s Luisi conducts Rachmaninov and Brahms
Maestro Fabio Luisi, principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and general music director of the Zurich Opera, conducts the Castleton Festival Orchestra in a symphonic concert of Rachmaninov and Brahms at 2 this Sunday at Castleton’s Festival Theatre.
“It had been the wish of my late husband, Maestro Lorin Maazel, to welcome Fabio Luisi to Castleton as a guest conductor,” said Castleton artistic director Dietlinde Turban Maazel, “and I’m delighted and proud to be able to carry out his wishes, to bring this great Maestro to our community.
The program opens with Rachmaninov’s enduring and popular Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor. After intermission, it’s Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major, much of the first movement of which is based on a melody from Brahms’ earlier “Wiegenlied,” commonly known to as “Brahms’ Lullaby.”
Concert tickets ($20 to $85) available at 866-974-0767 or castletonfestival.org.
Chamber classics . . .
At 11 a.m. this Saturday (July 18) at Theatre House, Castleton Chamber Players, led by star cellist Alisa Weilerstein and featuring elite members of the Castleton Festival Orchestra, perform a repertoire from the Classical era to the present, including Dvorak’s Piano Quintet No. 2 and Golijov’s Last Round (the latter premiered in 1996).
Osvaldo Golijov is a contemporary composer from Argentina; among his many champions is cellist Weilerstein, the wife of Castleton’s principal conductor this season, Rafael Payare. Weilerstein, recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2011, has performed Golijov’s work at premieres on the national and international stage, and now brings her expertise and familiarity with his work to Castleton.
Tickets for the chamber concert ($20 to $50) at 866-974-0767 or castletonfestival.org.
. . . and a CATS ‘Spectacular’
As chorus members and understudies for Castleton’s biggest productions — including this Saturday night’s last production of “Romeo et Juliette” at the 650-seat Festival Theatre — and acting stars in their own “Our Town” production at the 140-seat Theatre House, Castleton Artists Training Seminar’s young singers have two singing performances to themselves this week: For “CATS Spectacular” at Theatre house at 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday, July 16) and Sunday at 11 a.m., the CATS will sing and perform scenes from the most beloved operas and musicals in the repertoire.
Distinguished American tenor Stanford Olsen, the newly appointed director of the CATS program, says that “the CATS program is unequaled in terms of the quality and intensity of instruction. We prepare singers for the next big step in their careers.” For the “Spectacular,” they’ll perform scenes from “La Traviata,” “La Boheme,” “Le Nozze de Figaro,” Sondheim’s “A Weekend in the Country,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” and more. Tickets are $30; call 866-974-0767 or visit castletonfestival.org.
Man’s best-friend mosaic
In Animal Portraits in Mosaic, a workshop this Saturday (July 18) with Rappahannock artist Candace Clough, you’ll use your own photograph of a favorite animal or pet to create a mosaic likeness under Clough’s direction. All skill levels are welcome, even beginners, at the day-long session at Flint Hill’s Studio School (starts at 9:30; call 540-878-3687 to register). Fee is $75; there’s an optional open studio work time the next day for an additional $20.
If shedding unneeded clutter is your goal, then the Rappahannock County Democratic Committee “Dog Days of Summer” Indoor Yard Sale and Fundraiser is for you. As predictable in the dog days as bugs and hot weather, the annual yard sale is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6 (Labor Day weekend) at the Washington fire hall.
To hold the yard sale, the Dems need stuff to sell — the still-usable stuff that is cluttering your life. They will accept donations of practically everything but the kitchen sink. “We actually had a kitchen sink donated one year,” said RCDC President Ross O’Donoghue, “and we had a heck of time getting rid of it.”
The A to Z of the kinds of things they are looking for: art work, books, collectibles, costume jewelry, DVDs and CDs, electronics (but no computers and analog TVs, please), fabrics, furniture (except overstuffed chairs and sofas), holiday items, kitchenware, lamps, linens, pet equipment, picture frames, pottery and glassware, small appliances (nothing larger than a bread box), sports equipment, tools and hardware, toys, and other items — in good condition please!
Ross also said the group will not be accepting clothing for the sale, but clothing may be donated at any time to the Thrift Shop on the Washington fire hall grounds.
To donate, deliver items to the fire hall on Thursday and Friday (Sept. 3-4). If you cannot bring the items yourself, call Jan Makela (540-454-0547) or Jim Blubaugh (540-675-2001) to arrange for pickup.
One more date to save: Sept. 12
The 18th annual Taste of Rappahannock dinner and auction, celebrating (and helping fund) the Headwaters Education Foundation and the work it does for the community and its young people, is 5 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Miller Barn in Sperryville. The Taste offers a glimpse into all things Rappahannock, with tastings from local vineyards and breweries, local food from Rappahannock’s farms and restaurants, unusual auction items that highlight the county’s talents and resources — all to benefit young people and public schools. Visit headwatersfdn.org or call 540-987-3322 if you’d like a seat at the Headwaters table.