Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Classical music series resuming in Manitowoc

Silver Lake College

MANITOWOC, Wis. - Another season of the Artist Music Series is just around the corner at Silver Lake College of the Holy Family.

Five performances are scheduled for the 2017-2018 season in the 464-seat Bob and Pat Endries Foundation Hall in the Franciscan Center for Music Education and Performance on campus.

Info: sl.edu/community-and-events/campus-events/artist-music-series.

Here is an overview:

+ The Rose Ensemble

Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m.

St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) is the patron saint of the college and its sponsor, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. St. Francis is renowned for his love, respect for the natural world, simplicity and practice of poverty. He founded the religious order known as the Franciscans. In honor of his feast day on Oct. 4, The Rose Ensemble, a choral group from St. Paul, Minnesota, will perform at Silver Lake College. Founded in 1996 by artistic director Jordan Sramek, The Rose Ensemble is involved in a full schedule of performing, recording and outreach. From the ensemble’s press materials: “Through virtuosic artistry and scholarly research, the group produces imaginative and inspiring musical performances and educational programs that strive to connect each individual to compelling stories of human culture and spirituality from around the world. Each season, the group illuminates centuries of rarely heard repertoire, bringing to modern audiences research from the world’s manuscript libraries and fresh perspectives on music, history, languages, politics and religion.” With 10 commercial recordings and a diverse selection of concert programs, The Rose Ensemble has sung across the United States and Europe with repertoire spanning 1,000 years and 25 languages, including new research in European, Middle Eastern and American traditions.

+ Varshavski & Shapiro Duo

Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

Russian natives Stanislava Varshavski and  Diana Shapiro started playing together in 1998 after meeting at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel. Since then, they have gone on to capture the top prize at numerous national and international competitions. Varshavski and Shapiro are faculty members of Silver Lake College.

+ Prometheus Trio

Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m.

The newly named Prometheus Trio gave its inaugural performance at the Elvehjem Museum in Madison in January 2000. In addition to its series at the Wisconsin Conservatory, the trio plays at venues around Wisconsin and occasionally in Illinois. The Prometheus Trio often has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Live from the Chazen” series as well.

+ Coalescent Quartet

Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m.

The Coalescent Quartet explores the diverse saxophone quartet repertoire from traditional to contemporary works. Its members bring together years of combined chamber music experience to present specialized performances. In addition to being active performers, members of the Coalescent Quartet are educators, teaching at universities throughout Wisconsin and Ohio.

+ Emily Birsan, Soprano

Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m.

American soprano Emily Birsan is a critically acclaimed recitalist and known for her prominent interpretations of concert and operatic repertoire. Recently, Birsan returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Italian singer in “Capriccio” and Leila in “The Pearl Fishers” with Florida Grand Opera, among others.

Endries auditorium is dominated by wood. The stage floor is maple. The ceiling above the stage consists of wood panels with a slight outward curve. Five rows of flat panels above the hall are from two to eight panels across. The backs of seats are wood-like, with fabric covering of a burgundy matching that of the main stage curtain. The moveable back wall of the stage consists of panels with a slight outward bow. The side walls and a fringe across the top of the proscenium stage are made of a veneer with a kind of mahogany shade stain and, importantly, a wavy effect. Being surrounded by wood, along with waves, gives the impression of being in a sea of wood. All the wood is for acoustical properties, and the sound of the hall is warm and inviting.

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays. My new books, “Three Miles Past Lost and in the Pickers” and “Nickolaus and Olive – a naïve opera (in words),” are available online and in Green Bay at Neville Public Museum, Bosse’s and The Reader’s Loft.


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