Dirigo history class to host silent film night at old Dixfield opera house

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DIXFIELD – For the second consecutive year, a Dirigo High School history class will host a silent film night at the long-dormant Old Tuscan Opera House on Main Street. The event is a fundraiser for the Dixfield Historical Society.

The Old Tuscan Opera House, owned by Dixfield resident Nancy Carpenter, was a popular location in the River Valley decades ago.

In 2013, Dirigo High School teacher Kurt Rowley created a history course called A River Valley Civilization, and after visiting the opera house, the students decided they wanted to host a silent film night.

Nearly 100 people attended to watch Buster Keaton films.

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This year residents will have the chance to watch the 1922 Harold Lloyd film “Mr. Jack,” accompanied by live, improvised music from Manchester, N.H.. pianist Jeff Rapsis.

The students will be dressed in clothing reminiscent of the silent film era and will volunteer as ushers, vendors of refreshments and ticket agents.

Admission is $10 per person, with all proceeds going to the historical society.

Rapsis, in a recent press release, said he improvises the score in real time using a digital synthesizer.

“Because there’s no set soundtrack for most silent films, musicians are free to create new music as they see fit, even today,” Rapsis said. “In bringing a film to life, I try to create original ‘movie score’ music that sounds like what you might expect in a theater today, which helps bridge the gap between today’s audiences and silent films that are in some cases nearly 100 years old.”

For more information and advance tickets, call Rowley at (207) 680-0113 or at 562-4251.

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

 

 

 

Manchester, N.H., pianist Jeff Rapsis will improvise a live musical score for Harold Lloyd’s 1922 silent comedy “Dr. Jack” and other films from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Old Tuscan Opera House on Main Street in Dixfield. Admission to the show is $10 per person, with all proceeds going to the Dixfield Historical Society.  

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