Oratorio Chorale’s winter concert celebrates Shakespeare with words, music

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On the weekend of March 7, 8 and 9, the Chorale will present “Shakespeare in Concert” under the direction of Emily Isaacson with scenes and songs from “As You Like It,” “Twelfth Night,” “The Tempest,” “Othello,” “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and more.

Music for the plays is from a wide variety of composers, among them Thomas Morley, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Giuseppe Verdi, Felix Mendelssohn, Matthew Harris and Amy Beach, and contemporary composers Steven Sametz and Judith Lang Zaimont.

Bowdoin Professor of Music Mary Hunter will provide pre-concert remarks about music in Shakespeare’s works, both in his own time and in later presentations

Soprano Mary Sullivan will be a featured soloist for this program. Sullivan has performed as soloist for many years with several professional ensembles. Recently, she gave a solo recital of German song at Bowdoin College’s Studzinski Recital Hall with pianist and Artist in Residence George Lopez. She lives in Brunswick and maintains a private voice studio in her home.

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Members of Acorn Productions’ Naked Shakespeare will join the Chorale onstage. Under the direction of Michael Levine, Naked Shakespeare performances bring scenes from the plays to audiences in non-traditional venues, like wine bars and restaurants, and presented without sets, lighting or costumes.

Karen Ball is an actor, director and teacher, and on the staff of the Acorn Acting Academy. She has performed as Lady Macbeth, Gertrude and Queen Isabella, among others. Mary Fraser has performed in student Acorn showcases and with Naked Shakespeare. Michael Howard has been an assistant director with the troupe for over ten years. While studying in New York City, his performance of Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night earned him Off-Broadway raves. Michael Levine is the founder and director of the Naked Shakespeare series, and has performed in a number of plays since its inception in 2004. A graduate of MIT, he also studied playwriting with A.R Gurney.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8; and at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 9; at the Bowdoin College Chapel. Pre-concert remarks on Friday and Saturday are at 7 p.m. Concert seating at 7:30 p.m. Pre-concert remarks on Sunday will be at 3 p.m. Concert seating at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, half price for students, and free for children under 12. For more information, call 207-785-7895 or visit www.oratoriochorale.org.

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