Paradise Interrupted designer and director Jennifer Wen Ma will not only make a garden grow on stage in May with the world premiere of the new opera, she has brought creative life to the center of downtown Pittsburgh this month as part of the city’s Market Square Public Art Program. Her installation called “A Winter Landscape Cradling Bits of Sparkle” opens on Thursday, February 19, and runs through April 12. Read more here.

Meanwhile, special preview performances of excerpts from Paradise Interrupted have been announced to be held in The Metropolitan Museum’s Temple of Dendur on Saturday, March 21 at 3:00pm and 7:00pm. Full details and ticket information here.

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Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the cast for Romeo and Juliet with Samuel Valentine and Cassie Layton in the lead roles. Spoleto Festival USA’s performances (May 21 – June 7) in Dock Street Theatre will be the first US performances of the production directed by Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole and Tim Hoare. View a gallery of the cast.

Watch Samuel Valentine’s 2014 Spotlight Prize-winning performance of Hannah by Milli Prus:

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Scottish Ballet will present a behind-the-scenes look at its production of A Streetcar Named Desire (May 22, 23, and 24) with its “Scottish Ballet Uncut” series. On Friday, February 27 it will present a day in the life of Principal dancer Eve Mutso preparing for the role of Blanche Dubois. You can submit questions to Eve via #AskBlanche and follow her answers and updates throughout the day on Twitter and Instagram. The following week, on Friday, March 6, the company will share video of 30 minutes of uncut rehearsal footage. Check SFUSA’s social networks for links and updates.

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Pianist Inon Barnatan, who returns to the Bank of America Chamber Music series this year, is a recipient of a prestigious Martin E. Segal Award presented March 2 by the Lincoln Center. Inon was nominated by the New York Philharmonic where he is the first-ever Artist-in-Association this season. He makes his concerto debut with the Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert March 19, 20, and 24 giving performances of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. Full details of the 2015 Bank of America Chamber Music series will be announced in March.

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Dianne Reeves took home the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album on February 8 for her album Beautiful Life. Ms. Reeves performs on Saturday, May 30 in the College of Charleston Cistern Yard. She will be joined by Peter Martin (piano), Romero Lubambo (guitar), Reginald Veal (bass), and Terreon Gully (drums).

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Taylor Mac unleashed performances from his ambitious “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” at New York’s Under the Radar Festival in January. The New York Times reviewer Christopher Isherwood wrote of the project: “Imagine running a marathon in stilettos. While singing your heart out.” Read his full review here. Festival audiences will have their own taste of the 24-Decade project when Mac performs June 3 – 6 as part of the new American Express Woolfe Street Series in the Woolfe Street Playhouse.

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Oboist James Austin Smith was also recently praised in The New York Times with a colleague saying of him: “James is not just an oboist, but a curator of experiences for audiences.” Read the full article here. James returns to the Bank of America Chamber Music series this year and recently released a new recording called Distance.

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Emmylou Harris, who performs at the TD Arena on May 25 with Rodney Crowell, was honored at The Life and Songs of Emmylou Harris: All All-Star Concert Celebration in Washington, DC in January. Among those paying tribute were Crowell and 2014 Festival artists Lucinda Williams and Shovels & Rope. The concert was filmed for an upcoming TV and DVD release. Harris also featured on a special February 14 broadcast of Austin City Limits singing Willie Nelson’s “Crazy.”

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SAVE THE DATES

Monday, March 16
Spoleto Festival USA Box Office opens at Charleston Visitor Center, 375 Meeting Street, for in-person ticket sales.

Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12
Locals Weekend Returns! Special discounts and details to be announced; visit us at Second Sunday on King Street on April 12.