Greensboro Arts Alliance Announces 2017 Mainstage Summer Season

The Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency (GAAR), under the Artistic Direction of Sabra Jones, is proud to announce its 1st Annual Opera Festival as part of the 2017 Summer Season in Vermont. Heidi Lauren Duke choreographs & directs Mezzo-Soprano Martha Prewitt in Lee Hoiby's comedy Bon Appetit!, written about the legendary chef Julia Child, from June 30 - July 5, 2017, at the Town House (20 Church St.) in Hardwick, Vermont. The return of opera performance marks a full circle moment for Hardwick's historic Town Hall which was, in fact, built as an opera house in 1898.

In its review of Bon Appetit!, the New York Times praised the opera as "A comic culinary extravaganza that taps the wit and antics of one of America's best-loved television personalities. The music is draped over the words and gestures of Julia Child, the mother of all foodies."

Mezzo-soprano Martha Prewitt has sung leading roles in international productions of CARMEN, THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, LA TRAVIATA and MANON. Director Heidi Lauren Duke has previously directed opera and plays and musicals at such venues as GAAR last summer, Hubbard Hall Opera, Boston Opera Collective, Palm Beach Opera and Sarasota Opera.

At intermission, in keeping with the onstage action in BON APPETIT! in which Julia Child bakes a cake, the audience will be served chocolate cake. Residents in what's known as the Northeast Kingdom where Greensboro and Hardwick are located, will delight to know that Julia Child was first discovered by local resident Judith Jones during her tenure as Senior Editor of Knopf and Company publishers.

The performance of BON APPETIT! will conclude with a variety of arias - under the direction of Sabra Jones - that famously reference food. Performers include Ms. Prewitt, Ms. Duke and Marla Schaffel, a Tony Award nominee (JANE EYRE) who appears each summer in GAAR productions.

Denes Striny, a well-known conductor, tenor and Bel Canto coach, joins GAAR this season as Co-Artistic Director, with Sabra Jones, of the GAAR Opera Company. Mr. Denes recently donated a Kawai Baby Grand piano to Hardwick Town Hall.

GAAR's summer season will also include the 2nd Annual Sowles Gala (Sunday - August 13) honoring Chairman of GAAR's Board, Dr. James Sowles; the Sowles Gala will feature a lavish dinner, and entertainment by Brian Cox, Marla Schaffel, Heidi Lauren Duke, and a bevy of local artists from the Greensboro Arts Alliance and Residency company. Blue Bloods star and renowned Broadway actor Len Cariou will among special guests.

Later this summer, Emmy Award Winner Brian Cox will star in the Pulitzer Prize winning, The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan; Artistic Director Sabra Jones will direct. - Opening Night is set for August 19; tickets and information can be found at: www.TheMirror.org

GAAR is a 501(c)(3) community-based arts organization that strives to benefit the community founded in 2005 as the summer wing of the Mirror Repertory Company (GAAR's parent company). The Mirror Repertory Company, originally founded in 1983 by Sabra Jones, is the spiritual successor to Harold Clurman's Group Theatre and Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory. The founding initiative was spearheaded by the legendary philanthropist from Woodstock, VT, Laurance S. Rockefeller, and received additional endowments from Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Dina Merrill, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Katharine Hepburn and Paul Newman, as well as ATT, The Astor Foundation, The Lilah Acheson Wallace Foundation (Reader's Digest) and a host of others. The original acting company starred Geraldine Page, Ellis Raab, and Elizabeth Franz as artists-in-residence, and featured F. Murray Abraham, Sabra Jones, Mason Adams, Maxwell Caulfield (Grease), Victor Slezak, Steven Weber, Juliet Mills, Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, Anthony Hopkins, Shirley Knight, Enrico Colantoni ("Person of Interest"), Tovah Feldshuh, and Michael Moriarty as regular company members.

Mirror Repertory Company is proud to have produced over 100 plays both within New York (Broadway and Off-Broadway) as well as in London, regionally, and on television. "This company has power to involve and connect," (The New York Times), The Mirror has been nominated for a Tony, as well as numerous awards, including Best Overall Excellence and Best Acting Ensemble (Outer Critics), and features an award-winning Arts & Education program, receiving the Brown and Williamson Award for Teaching Excellence.

Following the success of its production of Joshua Sobel's play THE SINNER last season at Hardwick Town Hall, directed by Brian Cox, GAAR presented the play earlier this year at New Rep Theatre in Boston.

Greensboro is located in the Green Mountains near Stowe ski resort and Sean Hill Brewery called by the New York Times' "Best Beer In The World" and the internationally known cheese caves of Jasper Hill Farms. Greensboro is also home to Cirkus Smirkus and The Bread and Puppet Theater, as well as innumerable painters and artists, this former home of Greta Garbo, Erich von Stroheim, Pulitzer Prize winning authors Wallace Stegner, John Gunther, Gish Jen, and Galway Kinell, the late Chief Justice Rhenquist, and has long been the beauteous refuge of a distinguished list of accomplished people.

Please visit TheMirror.org/#gaar website for full performance schedule and click here for tickets.



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