Opera House plans its first live event this Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs


Duo Ekstasis

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center presents its first indoor live performance event on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with the incredible Ekstasis Duo presenting a new program of music from under-represented composers.

Opera executive director Rick Davis notes that “Due to the increase in COVID cases in Chautauqua County and the change in its community transmission level designation to HIGH, we are requiring all customers to wear masks before, during and after opera events . “ He adds that the Opera Board and staff are grateful for everyone’s cooperation in this, hopefully temporary, requirement.

Cellist Natasha Farny and pianist Eliran Avni met when they were students years ago at Juilliard. As an Ekstasis Duo, they are committed to creating juxtapositions and similarities through bold programming. They thrive on contrast, intensity and passion that electrifies audiences and ignites emotions.

Recently, the two decided to embark on a new mission: to celebrate the masterpieces and gems of lesser-known works and under-represented composers. From the Shadows… is a major step in this mission with a varied program that includes works by composers Alexander Zemlinsky, Alma Mahler, Lili Boulanger and George Walker, among others, and songs by Nina Simone.

Acclaimed as a “Excellent solo cello” and as having a “Your big and generous” Farny made his concerto debut at age 17 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and performs frequently as a soloist and chamber musician. Recent performances have included concertos with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Abilene Philharmonic and Greeley Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Longwood (Boston) Symphony, the Orchard Park Symphony, the National Music Festival Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Sinfonia, the ‘Erie Chamber Orchestra and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra.

Farny studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and Yale College during his undergraduate years. After earning her masters and doctorate degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School, she was awarded a scholarship to study in Leipzig, Germany. Dr Farny is professor of cello in the School of Music at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Rented as owning both “foolproof technique” and “great flexibility” by The New York Times, Avni is considered an emerging force in the contemporary classical music scene. Hailed by Ma’ariv as “The new hope of Israeli music”, he made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Zubin Mehta at the age of 17. Since then he has performed as a soloist and chamber music collaborator across Europe, North and South America, as well as in his native Israel, and has performed for Israeli broadcasting systems and Germans.

As a soloist, Avni is known as a preeminent performer of the music of Avner Dorman. Highlights of the solo performance include Dorman’s Azerbaijani dance with the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta at Carnegie Hall, Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto with the Alabama Symphony, and the Grieg Concerto with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. He has also collaborated with many artists including Yehonatan Berick, Daniel Muller-Schott, Sharon Kam, Terrence Wilson, Jennifer Aylmer and William Sharp, as well as actors Sigourney Weaver and Richard Chamberlain.

Tickets cost $ 15 for adults, $ 13 for Opera members and $ 10 for students, and can be purchased in person at the Opera ticket office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. online at www.fredopera.org at any time.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center is a non-profit, member-supported performing arts center with a mission to “To present the performing arts for the benefit of our community and our region… providing access to artistic diversity… and to high quality programming at an affordable price. It is located at the town hall in downtown Fredonia. For a full calendar of events, visit www.fredopera.org.

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