HARVIN COLUMN: 'Carmen' showcases opera star Graves in classic role
It's finally here. Opera Charleston opens this week with "Carmen," starring Metropolitan Opera star Denyce Graves.
There's definitely a Charleston audience that loves opera as Spoleto Festival USA can stage as many as three operatic productions in a 17-day period. This new company promises to bring some exciting voices to the stage.
Graves is internationally known for her role in "Carmen," and has sung for several companies, including Covent Garden, Teatro Real in Madrid, Los Angeles Opera and the Royal Opera.
She had a stellar performance in the role opposite Placido Domingo>.
This is a new production of Georges Bizet's beloved tale of destructive obsession.
It will feature production elements such as large-screen projections and real-time video along with special lighting effects provided by Production Design Associates of North Charleston. Think of a concert arena set in 1930s Spain.
It's a great time to go see an opera and support this new company, even if you have never been to one.
The caliber of Graves and the other singers engaged for this performance promises to set the stage for plenty of encores.
You even get to hear Charleston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Louis Salemno, one of the most acclaimed American opera conductors.
Carmen will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. March 11 at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St.
On Tuesday, Charleston artist Nathan Durfee will give a free public lecture at 6:30 p.m. in Bond Hall Room 165 at The Citadel as part of the opening for his exhibition, "Nathan Durfee: An Artist's Journey."
He's known for his surrealist images and lighthearted look at the world. He's become a local favorite.
In this show, he pulls out work from his sketchbook that has never been exhibited before. Sketches are always the way to see the artist's mind at work because the pen and ink show the direct connection of the hand to the paper.
Paintings are wonderful, but they can obscure the free form of the idea and it's always great to hear what an artist tells you about his ideas. It's a look into the process of creativity.
Durfee graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design and has since contributed to various publications across the Southeast in addition to designing album art, commercial promotional materials, children's books and zines.
If you have ambitions to be a serious writer, the staff at Crazyhorse magazine, a national literary journal published at the College of Charleston, is hosting the Crazyhorse Writers Conference on March 15-18.
It will bring together a group of varied literary artists for a full weekend of lectures and the opportunity to socialize with the faculty.
Anyone who writes, wants to write or simply wants to know more about the life of letters, may enjoy this.
It features local author Brett Lott, poets Mary Ann Davis and Emily Rosko, and Crazyhorse Fiction Editor Anthony Varallo.
National writers include Doug Dorst, author of "Alive in Necropolis," which was short-listed for the PEN/Hemingway and Shirley Jackson Awards; Robin Hemley, whose awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Nelson Algren Award for Fiction from the Chicago Tribune, The Story Magazine Humor Prize, and two Pushcart Prizes; poet, playwright and translator Sherod Santos, author of six books of poetry; and Marian Young, owner of The Young Agency and a literary agent who represents Lott among other prestigious authors.
To register, go to chwriters.cofc.edu.
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir and CSO Spiritual Ensemble are leaving Tuesday to perform in a three-day choral festival March 8-12 at the invitation of the Republic of Ghana in West Africa. The two musical groups are among choirs from around the world collaborating on this international project.
The choir will have a 24-hour escort to explore the area and will perform concerts at the National Theatre in Accra, Cape Coast Castle, local village schools and friendship concerts at local churches.