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Loyola at a Glance

Fall offers exciting events from the College of Music and Fine Arts

September 11, 2009

Mark your calendars! Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts offers an exciting lineup of fall events as part of its Montage Fine and Performing Arts Series.

Theatre Arts and Dance

Loyola Theatre kicks off its season in October with Yussef El Guindi’s award-winning comedy, “Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes.” Like the hit HBO series “Entourage,” the play skewers business as usual in Hollywood and asks how much it costs for one actor to betray his values and sell his soul for fame and fortune.

Ashraf is an Arab-American actor who just received rave reviews for his performance as Hamlet, but his dismal acting income means that he has trouble paying the bills. He needs his big break, a starring role in a Hollywood blockbuster. Will he sell out his values and morals for the siren’s call of Hollywood fortune and fame?

“Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes” will run in Lower Depths Theatre, located in the Communications/Music Complex, Oct. 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, at 8 p.m. and Oct. 11, at 2 p.m.

In November, Loyola Theatre presents a freshly Victorian gothic production of “A Christmas Carolhonoring Dickens’ original text adapted by Neil Bartlett. Bartlett’s version is the only published version of Dickens’ classic to use all original language.

“A Christmas Carol” will run in Marquette Theatre Nov. 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, at 7 p.m., and Nov. 8, at 2 p.m.

On Nov. 20 and 21, the Loyola Ballet, directed by Laura Zambrano, will present an evening of classical, character and contemporary dance works. The program will open with a 19th century ballet, followed by character dances and original works by local choreographers.

The performances take place in Roussel Hall at 8 p.m.

Guest Artists

Several guest artists will visit Loyola this fall.

Mezzo-soprano Clara O’Brien will give a free performance on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 12:30 p.m., in Monroe Hall’s Nunemaker Auditorium. She will follow that performance with a free masterclass on Friday, Sept. 25, at 4:30 p.m., in the choral room for the Communications/Music Complex, CM 230.

O’Brien, a current assistant professor for voice at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has performed with many of the nation’s famous music organizations including Chicago Lyric Opera and the Aspen Music Festival. She studied at both the Eastman School of Music and the Dana School of Music, and completed her stage training at the Curtis Institute of Music. O’Brien, a Fulbright Scholar, was also awarded a fellowship to the Münchener Singschul.

Cellist Alexander Russakovsky, an associate professor of cello at the University of Southern Mississippi, will give a solo concert on Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m., in Roussel Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.

Russakovsky is a founding member of the Jerusalem Academy String Quartet, with which he has performed throughout Israel, Germany, Switzerland, Holland and France. He has made numerous solo appearances with orchestras in Israel, Russia and the United States and has performed with various other string quartets and other chamber music groups.

He studied at the Leningrad Conservatory under renowned Russian professors Emmanuel Fishman and Anatoli Nikitin. Russakovsky received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Jerusalem Rubin Academy and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music. He holds a doctorate in cello performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he studied with Geoffrey Rutkowski and Ron Leonard.

On Oct. 30, the New Orleans Friends of Music will team up with Loyola to present an exciting program by acclaimed international virtuosos Lera Auerbach, piano, and Ani Aznavoorian, cello, at 7:30 p.m., in Roussel Hall. The concert will feature works by Rachmaninoff along with original works and arrangements by Auerbach, including the U.S. premiere of her transcription of Shostakovich’s 24 preludes for piano, Op. 34.

Auerbach is a widely performed composer who continues the great tradition of pianist-composers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Aznavoorian is an acclaimed young cellist who has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic and the Helsinki Philharmonic. She proudly performs on a cello made in Chicago, by her father Peter Aznavoorian.

For tickets, visit the New Orleans Friends of Music website or call 504-895-0690.

Jazz Underground Series

The Jazz Underground Series offers an exciting line-up of performances in Satchmo’s Jazz Café, located on the lower level of the Danna Student Center.

The series begins Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m., with the fifth annual Coltrane Festival, featuring a performance by UNO jazz studies professor and saxophonist Ed Peterson.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz ensemble will perform on Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m., and jazz percussionist and New England Conservatory of Music instructor Bob Moses will present “Heart Mantra,” on Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m.

On Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m., acclaimed jazz percussionist and Loyola alumnus Stanton Moore, ’94, will perform a salute to the legendary New Orleans jazz musician James Black.

Jazz Underground tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for Loyola faculty and staff. All students are admitted free.

Diboll Art Gallery

The Collins C. Diboll Art Gallery has an intriguing and fun run of exhibits this semester.

Currently showing in the gallery are the exhibits, “Juju,” by Sandra Russell Clark, and “Sculpture Studies,” by Loyola visual arts professor W. Mark Grote. The exhibit will be on display Sept. 10 – Oct. 23.

Clark’s photo exhibit explores the reality and perception of objects people collect, and the underlying story behind them.

“Walking through the wreckage and debris of Katrina, I was struck by all that just seemed to evaporate and disappear but also by what was left behind,” says Clark. “This included small items that seem to tell a story about their owners–a group of dolls or old tools, a rocking horse from someone’s childhood, stacks of old LP’s, odd still lives, tchotchkes and bric-a-brac. All of these small pieces made up part of someone else’s life–mementos, talismans, lucky charms, mascots, juju.”

Grote’s exhibit features drawings that were derived from several of his own sculptures. According to Grote, his intention was to create whimsical two-dimensional illustrations of these sculptures.

Beginning Nov. 5, the gallery will exhibit “Keith Haring: Print Retrospective 1982 – 1990” from the collection of Mr. Stuart H. Smith and Mr. Barry J. Cooper Jr.

The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 29, 2010. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m.

Born in Pennsylvania, Keith Haring began as a pop artist. He set out to reach the widest possible audience with his early drawings in subways and quickly gained recognition in the art world with his comic-book-stylized figures. His images often contradict their simple appearance and contain highly politicized messages, like his 1986 wall painting, “Crack is Wack.”

In addition to these events, the Montage Fine and Performing Arts Series also will feature several exciting performances by university faculty and student ensembles and guest masterclasses.

For more information about upcoming events, including how to purchase tickets, visit montage.loyno.edu.

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