Monday, June 4, 2012

What you missed this weekend...

Unless, of course, you went to Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston:

Composer Philip Glass, stooped and peering through spectacles and looking like the professor he might have become when studying math and philosophy at the University of Chicago, as he took bows after the final performance of his opera "Kepler" (about the German astronomer);

A rivulet of sweat trickling down the jaw of Jennifer Frautschi, a newcomer to the chamber music lineup, as she negotiated the tortuous final movement of Leos Janacek's violin sonata with pianist Stephen Prutsman;

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, sandwiching an electrifying piece about the annunciation of Christ's birth between two dark works -- literally and figuratively -- about human tribalism;

Ukulele phenom Jake Shimabukuro doing a sound check for his outdoor concert at The Cistern, dazzling about two dozen passers-by (me among them) with 20 free minutes of his virtuosity;

Oscar-nominated director Atom Egoyan's multi-media presentation of "Feng Yi Ting," an opera by Guo Wenjing about political machinations between a patriot and the two men she manipulates during the Han dynasty (and the coolest 45 minutes of opera you'll see this spring).

You have one more week to catch the 2012 edition; it closes Sunday night with a concert by Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole. (Get details at I realize most of us head for the beach in  warm weather to give our minds a rest, not open them up. But you'll never see things like these in Charlotte.