RANDOLPH – Maple Jam, Vermont’s a cappella jazz septet, returns to Chandler Center for the Arts with an evening of classic love songs in honor of Valentine’s Day. The jazzy vocal masters will share their artistry as part of Chandler’s intimate “Live & Upstairs!” music series in the upper gallery at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.
Maple Jam is set to serve up a program of romantic sounds from the “Great American Songbook” in a belated Valentine’s Day celebration that will warm the hearts of lovers, friends, and families. The a cappella ensemble last wowed a Chandler audience in September 2017, opening for vocal music legends The Persuasions in Chandler Music Hall.
The vocalists of Maple Jam, all based in Vermont, include: Clara Cavitt, alto; Karen Chickering, soprano; Vikki Day, alto; Jose Schmidt, bass; Alexandra “Alex” Tursi, soprano; Maarten van Ryckevorsel, tenor/vocal percussion; and Andy Warner, baritone.
For tickets or information, call 802-728-6464, or go online to www.chandler-arts.org.
Shanghai Opera Symphony
LYNDON CENTER – The Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Lyndon Institute Auditorium, a performance to support the Epic music program. Catamount Arts presents this famed 80-member orchestra in its first North America tour in a program of banner works of the symphonic repertoire.
The evening opens with Rossini’s happy, witty overture to “The Barber of Seville,” and winds up with one of the most popular orchestral works of all time, Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony. The program also features the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, surely one of the most celebrated — and most difficult — concertos ever written.
For tickets or information, call Catamount Arts, 802-748-2600, or go online to www.catamountarts.org.
STOWE – Based on the enthusiastic response to the first “ArtSmart: Dialogue on the Magic Flute,” Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center has announced that Erik Kronke will moderate pre-opera sessions for the February-May “Met Opera in HD” film presentations. Kroncke brings knowledge of opera as both a performer and opera connoisseur to the 45-minute pre-show background talk. Bring a bag lunch to enjoy this onstage discussion. The next Met opera HD film presentation will be “Adriana Lecouvreur” at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Kroncke is a bass soloist living in Montpelier who has appeared with Sarasota Opera, Opera San José, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Colorado, New Jersey Verismo Opera, Green Mountain Opera, and Austin Lyric Opera, among others.
To purchase tickets, call 802-760-4634, or go online to www.sprucepeakarts.org.
BURLINGTON – Inspired by a rich historical and musical heritage, Cirque Éloize’s 11th original adventure, “Saloon,” arrives at the Flynn Center main stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Imagine this: America is expanding. The railroad is snaking westward. A town comes to life. The saloon doors swing open revealing a motley cast of characters, each with a tale to tell. In “Saloon,” dynamic folk music and strains of fiddle set the tone for an acrobatic comedy that sweeps up the audience in a flurry of energy. True to its origins, Cirque Éloize has created a show that is a heady mix of theatricality, humor, acrobatics and a return to live music.
Tickets start at $25; call 802-86-FLYNN (863-5966), voice/relay calls welcome; or go online to www.flynncenter.org.
‘The Clean House’
SOUTH POMFRET – BarnArts Center for the Arts presents Sarah Ruhl’s “The Clean House” at the Grange Theatre Feb 15-17 and 21-24. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. Sundays.
“The Clean House,” nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 and one of Ruhl’s most beloved plays, is set in “metaphysical Connecticut” — near New York City and near “the sea.” Married doctors employ a Brazilian housekeeper, Matilde, who isn’t particularly interested in house cleaning, but prefers instead to focus on coming up with the perfect joke, meanwhile grieving her deceased parents. The particularities of Matilde overlap, with irony and gentleness, the privileged concerns and real struggles of her employers and those closest to them.
Reserved seat tickets are $10-$20; go online to www.barnarts.org.
Chris Jones bluegrass
BURLINGTON – Nine-time winner at the International Bluegrass Music Awards, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers will be doing a special concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Old North End Community Center located at 20 Allen St.
Jones has a unique connection with Burlington. As a teenager back in the late 1970s, he moved into the home of Ben Bergstein and April Werner and played guitar for their New England traditional dance group, the Green Mountain Volunteers. Soon after, the group embarked on its first international tour in a caravan of four VW vans in which they traveled from Germany to an international folk festival in Bourgas, Bulgaria.
Jones’ musicianship and sense of humor were well developed even at his tender age, and greatly appreciated by the rest of the performers and their audiences. After these earliest experiences as a touring artist, Jones went on to make his mark in the world of bluegrass.
Tickets are $20, $15 in advance; go online to www.northendstudios.org.
Adult ballet auditions
SOUTH BURLINGTON – Ballet Vermont will host auditions for the upcoming summer season of Farm to Ballet from 11 a.m. to 1p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at Spotlight Vermont, San Remo Drive. In-person auditions are preferred, but out-of-state dancers can submit video samples for consideration.
Now in its fifth year, Farm to Ballet will feature six performances, all in July, at picturesque venues throughout Vermont. The production will be presented in West Corinth, Wolcott, Brattleboro, Shelburne, Woodstock, and Essex. The 2019 summer season of the Farm to Ballet project will include live music provided by a sextet of professional musicians.
“We are looking for a diverse cast of dancers, from adults that are just beginning to explore ballet classes to more experienced dancers, or former dancers with previous training,” Artistic Director Chatch Pregger said.
The cast is composed of corps members, demi-soloists, soloists, and two to three principal dancers. Interested dancers can request an informational packet that details the benefits, commitment, and schedule required to participate in this summer’s performances.
Registration for the audition is available online at www.balletvermont.org.
New romance section
HARDWICK – Join in at The Galaxy Bookshop at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, for a swoon-worthy evening dedicated to romance literature. You’ll talk about the genre — its place in the literary industry, its multitude of subgenres, the stigmas it faces, and the reasons why romance literature is also feminist literature.
To bring an insider’s view, the special guest will be Anne Stuart. Stuart (aka Greensboro resident Krissie Ohlrogge) has been publishing novels for over 40 years and has won every major award in the romance field. Audience members will be treated to snacks and fun giveaways. The Galaxy Bookshop is making room on the shelves for a dedicated romance section, complementing existing shelves of literary fiction, classics, mysteries, and sci-fi/fantasy.
Admission is free; call 802-472-5533, or go online to https://galaxybookshop.com. The Galaxy Bookshop is located at 41 S. Main St.
Piano and percussion
BURLINGTON – Fresh from releasing a buzzed-about debut record, “Duologue,” folkloric street percussionist Pedrito Martinez and classical piano prodigy Alfredo Rodriguez come to FlynnSpace for two shows, at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17.
Painted in the broadest of strokes, the stories of Rodriguez and Martinez may seem similar: both started life in Havana, discovered their gifts and passions for music and headed to the States, where they melded the music of their homeland with a wide variety of influences, each in his own deeply personal way.
Despite their shared Cuban roots, Rodriguez and Martinez didn’t cross paths until both had moved to the U.S. The pianist caught a set by the always-thrilling Pedrito Martinez Group at a jazz festival and instantly knew he wanted to work with the percussionist.
Tickets are $35; call 802-86-FLYNN (863-5966), voice/relay calls welcome; or go online to www.flynncenter.org.