Sorry, we meant to get this announcement out earlier but… if you’ve been wondering why so many law enforcement officers and police dogs have been entering the Weidner Center at various times Monday and today… the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Canine Association has been holding training sessions. As many as 120 officer-canine teams are taking part. (If you need to visit the Weidner Center yet today (Tuesday), be sure to heed the signage and avoid the cordoned-off areas — they don’t want anyone disrupting their training scenarios, plus safety reasons and all.) Also in use as a training site is the former Language House in the woods above Nicolet Drive.
Tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday (Oct. 9) at 11 a.m. for the spring Weidner Center concert by singer/songwriter and blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa. For more on the show and ticket availability.
Lovers of opera and classically trained vocal performance will have the opportunity to hear top young talent from across the nation and beyond when the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay hosts a prestigious international music competition Friday through Sunday, Oct. 9-11.
The International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition takes place in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, located on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay. Admission is free, and the public is welcome to attend at any point during the competition’s three rounds — opening, semifinal and final.
The 2015 edition of the every-other-year competition is the 13th since its inception in Montreal, Canada, in 1991. This is the first year Green Bay will host the finals, a change based in part on a history of success as a preliminary venue. UW-Green Bay has hosted opening rounds six straight times since 2003.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the finals to Green Bay. This competition has a great history, and our audiences have really enjoyed being able to hear amazing singers from around the world,” says UW-Green Bay Music Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston, director, who with community patron Sharon Resch, producer, is organizing the weekend’s events.
The competition schedule (subject to change) is as follows:
• Friday, Oct. 9 — Preliminary Round 10 a.m. – noon
• Saturday, Oct. 10 — Semifinal sessions beginning at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 11 — Finals, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (closing reception, 3 p.m.)
“This is a competition that showcases the beauty of the Czech-Slovak repertoire,” Meredith Livingston says. “It also provides a chance for promising young singers to further their careers, and it demonstrates to our local voice students what can be possible when talent, training and dedication come together.”
A total of 19 male and female vocalists have entered to take part in the Green Bay preliminary rounds. (Preliminaries will also take place in Montreal, earlier the same week, with contenders vying to advance to Green Bay for the semifinals.)
The list of entrants here includes vocalists from New Jersey, California, Ohio and Massachusetts as well as several each from Michigan and Illinois, and one from Kronberg, Germany. Competitors from Wisconsin are Sarah Butler, soprano, Milwaukee; Talia Nepper, lyric soprano, Franksville; Elena Stabile, soprano, Appleton; and Ian Toohill, tenor, Shorewood.
The winner of the International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition will receive $5,000 Canadian and be featured in recital at a later date at the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic. The event offers a total of seven cash awards including $2,500C for second place and $2,000C for third.
The first-place finisher in the 2013 competition, Ukrainian-born soprano and University of Michigan graduate Antonina Chekhosvkya, now tours professionally as an opera, symphony and solo recitalist. Within months of her 2007 title, Simone Osborne, now with the Vancouver and Canadian Opera companies, became one of the youngest winners (at age 21) of the famous New York Metropolitan Opera auditions. The 2003 top prize winner, Jan Martiník, is today a featured performer with the Berlin State Opera.
The distinguished panel of international jurors for the 2015 competition includes Alois Jezek, artistic director of the Dvorak International Voice Competition, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic; Ales Kanka, Prague Conservatory; Prof. Victor Yampolsky of Northwestern University; Maestro Gildo Dinunzio, assistant conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, New York; and Alain Nonat, artistic director of Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20,, Montreal, and the competition’s founder. Also serving as jurors will be UW-Green Bay’s Meredith, herself an accomplished vocalist and Fulbright honoree for her performance and academic work primarily in the Czech-Slovak repertoire, and Seong-Kyung Graham, music director and conductor for the Civic Symphony of Green Bay.
Singers will be accompanied, for the seventh consecutive time at the Green Bay site, by pianist Tim Cheek, a professor, Czech diction specialist and vocal coach at the University of Michigan.
Nonat and others created the Montreal competition in 1991 to commemorate the 150th celebration of renowned composer Antonin Dvorak’s birth. Today, the event continues to promote the Czech and Slovak vocal repertoire for young singers, while fostering exchanges of young musicians and specialists between North America and the Czech Republic, as well as Slovakia.
It is expected that Bořek Lizec, counsel general of the Czech Republic in Chicago, will be on hand for the presentation of awards at the reception following the Oct. 11 finals.
The final round begins at 10 a.m. in the Weidner’s Fort Howard Hall, only a few hours ahead of that day’s noon kickoff across town at Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers will host NFL rival the St. Louis Rams.
“People everywhere know about Green Bay and world championship performances in football,” Meredith says. “It’s nice to be able to add to that, in our own way, by bringing an international competition in music to this community, and showcasing these talented vocal performers.”
We’re only 10 days out from the start of a grand opening week for the Weidner Center’s 2015-16 Performing Arts Series. Up first, on Friday night, Oct. 9, is a brand-new improv show, “Whose Live Anyway?” from the comedic minds behind the Emmy-nominated TV hit, “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” The next night, it’s the popular country-tinged vocal band Home Free, on Oct. 10. On Wednesday, Oct. 14, Celtic Woman brings its 10th Anniversary World Tour with four Irish musicians — three angelic vocalists and a dazzling Celtic violinist — accompanied by a full band, bagpipers, Irish dancers and (special to this tour) male vocalists, The Celtic Tenors. For details and ticket info on each of the first three shows.
Tickets for the 2015-2016 Weidner Center Performing Arts Season will go on sale outside of subscription this Friday, August 14 at 11 am. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 800-895-0071, or in person at Ticket Star locations. As a reminder, this seasons shows include:
Whose Live Anyway?
Friday, October 9, 7:30pm
Home Free Saturday, October 10, 7:30pm
Celtic Woman * Wednesday, October 14, 7:00pm
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Tuesday, October 20, 7:30pm
The Midtown Men Tuesday, October 27, 7:30pm
Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk Friday, November 6, 7:30pm
It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Thursday, November 19, 7:30pm & Friday, November 20, 7:30pm
Ronnie Milsap ** Saturday, November 21, 7:30pm
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis * Saturday, November 28, 7:30pm
Holiday Pops Friday, December 11, 7:30pm & Saturday, December 12, 2:30pm
Doctors in Recital Saturday, January 16, 7:00pm
Vocalosity Friday, January 22, 7:30pm
Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny Saturday, January 30, 11:00am
L.A. Theatre Works – Bram Stoker’s Dracula Tuesday, February 2, 7:30pm
Celtic Nights – Spirit of Freedom – Celebrating 100 Years Friday, February 12, 7:30pm
The Peking Acrobats – 30th Anniversary Tour Thursday, February 18, 7:30pm
ONCE Thursday, February 25, 7:30pm
PostSecret: The Show Saturday, February 27, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Dancing in the Streets Thursday, March 17, 7:30pm
Wild Kratts Live! Friday, April 8, 7:00pm
Mnozil Brass Tuesday, April 12, 7:30pm
RAIN – A Tribute to The Beatles Sunday, May 1, 7:30pm
*Tickets are already on sale for Celtic Woman and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis.
** Please note show date and time change for Ronnie Milsap.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that with general ticket sales starting Friday for the upcoming Weidner season, already some early favorites have emerged based on the season subscription sales that started in June. “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and Celtic Woman in October, Mannheim Steamroller’s holiday show on Nov. 28 are all selling well, as are “RAIN — A Tribute to The Beatles and “Whose Live Anyway?,” an improv comedy show.
Ronnie Milsap has been invited to the 2015 Country Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony this Oct. 25, and subsequently he will be unable to perform at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on that date. Milsap’s concert has been rescheduled, however, to Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. Previously issued tickets will be honored at the Weidner Center on this new date and time. Those unable to attend Ronnie Milsap’s performance on this rescheduled date, will receive a refund upon receipt of returned tickets. The deadline to return tickets for refund is Oct. 19. Please contact Ticket Star or the Weidner Center with any questions. Single tickets for Ronnie Milsap, along with the other shows in the 15/16 Performing Arts Season, go on sale to the general public Friday, August 14 at 11 a.m.
Since giving up his job as a truck driver in 2002, Tim Hawkins has been crafting a family-friendly comedy show that has won him a national following. His standup act includes music — parodies of everything from Dylan to Aldean to insightfully weird original songs — and delves into the perils of marriage, parenting, and homeschooling. Tickets for his Weidner Center performance, at 7 p.m. this Sunday (July 19) start as low as $24. For more.
Broadway shows, entertaining comedy, music icons and family fun are among the highlights of the 2015-16 Performing Arts Season line-up at UWGB’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. A stage full of Weidner friends and patrons joined Weidner Center Executive Director Kate Green in highlighting the new season at a kick-off event June 24.
Announced at the June 24 reveal, UW-Green Bay students, faculty and staff will have center stage in the Weidner with main-stage performances of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” November 19-20. UWGB Music and Theatre programs are highlighted exclusively in a two-page spread in the Weidner’s 2015-16 season guide.