By Stacey Muncie
TERRE HAUTE —
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Hatfield Hall is celebrating 10 years of bringing innovative and talented acts to the Wabash Valley with its 2012-2013 Performing Arts Series. Offerings as diverse as bluegrass, ballet, Broadway favorites, and family-friendly educational programs employ acrobats and actors, musicians and vocalists, science and sleuthing to round out a season which includes something for everyone.
New this year, the Al Schmidt Concert at White Chapel will feature Baroque chamber group Ensemble Voltaire on Sept. 30. The group is widely known for its unique performances of Baroque chamber music featuring period instruments. Its musicians masterfully create a time-bridging performance of early music for a contemporary audience.
Kicking off Hatfield Hall’s Mainstage Series is Grammy-nominated organist, Cameron Carpenter on Oct. 9.
Forget what you know about this instrument — Carpenter is smashing the stereotypes of organists and organ music alike. His flamboyant performances, combined with a repertoire including classical and original compositions, as well and jazz and pop collaborations, have garnered both acclaim and controversy.
Gearheads to grandmothers and everyone in between will delight in the nostalgic tale brought to life in two shows of Cirque Mechanics’ Birdhouse Factory on Oct. 14 and 15.
If engineers ran away and joined the circus, Cirque Mechanics’ Birdhouse Factory might be the result. Inspired by modern circus, Cirque Mechanics finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity. The show’s visual display of acrobatics, music and comic interpretation mesh with mechanical elements to create storytelling in three dimensions.
He’s earned comparisons to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, and has performed for both Conan O’Brien and the Queen of England — on the ukulele. Now Jake Shimabukuro is bringing his unique brand of ukulele music to Hatfield Hall on Nov. 9.
With offerings like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” alongside Bach and Hawaiian folk tunes, this performance will shatter the audience’s paradigm of ukulele music.
On Nov. 30, kick off the holiday season with Neil Berg’s Broadway Holiday.
Direct from New York, Broadway alumni along with musical director Neil Berg and a three-piece band will take the audience on a journey through Broadway with hits from classic shows such as “My Fair Lady” and “South Pacific” to current blockbusters like “Jersey Boys” and “Wicked” right into the holidays with favorite holiday classics.
Hatfield Hall will launch 2013 with The Russian National Ballet’s performance of “Giselle” on Jan. 9.
One of the oldest ballets still performed today, “Giselle” is the tragic romance of the beautiful young peasant who falls for the flirtations of the deceitful Duke Albrecht. The Russian National Ballet incorporates lavish sets, beautiful costumes and tremendously gifted dancers to bring this classic ballet to life.
Next, the unique sound of Mountain Heart will fill the theater on Jan. 19.
Since forming in 1999, Mountain Heart has fearlessly revolutionized the way acoustic music is performed and presented. The band has garnered dozens of honors and nominations including Grammy, ACM, CMA, and IBMA recognitions, and made more than 125 appearances at the Grand Old Opry.
Popular songstress Susan Werner will bring her soulful style to the stage on Feb. 2.
One of the most intriguing singer-songwriters today, Werner was once dubbed “the empress of the unexpected” on National Public Radio. The Iowa native has forged a fanatical following during her personal musical evolution, beginning with her traditional folk-singing roots and melding with jazz, blues and pop genres.
Also in February, chamber orchestra The Knights team up with pipa virtuoso Wu Man for an evening of East meets West on Feb. 14.
One of the most exciting new groups to emerge in recent years, the 40-member chamber orchestra known as The Knights has taken the world of classical music by storm. Joining them will be Grammy-nominee Wu Man, whose adventurous musical spirit has led to her becoming a respected expert on the history and preservation of Chinese musical traditions.
Just a few days after St. Patrick’s Day, StepCrew will delight patrons with its blend of Irish Stepdancing, Ottawa Valley Stepdancing and modern tap on March 22.
These six dynamic performers both excel in their respective traditional forms of dance and create brand new, modern fusions of all three styles. Backed by a five-piece band, Celtic vocals, and three champion fiddle players, StepCrew leaves Irish hearts and happy faces smiling.
Finally, he’s bringing sexy back … to opera. Hatfield Hall’s season concludes on May 2 with one of the most exciting and in-demand opera baritones of the day, Nathan Gunn. Dubbed one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive in 2008, he has appeared in internationally-renowned opera houses such as the Metropolitan Opera and his distinguished repertoire includes title roles in “Billy Budd,” “The Barber of Seville” and “Hamlet.”
He also regularly ventures outside classical music with appearances in cabaret shows and musical theater, and his solo album, Just Before Sunrise, features works by contemporary songwriters including Tom Waits, Sting, Gene Scheer and Ben Moore.
Hatfield Hall’s Family Series showcases science and art for audiences of all ages.
• The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
What: Based on the popular children’s book by Jon Sciezka and Lane Smith, the play begins where a classic tale left off: the aftermath of the Big Bad Wolf’s crime spree.
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 8
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students
• Doktor Kaboom — It’s Just Rocket Science
What: Doktor Kaboom returns with his new interactive one-man science variety show. It’s brainy fun for the whole family!
When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 22
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students
• Jack Hanna
What: Take a walk on the wild side with America’s favorite zookeeper, whose infectious energy and hands-on approach to wildlife conservation have won widespread acclaim.
When: 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 9
Tickets: $23-27 adults, $15 students
• Lightwire Theater — The Ugly Duckling & The Tortoise and the Hare
What: Cutting edge technology and moving sculpture bring new life to a pair of classic tales.
When: 7 p.m. March 13
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students
• Specific show information is available by calling the Hatfield Hall ticket desk at (812) 877-8544 or visiting hatfieldhall.com.
• Ticket desk hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and two hours before each event.