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Stage: theater, music, dance

May 13, 2004

Slutsky recital

Piano fans will want to note Sunday's recital by Boris Slutsky, presented by Community Concerts at Second. The Moscow-born pianist, current chair of the Peabody Institute's Piano Department, has a long list of awards to his credit, including both first prize and audience prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition. He has given concerts on three continents but, like several other remarkable Baltimore-based artists, isn't heard locally often enough.

Slutzky's program offers a potent sampling of works by Bach, Beethoven (the richly expressive Sonata No. 26, known as Les Adieux), Chopin and Ravel. And, like all Community Concerts events, admission is free (donations, of course, happily accepted).

Boris Slutsky's recital is at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Second Presbyterian Church, 4200 St. Paul St. Call 410-744-4034.

Rare Haydn opera

Opera Lafayette will fly you to the moon on Sunday, with a lot of charming music as fuel. Haydn, famed as the Father of the Symphony, wrote quite a few operas as well, but they have never established a secure footing in the repertoire. One of his most engaging works for the stage is Il mondo della luna (The World on the Moon), a comedy composed in 1777. The plot, like those of so many operas of the time, concerns an attempt to hoodwink an older gentleman into accepting matrimonial activity he would otherwise oppose. In this case, the poor guy is fooled into thinking he has traveled to the moon. By the time he's brought back down to reality, his two daughters and even his maid are all hitched.

This rare, semi-staged presentation of Il mondo della luna features bass-baritone Francois Loup and tenor Ben Butterfield. Leon Major is the director. Ryan Brown, founder and artistic director of the exceptional Opera Lafayette, will conduct.

The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Stadium Drive and University Boulevard, College Park. Tickets are $20 to $45; $5 for students. Call 301-405-2787.

- Tim Smith

Weill's `Street Scene'

As a preview of the sultry summer that's soon to come, Street Scene, a musical set on the streets of New York over the course of a steamy summer day and night, opens at Fell's Point Corner Theatre tomorrow.

Described by its composer, Kurt Weill, as a "Broadway opera," the 1947 show has lyrics by Langston Hughes and a script adapted by Elmer Rice from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name.

Bill Kamberger directs a cast headed by Phyllis Burg, Byron Fenstermaker, Nancy Kelso, Shannon Miller and Jed Springfield. Musical direction is by Sharon Igoe and choreography by Gary Heil.

Show times at Fell's Point Corner, 251 S. Ann St., are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through June 13. Tickets are $15. Call 410-276-7837.

You can get a sense of the musical's source at 10 a.m. Saturday when the FilmTalk discussion series at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., presents a free screening of the 1931 movie of Rice's play. Directed by King Vidor, the movie stars Sylvia Sidney, William Collier Jr., Estelle Taylor and Beulah Bondi. Street Scene will be screened in Wheeler Auditorium on the third floor of the library.

- J. Wynn Rousuck

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