Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Cleveland Opera Does 'Porgy and Bess,' and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch Through Memorial Day Week

Posted By on Tue, May 21, 2019 at 12:57 PM

  • Courtesy Cleveland Opera

Events in the classical music world thin out during the two weeks surrounding Memorial Day, but here are eight concerts you should be aware of as we transition into a busy month of June.

The Cleveland Orchestra has two programs left in its regular season. The first features British baritone Simon Keenlyside in songs by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, flanked by a suite from Peer Gynt by his Norwegian counterpart Edvard Grieg. Later in the concert, the focus moves south with Richard Strauss’ Aus Italien. Franz Welser-Möst leads the ensemble on Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 pm.

Former associate conductor Brett Mitchell returns to lead the Orchestra in Gershwin’s score to An American in Paris on Thursday, May 30 at 7:30 pm, Friday, May 31 at 8:00 pm, and Saturday, June 1 at 8:00 pm. Meanwhile, the 1951 film inspired by Gerhswin’s 1928 orchestral piece will be shown on the big screen, starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, and others.
Tickets for all Severance Hall concerts are available online.

Praxis Fiber Gallery’s Underground Classical series brings The alt Default to its Collinwood venue on Friday, May 24 at 8:00 pm. Nathaniel Wolkstein (violin, guitar, and voice), Hannah Rose Nicholas (viola and voice), and Dave Connnor (acoustic and electric bass) will play alternative and rock-influenced original songs, arrangements of classical and jazz tunes, and their unique interpretations of folk music from all over the world. A freewill offering gets you in the door.

How many grand pianos can you fit on one concert stage? Being an all-Steinway school, Oberlin owns a lot of them, and several will be featured in its annual Grand Piano Extravaganza on Friday, May 24 at 8:30 pm in Warner Concert Hall. Conservatory faculty members and students will apply up to 32 of their hands in various combinations, playing music for one to eight pianos. Acting Dean William Quillen emcees the event, for which tickets are available through the Oberlin Alumni Office (440.775.8692). The concert will also be live-streamed here.

On Sunday, May 26 at 4:00 pm, Duo Mignarda (mezzo-soprano Donna Stewart and lutenist Ron Andrico) will team up with baritone José Gotera and their Chicago colleagues Francy Acosta, soprano, and José Luis Posada, lute, for a program of sacred music by Spanish Renaissance composers. The program, at Immaculate Conception Church in Midtown Cleveland, features works by Francisco Guerrero, Cristóbal de Morales, and Tomás Luis de Victoria, and a freewill offering will be taken up.

The Cleveland Opera will present a one-night only performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Ohio Theater in Playhouse Square on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 pm. Darwin Aquino conducts, and the cast is headed up by Jonathan Stuckey (Porgy), Karen Clark Green (Bess), Brian Keith Johnson (Crown), and Matthew Jones (Sportin’ Life). The show runs about three hours with two intermissions, and tickets are available online.

Western Reserve Chorale director David Gilson has selected ten settings of poems by e.e. cummings for the chorus’s final concert of the season, balanced in the second half of the program by Ola Gjielo’s Sunrise Mass. The free concert with string orchestra takes place on Sunday, June 2 at 3:30 pm at the Church of the Gesu in University Heights. A freewill offering will be collected.

Check out details of these and other events on our Concert Listings page.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 18, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation