June 13, 2007

Music festival to serenade Benton, Sesser

by Andrea Hahn


CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois Music Festival, sponsored by Southern Illinois University Carbondale, brings two concerts to Benton this summer.

Klassics for Kids, a free, interactive program designed to introduce classical music to audiences up to 8 years old, will be at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 21, at the Benton Public Library, 502 S. Main Street. The event is intended for families with children, but everyone in the community is invited.

Later that evening, a chamber concert featuring wind and brass quintets comes to the First Baptist Church of Benton, 211 S. Market Street.

Benton-area residents may also want to include events from nearby Sesser on their summer activity roster.

A chamber concert comes to the opera house there on June 19, featuring a production of Stravinsky's "A Soldier's Tale" performed by a mixed ensemble with narration. The concert also includes the Carmen Suite from the French opera by Georges Bizet and "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks" Richard Strauss.

Klassics for Kids is also available at the opera house at 4 p.m. on June 21. Later that evening, the opera house hosts a strings concert featuring double concerto by Bach, with violin soloists Michael Barta and Josh Schlacter, Sibelius and Dvorak.

Donizetti's opera, "Elixir of Love," graces the opera house stage on June 28. The comic Italian opera, sung in English, will use lighting, scenery and costumes as well as the music and language to tell the light-hearted, romantic and yet inspiring story of how the peasant Nemorino wins the hand of the wealthy beauty Adina aided by what he believes to be a love potion, and what instead turns out to be a bottle of Southern Illinois wine. The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail underwrote the cost of the opera.

Other major sponsors include the Illinois Arts Council, the City of Carbondale, The Southern Illinoisan, WSIL-TV, WSIU Public Broadcasting, Carbondale Community Arts, Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Southern Illinois Miners, Mélange, Boundless Gallery.com, Dr. Samuel Goldman, the Julia Harrison Bruce Foundation-Bank of Herrin Trustee, the Garwin Family Foundation, Hastings Foundation, Moore-Corpora Foundation, SISO Patrons Committee and Southern Foundation.

More information and a complete list of events and venues are available at www.SIFest.com or by calling 618-53-MUSIC or 618/453-2776.

Here are the Benton and Sesser dates:

Tuesday, June 19

Chamber Concert

7:30 p.m., Sesser Opera House

Stravinsky: A Soldier's Tale, text by Kurt Vonnegut

Bizet: Carmen Suite

Richard Strauss: "Till Eulenspeigel's Merry Pranks."

Narrator: Rick Williams

$7 adults, $4 students

Thursday, June 21

Klassics for Kids (up to 8 years old)

4 p.m., Benton Public Library

Brass quintet

Klassics for Kids

4 p.m., Sesser Opera House

String Quartet

Chamber Concert

7:30 p.m., First Baptist Church of Benton

Wind and brass quintets

$7 adults, $4 students

String Orchestra Concert

7:30 p.m., Sesser Opera House

Bach: Double Concerto with Michael Barta and Josh Schlachter, soloists

Sibelius: Valse Triste

Dvorak: String Serenade

$7 adults, $4 students

Thursday, June 28


7:30 p.m., Sesser Opera House

Donizetti: Elixir of Love, sung in English

Directed by John Lipe

$7 adults, $4 students