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'Opera and Oratorio Encores' April 14

The Phipps Choral Society will perform "Opera & Oratorio Encores" on Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m.

Selections will include "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves" from "Nabucco," "Brindisi" from "La Traviata," and "Triumphal Scene" from "Aida," all by Giuseppe Verdi; "Humming Chorus" from "Madama Butterfly" by Giacomo Puccini; "The Promise of Living" from Aaron Copland's opera "The Tender Land;" and "Make Our Garden Grow" from Leonard Bernstein's opera "Candide."

The ensemble will also perform a couple of choruses from the oratorio genre to round out the program of encore caliber works.

The chorus of 50 voices from the St. Croix Valley area is under the direction of Music Director Thomas Dahle. Accompaniment will be provided by Heather Tank, piano, as well as a few instrumentalists.

Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for students of any age.

'Flat Stanley' inspires musical comedy

"The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley Jr.," with the book by Timothy A. McDonald, lyrics by McDonald and Jonathan K. Waller, music by David Weinstein, Waller, McDonald, and Stephen Gabriel, based on the book "Flat Stanley," by Jeff Brown, with illustrations by Scott Nash, will be performed by The Phipps Children's Theater April 26 through May 5.

The beloved children's book is a literary and pop culture phenomenon, delighting readers all around the world. Now it has been adapted into a musical filled with infectious songs and non-stop adventure.

Stanley Lambchop is an ordinary, everyday ten-year-old until the bulletin board on the wall above his bed comes loose and falls right on top of him. The next morning, Stanley wakes up flat. In a whirlwind musical travelogue, Stanley, the ultimate exchange student, scours the globe for a solution to his unusual problem. He is stamped, posted, and canceled from Hollywood and France to Honolulu and beyond, all in an effort to become a three-dimensional boy once more.

Lindsay Fitzgerald directs, Madeline Moen is the music director, and Chris Adam is the choreographer. Fitzgerald and Moen most recently staged Tomie dePaola's "Strega Nona," and Adam choreographed "Bah, Humbug!"

Performances will be given April 26 — May 5 on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., as well as Sundays at 2 p.m. on the main stage.

Tickets are $21 for adults and $16 for children.

Experiencing clay class

Experiencing Clay, a three-week class for teens and adults, will be offered Tuesdays, April 9-23, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The instructor comments, "If you are interested in enrolling in a Pottery on the Wheel class, but are not sure you are ready to commit to eight weeks, or you want to try your hand at multiple approaches to working with clay, Experiencing Clay is a great class for you. Students will gain firsthand experience as they approach multiple facets of the ceramic-making process, including wheel-throwing, hand-building functional pottery, and creating sculptures in a variety of methods."

The fee for this class is $79, including materials.

Summer theater camps

Two new theater camps culminating in productions for public audiences will be offered this summer.

"The Snow White Variety Show" Theater Camp, for students entering grades 7-9, will be offered by Tami Provencher Monday through Friday, July 8-19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. each day. Campers will learn and experience vocal and physical theater skills and techniques as they rehearse and perform "The Snow White Variety Show," a wild, fast-paced comedy. Snow White's famous story is told on the TV show "Real Talk with Fairytale Legends." At any given moment, the story can be anything - romance, comedy, home improvement show, suspense, Western, epic poetry, mystery, cooking show, stand-up routine, or blockbuster action movie. The play will be performed for the public on Friday, July 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, July 20 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, July 21 at 2 p.m. Students should bring a bag lunch each day. The class fee is $379, and the maximum enrollment is 22.

Provencher directs for The Phipps Children's Theater, Lake Middle School, and StageCoach Theatre Arts in St. Paul, where she is also the drama teacher. In addition, she has performed and taught in schools as part of a children's repertory company and as a theater and dance artist-in-residence in the five-state area with SteppingStone and Stages Theatres.

"The Snow Queen" Theater Camp, for students entering grades 5 & 6, will be offered by Charles Fraser Monday-Friday, July 22 through Aug. 2, 9 a.m. to noon each day. Campers will rehearse and perform a small production of "The Snow Queen." With joyful guidance, children will be encouraged to explore personal creativity, receive rigorous instruction on focus-building skills, and learn to work as an ensemble. A pizza party will follow the final Thursday class, just before the performance that afternoon. The play will be performed for the public on Thursday, Aug. 1 at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. The class fee is $379, and the maximum enrollment is 24.

Fraser is a teaching artist with the Guthrie Theater, Upstream Arts, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Avalon Charter School, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and Saint Louis Park High School, as well as an adjunct professor at Concordia University.

Private violin lessons

Private violin lessons for students ages 7 through adult are offered throughout the year.

Instructor Sarah N. Bertsch has taught violin and coached ensembles for over 25 years. Previous positions include Northwestern College, Wooddale School of Music, Friendship School of Music, and Minnehaha Academy. She received her M.A. from St. John's University and her B.A. from St. Olaf College.

Bertsch has toured nationally with pianist Don Irwin and artist Fernando Ortega and has played concerts in Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Japan, and Guatemala. She has recorded with Sara Groves and a number of regional church music groups. Bertsch enjoys playing and teaching a variety of musical styles. She plays violin in the Oakdale-based global music group Ensemble Aventura and enjoys collaborating in Hudson with pianist Layton James. Bertsch often performs in weddings as a soloist or in one of her string ensembles.

For further information on violin lessons, contact Bertsch at 715-381-5735.

Voice lessons

Tony Holt, a former member of the King's Singers, offers private voice lessons for ages 11 through adult on Thursdays at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson.

Holt, a native Londoner, was a boy chorister at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. He was a choir member of Christ Church, Oxford, as well as Chichester Cathedral and St. Paul's Cathedral. Holt was then a soloist and chorus member of the Monteverdi Choir and the BBC Singers. For 18 years he toured and recorded as first baritone with the King's Singers.

His lessons concentrate on singing in a healthy way and enjoying a repertoire that can range from Bach to Broadway. He encourages singers to perform without tension, to communicate well, and to enjoy their singing.

The fee is $30 per 30-minute lesson.