Cayman Arts Festival 2010 starts tonight

The long-awaited Cayman Arts Festival
kicks off tonight (Friday, 5 February). The event, which runs until 13
February, was the brainchild of Glen Inanga and Jennifer Micallef and first
came about back in 2004.

This year’s event is notable for
its blend of established performers and exciting young talent, plus unique
multi-pianist events all marked out with a big slab of humour.

“We are excited in presenting an array
of events that will surely please a wide variety of people. We have artists
coming from Europe, United States and Jamaica, and we also have events that
feature the local talent very strongly,” said Mr. Inanga and Ms Micallef.

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Broadway Comes To Cayman

It all kicks off in fine style with
tonight’s shinding that showcases a programme of Broadway show songs. It
promises to be a very accessible experience, said Kim Criswell.

“The audience will know many of the
songs from films, recordings and jazz clubs, even if they aren’t aware that the
songs were originally written for Broadway shows.  I always try to link the songs together in
ways that will help the audience hear them with new ears; sometimes knowing the
background of a song can completely change the way it affects you.

“We always try to make a good mix
of love songs, comedy songs, and songs about life and the human condition that
will make you think,” she said.

The evening should be something
rather different to the norm, explained Miss Criswell, who said that the
atmosphere would perhaps surprise a few people.

‘If any of the audience members
have been to classical recitals before and are expecting that sort of thing –
watch out!  This will be quite different
– not so formal, casual in fact, and full of songs that we think are great music.

“There are lots of moments for laughter,
as well as a few for tears, and some opportunities to snuggle up to your
sweetheart and see what memories the love songs bring back,” she explained.

Wayne Marshall also appears. The
conductor, pianist and organist was described by Miss Criswell as “like a Maserati
sports car pushing the speed limit.”

2+2=8 / Carnival of the Animals

On Saturday, 6 February there is an
extravaganza that is set to be a unique and fun experience.

The
evening begins with Carnival of the Animals, a dual-piano piece that features
Rita Estevanovich as narrator. Jennifer Micallef will be joined by Glen Inanga
for this section of the show, each playing a piano.

“There
are 12 short pieces in the Carnival of the Animals and each one depicts an
animal or animals. The children will most probably have some guesswork to do during
this first part as we try to involve them. We play some of the bars to start
with so that they can have time to guess which animal we will next be depicting
through music,” explained the pianist.

The
narrator is Rita Estevanovich, who said she was delighted to be involved with
Carnival of the Animals at Cayman Arts Festival 2010.

“I
am very happy to be a part of this Festival, and look forward to working with
everyone on the show. I’m sure children and adults alike will have a ball at Carnival
of the Animals,” she said

Four-handed pieces are very different
to solo works, added Ms Micallef, who explained why these quadra-dextrous musical
works came into being.

There
was a time when people used to gather in drawing rooms to listen to transcribed
orchestral works, or famous operas. This was a very common thing in the 19th
century.

 “With two hands the repertoire is confined to
more drawing-room style pieces, whereas with four hands there is an element of
more risk-taking and the pieces are certainly more flamboyant,” she said.

The second
half of the programme sees John McLaughlin Williams and Wayne Marshall join in
the fun to perform well-known works. Mr. McLaughlin Williams said that there
were literally hundreds of instances of orchestral pieces being reworked for
two, four or eight hands.

“In the
days before sound recordings this was the only way to hear a given composition
outside of a performance in the concerto. It was through these that the public
became intimate with works such as Carmen or the 1812 Overture.

“It also
became an accepted social activity of some import; any well-bred household (or
those with pretensions to same) was expected to have a piano and at least one
resident who could play it. Sometimes a date with one’s girlfriend meant an evening
in the parlour, her parents in attendance while you played four-hand duets with
your intended. Many a marriage was made over rounds of piano duets,” he said.

Ms
Micallef explained that it was
a great way of entertaining the audience.

“I also think that there is an
element of fun between the artists, especially when one can work with such
great musicians in one evening. I am sure we will have lots smiles and there
will be a few works which will require some fine co-ordination between the
pianists,” she said.

youth2youth

The festival ends with an
appearance by Immaculate Conception High School Symphony Orchestra at First
Baptist on 13 February. The huge orchestra is coming over from Jamaica to
perform, following up on a cancelled 2004 appearance that fell victim to Hurricane
Ivan.

Conductor Steven Woodham said that
the students had, at the time, been saddened to see the level of destruction
left in Cayman and had hoped to visit Cayman at a more appropriate time.

The orchestra comprises 65 members
from the high school with additional honorary members from neighbouring schools.
It takes part in a number of school-related activities and civic ceremonies
throughout the year including a high-profile December gala. The orchestra will
meet up with Caymanian musicians for the grand finale

“We are looking forward to meeting
the Caymanian wind students and choir. This type of meeting gives all
students a wonderful opportunity of sharing ideas and experiences, and
interestingly, a new energy to their music making. We are happy and
honoured to present what should be, an interest and enjoyable concert,” said Mr.
Woodham.

He said that music plays an
integral role in our daily lives, from the happiest moments to the deepest,
darkest moments where nothing else is capable of defining heightened human
emotions and experiences better or so succinctly.

“We need to expose students to
music, helping them to learn, in a real way, not only the rudiments and basic
skills of playing an instrument, but also, in understanding the important
social and psychological aspects of music. The orchestra as an activity
within a school setting lends itself perfectly in this area.

“The quality of our arts
programmes, very much like of the education and health systems, is a direct
reflection on the standard of living within our society. Some may see it as an
unimportant extra, but it may very well be the proverbial canary to the
actual quality of life,” the conductor said.

Featured sponsors

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd; Caymanian
Compass;

Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Ltd; Ministry of Education,
Training & Employment; Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports &
Culture; Ogier

Diamond Sponsors

BB&P Advertising; dms Broadcasting Ltd;
In memory of Augustus Randolph – from the Randolph
family; WestStar TV

Platinum Sponsors

Caledonian Bank; Stepping Stones; Walkers

Gold
Sponsors
  Cayman National; Close Brothers;
Comfort Suites;

Deloitte; First Caribbean International
Bank; Maples and Calder; Scotiabank

Silver Sponsors

Campbells; Dragon
Bay; Ernst & Young;
Kensington Management Group Ltd;

Rawlinson & Hunter

Events

Broadway Comes To Cayman

On Friday, 5 February at First
Baptist Church there will be tunes from shows including West Side Story, Candide
and Peter Pan. Wayne Marshall and Kim Criswell entertain with singing and will
chat about the background of the shows in the programme.

Broadway Comes To Cayman is
sponsored by Caymanian Compass.

Tickets are $35 on the door, $30 advance
and $15 for under-16s.

2+2 = 8

Wayne Marshall and John McLaughlin
Williams join the talented Inanga-Micallef duo on a four-handed piece for two pianos.
Saturday, 6 February at First Baptist Church is where the musical adventures
happen, as does Carnival of the Animals with narrator Rita Estevanovich,
performed by Micallef-Inanga along with an island-based actor; it is billed as
a delight for the visual and aural imagination.

Sponsors for 2+2=8 are Ogier.

Tickets $35 on the door, $30
advance and $15 for under-16s.

Rising Stars

Monday, 8 February at Camana Bay’s
Arts and Recreation Centre is the time and venue for a Rising Stars concert featuring
many Butterfield Young Musicians of the Year 2008 and 2009 plus selected finalists
from the last two associated National Children’s Festival of the Arts.

Tickets for the event are $15.

Rainer Hirsch in ACME

ACME stands for ‘All Classical
Music Explained’ and Rainer Hersch takes to the piano to answer questions like:
‘Why is organ music so boring?’; ‘How can I play a musical instrument without
practising?’; and ‘What do conductors actually do?’.

It comes to Aston Rutty Civic
Centre on Cayman Brac (Tuesday 9) at 7pm.

A children’s version is on Grand
Cayman’s First Baptist Church, Thursday 11 at 11.30am and Friday 12 at 7.30pm).

ACME is sponsored by Deutsche Bank.

Adult tickets are $10 for the Cayman
Brac concert and the First Baptist Church are $35 for adults on the door ($30
advance, under-16 $15).

youth2youth: A Caribbean Collaboration

  It all
comes to a fantastic finale on Sunday 13 February at First Baptist in the
company of Jamaican Immaculate Conception High School Orchestra. The leading
school is one of the largest and most talented ensembles in Jamaica, with
65 youngsters participating.

Butterfield Bank (Cayman) is
sponsoring Youth2Youth.

Tickets are $35 on the door, $30
advance and $15 for under-16s.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available from a number
of outlets including all stores in the Fosters Food Fair group, The Camera
Store, Funky Tangs and Reflections. Season tickets are available as well as
individual tickets for all events.

Further information can be seen at caymanartsfestival.com

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