F rom chamber opera to burlesque, museum and gallery showcases to a Native American Pow Wow, this is a week for the open-minded. Those students who left town for summer don’t know what they’re missing.
Monday, June 4
In her book America’s Other Audubon, Joy Kiser tells of a young woman named Genevieve Jones, who saw an exhibit of bird paintings by the great ornithologist John James Audubon in Philadelphia in 1876 and was inspired to do her own naturalist art studies of nests and eggs. Jones died of typhoid fever just five illustrations into the project, but her family made sure the work was finished and published. Kiser, a former librarian at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, discusses America’s Other Audubon and supplements the lecture with a short documentary plus material which didn’t make it into the book. 5 p.m. at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Rooms 38 & 39, 121 Wall St., New Haven. (203) 432-2977.
Tuesday, June 5
God save the Queen! As England marks Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, the Yale Center for British Art does its part by serving tea and cake, and screening “highlights of the London festivities.” Noon to 4 p.m., 1080 Chapel St., New Haven. (203) 432-2800.
Wednesday, June 6
These are heady days for local composer Adam Matlock. This weekend, the eclectic singer/composer/accordion player has his new chamber opera Red Giant performed by Rhymes with Opera in both New York and New Haven. (The local hearing is 8 p.m. Sunday, June 10, as part of the Uncertainty Music Series in the Big Room, 319 Peck St., New Haven, alongside new chamber operas by George Lam, Benjamin Rogers and Kathleen Bader; $10.) First, however, Matlock’s band An Historic is playing at the free Wednesday music series tonight at BAR (254 Crown St., New Haven), opening for the intense, haunting vocalist Nina Nastasia. Both Matlock projects, An Historic and Red Giant, involve local novelist/musician Brian Slattery.
Thursday, June 7
The night is young. So are the wines, the composers being played by the classical ensemble, and the featured poet. Sip wine provided by Mt. Carmel Wine and Spirits while listening to Haven String Quartet play works by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Britten at New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St., New Haven; 203-946-8130 x314). Tarpley Hitt will read her poem “Othniel Marsh,” which won in the Teen category of the 2012 NHFPL Poetry Contest last month. On top of all that, dessert! This fundraiser for the library runs from 7-10 p.m. and costs $50.
Friday, June 8
The saucy splendor of Burlesque returns to New Haven with the latest go-round of the nationally touring, New York-based Burlesque-a-pades revue led by the “World Famous Pontani Sisters.” The sibling act’s leader, fan-dancer Angie Pontani, is one of the leaders of the current renaissance in burlesque, and has toured with such legends of the form as Tempest Storm. Special guests in New Haven tonight include Connecticut-based striptease artiste Dot Mitzvah, who includes operatic vocal workouts in her ribald repertoire. 10 p.m. at Café Nine, 250 State St., New Haven. (203) 789-8281, $12.
Saturday, June 9
It’s the eighth annual Connecticut Open House Day, when many museums, galleries and historic sites in the state entice visitors with free admission or other special offers. In New Haven, the Elm City Arts Gallery (55 Whitney Ave.,203-922-2359) offers “discount coupons on original artwork, demonstrations by various artists, refreshments, and raffles.” New Haven Museum (114 Whitney Ave, 203-562-4183) hosts a family “Sun Prints” workshop, and features Colonial games and other kids’ activities at the Pardee-Morris House which the museum oversees on the East Shore (325 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven). The Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel St, 203-432-0600) will hand out free copies of Art, Lux and Veritas, published last year, while the Yale Center for British Art across the street (1080 Chapel St, 203-432-2800) will give “a free gift with every purchase” and hold a drawing for an art book or membership in the Yale galleries.
Those aren’t the only Open Houses today. The local theater company A Broken Umbrella is giving a special tour of its workspace, “The Smokestack,” at the end of 446A Blake St. in the Westville area of New Haven. For this so-called “Peek Under the Umbrella,” the troupe has assembled an exhibit showing the development of its new bicycle-themed show Freewheelers, which will premiere next spring. 2-7 p.m., with refreshments at 5:30 p.m. Free; donations accepted.
Out in Woodbridge, art dealer and curator Beverly Kaye is opening the grounds of her private gallery to the public for a special Sculpture in the Garden exhibition and sale. The works, done by self-taught artists in a variety of styles, range from “horses, sunflowers, shrines, birdhouses and a variety of robots” to “garden whimsies” and “hand-thrown pottery and other surprises.” (203) 387-5700.
Sunday, June 10
Pow-Wow on the Rock, the second annual Native American Pow Wow in New Haven, begins Saturday and continues Sunday in East Rock Park. The diverse, inter-tribal and family-friendly event is hosted by the Connecticut Native American Inter-Tribal Urban Council. Expect traditional dances, tribal dress, food, kids’ activities (including a “candy dance”) and lots of drumming. (203) 215-1521. Admission is less than $10 for a two-day pass, with discounts for seniors, veterans and those with a Tribal Card.
Written by Christopher Arnott.