The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include opera, Swedish folk, art openings, multimedia space music, and once again, the circus comes to town.
“Quindar tones” are the ubiquitous beeps that we heard during NASA’s early manned spaceflight missions. They let astronauts and mission control know they were still in contact with each other. In essence, the tones functioned as to say, ‘Are you there?’ and ‘Yes, we’re still here. Are you still there?’” Which if you think about it, is kind of like “Roger Wilco.” Speaking of Wilco, Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen and his collaborator, art historian and curator James Merle Thomas, return to MASS MoCA in North Adams, on Saturday at 8 p.m. with their multimedia Quindar project, in which the duo syncs electronic music with historical recordings and film sourced mainly from NASA’s earliest manned missions. The duo will be joined by Jeremy Roth, Quindar’s lighting designer and video artist.
Swedish quintet Jaerv brings its fusion of folk, jazz, and pop to Dewey Hall in Sheffield, Mass. tonight at 7:30. The award-winning Swedish outfit creates a vivid sound rooted in several different musical traditions, where five-voiced tunes blend with energetic dances and free improvisations.
The Williams Opera Workshop (or WOW), co-directed by soprano Erin Nafziger and bass-baritone Keith Kibler, will perform highlights from the operatic repertoire in Chapin Hall at Williams College on Tuesday, Jan 23, at 7p.m. Works in the free concert will include excerpts from “The Magic Flute” and “Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart; the death scene from “Boris Godunov” by Modest Mussorgsky; Lensky’s aria from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”; scenes from Kurt Weill’s “Threepenny Opera”; selections from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance”; and the barcarolle from “Les Contes d’Hoffman” by Jacques Offenbach.
“Intersections,” an exhibition featuring the work of Berkshire artist Leslee Carsewell, goes on view at Knox Gallery at the Monterey, Mass., Library today. Carsewell began making collaged compositions from her drawings, which evolved into direct paintings. She describes her work as “an outgrowth of design problem-solving using grids.” The Opening reception is Saturday at 6 p.m., and the work will be on view through Saturday, March 3.
Hudson’s own Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues its wintertime tradition of hosting a monthly cabaret, featuring a variety of circus, theater, comedy and musical entertainers, at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9 p.m. Each month this winter, Bindlestiff Cirkus will bring a new lineup, with acts including trapeze, contortion, acrobatic balance, sword swallowing, juggling, physical comedy, and oddball novelty turns. Bindlestiff’s Winter Cabaret can get pretty hot and steamy – even a little bit raunchy - and is for open-minded grown-ups only.
And Nashville singer-songwriter Nora Jane Struthers brings her critically acclaimed country-style sounds to the Linda, WAMC’s own performing arts center in Albany, tonight at 8. NPR calls Struthers “quietly brilliant.” Her most recent album, last year’s “Champion,” was named a best album of the year by No Depression’s staff picks, and was also included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “12 Great Country, Americana Albums You Probably Didn’t Hear in 2017.” But you can rectify that tonight at the Linda.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com