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Fredonia Opera House announces upcoming events

December 5, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

FREDONIA Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer stars in a special U.S. theatrical release of Barrymore at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House today at 7 p.m. This production, captured-live in high-definition, was filmed at Toronto's Elgin Theatre. The event also includes screening of a special documentary, Backstage with Barrymore.

Barrymore is an unforgettable portrayal of legendary actor John Barrymore, a man of colossal talent and contradictions and one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of all time. Set in 1942, the final year of John Barrymore's life, Barrymore takes place on the stage of a Broadway theatre, where the actor is struggling to recreate his performance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III. The struggle leads him to look back on the highs and lows of his stunning career and remarkable life.

Directed, and adapted for the screen, by Erik Canuel, Barrymore stars Plummer in the tour de force film performance of his career. Rex Reed, in the New York Observer, says "Plummer really deserves a Best Actor Oscar for Barrymore it's the role and the performance of a lifetime, and he plays every color, nuance, mood shift and variety of vocal power and body language in his enormous range. The artistry leaves you with your mouth wide open ... stunned and cheering. So bring out the Oscar."

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Donna Reed, James Stewart and Karolyn Grimes are shown in a scene from the classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.” A free screening of the film will be held at the Fredonia Opera House Friday at 7 p.m.

This presentation of Barrymore also includes a special screening of Backstage with Barrymore immediately following the production. Backstage with Barrymore is a "making of" documentary that gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the presentation was put together and includes an interview with its star. Total running time for the production and documentary is 129 minutes

Tickets to Barrymore are $15 ($10 for students) and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. This program is made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the screening. Support also comes from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County.

Free screening of "It's A Wonderful Life"

FREDONIA The holiday film classic "It's a Wonderful Life" will be shown at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Friday at 7 p.m. As a special holiday gift the community from the Opera House, admission is free.

"It's a Wonderful Life" stars Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed in the Christmas Eve tale of how one man's life made a difference in the lives of many. Named "one of the best films ever made," by the American Film Institute and ranked #1 on the organization's list of the most inspirational American movies of all time, the film also has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

The 1946 Frank Capra film has become a holiday classic and receives wide airplay on cable television stations throughout the holidays. "There's nothing like seeing this wonderful film on the big screen though," notes Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. "So we hope people will take a break from their busy schedules to come enjoy this heartwarming story in an Opera House beautifully decorated for the holidays."

Chautauqua County's only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit .

"Argo" to be shown

"Argo," the CIA action thriller directed by and starring Academy Award winner Ben Affleck, is the next featured film in the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Cinema Series. It will be screened on Saturday, at 8 p.m. and Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m.

Based on real events, the dramatic thriller "Argo" chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played information that was not declassified until many years after the event.

On Nov. 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reached its boiling point, militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, the Canadian and American governments asked the CIA to intervene. The CIA turned to its top "exfiltration" specialist, Tony Mendez, to come up with a plan to get the six Americans safely out of the country a plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies. "Argo" also stars Bryan Cranston, Academy Award winner Alan Arkin and John Goodman.

Richard Roeper calls the film "one of the best movies of the year." Rafer Guzman, in Newsday, calls it "a well-told story that's timely, topical and thoroughly entertaining." Ann Hornaday, in the Washington Post, calls it "serious and substantive, an ingeniously written and executed drama fashioned from a fascinating, little-known chapter of recent history." Manohla Dargis, in the New York Times, says "In the end, this is a story about outwitting rather than killing the enemy, making it a homage to actual intelligence and an example of the same." Rated R for language and some violent images, "Argo" runs 120 minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of ten movie passes is available for $60 at the door, at the box office. For more information, call the box office at 716-679-1891.

Live at the Met

series continues

FREDONIA The 1891 Fredonia Opera House continues the 2012-13 season of Live at the Met high definition opera broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's final Italian opera, La Clemenza di Tito, on Saturday at 1 p.m.

"This week's offering, La Clemenza di Tito, is a rarely seen classic set in ancient Rome, with a charismatic cast of stars," says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis.

Mozart's opera about a Roman emperor who is the subject of a vengeful woman's assassination scheme comes to Live in HD screens for the first time. The cast includes El?na Garan?a in the trousers role of Sesto, a young nobleman in love with the passionate Vitellia, sung by Barbara Frittoli. Giuseppe Filianoti sings the role of the emperor Tito, with Lucy Crowe (in her Met debut) and Kate Lindsey as the young lovers Servilia and Annio.

Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's classic Met production presents the opera as it might have been seen in Mozart's time, with stylized settings suggesting a historic vision of ancient times. Baroque specialist Harry Bicket leads the opera, which includes one of Mozart's most famous arias, Sesto's wrenching "Parto, parto."

The production lasts three hours, 13 minutes, notes Davis. "There is one intermission," he adds, "during which the Opera House will have snacks and beverages available for purchase in the trustee room on the second floor of Village Hall. No food or beverage is allowed inside the theatre."

Live at the Met opera broadcasts are made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the series. Additional support comes from Bob and Shirley Coon, Bob and Susan Dilks, Steve and Mary Rees and DFT Communications.

Tickets to La Clemenza di Tito are $20 ($18 for Opera House and Met members, $15 for students) and are available in advance by calling the Box Office at 679-1891 Tuesday Friday, 1-5 p.m.

The Opera House also is offering a new flexible opera subscription consisting of nine tickets that can be used however the patron wants one at a time to nine different operas, all at once for nine people, or anything in between. The flexible opera subscription is $161.

Chautauqua County's only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia.



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