Variety headlines week at Festival of Music

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Natchez — Variety is the spice of life and the Natchez Festival of Music is providing this spice with a fabulous variety of musical genres. The most musically diverse week of the month-long Natchez Festival of Music is in full swing.

All week, musical genres expand like no other week before. More rousing opera and Broadway tunes start off this week and then will be followed by classical piano by European and Brazilian composers, energetic New Orleans jazz, and contemporary and traditional sacred music. Thursday’s and Sunday’s events are free.

Guest pianist, Dr. Bernardo Scarambone, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 305 South Commerce St. No stranger to international venues, Scarambone has performed in the U.S., Brazil, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain. This week’s special program will be part European classical and part Brazilian classical piano solos.

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The Pfister Sisters’ energy brings audiences to their feet everywhere they perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center, 64 Homochitto St., this dynamic trio and their band will perform their award-winning jazz vocal harmonies.

Veterans of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Pfister Sisters attract standing-room only crowds. Their style of music, originally famous in the 20s, 30s and 40s, blends with New Orleans horns and heat to create a unique sound. Tickets are available for $20, $30 and $40.

Duets and arias will be featured in Command Performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday at St. Mary Minor Basilica, 107 South Union St.

“When you sing duets, there is more opportunity to act,” Victor Khodadad said. So expect some drama in this concert setting. Khodadad will be one of eight stars performing and is planning to sing “Maria” from “West Side Story” at this performance. In addition, a preview song or two from the season finale “Cosi Fan Tutte” by Mozart is scheduled.

Closing the week on Sunday, First Baptist Church will host a Sacred Music Concert at 6 p.m. at 150 D’Evereux Drive. Both contemporary and traditional music will be sung, including the inspiring duet, “The Prayer” recorded by Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli and a selection from Handel’s “Messiah”. Festival artists George Hogan, Sang Eun Lee and Will Earl Spanheimer have been specially selected for this evening’s concert.

For the entire month of May, more than 27 public musical events are presented in main stage productions, plantation performances, special recitals and concerts to provide an unsurpassed combination of opera, musical theater and jazz. For detailed information and tickets for these and other upcoming performances, including Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte”, go to or call 601-445-6103 or toll free at 1-800-647-6724.