May 2022 season went so well, Natchez Festival of Music is coming back for an encore this fall

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 22, 2022

NATCHEZ — The 31st season of the Natchez Festival of Music brought us the music of Queen, an acrobatic opera, and the world premiere of a harp and saxophone composition by the Kontra Duo. We said goodbye to the Impromptu Piano Trio whose violinist retired after the event.  Concert goers were awed by the sounds of ancient songs from China played by pianist Zhaolei Xie and enjoyed music by Stephen Sondheim and the songs of Carole King and Judy Garland.

Natchez Festival of Music organizers rocked them into planning a new season of concerts that starts in October.

The 2022-2023 Natchez Festival of Music, the 32nd season, will include 14 concerts of jazz, rock, opera, Broadway songs, chamber music, gospel and more.

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Here are some important dates coming up, just around the corner.

October 6, 2022, Red Wine, Rossini and Rampal

The Festival, in conjunction with Fall Pilgrimage, will present Red Wine, Rossini and Rampal, celebrating the centennial of French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. The renowned musician brought the flute to new prominence as a solo instrument adaptable to a wide range of music styles. Performers that night will be flutists Fabio Angelo Colajanni and Danilo Mezzadri, vocalist Susan Ruggiero and pianist Brian Murphy. The Carriage House is the venue for this gala chamber concert.

October 27, 2022, Gianni Schicchi and The Medium

Opera fans won’t want to miss this one.

The Festival will present two short operas:  Giacomo Puccini’s comic opera Gianni Schicchi and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium.  Gianni Schicchi involves an untimely death, a fabricated will, thieving relatives and a swindler. The Medium, first performed in 1946, deals with the occult, guilt and madness.

Of course, there is always romance lurking in the wings. Puccini set his opera, first performed in 1918, in Renaissance Florence, but the Natchez’s Festival of Music sets this production in contemporary Gulfport, Mississippi. Both operas will be in English.  Menotti is best known for his Christmas opera, “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” For those who would like a preview of music from these operas, try a web search of “O mio bambino caro” from Gianni Schicchi and “Monica’s Waltz” from The Medium.

November 6, 2022, Handel’s Messiah

Jointly sponsored with Trinity Episcopal Church to celebrate the congregation’s 200th anniversary, this concert of excerpts from George Frederic Handel’s Messiah will be performed by a 40-member choir and orchestra.

The grand oratorio with its rousing Hallelujah Chorus was composed in 1741, and first performed in Dublin, Ireland, on Easter, 1742, but today the Messiah is more often presented during the Christmas season.

December 2, 2022, Elvis Christmas

For this Festival’s Christmas Cabaret, Elvis—Victor Trevino—will be in the room.

Trevino is the winner of the 2022 Ultimate Elvis Competition.

Coming up in 2023

Concerts in 2023 will include a commemoration of Martin Luther King weekend with Voices of Freedom on Jan. 15.  The Festival’s Valentine gala is scheduled for Feb. 10, featuring “Be My Love,” a tribute to Mario Lanza, performed by Peter Lake, Stacey Trenteseaux and Tyler Kemp.  A March chamber concert by the Herrington Jazz Quintet is planned for Spring Pilgrimage.

On April 29, the Johann Strauss operetta Die Fledermaus will usher in the 32nd season of May music.

Watch for ticket information for each concert at natchezfestivalofmusic.com.

The Natchez Festival of Music is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation supported by donations, grants and ticket sales.