NEA awards grant to OBF Dido tour
[caption id="attachment_4722" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Monica Huggett, by Hiroshi Iwaya"][/caption]
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Oregon Bach Festival a grant of $15,000 to support a four-concert tour of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas by the Portland Baroque Orchestra, chorus, and soloists.
The Festival is one of two University of Oregon entities and 1,145 not-for-profit organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency’s second round of fiscal year 2011 grants. In total, the Arts Endowment will distribute more than $88 million to support projects nationwide.
“This is great news,” said John Evans, OBF executive director and president. “We’ve already secured a $10,000 NEA grant for our Joan of Arc Project with Marin Alsop for this season, and this grant for our Portland Baroque Orchestra tour of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, to Portland, Bend, Ashland (for the first time) and Eugene, sets a new precedent for the Festival, receiving two NEA grants for one season, for a record total of $25,000.”
The tour encompasses concerts in Portland’s First United Methodist Church June 27; Bend, in the Tower Theatre June 28; Ashland, in the Southern Oregon University recital hall June 29; and Eugene, in Beall Concert Hall June 30.
Violinist Monica Huggett directs her PBO orchestra and the Festival’s Berwick Chorus, with vocal soloists Golda Schultz, Robin Johannsen, and Sumner Thompson. Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony and Choral Dances from Gloriana open the program. Centered by the Dido story, the concert is one of the pillars of the Festival theme “In Praise of Women.”
The concert also bridges centuries of styles in a way that will reach modern audiences. "The subjects of Purcell's timeless opera are love, power, and fate," said Evans. "And his musical influence spanned the centuries to Benjamin Britten and our time. Monica Huggett will illuminate these ties for our audiences with the vitality and wit that has made her one of our state's treasured artists."
An independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts advances artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, “NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts. The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts.”
Other grant recipients in the Eugene area are the UO’s Oregon Folklife Network, the Eugene Ballet, and the Eugene-based Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop.
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the National Endowment for the Arts at arts.gov .
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