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Culturally alive, historically aware

The Tarpon Springs arts season takes advantage of the heritage of its setting, staging events in places like museums as well as the performing arts center.

By JOHN FLEMING, Times Performing Arts Critic
Published September 4, 2005

With its rich Greek heritage and commitment to historic preservation, Tarpon Springs is one of the more culturally authentic places in the Tampa Bay area, and the city's arts programming has long reflected that. "We try to strike a balance between Florida artists and what we can bring in from outside," says Kathleen Monahan, the cultural services director responsible for presentations at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center and other city venues.

The 2005-06 season, announced today, continues to be anchored at the performing arts center, which is inside the restored school that is City Hall, but also utilizes other historic spaces, including the newly renovated railway station and Heritage Museum in Craig Park.

The season opens with the return of The Magic Flute, Mozart's opera sung in English by the New Century Opera that was a hit last season. Other notable music engagements are the Miami-based Renaissance Chamber Orchestra; Kaleidoscope, a chamber group that includes members of the Florida Orchestra; Algerian guitarist Pierre Bensusan; the Oberlin Trio; the Degas String Quartet; pianist Diane Walsh; and a pair of productions by the Gilbert & Sullivan Players, The Grand Duke and The Gondoliers.

Hesperus, an early music group, will perform a score to the silent movie classic Robin Hood with Douglas Fairbanks. Chatham Baroque will give a concert and hold a master class on baroque dance. Greek pianist Louis Alvanis will perform in January, when Tarpon Springs marks the centennial of the Greek Orthodox Epiphany celebration in the city.

Eastern European culture is something of a theme, with performances by the ever-popular Tamburitzans from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh; Yugoslavia's Frula dance troupe; and the Brno Chamber Orchestra from the Czech Republic. There's also a good complement of Scottish and Irish performers, including Celtic-American guitarist Robin Bullock on St. Patrick's Day.

Tickets range from $13 to $20 and are on sale now. Members, who pay a minimum of $25, receive discounts. For information, call (727) 942-5605.


Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 E Pine St.

Sept. 16, 18, Mozart's The Magic Flute, New Century Opera; Sept. 23, Pierre Bensusan, guitar; Sept. 24, Pierre Bensusan, guitar master class; Oct. 1, Brno Chamber Orchestra with Michiko Otaki, piano; Oct. 14, David Peterson and 1946, bluegrass; Oct. 16, CelloMan: Eugene Friesen; Oct. 22, Oberlin Trio, chamber music; Nov. 4-20, My Fair Lady; Nov. 17, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, bluegrass and klezmer; Dec. 3, Diane Walsh, piano; Dec. 10-18, The Grand Duke, Gilbert & Sullivan Players; Jan. 4, Duquesne University Tamburitzans, Eastern European music, song, and dance; Jan, 7, Renaissance Chamber Orchestra; Jan. 14, Louis Alvanis, piano; Jan. 22, Golden Dragon Acrobats; Jan. 28, Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette, folk music; Feb. 10-19, The Admirable Crichton by J.M. Barrie; Feb. 26, Frula, folk dance from Eastern Europe; March 4, Newstead Trio, chamber music; March 9, Duquesne University Tamburitzans; March 11, Hesperus early music group accompanies silent film Robin Hood; March 19, Battlefield Band, Scottish music; March 24, Sound Experience Choir; March 25, William Hicks Master Class for Vocal Groups; March 26, Master Class Performances; March 31-April 9, The Gondoliers, Gilbert & Sullivan Players.

Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, 101 S Pinellas Ave.

Sept. 10, Wild Rice, comedy; Sept. 11, "Magical Masks, Mime, and Music," Kuniko Yamamoto; Oct. 8, "The Scottish Muse," Constantine and Theodore Grame; Oct. 15, Wild Rice, comedy; Oct. 28-29, Nov. 11-12, All in the Timing by David Ives, B.A.D. Company; Dec. 2, Wild Rice, comedy; Feb. 24, Jack Williams, singer-songwriter, guitar; March 24, William Hicks, master classes for opera students.

Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane

Sept. 10, Origami Workshop, Kuniko Yamamoto; Oct. 9, Kaleidoscope Chamber Group; Jan. 21, Degas String Quartet; Feb. 22, Chatham Baroque master class; Feb. 23, Chatham Baroque; March 17, Robin Bullock, Irish music.

Safford House, 23 Parkin Court

Oct. 30, Mary Jane Safford Day: "Women in Medicine, Then and Now"; Dec. 8-11, Candlelight Holiday Tour.

Tarpon Springs Historic Depot, 160 E Tarpon Ave.

Feb. 3, "Songs of the Old Railroad," Adam Miller, singer and autoharp.

[Last modified September 2, 2005, 10:31:04]

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