Arts Preview: January 11-17, 2018

In Stile Moderno
In Stile Moderno will perform its first concert of 2018, “How Sweet the Torment: Madrigals of Monteverdi and his Contemporaries,” at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Brattleboro Music Center, 72 Blanche Moyse Way.
The ensemble for early music, In Stile Moderno, was founded in 2012 by Brattleboro native Nathaniel Cox (cornetto and theorbo) and Agnes Coakley (soprano). Dedicated to performing rarely heard works of the 17th century, it has been praised for virtuosity and engaging performances. The ensemble will be joined by guitarist and theorbist Simon Martyn-Ellis, who will add nuanced continuo playing as well as fiery guitar rhythms.
In a program themed around the pains of love (a favorite subject of composers in the early 17th century, as now), duets from Monteverdi’s Seventh Book of Madrigals will be paired with pieces by lesser-known composers such as Bellerofonte Castaldi and Benedetto Ferrari.
Tickets are $25, $10 for students, and are available at the door. For information, go online to

Swing Noire
One of Vermont’s hottest hot club-style quartets, Swing Noire makes music that “will entrance and surprise you.” Swing Noire plays Gypsy Jazz in the tradition of Django Reinhardt & The Quintet of the Hot Club of France. At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at Brandon Music.
Some call it Gypsy Jazz, some hot swing; in either case it is acoustic music in the spirit of Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. “The Reinhardt acolytes genuinely channel American hot jazz, evoking images of smoky basement speakeasies and slinky cabarets,” says Dan Bolles of Seven Days.
Violinist David Gusakov, twins Rob and Jim McCuen on guitar and double bass, and guitarist Jim Stout make up this tight acoustic quartet. Swing Noire has performed at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Burlington’s First Night Celebration, Town Hall Theater in Middlebury, Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph, and many other venues throughout New England and Vermont.
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or e-mail Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.

Author Katherine Arden
At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, Phoenix Books Rutland will host Katherine Arden for a talk on her new novel, “The Girl in the Tower.” The magical adventure begun in “The Bear and the Nightingale” continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home — but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.
Born in Austin, Texas, Arden holds a B.A. in French and Russian from Middlebury College. She has studied Russian in Moscow, taught at a school in the French Alps, and worked on a farm in Hawaii. She currently lives in Vermont.
Admission is free; call 802-855-8078 or visit Phoenix Books Rutland is located at 2 Center St.

Juried exhibit opens
The change of calendar brings changing exhibits to the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC). “Constellations: Roger Sandes” and “In-Sight Exposed” closed Jan. 8. They are replaced by “Open Call NXNE 2018: Works on Paper,” BMAC’s annual juried exhibit, which opens at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, with a brunch reception, free and open to all.
Three other exhibits — “Touchstones, Totems, Talismans,” “Shimmering Mirage: Anila Quayyum Agha” and “The Scarf: Joan O’Beine” — remain on view.
“Open Call NXNE 2018” is BMAC’s latest juried exhibit. Over 200 artists from New England and New York submitted work for consideration by juror Sique Spence of Nancy Hofmann Gallery. Spence selected 22 artists for inclusion in the exhibit. They hail from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Their work encompasses drawing, printmaking, collage, watercolor, assemblage, paper sculpture and other forms.
In a statement accompanying the exhibit, Spence writes, “The underlying theme of this exhibition is paper, its inherent properties, and the range of possibilities it offers in the hands of an artist. My primary objective as juror was to select the best work, and I was delighted by the rich variety of means, methods, and subject matter presented.” “Open Call NXNE 2018” remains through March 10.
The museum’s exhibits and gift shop are open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; admission is $8, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students; children 18 and younger are free; call 802-257-0124, or go online to BMAC is located in historic Union Station in downtown Brattleboro, at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142.

Artist Nick Neddo
The Feick Arts Center will present “The Wildcrafted World of Nick Neddo: Merging Craft and Art,” Jan. 16-Feb. 13 at Green Mountain College. A reception, including refreshments, music and a chance to meet the artist, will take place 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19.
Nick Neddo forages and crafts his own pens and inks, paintbrushes and paints from the ecosystem around him. Because he has spent days and weeks making his tools and materials before he begins making his artwork, he has a deeper knowledge and connection to the landscape he portrays.
Neddo’s current body of work at the Feick explores the interconnectedness of life and the relationships its creatures have with one another. As he explains: “Rather than anthropomorphize the wildlife that is depicted, the work invites the viewer to empathize with the wildness inherent within themselves.”
Neddo, a sixth-generation Vermonter, grew up exploring the fields, forests and wetlands of his bioregion and became dedicated to the study of the natural world, Stone Age technology (also known as primitive skills), and creating art.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or by appointment; admission is free; call 802-287-8398, or go online to

Brattleboro Concert Choir
Susan Dedell and the Brattleboro Concert Choir will introduce area music lovers to the world of Karl Jenkins, performing Requiem in two performances at the Latchis Theatre. The concerts are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21.
In “Requiem,” traditional western music meets Japanese instruments, and traditional Latin requiem language is mingled with Japanese haiku, forming a seamless piece that celebrates the vibrancy of life. Joining the choir for this performance is celebrated shakuhachi player Elizabeth Brown, who has performed across the United States and throughout Japan. The shakuhachi is the traditional flute of Japan, a long, bamboo instrument that originated in the 6th century, when it was widely used by the Fuke sect of Zen monks in the practice of “blowing meditation.”
Also joining the choir will be soprano Junko Watanabe, who is originally from Japan and became familiar with the Brattleboro area when she was a participant in the Marlboro Music Festival. Concluding the program is the “Lux Aeterna” of Morten Lauridsen.
“This incredible composition is considered by many to be the greatest choral accomplishment of the last 100 years,” says Dedell. “I personally love this work enormously — it is emotionally huge, even though it is not particularly long.”
Tickets are $15, $10 for students; call 802-257-4523, or go online to

‘Les Miserables’
FOLA (Friends of Ludlow Auditorium) will feature the musical “Les Miserables” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, in the Ludlow Town Hall Auditorium. “Les Misérables in Concert: The 25th Anniversary” was performed at The O2 in North Greenwich, London, England on Sunday, 3 Oct. 2010.
It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and original French-language lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, alongside an English-language libretto with accompanying English-language lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. The London production has run continuously since October 1985, making it the longest-running musical in the West End and the second longest-running musical in the world after the original Off-Broadway run of “The Fantasticks.”
Admission is free (donations are appreciated); call 802-228-7239, or go online to

Old and rare books
Kenneth Gloss, proprietor of the internationally known Brattle Book Shop in Boston’s Downtown Crossing section, will give a free talk at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17, at the Manchester Community Library, 138 Cemetery Ave. He will discuss the value of old and rare books.
Gloss, who is also a frequent guest appraiser on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” will talk in part about the history of his historic bookshop, which goes back to circa 1825. He is a second-generation owner. He will talk about and show some of his favorite finds and describe some of the joys of the “hunt,” as well as explain what makes a book go up in value. He has many fascinating anecdotes to share as well as guidelines for what to look for when starting a collection.
There is also a Q&A session before the conclusion of his talk. Following the talk and question-and-answer session, he will give free verbal appraisals of all books that attendees have brought with them, or will do so at his shop in Boston.
For information, call the 1-800-447-9595, or go online to