Image: Notes on music 3/27

Penna. Ballet's digital season gets off to a fine start with "Strength" streaming March 25 - 31 offering four major ballets by Corella, AM, Neenan and Balanchine"s "Concerto Barocco" above featuring Yuka Iseda and Jack Thomas. Photo Credit:   Alexander Iziliaev

Just as the weather is warming up, the good news is that Shofuso Japanese Cultural Center has re-opened for the season. This hidden gem in West Fairmount Park, sponsored by the Japan America Society of Greater  Philadelphia, is receiving visitors safely to its house and garden, and through April 18 to the Cherry Blossom Festival. A new attraction this year is the Pebble Beach alongside the central pond. Not to be missed; open Wed. to Sun. from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Horticultural and Lansdowne Drives. 215-878-5097.  •

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has an interesting series in the week ahead, available by streaming and also live for a maximum of 25 attendees. On March 24 at 6 p.m., violinist Miriam Fried and pianist Jonatan Biss offer works by Mozart, Janacek and Debussy. On March 26 at 6 p.m. guitarist Jason Vieaux and cellist Clancy Newman  perform Gnattali, De Falla Barrios and Bellafronte. And beloved pianist Richard Goode is back on March 31 at 6 p.m. with Bach, Beethoven and Debussy. All take place at the American Philosophical Society, 427 Chestnut St.  215-569-8080 or  •

Pennsylvania Ballet opens its new digital season from March 25  - 31 with a stirring program:  Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco",  Stanton Welch AM's "Clear", "Suspended in Time" by Angel Corella, Russell Ducker and Kirill Radev, and excerpts from  Matthew Neenan's "Penumbra". or 215-893-1999.  •

"Remember the Ladies", the new choral work by Dr. Melissa Dunphy, receives its world premiere live broadcast on March 25 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. at the Museum of the American Revolution, in partnership with the 40-voices community choir PhilHarmonia. This pay-what-you-wish event is based on Abigail Adams' famed "remember the ladies" letter. Details at 215-253-6731.  •

Villanova Theatre presents a streaming production of Hannah Khalil's groundbreaking look at emigration and detention from March 25 to April 4. The playwright is of Palestinian-Irish descent and her work, "The Scar Test: is directed by Claire Moyer. in partnership with Director of Photography Michael Long "to place viewers inside the setting and action, following characters" as they move from room to room to perform their roles. Information at 610-519-5006.  •

Award-winning playwright/actor/and Wilma's Co-Artistic Director James Ijames'  contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" , "Fat Ham", set in the American south explores such issues as toxic masculinity and cycles of violence with a light touch, a fully-staged digital production filmed on location in Virginia in one long take.  Morgan Green handles the staging  featuring a cast of seven lauded Black performers.  Details on this world premiere film at 215-546-7824.  •

Broadway actor/singer Robi Hager  brings his new digital cabaret to the Arden Theatre March 29 through April 11,  "Robi Hager: So Far" features his original music as well as a guest appearance by Melanie Hsu.Tickets and information at or 215-922-1122.  •

Reading has never been as popular as it has become during this year-long and on-going pandemic, and The Rosenbach has a new series of intriguing virtual courses delving into fiction, history and poetry with the guidance  of literary experts. Most of these studies occur once weekly over a period of several weeks. Among the new titles are: "The Blood of Dracula" with Edward G. Pettit; "Why We're Still Wilde about Oscar" with Margaret D. Stetz; "Writing Irish Women" with Sadhbh Walshe; "Reading Ancient Greek Tragedy" with Toby Zinman;  "Shakespeare on Film" with Gage Johnston; "Anthony Powell's 'A Dance to the Music of Time' " with Wesley Stace. Most are in the evenings or weekend afternoons  and all are on line.  215-732-1600.  ¨•

Choral Arts Phila's Spring Concert is set for March 31 at 7 p.m., joined by the the Bach Festival of Phila. in "Lamentations:  Longing For Home",  a two-part program dealing with literature about exile and the Hebrew people in Babylon. Three works from the Pan-African tradition  also explore the theme of exile. Matthew Glandorf is conductor and continuo, with singers, period instruments. A pre-performance talk will include Maestro Glandorf and special guests Professors Dr. Ellen Charry and Dr. Jean Bernard Certin. This concert premieres on You Tube and is available  for one week. Information at 267-240-2586.  •

STREAMING FROM AFAR:  Ballet lovers will be delighted to know that American Ballet Theatre Live From City Center in NYC is offering a Ratmansky Celebration, two world-class dance events on sale now and on demand through April 18  Acclaimed Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky has two works filmed on stage with the company's renowned dancers bringing to life the world premiere of his "Bernstein in a Bubble"  along with excerpts from his recent works for ABT. Details at or 212 477 3030.  •


On March 28, here's a chance to step inside a NYC tenement apartment with a virtual tour from the Tenement Museum exploring the ways that immigration and migration have shaped the American identity. Through oral histories video interviews, images and a 360-degree view of  various  apartments, visitors can re-live the history of NYC's Lower East Side. Ticketed.  6 p.m. •

The Metropolitan Opera's nightly free series of streaming opera productions with great stars, lavish stagings and a superb orchestra and chorus begin at 7:30 p.m. and are available for viewing until 6:30 p.m. the next day.  Here's the schedule for the week ahead: March 24, Gluck's "Iphigenie  en Tauride", Placido Domingo, Paul Groves;  March 25, R. Strauss's "Elektra", Nina Stemme, Waltraut Meier, Curtis's Eric Owens; March 26, Mozart's "Idomeneo", Hildegard Behrens, Ilena Cotrubas, Frederica von Stade, Luciano Pavarotti, from 1982; March 27, Mozart's "Don GiovannI',  Renee Fleming, Bryn Terfel, Feruccio Furlanetto: March 28, Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman", Anya Kempe, David Portillo; March 29, Bellini's "Norma", Sondra Radvanofsky, Academy of Vocal Arts'  Joyce DiDonato, Joseph Callea; March 30, R.Strauss's :"Capriccio", Renee Fleming, Sarah Connolly;  March 31, Donizetti's "Roberto Devereux", Sondra Radvanofsky, Elina Garanca, Matthew Polenzani. or 212-362-6000.  •

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