Reflections on our 2021 Season

We would like to say a hearty “thank you” for your support during our past summer season. We are filled with gratitude at having successfully hosted an ambitious series of over 36 live performances in the Barn. Despite the many challenges, we were thrilled to see the community share and enjoy the performances of the exceptionally talented artists who made our season so special.

Even for well-funded performing arts venues, sustaining and developing programing is heavy lifting. Rather than look at the glass as half empty, we invite you to focus with us on the ways we’ve filled the glass more than half full. We don’t want to leave anybody out, but for the sake of brevity we will highlight just a few of our outstanding 2021 programs:

The DaPonte String Quartet (DSQ), four fantastic musicians who are true friends of the Barn and of the musical culture of Maine, entranced audience members with the music of Shostakovich, as well as Venezuelan composer, Reinaldo Moya. In addition, Lydia Forbes, a DSQ violinist, performed a fascinating tango program with the accomplished Portland guitarist Timothy Burris

Getting closer to our roots as the Surry Opera Company, we were able to offer an outdoor production, fully staged and costumed, of the Mozart opera The Impresario. This excellent performance included an approximately 25-piece orchestra under the baton of Michael Haigler, a New York City professional maestro. This production came to us by way of the Winter Harbor Music Festival (Deiran Manning, Executive Director). It was attended by dozens on our grounds, with beautiful vistas of the mountains of Acadia. 

We had our biggest crowd yet for a presentation by the local yet internationally acclaimed painter Robert Shetterly. Shetterly shared about his work, Americans Who Tell the Truth, which is a profound and compelling series of multi-media narrative and portraiture. 

The Lichtenburg Trio, consisting of three superb out-of-state musicians from the Boston area, knocked our socks off with performances of classical greats such as Claude Debussy and Clara Schumann.

As part of our mission to bridge cultural exchange, we were so happy to feature music of the Middle East exquisitely performed by Nathan Kolosko and Eric LaPerna, two musicians both based in Maine who truly transported us to other lands. 

Mesmerizing flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual thrilled listeners as he returned to the Barn for the fifth time. 

Finally, speaking of roots and local talents, two of our original Surry Opera soloists, Sheldon Bisberg (tenor) and Stephen Bryant (bass baritone), as well as the Grammy Award-winning pianist Paul Sullivan and the youthful talents of Gracie Neal, took us to Broadway as they knocked the ball out of the park with a performance of Kurt Weill’s musical, Lost in the Stars.  

This is just a taste of the rich and diverse programs we offered this last season. We are grateful to all the artists who blessed us with their talent and magic. 

Our hearts are full as we look ahead to our 2022 season. We always strive to program offerings which reflect both the community’s interests and the rich diversity of artistry and stylings that Maine, New England, and the world have to offer. It is our sincerest wish to foster cultural connections and enrichment through our performances. In that vein, we would love to hear from you on new ways we can develop our programs to feature more of what you as community members would like to see.

If you haven’t already received a survey form by way of email, you will be receiving it soon. We would greatly appreciate your ideas so that we may incorporate some of your preferences into our 2022 season.

We would like to thank you again for being a part of the Barn community. We wish you a marvelous holiday season and a safe, wonderful New Year. 

All the best,

Alan, Merle, and the Barn Family

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