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Culture to Do: Feb. 7, 2024

Mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis will perform a recital for Music @ Amherst at Buckley Recital Hall on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Love Under the Stars: A Valentine’s Day Celebration
Springfield Museums
Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 5 – 8:30 p.m.
Cozy up in the Seymour Planetarium for an immersive light and music show set to the sound of both modern and nostalgic love songs. Enjoy tours of the rooftop observatory, hands-on activities exploring the art and science of love, a fun photo booth, sweet and savory charcuterie, and a cash bar. Age 21+. Limited availability.

First Book Friendiversary
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst
Wednesday, Feb. 7 – Sunday, Feb. 11
Inspired by the Elephant & Piggie book series by Mo Willems, First Book Friendiversary is a celebration of friendship and reading. Families with children who visit The Carle between February 7-11 will receive a free Elephant & Piggie book while supplies last. One book per child. Plus! During Friendiversary, when you buy one admission you will get one admission of equal or lesser value free.

Musings on Nature
Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge
Friday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb. 25
Opening Reception Friday, Feb. 9 from 5 – 7 p.m.
In this juried show featuring artwork by the Guild of Berkshire Artists, 20 member artists will each present about three works that interpret their concept of what nature means to them. The Berkshires, where many members live and work, serve as the Guild’s muse. That includes Berkshire Botanical Garden itself, which hosts the Guild’s plein air group.

Music @ Amherst Presents: Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano
Buckley Recital Hall
Friday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Raehann Bryce-Davis has been hailed by The New York Times as a “striking mezzo-soprano” and by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “electrifying sense of fearlessness.” In the 2021–2022 season, Ms. Bryce-Davis made notable house debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; at La Monnaie de Munt, Brussels, as La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica; and at the Glimmerglass Festival singing Azucena in Il Trovatore. Her Music @ Amherst program includes work by Richard Wagner, Margaret Bonds, Florence Price, Maria Thompson Corley and others.

Sean Rowe
The Parlor Room, Northampton
Friday, Feb 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Sean Rowe is an American singer-songwriter, musician, recording artist, and forager. Rowe has a powerful sound with an emotional conviction that demands attention. NPR’s All Songs Considered says of Rowe’s vocals, “He can just crush granite with that voice. It’s so powerful.” An avid naturalist and renowned forager, Rowe often speaks of his fascination with the woods and his connection to the land. He’ll be performing with that “granite crushing voice” in The Fabulous 413 studio on Friday.

Family Lunar New Year Celebration
Bombyx, Florence
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.
Families are invited to join High Five Books at this all-ages Lunar New Year celebration as New York Times-bestselling author/illustrator Grace Lin reads from her latest book Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods. Grace will be joined by fellow author/illustrator Jannie Ho, who will read her book Happy Chinese New Year!: A Festive Counting Story. Kids are invited to stay and craft, browse both creators' books, and have copies signed.

Love Revolution Cabaret
Silverthorne Theater Company Season Opener Benefit
CitySpace, Easthampton
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Silverthorne's Season Opener Benefit is a celebration of all kinds of love — everything except romantic love that is! The cabaret will present songs that challenge norms and celebrate the diverse tapestry of love for our friends, our children, our students, our favorite attorney, even ourselves. Plus, they'll be announcing their 2024 season at this event.

Springfield Symphony Orchestra: Havana Nights
Springfield Symphony Hall
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Conductor Nick Palmer, vocalist Camille Zamora, the Mambo Kings, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra present a sultry evening of unforgettable Latin sounds. Hailed by NBC Latino and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as a leading interpreter of classical Spanish song, Camille Zamora’s performances of Spanish repertoire have been heard on five continents. The Mambo Kings, one of the hottest Latin jazz ensembles anywhere, are known for their explosive blend of Afro Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisation.

UMass Opera Presents “Opera on the Air!”
Bowker Auditorium, UMass
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m.
Opera on the Air! weaves three mid-20th century American one-act operas into a single presentation by the top students from the UMass voice studio. The centerpiece is Gian Carlo Menotti’s charming The Old Maid and the Thief, which was originally written for the radio. The production will amplify the radio motif — the Bowker Auditorium audience will be magically transformed into a radio studio audience enjoying the hustle and bustle of a live broadcast.

Mardi Gras Get Down
Hawks & Reed, Greenfield
Saturday, Feb 10 from 6:30 – 10:30
The “Big Easy” is coming to Greenfield for a Mardi Gras get down when Zydeco Connection and the Bourbon Street Blasters join forces. Doors open at 6:30; there’s a dance lesson with Alice Kenny at 7; and the show starts at 8. Bourbon Street Blasters has a dangerous horn section and some New Orleans roots. Zydeco Connection has been bringing the irresistible sounds and infectious rhythms of zydeco from Southwestern Louisiana to the 413 since 2004.

Ryan Montbleau w/ Brooks Forsyth
The Drake, Amherst
Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m.
For as long as he can remember, acclaimed singer/songwriter Ryan Montbleau has been a seeker. From the jungles of Peru to the volcanoes of Hawaii and the streets of Brooklyn, he has spent much of his life on a perpetual search for meaning. And yet, with Montbleau’s ambitious new album, Wood, Fire, Water, and Air, there is a profound sense of satisfaction in sitting still. Hailing from the mountains of North Carolina, Brooks Forsyth began busking on street corners in his hometown of Boone, NC and has since become a Nashville recording artist.

Silver Chord Bowl 40th Anniversary
John M. Greene Hall, Smith College
Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.
Wow! The esteemed Silver Chord Bowl is celebrating its 40th anniversary! A soulful performance by Northampton High School's Northamptones will pave the way for six acclaimed groups from top colleges and universities around the Northeast. Prepare to be awed by Tufts sQ!, Eight Beat Measure – RIT's Original TTBB A Cappella Group, The Chorallaries of MIT, UCONN Extreme Measures "ExM," The Amherst College Zumbyes, and Smith College’s Blackappella & POCappella.

The Transcendentalists’ Call: Mabel Loomis Todd, the Thoreaus, and Emily Dickinson
Munson Library, South Amherst
Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.
The Amherst Historical Society will hold its annual meeting at Munson Library followed immediately by a fascinating talk about Mabel Loomis Todd, who is principally known for editing the poetry of Emily Dickinson and her thirteen-year-long affair with Emily’s older brother, Austin. She was also a writer, a poet, an artist, a civic activist, a world traveler, and an ardent environmentalist. Biographer and Tufts professor Julie Dobrow will speak about the many ways in which Mabel would feel the Transcendentalists’ call.

Avalon String Quartet
Saint James Place, Great Barrington
Sunday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m.
The Avalon String Quartet will present a super interesting program featuring “For Such a Time as This,” a retelling of the biblical Esther story for string quartet and vocalist. Composer Stacy Garrop’s intent is to remind us “we each possess agency to make changes happen in our lives, to act upon injustices, and leave the world a better place.” Mendelssohn’s Quartet No. 2 pulsates with young love before landing in fairyland with a shimmering scherzo. Puccini’s verismo-style “Chrysanthemums,” a seldom-performed gem, begins the concert.