Unforgettable Opera

Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci are known as opera’s best double bill. With three murders, four love affairs and a string of greatest hits between them, it’s no wonder. From the rousing Easter Hymn and the stunning Intermezzo in Cavalleria rusticana to Pagliacci’s heart-rending “Vesti la giubba,” one of the greatest of all tenor arias, the music dips and soars in ways you never imagined possible. That’s not to mention all the jealousy, betrayal, lust and revenge that makes classic drama. Tenor John Pickle, lauded for his portrayal of Canio the clown in Michigan Opera’s production of Pagliacci last year, reprises the role and sings as Turiddu in Cavalleria. Soprano Kara Shay Thomson, who amazed OperaDelaware audiences as Tosca in 2010, will sing the role of Santuzza in Cavalleria. Soprano Susan Nelson, who wowed as Pamina in OD’s Magic Flute last year, will sing the role of Nedda in Pagliacci. Baritone José Sacin will sing Alfio in Cavalleria and Tonio in Pagliacci. Rounding out the casts will be Ken Mattice as Silvio and Matt Pressley as Beppe in Pagliacci and Jenness Parker as Lola and Barbara Vanderkraats as Lucia in Cavalleria. See them through Nov. 10 at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington. 800-37GRAND, thegrandwilmington.org

You’re Killin’ Us

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 “Murdered to Death” is Peter Gordon’s spoof of every Agatha Christie murder-mystery ever written. The scene is an English country manor house. The crime is a murder, of course. When the police are called, who should arrive but a clumsy detective and his sidekick constable. Do they see the obvious? If you like the Pink Panther movies, this is your cup of tea. See it through November 17 at Kent County Theatre Guild in Dover. 800-838-3006, kctg.org

The ABCs of Photo-Lettering

House Industries near Yorklyn is a rock star in the world of graphic design. On Nov. 9, co-founder Rich Roat and type designer Ken Barber will lecture the process, philosophy and practical application of Photo-Lettering while explaining why the history of this collection teaches lessons for the future. From its founding in 1936 until succumbing to the digital publishing revolution in 1997, Photo-Lettering created the most culturally significant repository of film-based display lettering in the world. House Industries purchased the collection in 2003, then set about digitally re-mastering select alphabets. The lecture, presented by the Delaware College of Art and Design at Theatre N in Wilmington, will be held in conjunction with the exhibition “Photo-Lettering: Fanatically Fabricated Alphabets for the Future,” in DCAD’s Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery Nov. 2-Jan. 11. 622-8000, dcad.edu

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Dyed In the Wool

Versatility and quality performance are the hallmarks of the Carroll County Ramblers, who will play A Night of Bluegrass at Smyrna Opera House Nov. 10. With members who each provide unique instrumental and vocal qualities, the band has been pleasing audiences of everyone from dyed-in-the-wool bluegrass followers to casual listeners for 50 years. This concert will feature classic tunes sprinkled with some originals. We think you’ll like it. 653-4236, smyrnaoperahouse.org

Dance, Dance, Dance

Vital Theatre Company, producer of the hit show “Pinkalicious: The Musical,” will premiere “Angelina Ballerina: The Musical,” at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover Nov. 10. Based on the dancing mouse created by Katharine Holabird, the show features Angelina and her friends performing dance forms from hip-hop to modern dance to an Irish jig to ballet, of course. You’ll be dancing, too. This is great family entertainment. Don’t miss it. 678-5152, schwartzcenter.com

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Homegrown Talent

Hailed as a tall, dashing baritone “with a robust sound with ringing top notes,” Grant Youngblood’s orchestral appearances have earned praise for his “smooth lyric baritone voice bringing beautiful shading and color to the score.” On the opera stage he has been hailed as a “commanding baritone and authoritative stage presence.” For Market Street Music on Nov. 11, he will sing selections such as Copeland’s “Old American Songs,” classic arias, and tunes old and new. See this prodigious talent for yourself at First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. 654-5371 or visit www.marketstreetmusicde.org

Ciao, Italia

We can hardly believe the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival is celebrating its 15th anniversary. It seems like only yesterday when this fall favorite debuted. This year’s festival, Nov. 7-11, highlights movies from and about Italy. Film society director Sue Early is especially pleased to feature “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” an audience fave and winner at Sundance and Cannes. “Beasts” comes from the bayou, not the old country, and tells how 6-year-old Hushpuppy’s struggles with her father’s failing health, her flooding community and ancient Aurochs—the beasts unleashed by the flooding—teach her the true meaning of courage and love. 645-9095, rehobothfilm.com

The Show of Shows

Winterthur’s peerless Delaware Antiques Show happens Nov. 9-11 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. This year, join internationally renowned designer Carolyne Roehm, who, with Gov. Jack Markell and first lady Carla Markell, is a Delaware Antiques Show co-chair. Author of “A Passion for Interiors,” Roehm is known for her classic style and tastes. Meet her at the opening party on Nov. 8 and take a sneak peek of wares from 60 of the best dealers in the country. Special for this show, the “Color Counts” exhibition will reveal Henry Francis du Pont’s unerring eye for decorating. There’s more, of course. 888-4907, winterthur.org

Simply Beautiful

Now at the Delaware Art Museum, “So Beautifully Illustrated” shows the work of Katharine Richardson Wireman, who studied with Howard Pyle before embarking on a 50-year career as an illustrator. Her illustrations, which often featured domestic scenes, ranged from advertisements and fashion features to children’s books to covers of magazines such as The Country Gentleman. “So Beautifully Illustrated” continues the series of exhibitions focused on the Golden Age of Illustration and the students of Howard Pyle. See it through Jan. 6. 571-9590, delart.org

The Moment is Now

 “The Aesthetic Moment: The Art of Still Life” at Delaware Art Museum features 11 regional painters with different styles, but a common love for the genre. The still life arrangements are uniquely perceived and rendered by the artists, then perceived uniquely again by the viewer. The guest curator is Paul DuSold of Philadelphia, who has shown his work widely across the United States over the last 30 years, concentrating on still life. His unerring eye reveals a range of still life subjects, themes and styles that will astound you. See it though Jan. 6. 571-9590, delart.org

Quoth the Raven…

“Picturing Poe: Illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s Stories and Poems” at the Brandywine River Museum shows how the master of the macabre inspired other artists, making him one of the world’s most illustrated authors. See drawings, paintings and first-edition books illustrated by 30 artists, including Édouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Robert Motherwell and F.O.C. Darley, who Poe selected by hand. See it through Nov. 15. (610) 388-2700, brandywinemuseum.org

Young at Art

Don’t miss “Young Country,” a traveling show of art that speaks of place. Organized by DCCA, it hit UArts in Philadelphia and Salisbury University in Maryland before its exhibition in Delaware. “Young Country” examines how artists living in fringe art centers are re-defining ideas of fine art, class, and “country” in America. The exhibition features artists who use rural images and subjects such as horseracing, honkytonks, and homesteading to address how the visual culture of a region shapes perception and identity. The show features work by artists from Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle, New York, Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, and other areas. The show grows as it travels. Also showing at DCCA through Dec. 9 is “Natural Forces,” large-scale sculpture and installations of burnt wood, spiraling metallic pieces, and cardboard constructions by Alison Stigora that explores the relationship between the destructive and creative forces of nature. 656-6466, thedcca.org

The Art of Business

Little-known fact: The library at Hagley holds the records of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Hence “100 Years of Picturing the Nation’s Business: Photographs from the Collection of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America,” which celebrates the chamber’s centennial. The exhibition shows famous—and not-so-famous—photos, some capturing significant moments such as reaction to the stock market crash, aftermath of the Dust Bowl and news of the Titanic sinking, some showing iconic companies such as Ford Motor Co. and American Airlines in their earliest days. While you’re there, see “The American Eagle: Symbol of Freedom and Enterprise to the du Pont Family.” The bird was an important symbol, one that Mrs. Louise du Pont Crowninshield collected and displayed in her ancestral home, Eleutherian Mills. The exhibition is on view through Jan. 1. 658-2400, hagley.org 658-2400, hagley.org

It’s All About Us

In 1962, the interstate highway system was just getting traction, the Delaware Memorial Bridge had only one span, and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry had not yet set sail. Fifty years later, the state is a much different place, and through it all, Delaware Today has been there to document the changes. See how in “Delaware Yesterday, Delaware Today: 1962-2012” at the Delaware History Center in Wilmington. The exhibit shows how the magazine has evolved from a small black-and-white publication with regular features like the quaint Flo Knows Fashion into the glossy, full-color publication you read today for the latest on great restaurants, the arts, emerging lifestyle trends, home design, interesting personalities and more. Objects from the collection of the Delaware Historical Society round out the story. “Delaware Yesterday, Delaware Today: 1962-2012” is informative, entertaining and nostalgic, and we humbly submit that you’ll find it as interesting as we here at DT do. 655-716, hsd.org

All About Fun

New from The Grand: Operation Fun Pass, a statewide program that gives local arts, entertainment and cultural attractions a way to donate coupons, discounts, free passes, and gift certificates to active-duty military and their families. More than 25 cultural organizations, museums, and theaters are already participating. At The Grand, that means  buy-one-get-one-free tickets for select performances. To raise awareness of Operation Fun Pass, The Grand is asking the public to submit photos and a brief biography of family members and friends who are serving or have served in the military. The information will then be posted on The Grand’s social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger) as a salute to the brave local men and women protecting our country. The photos will also be displayed in a slideshow on The Grand’s YouTube page and may be used during The Grand’s pre-show slideshows and The Grand’s annual fundraiser, The Grand Gala. The Grand will accept submissions for “A Grand Troops Salute” until Nov. 20.  Just e-mail your submissions to communications manager Sara Sultanik at ssultanik @grandopera.org. All the best.

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