Baroque Bash comes to town, and an animated opportunity

by Mark Burger

The third season of the Magnolia Baroque Festival gets underway this month, beginning with a concert in Durham and then continuing with a series of musically magnificent events in Winston-Salem.

The festival kicks off June 17 with The Moravians’ Passion for Music at Duke Gardens (426 Anderson St., Durham), for which tickets are available

The next night – the festival brings that same program to Winston-Salem. Yes, it’s The Moravians’ Passion for Music one mo’ time, a concert collection of works by such early classical baroque composers as JF Peter, W. Pieci, Graun and others, which will be performed by seven Magnolia Baroque Festival musicians including violinist Gesa Kordes and keyboard player Andrew Willis. This concert will be held at Calvary Moravian Church (600 Holly Ave., W-S) at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday, June 19, there’s The Excitement of Improvisation in the Gray Auditorium in the Old Salem Visitors Center (900 Old Salem Road, W-S), in which guest ensemble The Harmonious Blacksmith presents a concert highlighting the spontaneity and improvisation found in early baroque music. The line-up of musical talent includes Ingrid Matthews on violin, Joe Gascho on harpsichord, John Lenti on lute and theorbo, Nika Zlatzric on cello, Justin Godoy on recorder and soprano Ah Hong.

The following night – Friday, June 20 – the baroque bash continues with a concert titled Love of Bach, which surely says it all. It’s all Johann Sebastian, all the time in this presentation, which features the Bach concerti including E Major and E Minor violin concertos, the D minor double-violin concerto, and the “Brandenburg Concerto IV.” Violinist Ingrid Matthews will be featured in this performance, which will be held in Watson Hall, located on the NCSA campus (1533 S. Main St., W-S).

Saturday, June 21, sees The Triumph of Love being performed at the Stevens Center (405 W. 4th St., W-S). In a selection of memorable scenes from Purcell’s King Arthur, as well as The Fairy Queen, this baroque blowout features the acclaimed baroque dance duo of Paige Whitley-Bauguess and Thomas Baird. Whitley-Bauguess is also the director of the Baroque Arts Project and Atlantic Dance Theatre in New Bern, and she holds a BFA in ballet from NCSA, where she also attended the high school program – so this is something of a homecoming for her. They’ll be joined by dancers from the New Bern Dancing Assembly, the Magnolia Baroque Festival Orchestra, Chorus and Vocal soloists. If you buy three tickets, you get one free. Not only is it baroque, but it’s a bargain!

Tickets for each of these shows are $25, $20 for senior citizens and $10 for students (have those IDs ready), and are available from the Stevens Center Box Office: 336.721.1945.

The festival finishes up with “Promenade,” presented in the afternoon by Old Salem Museum and Gardens. Just take a leisurely stroll down South Main Street in Old Salem (if you’ve never been, you really ought to) and enjoy Magnolia Baroque Festival apprentices performing period music in various venues including the Salem Tavern, Single Brothers’ House, St.Philip’s Church and Vogler House. Tickets for this event are available through the Old Salem Visitor’s Center: 336.721.7350.

For more information about the festival, see

I’ve been called many things by many people, but I don’t ever recall being called an “Igor” by anyone. A “Scrooge,” yes. (More than once.) A “genius,” absolutely. (Not as many times.) But never have I been called an “Igor.”

Well, those marketing madmen at the Weinstein Company (led by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein) have cooked up an online contest in preparation for the upcoming animated feature, Igor, which opens this September and features the voices of John Cusack (as Igor), Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, John Cleese, Christian Slater, Molly Shannon, Jennifer Coolidge and Jay Leno, who will appear in absolutely anything, it seems.

The “Be an Igor” contest allows fans to compete for the chance to have their voice featured in the film, joining the likes of the star-studded cast above.

Taking its cue from the classic horror films of yesteryear – like, back in the ’30s – the story puts a farcical spin on the prototypical character of Igor, a hunchbacked assistant to a mad scientist who’s tired of being the sidekick and wants to become a scientist himself. His dream (a twisted one, of course) is to win first prize at the Evil Science Fair, held every year in the kingdom of Malaria (which I seem to recall as being somewhere in the vicinity of New Jersey).

All of you potential Igors out there, here’s what you need to do: Go to for complete details. Film yourself doing your best “Yes, Master!” impression and/or the old hunchback routine, or show yourself creating something in a laboratory. Zaniness is encouraged, but let’s keep things clean, shall we? This is for a kids’ movie, after all.

Next, upload your video and tell your friends to vote for your entry. You can watch and rate other entries, and winners will be selected based on the highest ratings and the largest number of views an entry receives. It’s so simple, even a child could do it… which, I suppose, is probably the point.

The grand-prize winner will have their voice recorded and featured in the final cut of the film, and will be featured on the DVD release of Igor. Four first-prize winners will have their video entries featured on the DVD release and will also receive an official “Be An Igor” prize package including autographed posters and comic books, video games and collectible figurines.

Everyone else enjoys the privilege of just playing the game.

Entries will be accepted through Friday, June 13 – and, for someone, it’s going to be a lucky Friday the 13th!

Come to think of it, no one’s ever said “Yes, Master!” to me. I’ll have to work on that….

To comment on this story, e-mail Mark Burger at