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GE’s Albany Riverfest

The company whose name is most associated with the Hudson River is sponsoring an event to celebrate our glorious waterway this weekend. So you can come frolic and play, listen to rockin’ tunes, eat yummy food, watch fireworks, and hell, watch the river clean itself at GE’s Albany Riverfest on Saturday. The shebang takes place at Albany’s Riverfront Park on the Corning Preserve, and the fun begins at noon with the U.S. Water Ski Show Team performing death-defying tricks. The musical talent begins at 1:30 PM with Radio Disney presenting Jesse McCartney, Chris Trousdale, Nikki Cleary and Stevie Brock; area blues-rock outfit the Decadent Royals follow (at 2:45); and the traditional-African-music-meets-modern-technology purveyors, Toby Foyeh & Orchestra Africa, will perform at 4:15.

But that’s not all in the musical-entertainment department, no siree. At 6 PM, the Commitments (the same ones, more or less—mostly less—from the film of the same name) hit the stage. Then it’s time to get out your dancing shoes, for disco sensations Chic, with original member Nile Rodgers (pictured) will perform. Rodgers, along with bassist Bernard Edwards, were Chic’s songwriters and producers (both went on to successful careers as producers throughout the ’80s and into the ’90s), as well as the band’s rhythm guitarist and bassist, respectively, and the two helped lead the funky disco ensemble through some of the best dance songs of the ’70s, including “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah),” “Le Freak,” and “I Want Your Love.” The band continued in various re-formations throughout the early- and mid-’90s, and their last album, Live at the Budokan, was recorded in 1996 after a reconstituted Chic toured Japan. The album marks Edwards’ last performance, as he passed away of pneumonia during that tour. That album also featured a new singer, Sylver Logan Sharp, who will accompany Chic and Rodgers when they play the Riverfront festival.

GE’s Albany Riverfest will also have, of course, a fireworks display—what’s a downtown Albany event without them—which will commence once darkness falls; a lighted boat parade (at dusk); and food, kids’ activities and performances. The Saturday (Aug. 9) event starts at noon; admission is free. Call 434-2032 for further information.

Inside/Out: Re-visioning Hyde House

The Hyde Collection Art Museum, housed in the Hyde House mansion in Glens Falls, has become an integral part of the its community, and a destination of ever-increasing reputation for cultural tourists residing out of the area. The museum combines the best aspects of the historic-house museum with an impressive fine-art collection spanning centuries, and aggressive forward-looking educational programming. So, it’s easy to imagine that the announcement of a temporary closure of the museum for interior and exterior renovations might mildly panic patrons who have grown to rely on the Hyde. Fortunately, the museum’s administrators have anticipated such a reaction and made provisions for art-jonesing Hyde habitués, and newcomers alike.

An installation by multimedia artists Susie Brandt and Margo Mensing will provide a type of “virtual Hyde” while the actual Hyde is hidden. Video (pictured), photography, storytelling and artifacts will be utilized in conjunction to examine the ongoing relationship of the Hyde to its community. It will provide an introduction to those new to the Hyde, and likely give new insights to frequent visitors: The artists spent two years shadowing museum docents and interviewing volunteers and staff to gain an intimate knowledge of, not only the physical aspect of the museum and its collection, but of the personality created by its living interaction with its constituents. It’s an ambitious project right down to the companion catalog, which combines the standard content of a museum catalog with recipes supplied by museum staff.

Inside/Out will begin on Sunday (Aug. 10) and run through Nov. 16 at the Hyde Collection Art Museum (161 Warren St., Glens Falls). For more information, call 792-1761 or visit www.hydeartmuseum.org.

Tanglewood Music Center Premieres

Tanglewood will unveil two world-premiere operas, composed by two illustrious alumni, this Sunday and Monday. Osvaldo Golijov (’90) and Robert Zuidam (’89) return to the Berkshires to offer their new works with a host of big-time collaborators.

The operas will be performed by the Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows and Orchestra. Yes, they’re students—but these are Tanglewood students. Of course, a couple of ringers (Dawn Upshaw and Lucy Shelton) have been brought in to sing the leads in each opera, and a few more to stage the productions (including director Chay Yew).

Golijov’s Ainadamar dramatizes the execution, during the Spanish Civil War, of poet-playwright Federico García Lorca. With a libretto by David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), the tragedy is told from the point of view of the actress who appeared in Lorca’s Mariana Pineda (a tale of a martyred revolutionary). A joint production of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ainadamar will be conducted by Robert Spano and feature internationally known soprano Upshaw.

Zuidam’s Rage d’amours is based on a gruesome and passionate story of a 16th- century Spanish queen who loved a little too intensely. After her husband died, she went insane and refused to leave his body—so they locked her up in a monastery for the rest of her days (45 more years, to be precise). Stefan Asbury will conduct, and Shelton is the ace soprano for this work.

Tanglewood Music Center (297 West St., Lenox, Mass.) will present Ainadamar and Rage d’amours this Sunday (Aug. 10) and Monday (Aug. 11) at 8:30 PM in the Tanglewood Theatre. Tickets are $90-$40. For reservations and information, call (413) 637-5165.


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