South Shore Conservatory’s Evening Under the Stars Honors Dorothy Palmer

HINGHAM — South Shore Conservatory’s Evenings Under the Stars (EUS) concert series kicked off its 2018 season on Saturday, July 7, 7 pm, with the Evenings Under the Stars Festival Orchestra and Conductor Nicholas Palmer presented orchestral and vocal music with Opera and Musical Theatre Gala. Sponsored by Jane Carr and family, this was the first of four EUS Saturday evening open air summer concerts in the Jane Carr Amphitheater at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham.

Presented in honor of longtime EUS supporter Dorothy Palmer, the maestro’s mother, as she celebrates her 90th birthday, Opera and Musical Theatre Gala features familiar excerpts from “La Traviata,” “Carmen,” and “West Side Story,” with some selections vocalized, and others showcasing instruments only. From “La Traviata,” audiences recognized “Brindisi,” widely known as “The Drinking Song,” as well as Violetta’s tour de force “Sempre Libera.” “Carmen” aficionados delighted to hear “L’amour est un oiseaux rebelle” sung by SSC multifaceted mezzo-soprano Beth MacLeod Largent.

“West Side Story” lovers are in for a treat in the second half, as most of the performance centers on Jets and Shark favorites including “America,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “Something’s Coming.” As is traditional with the EUS Festival Orchestra, the program concludes with a rousing version of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with cannon fire.

In addition to Largent, singers who performed in this opera/musical theatre event include SSC voice instructor, best known for her musical theater performances, Holly Ann Jennings, and SSC alum Natalie Polito, a rising star soprano who played the memorable role of Yum-Yum in SSC’s EUS production of The Mikado in 2015. New to SSC audiences, Boston-based tenor Blake Siskavich joins Jennings for thrilling “West Side Story” excerpts.

Hingham native Nicholas Palmer is now celebrating his 22th season conducting the Evenings Under the Stars Festival Orchestra. Last September, Palmer made his debut conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra as they recorded the orchestral music of American composer Arnold Rosner at the famed Abbey Road Studios.

Palmer is currently Music Director of the Lafayette Symphony (IN), North Charleston POPS! (SC), Dubuque Festival Orchestra (IA), and the Seasong Music Festival (FL). A favorite guest conductor in Europe, Mexico and Latin America, Palmer has also led the Europa Philharmonie, Czech Radio Orchestra, San Remo Symphony, West Bohemia Symphony, Sophia Symphony, Milano Classico Orchestra, Lausanne Symphony, the OSSLA and Monterrey Symphony in Mexico, National Orchestra of Bolivia and the Medellin Symphony in Columbia.

New and exciting for this summer’s concerts are Sip! receptions an hour prior to each EUS concert, and food trucks at every Summer Spotlight performance. Audience members were invited to purchase a Sip! backstage pass, giving them access to a special live performance in SSC’s Cox Hall, while enjoying a refreshing drink sponsored by Barrel House Z. Phyllis Godwin sponsored of the July 7 reception.

Interspersed throughout all Summer Spotlight event are Sadie Mae’s Cupcake Cafe, Rolling Roost Food Truck, and Mom on the Go Food Truck, offering a variety of foods such as indulgent cupcakes, designer grilled cheese, barbecue pulled pork, steak burritos, strawberry avocado salad, couscous salad with cherries, and avocado toast.

Evenings Under the Stars is one of two series in the Conservatory’s diverse Summer Spotlight outdoor summer entertainment. Summer Spotlight also includes fun Wacky Wednesdays family concerts which starts its season on July 11 with Karen K & the Jitterbugs. All concerts take place in the Jane Carr Amphitheater at One Conservatory Drive in Hingham.

The media sponsor for the entire Evenings Under the Stars series is South Shore Living.

ALL PHOTOS BY BILL BRETT

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