BARRE – The Barre Opera House (BOH) has announced its 2022-23 season and, as always, the BOH’s “Celebration Series” will feature nationally and internationally-known artists. According to director Dan Casey, it’s perhaps the most ambitious menu of shows that the theater has programmed. “We had solid attendance at some of our events last year, but certainly didn’t see a return to normalcy. Given the quality of this year’s programming, the improved health forecast and our patrons’ desire for live entertainment, we’re banking on a good number of sold-out performances this time around.”
On September 24, the series kicks off with renowned singer-songwriter, Richard Thompson, who the LA Times calls “the finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix.” Opening for Thompson are local favorites Willa Mamet and Paul Miller. The kitchen table duo have sung together coming on 20 years.
Next, on October 7, it’s “The Wailers.” Reggae king Bob Marley’s band comfortably claims its place in music history. Their music is, culture-defining, embodying the spirit of ’70s era-defining reggae. The band plays a special set featuring cuts from Marley’s back catalogue along with a string of their greatest, classic hits.
“Watkins Family Hour, “stopping at the BOH on October 28, is a collaborative musical project founded by musicians and siblings Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins and traditionally held at Los Angeles club Largo. The siblings are probably better known as two-thirds of the celebrated Americana group, “Nickel Creek.”
“Shadows of the ’60s” pays tribute to the legacy of Motown’s Super Groups, in a salute to the legendary stars such as The Supremes, The Four Tops and the Temptations. The 14-member ensemble performs hits that span several decades, and features musicians and singers dressed in exquisitely designed costumes and dazzling choreography. “Shadows” makes its Granite City stop on November 4.
Then on November 20, “The Robert Cray Band” returns to the Opera House. Over the past four decades, Cray has created a sound that rises from American roots, blues, soul and R&B, with five Grammy wins, 20 acclaimed studio albums and a bundle of live albums. “Cray” has had two previous visits to the Opera House, both sold-out shows.
“It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do,” says the Boston Globe speaking of “Cherish the Ladies,” the Grammy-nominated, Irish-American super group that formed in New York City in 1985 to celebrate the rise of extraordinary women in what had been a male-dominated Irish music scene. Since their first sold-out concert, they have exploded onto the Irish music circuit performing thousands of concerts around the globe and are now among the busiest and most admired Irish groups on the planet. 2022 marks 37 years of touring in the finest venues around the world including the White House and the Olympics and along the way recording 17 albums. “Cherish the Ladies” performs on March 11.
Winding up the series on April 7 is the Ugandan company, “Dance of Hope.” Cultural ambassador Kinobe and his troupe of teen performers share the stories of their lives and their homeland with the world. The mix of music, costumes, and dance offers a direct connection to a generation of young Africans who are meeting—and shaping—their futures. “Dance of Hope” will also offer a school matinee at the Opera House earlier in the day.
The Opera House has also scheduled several exciting “BOH Presents” shows outside the Celebration Series; others will be added as the season progresses.
“Space Oddity – The Ultimate David Bowie Experience” is a live, multi-media spectacle with a musical journey through the career of Rock and Roll’s most celebrated innovator. David Brighton and his band deliver a note-for note theatrical concert event. “Space Oddity” visits the Opera House on September 30.
Next up on October 22 is “Eaglemania,” a tribute that has dedicated itself to faithfully reproducing the music of The Eagles. Since their inception, “EagleMania” has been thrilling audiences all over the country with their stunning five-part harmony and their ability to emulate the unmistakable sound of the kings of California rock.
The “East Coast Inspirational Singers,” are at the BOH on February 10. The 15-member ensemble, based in Harlem, specialize in Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Blues. In recognition of Black History Month, the “Singers” will also offer a school matinee at the Opera House earlier in the day.
There are few artists capable of appealing to music fans of all stripes, and Alan Doyle is one of them. From the moment he burst onto the scene in the early 1990s with his band “Great Big Sea,” Canadians fell in love with the pride of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland. BOH Director Casey calls this one of the most exciting shows to have ever appeared at the BOH scheduled for February 17 of this year. Singer-songwriter Chris Trapper, whose music The New York Times calls “classic pop perfection,” opens for Doyle.
Finally, the BOH welcomes back Quebecois standouts, “Le Vent du Nord” on April 1. The award winning group is a leading force in Québec’s exciting and progressive Francophone folk movement. Their repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while their highly rhythmic and soulful music, rooted in the Celtic diaspora, is enhanced with a broad range of global influences.
Consistent with the latest CDC guidance and following consultation with public health experts, guests will no longer be required to wear face coverings or provide proof of vaccination/negative PCR test. If a patron is feeling unwell or exhibiting symptoms of COVID, contact the Box Office to learn of options available to them. These policies are subject to change at any time. The Barre Opera House, located at 6 North Main Street in Barre, offers discount to members, seniors and students. Order tickets online at barreoperahouse.org or call (802) 476-8188. The Opera House is handicapped accessible and equipped for the hearing impaired.