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Schedule announced for 2021 Celebration of the Arts

Bill DeYoung



Lyric soprano Amanda Forsythe will sing with The Florida Orchestra. Photo: Sykes Artist Mgmt.

The third annual St. Petersburg Celebration of the Arts, a themed, monthlong series of performances and events, begins Feb. 4 and includes socially-distanced live concerts by The Florida Orchestra and St. Petersburg Opera Company, as well as unique virtual programming.

The full schedule for The Sea – the theme for 2021 – may yet be augmented with additional events, according to co-organizer Michele Kidwell-Gilbert, a retired professor of art history who began the series in 2019 with her husband, semi-retired neurologist Dr. Gordon Gilbert.

Gordon and Michele Gilbert are behind the St. Petersburg Celebration of the Arts. Photo: Bill DeYoung.

The Gilberts are arts patrons and philanthropists. Kidwell-Gilbert taught Ancient and Renaissance art history at The New School for Social Research, New York University, and the College of New Rochelle, and is the founder and chair of the National Arts Club’s archaeology committee.

“Inclusiveness is important to us; we hope to retain from year to year as many as possible of St. Petersburg’s cultural groups, adding even more as our annual theme changes,” she told the Catalyst in 2020.

Unless indicated, ticket availability (where applicable) has not been announced. Regular updates will appear in the Catalyst.

Feb. 4: Robert Krakow, executive director of the SS St Louis Legacy Project Foundation, takes part in a livestreamed Q&A about his film Complicit, a documentary about the tragic fate of a German ocean liner transporting refugees in 1939. Krakow will be joined by Eva Wiener, a child refugee passenger on the SS St. Louis. 

This 6:30 p.m. event, which is co-presented by the Florida Holocaust Museum, follows a window of availability for watching Complicit at one’s leisure, which will begin Jan. 24. Details here.

Feb. 20. At 2 and 8 p.m. Boston-based lyric soprano Amanda Forsythe joins conductor Jeannette Sorrell and the Florida Orchestra for a Mahaffey Theater program including (among others) Handel’s Da Tempeste (By the Storm), Mozart’s Ruhe sanft (Rest Gently) and Siam Navi all’ondi algenti (We are Ships on a Chilly Ocean) by Vivaldi.

Feb. 23. Streaming lecture by Professor Stephen Michael Vinson, Chair, Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures of the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University Bloomington: “Ancient Egyptian Nautical Art.” 5 p.m., free.

Feb. 24. Sponsored by Hadassah St. Petersburg Chapter:  Streaming lecture by Dr. Peter Feinman, Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education: “When Israel sang the Song of the Sea at Zion, what did that mean in the city David had chosen to be the capital of his kingdom?”  3 p.m., free.

Feb. 25. St. Petersburg Opera: “Opera and the Sea,” Preis Hall at Opera Central, 6 p.m. Tickets available Jan. 8.

Feb. 26. St. Petersburg Opera: “Opera and the Sea,” Preis Hall at Opera Central, 8 p.m. Tickets available Jan. 8.

Feb. 27. St. Petersburg Opera: “Opera and the Sea,” at Cage Brewing, 4 p.m. Tickets available Jan. 8.

Feb. 28. St. Petersburg Opera: “Opera and the Sea,” outdoors at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, 4 p.m. Admission is pay-what-you-can.

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