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Your weekend arts forecast: Vienna music at Opera Central, blues at the Palladium

Bill DeYoung



International students from the Vienna Summer Music Festival perform in St. Pete this weekend. Photo provided.

The Vienna Summer Music Festival, an international program of classical music and opera education and performance, has been in St. Pete since June 6, working in Preis Hall, the big ballroom inside St. Petersburg Opera Company’s headquarters on 1st Avenue S.

This is the Austria-based music program’s first U.S. residency.

“Due to Covid-19, there has been a substantial degree of uncertainty within the international community regarding international travel, performances in concert venues, and more,” the program’s executive director, Michael J. Polo, wrote on the Vienna Summer Music Festival website. “Therefore, we have decided to move our wonderful Vocal Arts and Orchestra programs to the U.S.A. for our 2021 season.”

Public performances begin today with Carnival of the Animals and The Loathly Lady; Friday brings La Boheme; Saturday’s 3 p.m. matinee is called La Boheme Femme; Saturday night it’s Hansel & Gretel. On Sunday, the final day, Carnival of the Animals and The Loathly Lady are onstage at 3, with Hansel and Gretel repeated in the evening. All evening shows are at 7:30.

Tickets are here.

Blues, man


Bay area blues guitarist Selwyn Birchwood, winner of the International Blues Challenge, brings his band back to the big stage at the Palladium Theater for a live performance Saturday night. Seating remains distanced, but masks  are voluntary. Tickets to see the estimable Mr. Birchwood, who has a new album out (Living in a Burning House), are available here.

On the stage

Just Wednesday, the Catalyst told you all about freeFall Theatre’s intriguing new production, The Rose and the Beast. This cutting-edge, interactive musical adventure opens Friday and has a different set of times, because of the nature of the production. Times and tickets are here.

And the juggernaut that is Jobsite Theater’s Shockheaded Peter continues to fire on all cylinders; the extremely well-reviewed “gothic cabaret” continues for this and one more weekend. All info is here.

At thestudio@620, Mayday: Captain Lerro and the Skyway Bridge, written by yours truly and directed by Roxanne Fay, was at press time very close to being sold out. For which we are grateful to you.

Pure pride

The Black Honkeys, one of the area’s hardest-charging R&B bands, headlines Pride on the Plaza Friday and Saturday nights on the Mahaffey Plaza (that’s the green area between the Mahaffey Theater and the Dali Museum). The Torpedoes open the show Friday at 7:30; Saturday it’s Shevonne and the Pride.

This is just one (well, two) of the weekend events dedicated to St. Pete Pride during this fabulous month. The official PrideFest final-weekend signature event is Pride Picnic, 2-9 p.m. Saturday at North and South Straub Parks. Vendors, live music, food trucks and fireworks over the bay at dusk – should be a great time. Tickets are $5 here.

Please forward all event notices and press materials to









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