Arts Scene: Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, 'The Marriage Contract', Poet Camille Dungy

Arts Reporter

Seasonal sounds

Ready for a little "Spring" and "Summer?" You'll get 'em -- and "Fall" and "Winter" too as the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra performs Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" with soloist Rachel Barton Pine. Pine was a much acclaimed prodigy, winning international awards, when she was seriously mangled in a horrific subway accident. With the help of a prosthesis and plenty of physical therapy she got back on her feet and has kept on fiddling. The program will also include Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra," which conductor Randy Fleischer will dissect at a free brown bag lunch at noon on Friday, Jan. 31, on the ground level of Loussac Library. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in Atwood Concert Hall. Tickets, $20-$42, are available at

Authors abound

49 Writers has a full slate of author events this coming week. Poet Camille Dungy from Colorado State University and UAF visiting professor Sean Hill will present "Writing the Whole Environment" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4 in the Anchorage Museum Auditorium, talking about writing about history, family and the natural world. Former State Writer Laureate John Straley will read from his latest novel, "Cold Storage, Alaska" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Great Harvest Bread Company, 570 E. Benson Blvd. The long-time criminal defense investigator from Sitka will speak on "Lessons from a Life of Crime" during the event, divulging trade secrets about what it takes to be both a mystery writer and real-life sleuth. "Cold Storage," which comes out Feb. 4, is not a whodunnit, but a humorous -- or at least happy -- look at a quirky Southeast hamlet. Both events are free.

Americano in Italia

Said to be the first Italian opera to feature an American character, Rossini's early comedy "The Marriage Contract" -- he was 18 when he wrote it -- is being presented by Anchorage Opera. In this spoof, considered something of a rough draft for "The Barber of Seville," the American, specifically a Canadian, is a boorish frontiersman with all the manners of Davy Crockett after a bad bear hunt. Anchorage Opera has cleverly turned that character into an Alaskan. Why not? Shows last weekend sold out before it opened. Tickets, $25-$43.75, may still be available via for the remaining performances, 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, and 3 and 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, in Alaska Pacific University's Grant Hall. Review online at

Compiled by arts reporter
Mike Dunham