Culture FIX: July 20-26

Even in the sojurn-sodden last weeks of July the Cincinnati scene is rockin’ and rollin’, or at least R&B-in’ and opera-singin’. And yes, there is even more to explore: art, dance, theater … read on.

Opera’s last gasp(s)…

From Cincinnati Opera’s 2007 production of “Aida”
Photo by Phillip Groshong

Cincinnati Opera | 513-241-2742. DETAILS: This final segment of Cincinnati Opera’s 2022 Summer Season illustrates the wondrous extremes within the operatic canon. Tomorrow night, a brand new work makes its debut, the second this summer. “Castor and Patience” was crafted by Gregory Spears, composer of 2016’s “Fellow Travelers,” and former U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith. It is an introspective, personal tale of family pressures, internal and external, and their costs. Read more here from our July magazine. “Aida,” which opens Friday night, is the height of 19th century grand opera in style and substance. Love and loyalty are at odds, and jealousy only complicates matters. How could this possibly end well, right? I guess you’ll have to find out, but rest assured, it is a grand opera. See remaining performance schedule below…

  • July 21, 28, 30, 7:30 p.m. Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith: “Castor and Patience” (Corbett Theater, SCPA)
  • July 23, 24, 3 p.m. Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith: “Castor and Patience”
  • July 22, 26, 29, 7:30 p.m. Giuseppe Verdi: “Aida” (Music Hall)
  • July 31, 3 p.m. Giuseppe Verdi: “Aida”

Cincinnati Music Festival | Brady Music Center, Paul Brown Stadium and various venues. DETAILS: Stretching from Washington Park to The Banks, CMF has grown into Cincinnati’s largest musical event of the year. The festival has also spawned collateral events, including Black Tech Week, the Vibe Untold Speaker Series, a 5K a street festival, an Outdoor Museum, and much more (more than I could list here!). See the website for full detalis. Here are the musical line-ups starting tomorrow…

  • July 21: Ari Lennox, BJ the Chicago Kid (Brady Music Center)
  • July 22: Charlie Wilson, Anthony Hamilton, Toni! Tony! Tone!, Jonathan Butler
  • July 23: Janet Jackson, The O’Jays, Tank, After 7, Kirk Whalum 

Wednesday, July 20

Wonda Winkler of Brighton Center

Northern Kentucky Young Professionals, Next Generation Leader Awards | 5:30-7:30 p.m., Newport Aquarium. DETAILS: This event recognizes professionals under 40 working to better the Northern Kentucky metro area. Three finalists in each of seven categories have been selected by a panel of community leaders. Plus, Wonda Winkler, president and CEO of Brighton Center, Inc. and Brighton Properties, Inc., will be presented with the 2022 NKYP Legend Award. Cost: $45/person, $40 with an NKYP event pass.

Washington Park Cinema, “Sing–Long: Lion King” (1994) | 9 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: It’s Christmas in July for “Lion King” lovers. Singers flock to “Messiah” sing-a-longs in December. Here’s your chance to let your inner Simba soar in the splendor of summer, and in the (urban) wilderness no less.

Thursday, July 21

Cincinnati LAB Theatre, New Works Festival | 7:30 p.m. Madcap Education Center, 3064 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211. DETAILS: This two-weekend exploration of new theater kicks off with a performance of “Preggers, Or Parenthood For Virgins” by Rebecca Dzida, one of three brand new fully staged workshop productions. There is also a play reading series and a preview (July 27) of a new work to appear in this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Continues through Sunday and then next Thursday through Saturday in rotating repertoire. 

Ludlow Garage, Adrian Belew | 8:30 p.m. 342 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH. DETAILS: In a slightly more intimate setting than the extravaganza happening downtown, one of Covington’s favorite sons favors us with a visit to Clifton. Widely considered one of the most creative electric guitarists to ever grab a pic, Belew was a major player within King Crimson for decades, along with 20 solo records and a stint with local band The Bears (Rob Fetters, Bob Nyswonger and Chris Arduser). Doors open at 7 p.m.

Friday, July 22

Alexander Korsantia

Art of the Piano, Alexander Korsantia | 7 p.m. Werner Recital Hall, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. DETAILS: Award-winning Georgian-born pianist Alexander Korsantia returns to Cincinnati for a program of contrasts: two sonatas by Franz Josef Haydn composed some 40 years apart in the 1700s, and Korsantia’s own transcription of Stravinsky’s “Petrushka” ballet (1911) for solo piano and pedal tambourine, in its world premiere. I’m intrigued to see the fancy footwork.

Clifton Cultural Arts Center, “Fiber is Art, Too” | 6-8 p.m. 2728 Short Vine St., Cincinnati OH 45219. 513-497-2860. DETAILS: You have to like an art show with a chip on its shoulder, having something to prove. Of source, “Too” is a double entendre, signifying this second such fiber art display in recent years at the CCAC. This juried exhibit shares creative work by 26 artists, all women. Come on, Guys, measure up! We can manage yarn too! Runs through Aug. 19 in Corryville.

Moving Arts Cincinnati, “Oh, Joy” | 8 p.m. Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff Center. 513-621-5282. DETAILS: This unique, summer enterprise is made up of accomplished ballet artists from around the world who are part of Louisville Ballet, University of Southern California Kaufman School of Dance, Kansas City Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. This world premiere work is being presented in both Kansas City and Cincinnati. “Oh, Joy” has been created by three female choreographers who celebrate the need for human connection in the performing arts. Continues Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 23

Findlay Market, 170th Birthday Bash | 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: This has morphed into an all-day, plus early evening event celebrating a rather auspicious and impressive birthday. Festivities include live music, children’s programming, cake cutting with Mayor Aftab Pureval, a special night market and much more. Bars and restaurants nearby are offering specials in honor of the occasion. 

Ondrej Michálek, “New Gardens II
aquatint and soft ground; “22.75×32.25″

Kennedy Heights Arts Center, “Czech it Out!” Hello & Welcome Community Day | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 6546 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45213. 513-631-4278. DETAILS: Enhancing the current exhibit “Voices from CZECHIA,” which runs until Sept. 17, this free, family-friendly festival highlights the culture of the Czech Republic. Experiences include cultural dances, music performances, a display of cultural information, and regional specific food. You can also view

Andrew Young Jr.
Photo courtesy Andrew J. Young Foundation

Vibe Cincinnati – Untold Speaker Series | 2 p.m. Northern Kentucky Convention Center. DETAILS: This is the third and most prominent of this new speaker series, offered for the first time as part of the Cincinnati Music Festival. Once a young lion as activist pastor, head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, confidant to Martin Luther King and mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young Jr. later served in Congress and as United Nations ambassador. He has seen it all, or at least too much, and this is a rare chance to hear his thoughts on the current state of the body politic. Earlier Vibe talks are listed below.

  • July 22, 11 a.m. Victoria Eady Butler, Gina Paige, Joi Brown (Overlook Room, Westin Cincinnati Hotel)
  • July 23, 11 a.m. Raekwon The Chef (Overlook Room, Westin Cincinnati Hotel)

Sunday, July 24

Art of the Piano, Lera Auerbach | 2 p.m Memorial Hall, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Hailing from the western fringe of Siberia, Auerbach was a child prodigy who has morphed into a true Renaissance woman: pianist, composer, poet, visual artist and activist. The video above provides insight into her compositional process and her activist nature. Her program here features her own Suite for Piano, plus a sonata by Prokofiev and Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

Monday, July 25

Art Academy of Cincinnati, MAAE Exhibit 2022 | 1212 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-562-6262. DETAILS: This exhibit showcases the work of three graduate students: Kelly-Ann Cowie, Amy Cluxton and Nicole Staun. The closing reception takes place next Friday – July 29th, 5-8 p.m., so this notice gives you an opportunity to see the show in case your Final Friday is already booked. You’re welcome!

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