5 must-see events in April

Catch a new gallery opening April 26

Robyn Hitchcock
April 4
British singer-songwriter and guitarist Robyn Hitchcock is best known for his stint as frontman for Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians in the late 1980s . The indie band’s biggest hit, “Balloon Man,” is the infectious tune Hitchcock opened with at a solo concert at the Stoughton Opera House in 2016. Hitchcock returns to the venue where he’ll play tunes from his 21-album catalog, including his most recent album, a self-titled recording released in 2017.

Branford Marsalis Quartet
April 9
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has built one of the most eclectic music careers imaginable. Not only has he established himself in both classical and jazz genres, he’s also gotten groovy with rock and pop as a member of Sting’s touring band and as a guest performer with the Grateful Dead. The New Orleans native brings his jazz quartet – pianist Joey Calderazzo , bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner – to Overture Center’s Overture Hall to highlight numbers from the album “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul,” released in March.

Greg Zelek , Thomas Mesa and the Madison Symphony Orchestra
April 165 must-see events in April

Organist Greg Zelek and cellist Thomas Mesa, 26-year-old musicians widely praised for their virtuosity, join the Madison Symphony Orchestra for the last performance in the 2018-19 Overture Concert Organ Series. Zelek and Mesa will execute Bach’s “Fiddle Fugue in D Minor,” Charles-Marie Widor’s “Toccata from Symphony for Organ, No. 5” and Beethoven’s variations on Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” to name a few. Zelek has been MSO’s principal organist since September 2017, and Mesa is a doctoral candidate at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

” Rusalka “
April 26 and 285 must-see events in April

In 2017, The New York Times called ” Rusalka ” opera’s answer to “The Little Mermaid” for its fairytale story of a water princess who becomes enamored with a human prince. Madison Opera closes its season at Overture Hall with a staging of ” Rusalka ,” the company’s first Czech opera. The production debuted in 1901 in Prague, with music by Antonín Dvořák and libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil . Madison Opera veteran Emily Birsan portrays Rusalka , and John Lindsey, who debuted with the company in last year’s Opera in the Park, takes on the role of the prince.

“Uprooted: Plants in a Changing Climate”
April 26-June 235 must-see events in April

Jody Clowes ‘ excitement in coordinating “Uprooted: Plants in a Changing Climate” at James Watrous Gallery is palpable, and it’s no wonder, given her devoted interest in taking care of the environment. The exhibit showcases landscapes and nature, concentrating on wetlands, prairies and Wisconsin’s northern forests and lakes. “People have relationships with these plants, whether they know it or not,” says Clowes , the director of the James Watrous Gallery at the Overture Center for the Arts. “Micro [climate] effects are happening all over the place that are hard to see, and we’re hoping the exhibit shines a light on that.” Madison’s Helen Klebesadel , known for her intricate and vibrant watercolor paintings, is among five Wisconsin artists who were commissioned to create new pieces for the exhibit. “It will be a beautiful show regardless of what you learn from it,” Clowes says.

Tamira Madsen is a Fitchburg-based writer.