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June 27. 2013 12:48AM

Wakefield Awakenings

Opera house unveils upgraded venue, new slate of summer shows


TRAVELING WOLFEBURYS 

The Wakefield Opera House, located on the second story of the late-1800s Wakefield Town Hall, has undergone some renovations and upgrades in recent years, leading venue officials to broaden the scope of offerings from square dancing to Christian rock.

With improvements including a new stage curtain, lighting, and most recently, a new sound system, the space, still to receive work on the balcony, can accommodate up to 200 audience members.

“One thing we're trying to do is vary what we offer at the Opera House,” said Ed Morrison, who heads the Performing Arts Committee at the Wakefield Opera House.

For example, last Saturday, Chris Pinkham of Happy Times Square Dancing had calling duties, while next up on the schedule on Friday, July 5, will be a double-header rock concert featuring Winterland and Eyes Up. Winterland, which performs cool electric jazz and blues, is a four-piece band featuring Andy Tapper, founder of the band, on electric bass; David Dexter on piano, organ and synthesizer; John Reguera on drums, and Al Paglio on lead guitar.

Eyes Up is a six-piece band that plays contemporary Christian rock music. Band members are Amanda Collins on keyboards and, lead vocals; Sam Collins on guitar, bass guitar and vocals; Ben Heidebrink on drums and vocals; Chris Wright on bass guitar and acoustic guitar; Mike Chatigny on acoustic guitar, percussion, and vocals, and Robert Garceau: guitars and vocals.

Folk guitarist Bill Staines also will play the venue. For more than 40 years, Staines has traveled across North America, performing at festivals, folksong societies, colleges, concerts, clubs and coffeehouses. Staines will visit the opera house for a 7 p.m. show Sunday, July 28.

Next up, Larry Warren and the Clearly-related String Band perform on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 4 p.m., and The Traveling Wolfeburys perform Saturday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.

Acts performing in September include Tuckerman's at 9, an a cappella band; the Moose Mountain Dixieland Jazz Band, and Grammy Award-winning guitarist Ed Gerhard.

In December, the Hampstead Stage Company presents the C.L. Lewis classic, “Return to Narnia.”

Ticket prices range from $10 to $20.

For more details, log onto wakefieldoperahouse.org.


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