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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Live Streamed Concert, Pay What You Will

Join Fr. Sean Duggan as he presents a special all-Bach concert streamed in real time from the Opera House stage.

Duggan performs two of Bach's most recognized keyboard pieces, the Goldberg Variations and the Chromatic Fantasie & Fugue, as he revisits a CD he recorded 20 years ago.  "I haven't played either piece in quite a while, so I'd like to resurrect them," he says.

According to music critic David Patrick Stearns, "the Goldberg Variations is a masterpiece without consensus."  Consisting of an opening aria and 30 different variations on it, "it is Bach's most popular keyboard work, partly because it isn't laden with the academic formality of the Well-Tempered Clavier, and covers so much musical ground that, even at its shortest, the piece feels epic."

The Chromatic Fantasie & Fugue in D minor, BWV 903, is one of Bach's best known works.  Already regarded as a unique masterpiece during Bach's lifetime, it is "an extravagant work of virtuosity and bold harmonic structure … an extraordinary piece - large, sprawling, emotional and unique in its character compared to the rest of Bach's music."

Fr. Sean Duggan, OSB, is a monk of St. Joseph Abbey, in Covington, LA.  He obtained his Bachelor of Music degrees from Loyola University in New Orleans and his MFA in music from Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh.  He also received a Master's Degree in theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.  He entered the Benedictine Order in 1982 and was ordained a priest in 1988.  From 1988 to 2001, he taught music, Latin and religion at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana and was director of music and organist at St. Joseph Abbey. 

In September 1983, Duggan won first prize in the J.S. Bach International Competition for Pianists in Washington, D.C., a feat which he repeated in August 1991. Having a special affinity for the music of Bach, in 2000, he performed the complete cycle of Bach's keyboard works eight times in various American and European cities.

For seven years, he hosted a weekly program on the New Orleans NPR station entitled "Bach on Sunday."  He is in the process of recording the complete cycle of Bach's keyboard music which will comprise 24 CDs.  He has performed with many orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Baroque Soloists, The Prague Chamber Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia. 

From 2001 to 2004, he was a member of the piano faculty at the University of Michigan.  In 2008, he was a guest professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music and is currently Professor of Music and Coordinator of the piano division at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Admission to this live streamed concert is by Pay What You Will donation.  Donations can be made at  Be sure to write a note or comment that mentions this concert when making the donation.

A link to the live stream will be published on all Opera House social media and on the Opera House web site, and will  be emailed to the Opera House email list a half-hour prior to the concert start.


Friday, October 22, 2021

General Admission, $20, $18 (Opera House Members), $10 (Students)
Folk in Fredonia Music Series 

The Special Consensus is a bluegrass band that has achieved a contemporary sound in its more than four decades of performing, making its music a modern classic. Band leader and founder Greg Cahill is a recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and the band itself has received five IBMA awards and two Grammy nominations.

The group's sound is grounded in a deep appreciation and understanding of bluegrass music.  With Cahill's unique banjo-playing style as a foundation, Rick Faris (guitar), Nate Burie (mandolin), and Dan Eubanks (bass) effortlessly support each other and consistently maintain a bluegrass center whether they’re playing a jazz-tinged instrumental or a song from the band's award-winning John Denver tribute album. These four talented vocalists and instrumentalists follow their creative desires without straying too far from their roots.

Rivers and Roads, the band’s 19th recording, received a 2019 Grammy nomination, five 2018 IBMA nominations and was named IBMA Album of the Year. The tune “Squirrel Hunters” from that recording received the Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year award.

International tours have brought the band to Canada, Europe, South America, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The group also has appeared on National Public Radio, The Nashville Network, at the Grand Ole Opry in the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and in concert with symphony orchestras nationwide.

Dedicated to preserving bluegrass music, in 1984 The Special Consensus initiated the Traditional American Music (TAM) Program to introduce bluegrass music to students in schools across the country and in several foreign lands.

The Special Consensus' continued success is a testament to its adaptability and contemporary appeal. The band records for Compass Records and proudly celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2020. 

Sponsored by The Gilman Family


Friday, November 19, 2021

General Admission $40, $32 Students

An Evening with Celebrated Solo Pianist George Winston!

George Winston is undeniably a household name.  He's inspired fans and musicians alike with his singular solo acoustic piano songs for more than 40 years while selling 15 million albums.  A tireless road warrior playing nearly 100 concerts annually, live performance for Winston is akin to breathing. His music is evocative, offering us all a chance to take a step back from our perpetually busy lives and let our minds adventurously wander.

Winston's classic albums, Autumn and December, are perennial favorites, along with Winter into Spring, Summer, 2017's Spring Carousel - A Cancer Research Benefit, as well as two volumes of the compositions of Vince Guaraldi, two volumes for the Gulf Coast disasters, and six other solo piano albums.

He just released his 15th solo piano album, Restless Wind, via Dancing Cat Records/RCA Record.  Restless Wind is a portrayal of Winston's place in a chaotic world - his compositions extend solace with an idiosyncratic grace.  The album is now available at



Friday, December 10, 2021
With the Ed Croft Trio

General Admission $10, $5 Students

People of all ages will enjoy this concert that features the Ed Croft Trio performing the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi.

Croft started his career playing in the New York City subways with famed blues musician Carolina Slim. From there, he began playing local shows with his rockabilly band, The Moonshiners. Upon graduating from high school, he pursued a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia, which he completed in 2013.

It was at Fredonia that Croft had the chance to perform and study with local legends such as Tom Gestwicki, John Bacon, Bruce Johnstone, and more, including an orchestral concert with Yo Yo Ma. Before he'd completed his studies at Fredonia, he began a career as a touring musician starting with two years traveling with celtic rock band The Town Pants, and touring for another two years with bluegrass band The Jakobs Ferry Stragglers.

In between national shows, music festivals, and local showcases, Croft received his Masters degree from Bowling Green State University where he studied under Jeff Halsey, David Bixler, and Chris Buzzeli. He also was able to perform with Mike Stern, Dave Samuels (of Spyro Gyro fame), Gary Smulyan, Tim Hagans, Jimmy Heath, and Conrad Herwig during his time in Ohio.

The Ed Croft Trio performs the music of A Charlie Brown ChristmasThe Ed Croft Trio performs the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas

Now, Croft resides in Buffalo, where he is making a big impression on the local music scene. As a freelance bassist, he has performed with Buffalo jazz greats Darryl Washington, Greg Millar, Rey Scott, and Bobby Jones. He has also shared the stage with Buffalo Music Hall of Famers such as Doug Yeomans, Mary Ramsey, Ray Hangen and Joe Rozler.

In December 2017, Croft became one of the founding members of The Tim Clarke Soul-tet. This ensemble presents rarely heard soul jazz classics, along with original compositions that expand on the genre's tradition.

Croft won the 2018 JazzBuffalo Poll for Best Acoustic Upright Bassist (a repeat win from 2017), Rising Star, and the John Hunt Jazz Artist of the Year awards. The results of these awards are decided on by residents of Buffalo and Western New York.

Friday, April 29, 2022

General Admission, $20, $18 (Opera House Members), $10 (Students)

The songs and stories of legendary musician John Denver will be brought to life when singer-songwriter Ted Vigil returns to the Opera House stage in Remembering John Denver.

When Vigil dons a classic cowboy hat and picks up a guitar, people do a double take!  With an uncanny resemblance and sound of the late John Denver, he creates one of the most accurate representations of any artist likely seen on stage.

Denver was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist and humanitarian.  With four No. 1 hits and a slew of Top 10s that resulted in 14 gold and eight platinum albums, he was among the most beloved entertainers of his era.  His "Greatest Hits" album sold more than 10 million copies.  Tragically, Denver died in 1997 when the experimental plane he was piloting crashed of the coast of California.

Twenty four years later, Ted Vigil is honored to pay homage to the man and his music with a tribute show he has been performing for more than a decade.  In Remembering John Denver, he performs many of the late artist's best-loved songs including "Rocky Mountain High," "Annie's Song," "Sunshine on My Shoulder," "Take Me Home, Country Roads," and "Thank God, I'm a Country Boy."  Vigil insists he is not an impersonator, but rather is a singing tribute to this great man and the legacy of his beloved music.

The comments heard most often after one of Vigil's shows are echoed in this review from a longtime John Denver fan:  "I was completely blown away by this young man.  From the moment he set foot on the stage, I was mesmerized by his voice and his incredible resemblance to the late and great John Denver.  Ted's mannerisms and humor were so much like John's that I had to keep reminding myself it was a tribute show … that wasn't really John up on that stage -- Ted Vigil is THAT GOOD!!"

Vigil brings John Denver back to the stage, if only for a little while … and the experience he creates is magical!

Ted Vigil was born in Seattle and raised in Olympia, Wash.  He currently wows audiences nationwide with hi sold-out shows; and he has performed twice for Denver's personal charity, "Windstar Foundation."  In 2019, he was awarded the Rising Star Legend Award by the National Traditional Country Music Association. 

Prepare to travel back to yesterday to experience this magical, marvelous tribute to John Denver. 

Sponsored by  





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