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Arts and Entertainment

July 5, 2013

Multimedia performance to open festival

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival will open Sunday with a live, multimedia performance of Robert Sirota’s “Birds of Paradise” for flute, clarinet and piano, paired with original footage of rare birds of paradise in their natural rainforest habitat from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds-of-Paradise Project, led by evolutionary biologist Ed Scholes. 

The concert, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. the Otesaga Resort Hotel at 60 Lake St., will also include music by Britten, Debussy, Mozart and Poulenc, and will be performed by festival artistic director Linda Chesis on flute, James Roe on oboe, Marianne Gythfeldt on clarinet, Adrian Morejon on bassoon, Zohar Schondorf on French horn, and Pedja Muzijevic on piano. 

Scholes, Sirota and Chesis will discuss their collaboration in a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.

Scholes has spent eight years and 18 expeditions with National Geographic photographer Tim Laman to the untouched rainforest of New Guinea, Australia and nearby islands scientifically documenting, for the first time, all 39 species of the birds-of-paradise family. According to a media release, “The Birds-of-Paradise project captures eyewitness video of what few have seen in the wild: the displays of color, sound and motion that make these birds so remarkable. 

Sirota’s trio “Birds of Paradise” was commissioned in 2008 by flutist Leone Buyse and her husband clarinetist Michael Webster as a 20th wedding anniversary gift to each other, and also as a celebration of the 20th season of their ensemble, the Webster Trio.

Of the piece’s new iteration as a multimedia work, Sirota said in a media release, “When Linda Chesis showed me the footage of birds of paradise shot in the wild by Ed Scholes and his crew, I was really excited by the idea of creating a video to go with the piece. Videographer Jim Berman has done a masterful job combining these remarkable images with my music.”

Tickets are $25 adults or $15 students at or (800) 838-3006.

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