Lakewood resident Bruce Berry is a romantic.
He’s also a musician who founded a chamber music society featuring some prominent City talent, including two members of the Dallas Symphony and one member of the Dallas Opera.
Called Camerata Chimera, this group hopes to revive what Berry says is a long-neglected repertoire of music from the romantic period, a time that gave us Mother Goose’s nursery rhymes and the fairy tales of Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.
“In this day and age, when classical music is having to compete with rock and roll, people get tired of hearing the same stuff, no matter how great it is,” Berry says.
“We’re on the cutting edge. We’re doing stuff nobody else is doing.”
Berry says the Chimera, a fire-breathing beast from Greek mythology, epitomizes the romantic period, which lasted from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s. With the head and hind quarters of a lion, the mid-section of a goat, and the tail of a serpent, this creature embodies a time marked by a fascination with fantasy and mythology. During this period, music broke with classic traditions and often made mythological references, Berry says.
Berry and his fellow musicians performed their first concert in September. The two musicians who play for the Dallas Symphony, Mitta Angell and Maria Schleuning, also are Lakewood residents. Angell plays piano and viola for Camarata Chimera. Schleuning plays violin.
Berry, who is a freelance musician, plays piano mostly and some cello. He’s the president of Camerata Chimera and does the groups administrative work.
“There are a lot of us who play more than one instrument,” Berry says. “In a lot of the programs, you’ll see us switching (instruments) from piece to piece.”
Among the other musicians in the group is a member of the Fort Worth Symphony. All members are or have at one time been a part of The Dallas Box Society, a group devoted to Baroque music that was founded in the early 1980s by Lakewood resident Paul Riedo, who died last spring.
Riedo was an organist and choir master at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.
Through the Box Society, Berry met the musicians who comprise Camerata Chimera, including the group’s co-founder and artistic director Lisa Rautenberg, a violinist from Fort Worth.
Berry and Rautenberg try to schedule monthly shows, which start around 7 p.m. The group performs at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, 6525 Inwood. Tickets cost $10.
None of the musicians are paid to play in Camerata Chimera. They participate because they’re interested in performing the lost pieces of music, Berry says.
“I like championing music that has been ignored for no good reason,” Berry says. “This stuff is good. There’s no reason for it not to be heard.”
Camerata Chimera’s next performance, a program of romantic duos for Valentine’s Day, is Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through Artix at 871-2787 or at the door. For information, call 824-7094.
News & Notes:
ART GALLERY OPENS ON GREENVILLE: The Gallery of Native American Art relocated last month from North Dallas to the Lower Greenville area. The gallery, now at 2913 Greenville, features original works and reproductions by Native American artists, including artists with work at the Smithsonian Institute, the Vatican and in the private collection of Queen Elizabeth II. Edward A. Hummingbird is the director. In February, the gallery displays “Medicine, Myth and Magic”, an exhibit of original works in acrylic and pencil by Gary Hummingbird of the Cherokee tribe. Call 827-4050 for information.
NEIGHBORHOOD EXHIBIT WITH INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION: The Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss, is featuring a retrospective of Dallas artist Ann Cushing Gantz’s work in celebration of her 40-year career. Her paintings will be exhibited through Feb. 16, including early works on loan from collectors. Gantz is listed in Who’s Who in American Art, The International Biographical Dictionary, the International Who’s Who of Women and the Southwest Art Review. Her art is included in the Joseph Pennell Collection of the Smithsonian Institution. Also through Feb. 16, the Visual Art Center features Etty I. Horowitz’s “Journey to My Dream” sculpture exhibit. Call 821-2522 for information.
BOOK REVIEW DELIVERS HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP: Lakewood Library Friends, a group that raises funds and support for our neighborhood library, is sponsoring a free book review series. The next installment is Feb. 27 when Jimmie Kennedy talks about Hollywood tales and scandals as she discusses two biographies of film star Ingrid Bergman. The review is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. at the Lakewood Library, 6121 Worth. Call 670-1376 for information.
CHILDREN’S THEATER: The Dallas Children’s Theater Inc. presents “Lyle the Crocodile” through Feb. 11 transforming Bernard Waber’s children’s books (“Lyle”, “Lyle Crocodile” and “The House on East 88th Street”) from page to stage. Shows are Fridays-Sundays at El Centro College Theater, Downtown at Main and Market streets. Tickets cost $9 for children; $11 for adults. Call 978-0110 for reservations.
BUTTERFLY FRENZY: Feb. 17 is Butterfly Day at the Dallas Museum of Natural History in Fair Park. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m., families can tour the museum’s new exhibit “Monarca – Butterfly Beyond Boundaries”, an interactive exhibit featuring live butterflies, games, computers and videos. On Butterfly Day, there also will be face painting and crafts. Children wearing a pair of decorated wings receive free admission. Regular admission is $3 for adults; $2 for children. Call 421-3466 for information.
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