When Chautauqua Institution was founded in 1874, it became enshrined in principles of education and self-improvement. Its founders were nine years out of the Civil War and immersed in the turbulence of Reconstruction, abolition and political unrest — but instead of using their leisure time to relax, the forefathers of Chautauqua decided to form a vacation community that nurtured intellectual stimulation.
Political scientist Geoffrey Kemp has hosted annual lecture updates on the Middle East at Chautauqua for the last 20 years. Kemp, who serves as director of Regional Security Programs at the Center for the National Interest, returned to the Amphitheater stage at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday to hold a conversation with Dennis Ross, counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
“I’m a Chautauquan, through and through,” Jo-An Webb said.
While there’s still a little more than a week left in the 2014 season, students in the Music School Festival Orchestra and the School of Dance bid adieu to audiences in grand form Sunday and Monday, showcasing their talents in the Amp with final performances on Chautauqua’s main stage.
Chautauqua Institution is a privileged place — neighbors can leave their doors unlocked and children can play in the streets with no one worries and no crime. But outside of these gates, Karen Armstrong said, and outside of other privileged places in the United States and Great Britain, violence rages on.
“How could anyone not like this?” exclaimed the lady as the satisfied Amphitheater audience whooped and stomped after the climax. Maestro Bruce Hangen went round calling out and shaking the hand of most everyone in the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra on Thursday evening, which did not turn out as cold as many overdressed fans thought.
The Amphitheater saw its last day as a makeshift movie theater at 10:45 a.m. on Friday as Ken Burns and Geoffrey Ward continued their screening and discussion of “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” Their 14-hour documentary series on the lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt will broadcast in two-hour episodes over seven consecutive evenings on PBS starting Sept. 14.
Over these past seven weeks at the Institution, the Chautauqua Golf Club has teemed with enthusiasm over this landmark year. Last Sunday, that escalating excitement reached its crescendo with the Golf Club’s 100th birthday celebration.
As the summer’s schedule winds to a close, many Chautauquans have noticed the seasonal programming begin to heat up with climactic events. Softball at the Institution is no different.
On July 12, tenor Andrew Lunsford sang Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” to help close the annual Opera Highlights concert. With the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra behind him, Lunsford vibrantly sustained the final high A, while the audience wildly applauded the Apprentice Artist’s talent.