Back Bay-Midtown neighborhood notes
Book reading, signing
The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will welcome author Gene Fax in a free lecture from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19.
Fax is the author of “With Their Bare Hands: The AEF, the 79th Division and American Jews,” which traces the fate of the U.S. 79th Division from boot camp in Maryland through the final years of World War I, focusing on their most famous engagement: the attack on Montfaucon, the most heavily fortified part of the German Line, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918. It also explores the role of American Jews in the division. Book sales and signing will follow the presentation.
To register, call 888-296-3447 or visit www.americanancestors.org.
The Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., will present the Boston Conservatory Chorale and Boston Conservatory Women’s Chorus at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 22.
The performance will feature selections by Bainton, Britten, Higdon, Jeffers, Mendelssohn, Parry, Poulenc, Sametz and Wadsworth.
Admission is free. Call 617-536-1970 or visit www.oldsouth.org for more information.
The Back Bay chocolate tour will be held at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, starting and ending at the Flour Bakery, 131 Clarendon St.
The two-and-a-half-hour tour will highlight the architecture of the Back Bay, the history and life of chocolate and how gourmet chocolates are made. Participants will pick up tips on tasting, buying and storing chocolate, as well as be offered plenty of samples.
Advance reservations are required as space is limited, and can be made at www.bostonchocolatetours.com.
Graphic design show
The New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University is displaying works by the students of the Graphic Design Senior Show from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 at the gallery at 75 Arlington St.
This gallery show will exhibit the print, digital, multimedia and three-dimensional work of the undergraduates in the Graphic Design program, a presentation of visual design solutions that inspire, engage and provoke, utilizing various print and electronic communication mediums.
Call 617-573-8785 or visit www.suffolk.edu/nesad for more information.
The Chameleon Arts Ensemble will perform the fourth concert in the season, “proud music of the storm” at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 22 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 at the First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough St.
The program will feature life affirming and joyful music that emerged from suffering and tragedy. The ensemble will perform works by Gerald Finzi, Erwin Schulhoff, David Bruce, Michael Berkeley and Ludwig von Beethoven.
Call 617-427-8200 or visit www.chameleonarts.org to purchase tickets and for more details.
Music of Mendelssohn
Emmanuel Music will present second performance in the new Mendelssohn/Wolf chamber series at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 at Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.
Featured works will include Felix Mendelssohn’s “Sonata for Violin and Piano in F Major” and “Piano Quartet No. 3 in B minor” and Hugo Wolf’s “Goethe-Lieder.”
Tickets are $30 general admission and $10 student admission.
For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit www.emmanuelmusic.org.
The Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., will present internationally renowned countertenor Andreas Scholl in concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 23.
Scholl will bring a rare, intimate program to Boston, accompanied by musicians Victor Coelho, lute; David Dolata, theorbo; and Laura Jeppeson, viola da gamba. The concert will explore the works of John Dowland, G.G. Kapsberger, Thomas Campion, Robert Johnson, Bellerofonte Castaldi, Giulio Caccini, Georg Frideric Handel and Tobias Hume. A meet-and-greet and CD signing by the artists follows the concert.
Tickets are $40 general admission and $30 student admission.
Call 617-536-1970 or visit www.oldsouth.org for more information.
The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present a talk, “Cooking Boston: Eating Other People’s Food” from 5:30 to p.m. on Thursday, April 27.
This panel discussion will feature Alex Prud’homme, Laura Shapiro, Stephen Chen and moderator Megan Sniffin-Marinoff talking about cooking in Boston in the second half of the 20th century when Americans were re-introduced to the food of the world.
Julia Child in Cambridge, James Beard in New York and others brought fine cooking into American living rooms. The expansion of the American palate that began with television chefs continued with restaurants across greater Boston and helped reshape the idea of dinner.
Admission is free for members and $20 for non-members. There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 p.m.
Registration is required, by calling 617-646-0578 or online at www.masshist.org.
High school choruses
The Freehold High School Choirs will perform in a free concert at noon on Friday, April 28 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.
For more information, visit www.oldsouth.org or call 617-536-1970.
Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Mozart’s classic “The Marriage of Figaro” will open on Friday, April 28 for a five-performance run through Sunday, May 7 at the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St.
Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, April 28 and May 5, 3 p.m. on Sundays, April 30 and May 7 and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3.
The opera follows the schemes of Count Almaviva as he attempts to stop the wedding of Figaro to Susanna, whom the Count wants for himself.
Tickets are $25 to $175 and can be purchased at email@example.com or by calling 617-542-6772.
Music of Moravia
The Musicians of the Old Post Road will present “Scores from the Suitcase” at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 28 at the Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.
The program will feature musical treasures found in early American archives that traveled to this country with 18th-century immigrants. The culturally sophisticated Moravian community provided an abundance of surviving manuscripts including Mozart's “Piano Quartet in G minor,” energetic works by Ignaz Pleyel and Andreas Lidl and selections by Moravian composers John Antes and J. C. Bechler.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.oldpostroad.org or call 781-466-6694.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society will host the annual family history benefit dinner and special evening with Stacy Schiff from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 28 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel, 128 St. James Ave.
The evening will feature a reception at 6 p.m. with the dinner at 7 p.m. Biographer Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of “A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America,” “Cleopatra: A Life” and “Vera: Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov,” will be honored with the NEHGS Lifetime Achievement Award in History and Biography.
Further information can be found at www.americanancestors.org or by calling 888-296-3447 or 617-536-5740.
April in Paris
The Chamber Orchestra of Boston will present the final concert of the 2016-2017 season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 at the First Church Boston, 66 Marlborough St.
The evening will feature a feast of music by French composers, including Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” Honegger’s “Pastoral d’été” and Faure’s beautiful “Pavane,” all in intimate arrangements for chamber orchestra. Baritone Paul Soper will return to the COB with songs by Poulenc and a few from the days of the Moulin Rouge.
A reception with the hors d’oeuvres and wine and a chance to mingle with the artists will follow the concert.
Further information can be found at www.chamberorchestraofboston.org or by calling 617-266-1626.
Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St., will present organ concerts featuring innovative programs by recitalists from across the nation and abroad at 12:15 p.m. on Fridays in April.
Performers will include Alcee Chriss, Amanda Mole and Mary Jodice. There is no charge for admission, but donations are welcome.
Call 617-536-0944 or visit www.trinitychurchboston.org for more information.
Portraits of artists
The French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., is hosting “RAW: Portraits of Artists,” photographs by Bernar Venet, now through May 2.
This intimate exhibit features a selection of previously unpublished photographs of icons of art in the 1960s, such as Warhol, Rauschenberg and Indiana, taken by Venet almost all by chance, a mix of historical evidence and friendly instantaneous moments. Throughout the years, Venet collected works by these artists who he knew and with whom he socialized, many of who were his friends.
The exhibition is free, but reservations are recommended. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information and to make a reservation, call 617-912-0400 or visit www.frenchculturalcenter.org.
The Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting the J. S. Bach cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays through May 21.
The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music, conducted by Ryan Turner, will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn and others.
For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit www.emmanuelmusic.org.
Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.
Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.
Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at www.bpl.org/central/tours.htm.
For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400, ext. 2216.