Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes

Staff Writer
Link Boston Homes

Viola recital

The Old South Church, 645 Boylston St., will welcome violist Isabel Seguin in a free program at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 7.

Seguin, accompanied by Sayuri Miyamota, will perform works by Bach, Stamitz and Schumann.

Visit or call 617-536-1970 for more details.

Opera production

Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Mozart’s classic “The Marriage of Figaro” will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at the Back Bay Events Center, 180 Berkeley St.

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 or by calling 617-542-6772.

Celebrating mothers

Room to Grow will host a Celebrating Mothers Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 9 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 776 Boylston St. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m.

The event will honor inspirational mothers who nurture their children, build strong bonds and strengthen the community. Boston Public Market CEO Cheryl Cronin; Stonyfield Farm chairman Gary Hirshberg; Maura McNamara, RDN, LDN, wellness consultant; and Boston Magazine food editor Jenna Pelletier will speak on healthy eating, access to quality food for all and positive family meal rituals.

Visit or call 617-859-4545 to purchase tickets and for more information.

Boston baseball

The Gibson House Museum, 137 Beacon St., will host its annual baseball program “Old Boston Baseball’s Colorful Characters” at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9.

A “ballpark cocktail hour” reception will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Gibson House, featuring beer, hot dogs and Crackerjack. The program will begin at 6:45 p.m. in the trustees’ reading room at Fisher College, 118 Beacon St.

The evening is a chance to meet other baseball history fans while hearing about Boston’s most colorful characters from year past. Featuring hosts Bill Nowlan, Joanne Hulbert, Donna Halper and Wayne Soini, the evening will highlight entertaining baseball stories as seen through the eyes and pens of Boston’s early 20th century cartoonists.

It is presented in conjunction with the Society for American Baseball Research and the Boston Braves Historical Association.

Admission is $30 general and $25 for members.

To RSVP, call 617-267-6338 or register online at

Art exhibition

The New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University is displaying “Terra Incognita” now through May 10 at the gallery at 75 Arlington St.

The four artists in the show transform their materials through process and personal reflection in a form of navigation and the impulse to the chart their journey is how they map the world.

Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Call 617-573-8785 or visit for more information.

Scars of independence

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present a program about the birth of the nation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.

A pre-talk reception will be held at 5:30 p.m.

Holger Hoock of the University of Pittsburgh will talk about his new book “Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth,” which shows that the Revolution was not only a high-minded battle over principles but also a very violent civil war that shaped the nation and the British Empire in ways we have only begun to understand.

Admission is free. For more details, call 617-646-0578 or visit

Brazilian and Cuban music

Students from the New England Conservatory of Music will perform in a free concert at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

The concert will feature Brazilian-Cuban fusion ensemble Mojuba.

Call 617-536-5400 for further information.

Ben Franklin in London

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., in partnership with the Royal Oak Foundation, will welcome author and historian George Goodwin from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.

The talk will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a reception at 7 p.m.

Goodwin is the author of “Benjamin Franklin in London: the British Life of America’s Founding Father,” a study of an American patriot who was a fiercely loyal British citizen for most of his life – until forces he had sought and failed to control finally made him a reluctant revolutionary at the age of 69.

Goodwin will give a colorful account of Franklin’s years in Britain, effectively disputing the commonly held perception of Franklin as an outsider in British politics.

Registration is required for this free program, by calling 888-296-3447 or online at

Taste of Back Bay

The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay will present the 22nd annual Taste of the Back Bay from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the Prudential Skywalk.

More than 30 establishments, including Abe and Louie’s, Brasserie Jo, Capital Grille, L’Espalier, Lucca Back Bay and others, will offer samplings. Students from the Berklee College of Music will provide the musical entertainment.

Tickets in advance are $125 for members and $135 for non-members. Part of the proceeds will be earmarked for the non-profit The Women’s Lunch Place.

Visit or call 617-247-3961 for more information and to purchase tickets.

Martha’s Vineyard

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will welcome Richard Taylor, author of “Martha’s Vineyard: Race, Property and the Power of Place,” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11.

The book traces the history of Martha’s Vineyard’s African American community since the early 19th century, a time when the island was one of the few places where people of color could own vacation property without discrimination.

The Vineyard attracted leading African American families, such as those of Dorothy West, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Sen. Edward Brooke and, more recently, President Obama. Taylor documents that by sinking roots into a community unblemished by institutional racism, African Americans were free to focus more closely on cultural, intellectual, public policy and social activities.

Admission is free. Call 617-536-5400 for further information.

Victorian Back Bay

Boston By Foot is offering 90-minute guided, walking tours of the Back Bay at 2 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays, now to October. Walkers will meet the guide on the steps of Trinity Church at Copley Square.

Visitors will discover how the Back Bay, once a body of water, was filled in and how the neighborhood was developed in the mid-19th century to become one of the nation’s richest collections of art and architecture. The treasures of the Back Bay tour include Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, Old South Church and the grand Back Bay townhouses.

Tickets are $13 adults, $8 children ages 6 to 12 and free for members if purchased in advance or an additional $2 if purchased from the guide.

For more information, visit or call 617-237-2345.

Art exhibit

The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury St., is hosting the annual Members’ Juried Exhibition now to 27 in the President’s Gallery.

A juror’s panel will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 and an art talk will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18.

Visit or call 617-536-7660 for more details.

Organ concerts

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 May.

Performers will include Rosalind Mohnsen, Raymond Nagem, Ondrej Hornas and Nicholas Bideler. There is no charge for admission, but donations are welcome.

Call 617-536-0944 or visit for more information.

Bach cantatas

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

Library tours

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

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400, ext. 2216.