Festival of the Arts Boca goes entirely online—and free
The show must go on, sort of. Festival of the Arts Boca could have thrown in the towel and opted for a gap year, but given the circumstances, its organizers have split the difference.
There will be no in-person attendance this year, but the performers will be playing (and streaming) live, in Boca Raton, and the authors will be speaking live via Zoom. Every show is free with advance registration at festivalboca.org; each performance and discussion will stream on the website at 7 p.m. The shows won’t replay, so be there or be square. Here’s what we have to look forward to.
MARCH 6: NADINE SIERRA AND FRIENDS
Sierra, a native South Floridian, won Palm Beach Opera’s Junior Division Vocal Competition in 2007, and has since ascended the peaks of operatic stardom. The soprano has performed at the Met and Paris’ national opera, toured with Andrea Bocelli, and released a major-label album. She’ll kick off the Festival at what is likely the most unusual venue she’s played yet: the Boca Raton Airport.
MARCH 7: JAMES EHNES AND FRIENDS
A Grammy winner and a virtuoso violinist with a resume as long as pi, Canada’s James Ehnes has played with every major orchestra and at the most glittering venues around the world. He’s as comfortable in full symphonies as in chamber orchestras, and his Festival performance, in the intimate confines of Boca Raton Innovation Campus, will certainly be the latter.
MARCH 8: ADMIRAL JAMES STAVRIDIS
This decorated retired Navy admiral and best-selling author is used to carrying worlds on his shoulders. As the leader of the NATO Alliance on Global Operations from 2009 to 2013, his responsibilities included Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans and Syria—not exactly the cushiest of military purviews. Over his 37-year career, he has acquired much insight about leadership, which will be the topic of his Festival discussion.
MARCH 9: BRUCE FEILER
An expert TED talker whose 15 books have touched on subjects from the Bible to the Nashville music scene to the contemporary Middle East, Feiler will discuss his latest tome, Life is in the Transitions, an account of how ordinary Americans in all 50 states adapted to fundamental and unexpected life changes. Published just months into a global pandemic that has affected just about everyone, Feiler’s road map is more prescient than the author could have imagined.
MARCH 11: SONIA SHAH
A science writer extraordinaire, Shah has published two of the genre’s most influential books of the past five years. Released in 2016 and reissued in 2020 with a new preface, Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Coronaviruses and Beyond is a chilling account of how viruses spread; and 2020’s The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move explores migrations through the centuries, and how climate change is auguring the next one.
MARCH 13: FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS BOCA ALL-STARS
Typically a multi-day presence at Festival of the Arts, Music Director Constantine Kitsopoulos will have just one orchestral performance this year. The lively and dexterous conductor will lead master musicians through another spirited and eclectic program.
Latin jazz flautist Nestor Torres will close the Festival will a full-band set at Boca Resort. For more on Torres’ performance and career, click here.