Critic's Picks: The Small Rain, Nature Sketch, and Ira Hoffecker's Transitions

OPERA

What: The Small Rain with Isaiah Bell
Where: earlymusic.bc.ca
When: May 5, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: By donation

Why: In his debut for Early Music Vancouver, Victoria tenor Isaiah Bell will première a program he has curated. The online concert with pianist Alexander Weimann — playing an 1875 Broadwood piano — will cover a range of repertoire, which is what fans have come to expect from the chameleonic talent. The gifted performer’s set will include everything from Schubert, Handel and Britten (one of Bell’s specialties) to traditional folk songs and poetry written by the University of Victoria grad specifically for this event.

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ART

What: Nature Sketch
Where: Various locations
When: May 1 through June
Cost: $40-$140

Why: Classes for budding nature artists of all ages are returning to an in-person format, thanks to the efforts of the Bateman Foundation. Nature Sketch classes for children (ages 5-12), teens and adults in Victoria and Duncan are currently set for May and June, for the first time since the pandemic began. The popular classes — offered in four- and seven-week sessions at locations ranging from Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary to Esquimalt Lagoon — will be in high demand, as they are limited to eight participants. There’s good news for those who miss out, however: The foundation will continue to offer online programs that run concurrently.

ART

What: Ira Hoffecker presents ​Transitions
Where: Fortune Gallery, 537 Fisgard St.
When: May 1-23 (open weekly Tuesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m.)
Admission: Free

Why: A new show by Langford painter Ira Hoffecker — originally scheduled for May 2020 — opens this weekend at Fortune Gallery, and like much in the art world these days, it showcases an outpouring of art affected by the pandemic. Plants figure prominently in the 20 oil and acrylic paintings on display, as Hoffecker took to gardening as a way to work through the stress of isolation. The results are a mix of geology and geometrics, with blankets of bright colours (in some cases, neon) layered into the final product.

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