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UnpluggedView – Leave The Gun, Bring The Canzoni


Unplugged View
By Aaron Rowan

Leave The Gun, Bring The Canzoni

“The night wore on to dawn – a night made easier by songs from the German trenches, the piping of piccolos and from our broad lines laughter and Christmas carols. Not a shot was fired.” – Frederick Heath, British soldier.

Christmas Eve, 1914. Throughout the British sector of the western front, rifle and artillery fire falls silent, replaced by choruses singing ‘Silent Night’ from the German side, ‘The First Noel’ from the British. Miniature Christmas trees placed on the parapets of trenches. Exchanging of gifts: whiskey, cigars, plum pudding. The next day, British and German regiments battling each other once more – this time in friendly games of soccer. This “most amazing paradox” of the war would not be repeated, and remains one of the final displays of chivalry between enemies in warfare.

This month, Opera Modesto’s second collaborative concert with Modesto Unplugged honors the famed WWI Christmas Truce with a program titled ‘Leave The Gun, Bring The Canzoni.’ (Canzoni = Italian for “songs.”) The kids of the Summer Opera Institute are working up all sorts of musical snippets inspired by the holiday spirit. Come spend an afternoon at one of our best concerts of the year, Sunday 12/15 at 2 PM. Doors open at 1:30 at Moon & Sixpence, 500 9th St. between E & F. $20 at the door.

Valley Talent Project prize-winning keyboard singer-songwriter Lisette Sims will be back at the Dragonfly Art For Life (1210 J St.) on Friday 12/6, with smoky, sultry, and vintage inspired indie-pop for fans of Sia and Amy Winehouse. 7:30-9:00, $10.

Modesto’s own BluesBox Bayou Band presents an unplugged Cajun Christmas at Moon & Sixpence, Saturday 12/7 at 7 PM. This special stripped-down performance will be a departure from their standard high-energy dance set. 6:30pm doors / $15. Saturday evening 12/14, the annual ELEGY showcase returns for its seventh year, paying tribute to the musical greats who left this life in 2019. A diverse group of our local friends will be covering songs by The Cars, Eddie Money and others. 7:30-9:00 at the Dragonfly, $10.

We’ll end the year with a special edition of our Young Artist series – a Songs & Sweets Spectacular put together by our friend Caroline Fletcher, who hosted a series of ‘Songs & Sweets’ shows full of teenage talent over the summer. Sunday 12/22, 3 PM at Moon & Sixpence, just $10 for this smorgasbord of young voices.

Intimate performances. Infinite playlist. MODESTO UNPLUGGED. www.modestounplugged.com.

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