The Opera House in the Town Hall in Bellows Falls has seen some historic peformers in its day, including such icons as Mae West and WC Fields. This past Friday it added another stellar name to its history when Andr Watts, one of the world's most celebrated and beloved classical pianists, performed there as part of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra's 75th Anniversary presentations.
In 1963, at the age of 16, Watts made his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in a nationally televised concert. Two weeks later he would fill in for the great Glenn Gould in Liszt's E-flat concerto, and receive a standing ovation from the orchestra as well as the audience. His career has soared ever since.
Above, Watts at the piano, with VSO director Jamie Laredo standing beside him, during last Friday's concert rehearsal.