The 800-seat Lebanon Opera House is the cultural heart of the community. Renovated in 2002, it is the largest proscenium theater in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, hosting events more than 250 days each year. Opera House performances include theater, music, dance, educational programming and an array of family entertainment, connecting over 60,000 people annually to the performing arts. Recent performances have included Garrison Keillor, Toots and the Maytals, Momix, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bill Cosby and Weird Al Yankovic.
The city is also home to a number of local performance groups such as North Country Community Theater, which stages a full-scale musical every summer and an annual musical production for teenagers from across the Upper Valley each spring. Every August, Opera North presents two fully staged operatic productions featuring leading stars of the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and New York City Opera supported by talented young artists and an array of local performers.
Downtown Lebanon is home to the Upper Valley Music Center. This organization is the region’s only full-service music school, enrolling hundreds of adults and children in music instruction programs of all instruments and styles.
Dance is flourishing in Lebanon with the City Center Ballet Company providing classes in ballet and jazz, and Creative Movement School of Dance providing classes in ballet, jazz and tap. Both schools host performances throughout the year.
The Alliance for the Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery, located just off Colburn Park in downtown Lebanon, has been nurturing young and old artists for three decades through classes and exhibits. The recent renovation of its 41,000-square-foot facility has received recognition as a “green,” sustainable building project.
Duke’s Art & Frame Shop, just off the Green in downtown Lebanon, offers over 50 years of combined experience for all of your framing needs.
For more informal entertainment, various musical groups, including the Lebanon Community Band, perform free concerts in Colburn Park every Monday night throughout the summer. Thursdays during the summer include a full day of activities in the park with a children’s concert series at noon, farmers’ market and crafts from 4 to 7 p.m. and evening concerts featuring nationally known folk and acoustic artists.
Lebanon has an Entertainment Movie Theater complex with six screens, while Hanover’s Nugget Theatres has four. Serious movie buffs may join the Dartmouth Film Series, which features a selection of American and foreign films from well-known titles to the obscure. Û
Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center is another prominent cultural center. Plays, operas, musicals and special programs and events are plentiful throughout the year. The Hood Museum of Dartmouth College displays paintings, sculptures and artifacts from college collections and traveling exhibits.
Across the river in Norwich, Vermont, the Montshire Museum of Science is a great place for children and fun-loving adults who still enjoy learning. Carefully-designed exhibits with scientific themes provide visitors with hands-on interaction that both teach and entertain.