I recently had the opportunity to check out the Fryeburg Recreation Community Center when I took my grandson Iver to basketball practice. The building is absolutely amazing and offers so much to people in Fryeburg and the surrounding area. Included, for anyone interested, is open gym time on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings from 8 to 11 a.m. to walk, use a few cardio machines, or to shoot hoops. You must have a change of shoes before stepping onto the court.

The Teen Center is open to adults on Monday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon. Stop in with a friend and enjoy the game tables which include table shuffleboard, pool, pingpong, Foosball, bubble hockey and air hockey.

On Monday afternoons from noon to 4 p.m., the upstairs area will be open to host a game day for adults. They will be providing coffee and a good selection of games to play that include Yahtzee, checkers, chess, backgammon, cribbage, Uno, Phase 10, Skipbo, Connect 4, mahjong and parcheesi. There is already a group playing bridge that you are welcome to join. All of the above mentioned programs and offerings will begin on Monday, Jan. 6. Adult fitness classes will also be available in the near future.

As if that isn’t enough, you can play pickleball on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. and adult basketball pickup games will take place on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m. I can’t say enough about our recreation committee, Director Rick Buzzell, coaches and everyone else involved in making this dream come true for our town. They deserve a huge thank you. If you’d like to get involved, you are invited to a Valley Volunteer Fair at the recreation center on Saturday, Jan. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Monday, Jan. 6, a blood drive will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church at 857 Main St. from noon to 5 p.m. You can streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by going to redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to complete a pre-donation reading and health history questionaire on the day of your appointment. You can also call (800) 733-2767 to schedule an appointment.

The Fryeburg Public Library will offer technology help on Jan. 8, Feb. 5 and March 11 from noon to 2 p.m. Check out the library webpage to see all that is on tap in the coming weeks.

Met Opera Live in HD will be presenting “Wozzeck” on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m. at the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts William Kentridge’s new production of Alban Berg’s expressionistic masterpiece “Wozzeck,” regarded for its intense emotional power and brilliant score as one of the most significant operas of the 20th century. Composed during and in the aftermath of World War I, Berg’s dark exploration of a soldier besieged by the evils of society is staged by Kentridge in a ramshackle warren of stairs, ramps, discarded furniture, and debris. His own theatrically animated charcoal drawings, along with other projected drawings, maps, and film clips, evoke a nightmarish world of crashed planes, searchlights, ghostly gas masks, and battlefields.

Peter Mattei makes his role debut as Wozzeck opposite Elza van den Heever as Marie, the mother of his child. Singing the roles of Wozzeck’s tormentors are Christopher Ventris as the Drum-Major, Gerhard Siegel as the Captain, and Christian Van Horn as the Doctor. Andrew Staples makes his Met debut as Andres. Kentridge, who previously directed Berg’s Lulu and Shostakovich’s The Nose at the Met, unveiled the new production at the 2017 Salzburg Festival, where it received critical acclaim. Kentridge’s production is a co-production of the Met, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Australia, and Salzburg Festival.

Local opera enthusiast Joe De Vito will be continuing his opera lecture series on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 3 p.m. in the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center’s Seminar Room. Admission is free for the lecture. Adult tickets for “Wozzeck” are $26, seniors pay $23 and students, $18.

“My pipe is out, my glass is dry;

My fire is almost ashes too;

But once again, before you go,

And I prepare to meet the New:

Old Year! a parting word that’s true,

For we’ve been comrades, you and I —

I thank God for each day of you;

There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!”

— Robert W. Service, “The Passing of the Year,” 1912

Robin Johnson can be contacted at ravenstone54@hotmail.com.

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