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Clerici String Quartet wows in Walpole

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By Alex Oliveira
Hometown Weekly Reporter

The quartet bows to a standing ovation.

The quartet bows to a standing ovation.

The Clerici String Quartet gave a performance to audience members at the Italian American club in Walpole on Saturday afternoon. A part of the Carol Hunt-Clerici Chamber Music Series, the performance took on a holiday theme, seamlessly blending theatre, ballet, and chamber music into one unique performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Opening with the preparation of the Stahlbaum House for Christmas Eve and closing with Clara awakening on Christmas Day, the performance carried the audience through a one-of-a-kind performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Before each piece, actress Christine Lee would take the podium and set the stage with a narration:

“Godfather Drosselmeyer wastes no time unveiling his latest inventions: three life-sized dolls. One by one, he opens the boxes and winds up the mechanical wonderments. Drosselmeyer waves his arms, and like magic they each come to life, performing a unique dance. While the gears are wound the magical dolls move lively, when the keys stop turning, they halt.”

Then the quartet launched into a leaping “Finale: Presto,” and brought to life the sight of Drosselmeyer’s dolls dancing about the Stahlbaum foyer.

This show, and the others in the series, are played as a benefit to the Walpole community in memory of Carol Hunt-Clerici, who loved and was loved by the Walpole community.

Before passing away last January, Carol was an active member of Walpole life, serving as a Representative Town Meeting member, coordinator of local 5K races, committee member of the Wrentham Development Center fundraising efforts, and a volunteer at the Summerhill House in Norwood.

First and foremost though, she was a music lover.

“Oh, she loved music, all kinds,” her son, Paul Clerici, said. “When I was a kid, she took me to see Aerosmith. She took me to see Bowie. Then she’d take me to see ‘The Nutcracker’ and chamber music. All kinds. When she passed last January, we knew the best way to memorialize her was through music.”

The Clerici String Quartet performs ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Italian American Club of Walpole.

The Clerici String Quartet performs ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Italian American Club of Walpole.

Gigi Turgeon, a close friend of Carol and an accomplished violinist with Boston Baroque and the Handel & Haydn Society, took the charge and created the Clerici Quartet, assembling a crack squad of fellow string professionals.

“She so loved the Walpole Community, and she loved music, so we’re trying to bring music from the city and into the suburbs in tribute to her,” Turgeon said.

The performances left the audience rapt. A look around the room showed faces alight with wonderment, as if they themselves had just seen a nutcracker spring to life on stage.

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