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ARE WE THERE YET? Men’s choir takes on new challenges in a rapidly changing world

By Paul Horsley There’s a zephyr wind blowing through gay men’s choirs in America, and Heartland Men’s Chorus appears to have found just the right man to take it into this new era of acceptance and tolerance. On June 13th and 14th, Dustin Cates concludes his brilliant first season as the choir’s artistic director with […]

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SING IT, GIRLFRIEND: QHP program highlights vocalism of three great American women

By Paul Horsley They battled addiction, domineering lovers, pigeonholing Hollywood studios, and a music industry controlled by men who feared strong women. They suffered defeats, but more often they triumphed by placing a distinctive mark on everything they did. And it is their very struggle that makes us love them. Judy Garland (1922-1969), Barbra Streisand […]

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SENSE OF HUMORS: Ballet brings top stager to set ground-breaking Balanchine classic

By Paul Horsley Victoria Simon remembers first seeing George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments when it was almost new, as a youngster studying at the School of American Ballet in the 1950s and, later, as a dancer with New York City Ballet in the ’60s. “It broke new ground,” she said recently of the 30-minute piece, […]

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HIGHER: Harriman continues stellar 50th with Bell, Denk, promises more for 2015-16

By Paul Horsley The Harriman-Jewell Series’ auspicious 50th anniversary season has been a wild ride, and it’s not over yet. Recently the Series presented two notable performances within a week of each other, a violin-piano recital by Joshua Bell and Sam Haywood and an orchestral program with the Academy of St. Martin in Fields and […]

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BEL CANTO, OR CAN BELT-O? Met tenor will bring freshness, classic vocal style to Harriman-Jewell Series

By Paul Horsley One of the opera world’s newest stars hails from the oldest of places. The singer whom the New York Times called “the real thing, a tenor who naturally combines plaintive sound with burnished intensity” grew up on Malta, a tiny island whose 7,000 years of history has included Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, […]

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SCHIFF DIGS IN, DANIELPOUR ‘SINGS’: Two events show that classical is still alive and reinventing itself

By Paul Horsley András Schiff’s recent Friends of Chamber Music recital stood out chiefly because the Hungarian-born pianist truly interpreted each of the sonatas he’d chosen to play: four late works by masters of the Classical tradition on which much Western tonal music rests. These days not everyone in classical music “interprets,” or when they […]

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DECEPTION THAT KILLS: Ballet brings classic tale of love, betrayal and apotheosis to Kauffman Center

By Paul Horsley The Kansas City Ballet’s current Giselle is a lavish affair, with exceptional dancing, delicious scenic designs by Simon Pastukh, tasteful “period” costumes by David Heuvel and fine musical direction by Ramona Pansegrau. The set includes an attractive drop depicting the feudal village’s ducal palace high on a hill, a series of leafy-green […]

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ART TRUMPS POLITICS (AGAIN): With wars and revolutions behind, pianist continues spinning poetry

By Paul Horsley Her mother tried to keep her away from the piano, but three-year-old Dubravka Tomšič insisted. Soon afterward, having learned how to read notes, she acquired a teacher in her native Slovenia, former Cortot pupil Zora Zarnik, who had never taught children before. “She was a very sensitive, very beautiful pianist,” Dubravka said […]

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A HISTORY STILL BEING TOLD: KC Rep’s ‘Angels’ lifts us from our smug seats and slaps us in the face

By Paul Horsley Angels in America, currently playing at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s Copaken Stage, is an odd duck in American theater and is likely to remain so. Set during the height of the AIDS crisis in the mid-1980s, the two-part, six-hour epic contains some of the greatest writing by an American in modern […]

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