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Bravo

Verdi’s Rigoletto is like a Lifetime Movie Network potboiler, complete with contrived crises, gratuitous violence and a cast of inexplicably mean characters who only occasionally seem like real people. The Lyric Opera’s current production rarely flinches from the work’s unseemly tawdriness, and that is, in some measure, its strength. It leaves us feeling even ickier than we […]

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It’s not often you get to attend a standing-room-only classical concert in Kansas City. So many choral fans showed up for the thrilling rendering of Brahms’ German Requiem at the UMKC Conservatory’s White Hall, featuring mega-conductor Joseph Flummerfelt and Conservatory forces, that the house managers left the entrances open so that the throng of overflow audience could hear the […]

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In 1975, Cynthia Siebert had a dream. She began by holding concerts in local homes, inviting top musicians to perform music of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann and others. But these were not just social soirees, Cynthia says. “The vision was always to make a fine chamber music series.” That’s exactly what she did. Over the last 35 years, […]

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Orchestra musicians love Mahler’s music because it’s fun to play. Hard work, yes. But what other music of the Austro-Germanic repertoire has the clarinetists raise their bells and point them straight at the audience, or lets the concertmaster play a solo on a mistuned violin, or asks the timpanist to come down hard on the […]

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Europeans have a different concept of the passage of time than we do. The “New College” at Oxford and the famous choir associated with it were founded in the 14th century (imagine how old the oldcollege was!). Six centuries later the Choir of New College continues to sing services six days a week at one of […]

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We have a fascination with tales of man-made things that come to life — whether to fascinate us (Pinocchio), hurt us (Frankenstein) or steal our hearts (Tales of Hoffmann, the Pygmalion of Greek mythology). In ballet, the favorite doll-come-to-life-(but-not-really) story is Coppélia, the tale of a mysterious inventor who creates a beautiful doll that is so lifelike […]

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A well-oiled operatic production relies on the convergence of so many elements that it seems a miracle when it actually does all come together. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City was thrown a curve-ball recently when the singer contracted to sing the title role of Don Giovanni pulled out because of illness. Less than two weeks before opening, the […]

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Dolls that come to life, a village love story, iconic ballet moves: Coppéliais hard to resist even in a so-so production. The version by the Moscow Festival Ballet, presented here on May 1st by the Harriman-Jewell Series, was a considerable cut above the average, with youthful dancers, faux-naïve set designs, and fine dancing in the Russian tradition. […]

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As recently as 20 years ago it was rare to find works by women on the programs of professional ballet companies. That’s changing, albeit slowly. On May 6 the Kansas City Ballet opens its spring program with new works by not one but two of the most sought-after choreographers in America — both of whom just happen […]

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