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Bravo

No one ever accused Puccini of subtlety for his potboiler Tosca. A diva agrees to “give in” to a lecherous villain in return for her lover’s freedom. Instead she stabs him. Villain betrays her. The lover is executed. She leaps to her death. Didn’t I see this on the Lifetime Channel? The cast and crew […]

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At a time when Roman Catholics and Episcopalians seem to be growing ever-further apart, gestures of unity are always refreshing. That’s why Summer Music at the Cathedrals, a musical partnership between Our Town’s Catholic and the Episcopal cathedrals downtown, is a welcome addition to the upwelling of local performing arts during the last decade. This […]

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The plot of Tosca is a pretty crass affair, but even seasoned opera devotees keep returning to the piece because it features what is perhaps Puccini’s most incisive and consistently compelling musical score. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City was wise to eschew tinkering with the drama in favor of confronting head-on the opera’s musical glories. The […]

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Young people do grow up, a fact we sometimes forget when we expect youthful celebrities to act mature beyond their years. The version of Lang Lang who played Tuesday, September 15 on the Harriman-Jewell Series was a notably more serious pianist than the one who performed on the same series in 2004, also at the Folly Theater. Considerably toned-down […]

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Stefan Jackiw played a  beautiful recital on September 26 at the Folly Theater, confirming once again my ongoing impression that he is destined to lead a career at the very top of the toughly competitive world of classical violin. In fact he is already leading it, and Saturday’s Harriman-Jewell Series recital with pianist Max Levinson showed […]

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As a vocal student, Lawrence Brownlee wanted to sing the big romantic roles that tenors pine for: Rodolfo in La Bohème, Alfredo in La traviata, Cavaradossi in Tosca. Looking back, he’s awfully glad he heeded the advice of those who knew his voice was destined for a different realm. For instead of leading a short career in the wrong vocal fach, the 36-year-old native of […]

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Imagine a future in which Our Town’s nationally renowned ballet company had its own home for the first time in its 52-year history, a dynamic place where professional creativity, community arts and education all converged into a synergistic hub in the heart of downtown. Well dream no more, supporters and fans of the Kansas City […]

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In the center of a giant disc of white lycra covering half the dance studio stands a lone ballerina, Stayce Camparo, wearing the heavy, textured fabric around as a burdensome skirt. As she twists slowly counterclockwise, the skirt pleats together liked twisted rope and gently binds her. Meanwhile at the edge of the shrinking circle of fabric, Marcus […]

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If you want an excellent example of what small-to-medium-sized arts groups in Kansas City can achieve when they team up, look no further than the October 16-18 production of Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, a masterpiece from 1692 that has reportedly not been performed here in a half-century. This partnership of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, the […]

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