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In Review

IN REVIEW: KC Ballet’s spring production shows off its contemporary chops

By Paul Horsley Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments is a work of such startling visual clarity, musicality and modernity that it’s astonishing to contemplate that it predates not just most of the contemporary dance we see on the stage today, but also a large portion of the choreography by which we know Balanchine himself. It was […]

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IN REVIEW: Harriman-Jewell delights with ‘Acis,’ KC Rep fascinates with ‘An Iliad’

By Paul Horsley You have to believe in Baroque opera to make it convincing, and Mark Morris believes in it absolutely. His Acis and Galatea, a delightful amalgam of dance, music, theater, costumes and lighting design, remains true to the madcap spirit of Handel’s original masque-opera, and on February 6th and 7th at the Kauffman […]

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CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION: Lyric delivers solid, well-sung version of Puccini classic

Many 18th- and 19th-century operas are just too complicated, with superfluous subplots and random servants running about doing little to further the central story, if there is one. By the end of the 19th century composers and librettists had begun to pare down what I think of as Shakespearean “character overpopulation,” as they found this […]

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POISED BETWEEN STORY AND GORE: KC Ballet’s ‘Dracula’ impresses the eye, frustrates the soul

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is on one level a love story, though it seldom resembles one. In many of the “translated” versions we know of the original 1897 novel, from Murnau’s 1922 film Nosferatu and its Hollywood spinoffs to various literary, stage and even comedic versions, the story of a pitiful creature living under a curse […]

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IN REVIEW: Pianist opens Friends season with enigmatic blend of expression and head-scratching

Clear and mild with occasional light, gusty winds. A weather forecast, perhaps, but this could also serve as a description of Vladimir Feltsman’s recital on September 27th at the Folly Theater, the opening of the Friends of Chamber Music’s 38th season. It was a low-key affair, with flashes of brilliance and no small measure of […]

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BEL CANTO GETS BELLICOSE: New opera tells sad, amazing tale of boxer with surprising secret These days we’ve become accustomed to gays and lesbians inhabiting any field you can imagine, from politics to professional sports to the U.S. Marine Corps. But still – boxing? Champion is a powerfully theatrical piece, and its premiere last month […]

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10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU, JULIA: Kauffman sparks yet another worthy arts project By Paul Horsley First Julia Irene Kauffman put up more than $100 million from the foundation named for her mother, Muriel McBrien Kauffman, and from her own resources to build one of the most grandly spectacular performing arts centers in the […]

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Harriman-Jewell presents up-and-coming violin and piano luminaries on Discovery series Elena Urioste and Gabriela Martinez effect a fine collaboration, playing with a unified and intuitive feel for each other’s musical outlook and direction. At the duo’s violin-piano recital on June 7th, part of the Harriman-Jewell’s Discovery Series, one was aware at times that the sharp […]

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TRIUMVIRATE OF GREATS: Chorale fills Helzberg with rich sound in choral milestones Heavenly is the word that comes to mind in describing the Kansas City Chorale’s performance of Arvo Pärt’s The Beatitudes, the opening choral work on its March 24th program of three masterpieces that also included Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and Duruflé’s Requiem. […]

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