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In Review

In the final moments of the Lyric Opera’s new production of Bizet’s Carmen, mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy came quite close to saving the whole show for me. She gave the groveling Don José (tenor Dinyar Vania) a look so filled with remorse, pity and regret that we forgave all of her cruel inconstancy — an expression so meltingly potent that […]

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Renée Fleming’s program on October the 9th was two recitals in one, the first a hugely intelligent exploration of the early-20th-century German and Austrian lied, the second a generous serving of mostly Italian arias that shone light on a variety of operatic heroines. It was a worthy demonstration of two dynamics of Renée’s character: the intellectual curiosity […]

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The Kansas City Chorale is in a remarkably good place these days, both institutionally and artistically. This week the multiple-Grammy-winning chorus of local professionals opened its 2010-2011 season with a concert of music by René Clausen, which I attended on October 19 at Asbury Methodist Church. I marveled at the uniformity and beauty of sonority — especially […]

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On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be all that much Beatle-ness to Stanton Welch’s The Long and Winding Road, a 25-minute ballet that the Houston Ballet II performed on the Harriman-Jewell Series on October 30 at the Folly. Peter Breiner’s arrangements of the songs are more Vivaldi than George Martin — they sound so much like Baroque concertos that […]

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Considering the number of elements that must come together for an operatic production to succeed, it’s a miracle that it ever happens. When it does, it’s sometimes hard to say why it does, but it nonetheless makes for an extremely satisfying evening of theater. At the Lyric Opera’s Norma, which opened November the 6th at the Lyric Theatre, all the […]

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Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero and French cellistGautier Capuçon are acclaimed musicians with international careers, and their gifts on their respective instruments are prodigious. Gautier has made a mark in collaborations with his brother, violinist Renard, and Gabriela you might remember from her appearance at President Obama’s inauguration withItzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma. Yet their Harriman-Jewell Series recital on November the […]

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Few things in concert life are as satisfying as hearing musicians who have attained near-legendary status actually live up to those legends. On November the 19th at the Folly Theater, Pinchas Zukerman and Yefim Bronfman played the Brahms’ Second Viola Sonata so gorgeously and insightfully, and with such detailed nuance and color, that one was reminded why these artists have […]

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The Kansas City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker remains one of the city’s most refined holiday offerings, with Balanchine- and Robbins-influenced choreography by Todd Bolender, great dancing by the company members, well-trained kids from the Ballet School and a Christmas tree that grows to enormous proportions. At the December the 11th opening night performance all the elements were […]

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What if I told you that there was once a composer as great as any who ever lived, as famous and beloved during his day as Bach and Beethoven were during theirs – but that you might never have heard a note of his music? On February 5th the Friends of Chamber music brought the marvelous a […]

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