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Backstage And Beyond

SHINE ON: Lyric Opera presents groundbreaking Stephen King opera

Note: Lyric Opera of Kansas City was compelled to cancel the final production of its season, an operatic treatment of Stephen King’s The Shining, because of the Covid-19 crisis. No further news has been announced as to a rescheduling, but please note that subscriptions for the 2020-2021 season (see below) are now on sale. In […]

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CAGED BIRDS: Tale of family conflict continues to reveal shared values

Note: Spinning Tree Theatre had to close its season early due to the COVID-19 crisis, and thus canceled its season-finale production of La Cage aux Folles. The 2020-2021 season (listed below) had already been programmed and licensed by this time. There is a possibility, however, that La Cage could appear “in a future season or as […]

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ODE TO JOY, PEACE, UNITY: Kansas City marks Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a fresh take

For some classical musicians and fans, celebrating Beethoven is a bit like celebrating air: It’s pretty much all around us, all the time. This year, as the world marks the 250th birthday of the most widely admired composer in Western history, many are seeking new perspectives on a man who has long been depicted as […]

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MUSICAL ALCHEMIST: Kansas City-based composer creates magic from diverse elements

Ed Frazier Davis has the Latin word “SOLVE” tattooed on the inside of his right arm, “COAGULA” on the left. “To take apart and to put back together,” said the 30-year-old composer, describing what has been called the Alchemist’s Motto: dissolve and re-coagulate. “Which is what we do as artists: We take the elements, and […]

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THE NEXT STAGE: Ballet hires major talent to lead Second Company

One of the harshest moments in a dancer’s life is the moment when he or she realizes the spirit is more willing than the body. “It took me about four years to retire,” said Christopher Ruud recently, with a laugh. “I could still do it at 42, but it was past time for me to […]

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CALL IT WHAT YOU WILL: Singer wins hearts while defying categorization

Stacey Kent’s lush, limpid voice can melt your heart in an instant, it can transport you to Antônio Jobim’s Brazil or Jacques Brel’s Paris, or it can make you fall in love as if for the first time. Though she is considered a jazz artist (one critic called her vocalism “the epitome of jazz sophistication”), […]

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A ‘MESSIAH’ LIKE NO OTHER: Spire employs unique model to build world-class performances

Spire Chamber Ensemble, now in its 10th season, distinguishes itself each year for what can quite honestly be described as one of the most bracing versions of Handel’s Messiah one can hear anywhere in the nation. A peculiar alchemy can result when you bring musicians of the caliber of the Juilliard School of Music’s Elizabeth […]

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WEB OF TRADITIONS: Guitarist formed local group to explore a myriad of styles

Career and family: It is possible to have both, but it takes work. Guitarist Beau Bledsoe is a peripatetic soul by nature, and over the years he has explored the roots of music he loves through travels to Seville (flamenco), Lisbon (fado), Buenos Aires (tango), Istanbul (Middle Eastern styles), and Mexico. More recently he has […]

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STUCK IN A LOOP: Fugard play speaks to America’s racial stalemate

The more you examine the work of South African playwright Athol Fugard, the more you realize that the racial dynamics in his dramas reveal as much about our own social ills as they do about the specific culture in which he was raised. Though it’s true that many of the 87-year-old author’s 40 or so […]

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