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Backstage And Beyond

COME, THOU FOUNT: Choreographer and star team create dazzling new vision of Handel

By Paul Horsley If you’re not sure whether Mark Morris’ Acis and Galatea is opera or dance or theater or what, then you’re probably on the right track. “That’s historically accurate,” said Mark recently on the phone, pointing out that in the Baroque “opera included all of those things: That’s the whole point.” The choreographer’s […]

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MUSIC PAST, MUSIC PRESENT: Choral composition honors Harriman’s life and the Series he founded

By Paul Horsley Any celebration of the Harriman-Jewell Series is to some extent a tribute to Richard Harriman, the late William Jewell College professor who cofounded the world-renowned series that bears his name. What a shame that Richard, who died in 2010, didn’t live to see this season’s 50th anniversary celebration, for among other things […]

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ADIEU, ‘MR. B’: KC Ballet presents Bolender ‘Nutcracker’ one last time with help of Todd protégé

By Paul Horsley Ballet is ephemeral at its core, the product of a certain time and place, a specific set of dancers, musicians and designers. This year it’s with no little sadness that the Kansas City Ballet bids farewell to Todd Bolender’s durable production of The Nutcracker, which after 34 years has run its course […]

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NO HAREM APPARENT: Lyric production brings out musical treasures in zany Rossini comedy

By Paul Horsley The Italian Girl in Algiers contains as much delightful music as about any Rossini opera you could name, and though it is hardly a rarity worldwide it had, up to now, been produced only twice by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, most recently in 1998. The production that opened November 8th […]

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PRESCIENCE AND POETRY: Harriman series celebrates golden anniversary with returning pianist

By Paul Horsley Just as Kansas Citians often think of themselves as residing at a geographic and a spiritual center-point of the United States, Macedonians characterize their nation as occupying a special place at the heart of Europe. So it’s especially apt that in 2004 the late Richard Harriman, whose mind was always working several […]

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WONDERING ABOUT ‘ALICE’: KC Ballet’s production is colorful, entertaining, and just plain strange

By Paul Horsley There are many reasons to make a ballet: One is to entertain. Some of our “serious” choreographers forget this at times, and the results are often overly abstract works that leave us saying, “Well, that was pretty, but what was it?” Septime Webre’s Alice (in wonderland) functions at the other end of […]

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IT’S ABOUT THE ART: KC Friends of Alvin Ailey, celebrating 30 years of community-building, presents the full AAADT in schools and at the Kauffman Center

By Paul Horsley The staggering 30-year success of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey has been built on community-based projects, educational initiatives for children and annual visits of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and its youthful Ailey II. But at the heart of that success is something that Tyrone Aiken, the Friends’ executive […]

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PASSION WITH A FLICKER OF FIRE: Lyric brings attractive production, fresh voices, to Verdi classic

By Paul Horsley The challenge of Verdi’s La traviata is to present plausible characters and convincing emotional heat within the context of a famously, perhaps notoriously, contrived story line. This is a tall order even for the greatest opera companies, which have tended to rely on fabulous singing, high production values and Verdi’s durable if […]

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WACKY WONDERLAND: KC Ballet opens season with an explosion of color, design and dance

By Paul Horsley The beauty of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in its original literary version by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and in its many retellings through the last century and a half, is that it actually tells two stories at once. The first is that of a very curious little girl who through a series […]

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