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Bravo

One of the highlights of each holiday season in Kansas City is Quality Hill Playhouse’s annual New Year’s Eve Cabaret, which executive director J. Kent Barnhart and friends have been performing for 18 years. This past New Year’s Eve, Kent was joined by vocalist Molly Hammer and double bassist Brian Wilson for a program they […]

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Deborah Sandler traveled many roads before finding her niche: She sang, played the piano, studied mathematics, worked on a doctorate in musicology, wrote grant applications. But when she started working in opera, she knew she’d come home. “Producing opera is really my passion,” says the Philadelphia native, who on July 1st becomes the Lyric Opera of Kansas […]

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The Heartland Men’s Chorus has an uncanny knack for picking timely, even “hot” topics for their programs. In 2003 they performed The Few, the Proud, a multimedia concert that told stories about gays and lesbians in the armed forces throughout American history – literally the same week that we entered into the Iraq war.  All God’s Children dealt with […]

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In 2007, Giuseppe Filianoti feared his opera career might be over. The Italian-born singer, whom critics were calling one of the leading tenors of his generation, underwent surgery to remove a cancerous thyroid gland, and in the aftermath one of his vocal chords became completely paralyzed. But Giuseppe, a native of Reggio Calabria in the far south of […]

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Some dance companies are formed with a clearly etched vision of what they want to do, and they just go do that over and over. Others grow like Topsy, evolving with the vicissitudes and needs of the company itself and of the community it serves. A prime example of the latter is the Aspen Santa […]

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Can an opera teach us things about historical events that we can’t glean from factual accounts alone? John Adams’ opera Nixon in China provides one of the most compelling answers to that question, for by general agreement it is a piece that deepens and broadens our understanding of President Nixon’s famous 1972 visit to Mao’s China and […]

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You might think of Shakespeare as being all about language, but several of his works have been made into ballets in which the entire dramatic arc is expressed without a single word being uttered. Perhaps the most powerful of these is Romeo and Juliet, which owes much of its cache to a brilliant score by Prokofiev. It has been […]

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Behzod Abduraimov almost didn’t become a pianist. At age 6 he failed his very first piano examination, getting stuck in the middle of Schumann’s The Wild Horsemanseveral times before his teacher finally told him to stop. “After that my teacher said I would never be able to play a piece on piano from beginning to end without […]

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Ten strongly lit dancers dressed in soft hues stood downstage, perfectly spaced across the stage. One by one they stepped diagonally out of formation, legs scissored, one arm out and one back, until they formed a sort of human zigzag. Gradually each peeled off in a circular pattern and rushed upstage. All in total silence. […]

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