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Backstage And Beyond

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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Rational Exuberance: Ray Chen’s KC debut showcases substantial interpretive strengths A classical musician’s devotion to the intentions of composers long deceased often finds itself at odds with the present day’s realities of myriad stimuli and instant gratification. Therefore, it is becoming quite uncommon to encounter performers capable of captivating audiences while simultaneously revering thousands of markings in […]

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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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OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLES: KC BALLET PRESENTS FINE ‘NUTCRACKER’ IN KAUFFMAN CENTER The production of The Nutcracker that the late Todd Bolender created for the Kansas City Ballet is 30 years old this year, but at the opening performance on the afternoon of December 3rd it had a bright new look. That’s partly because it was […]

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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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“If music be the food of love, sing on.” Thus the Bard might have written his famous line from Twelfth Night if he had heard the Kansas City Chorale singing works set to his poetry. This week the Grammy Award-winning Chorale performs a whole program of music set to, or inspired by, the greatest poet in the English language. […]

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