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Backstage And Beyond

HUMOR IN THE MIX: KC Ballet nabs world-renowned local hero for commission

David Parsons embodies the kinds of values and ideals that any Kansas City artist would do well to emulate. He is as comfortable hacking through weeds at the Leawood home of his hardy 91-year-old father, UMKC Emeritus Professor Stanley Parsons, as he is gathering accolades (with the New York-based company he founded in 1985) in […]

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WHAT CRISIS? Kansas City bucks national odds with ever-new, ever-fresh arts groups

If there really is a crisis in the performing arts in America, somebody forgot to send Kansas City the memo. In the past decade, our city has seen the formation of dozens of small non-profit organizations, from theater companies to chamber ensembles, dance groups to jazz orchestras, choruses to opera companies. And there’s no reason […]

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REVIEW: Visually appealing ‘Pearl Fishers’ entertains by embracing the opera’s conundrums

Contrary to popular opinion, Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers does not rely on a single beautiful duet: It has several quite lovely numbers and a few choruses that are worth your time. To be sure, taken as a whole this opera, which preceded the inimitable Carmen by 12 years, is a bit of a mess. Yet to […]

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BELIEVING IN DOG: Unicorn transforms one-man ‘short’ into full-length drama

Anyone who has owned a pet understands the ineffable bond that can form between human and animal. But what if your pet were instrumental in saving not only your life but the lives of hundreds of others, and had done so dozens of times? Perhaps only those who have served as military Search Dog Handlers […]

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‘BASTA!’ Heartland Men’s Chorus’ world premiere marks 50th anniversary of gay-rights milestone  

There’s only so much oppression that you can withstand before you finally burst out and shout: Enough! That’s pretty much what happened at the Stonewall Inn on June 28th, 1969, when one of the habitual police raids on the Greenwich Village tavern turned violent. The ensuing series of protests in and around the bar, which […]

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ANALYZE THIS: Lyric’s ‘Così’ is scintillating fun that spares us needless exegesis

The glory of Così fan tutte is, to a great extent, its music: Mozart is the reason we continue to treasure this masterpiece, more than two centuries after its premiere in Vienna in 1790. Thus we were grateful, at the opening of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s production on March 16th, that director James […]

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INNOCENCE LOST: Mezzo-soprano in Lyric’s ‘Così’ muses on the pleasures and perils of ‘being Dorabella’

Daniela Mack is by far one of the most thrilling young mezzo-sopranos of our time. Kansas City is privileged to have her join the Lyric Opera’s production of Così fan tutte, which plays at the Kauffman Center from March 16th through the 24th. (See our full preview article here.) Daniela’s bold interpretations are matched only […]

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ARE ALL WOMEN REALLY LIKE THAT? Lyric stages ever-controversial Mozart classic

Comedy is often most effective when it borders on the serious, when it delves into complex truths about human nature. Così fan tutte fascinates us not only because its score is “as consistently glorious and elevating as any ever written,” in the words of conductor-scholar Jane Glover, but because its sexual politics are as wittily […]

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SUSPENSION OF BELIEF: Ballet presents Romantic-era tale of love and death

From a purely visual point of view, Lady of the Camellias is one of the most appealing full-length works in the current repertory of the Kansas City Ballet, which in recent years has focused much attention on more “family-oriented” stories. Val Caniparoli’s choreography for this retelling of a semi-autobiographical Alexandre Dumas fils tale will delight the […]

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