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Backstage And Beyond

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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Simon Carrington knows what he wants in a choral sound, and in 2008 he and two dozen Kansas City area singers formed a choir that has had a huge success in producing that sound. The British-born conductor and singer, who began as a boy chorister and later was a member of the King’s Singers, says […]

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If you want to know the heart and soul of America, listen to its songs. And few genres of song tell our stories more vividly than country music, that unique style born of folk and gospel and blues and rooted in the soil of Middle America. Love, work, family, heartache, infidelity, addiction—like it or not, […]

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The key to finding a niche in Kansas City is to identify something that’s lacking in the community and go for it. That’s what a group of local musicians did 21 years ago, when they determined that July was a frightfully dead month for music locally—and that classical fans were left hungry for chamber-music fare. Thus […]

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Mark your calendars: In just a few days the Kansas City Ballet enters a new era of its 54-year history, as it moves into its new Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity and, just a month and a half later, begins dancing on the stage of the $413 million Kauffman Center for the Performing […]

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SAN FRANCISCO – In this loveliest of West Coast cities, the San Francisco Opera has staged what is arguably the most intriguing production of Wagner’s Ring that one can currently see in America. On four separate nights during a week in June at San Francisco’s War Memorial House, I had the chance to witness Francesca Zambello’s brilliant new version […]

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And they’re off! In a fall cultural season to be filled with exciting “firsts,” the Kansas City Ballet leapt from the starting gate on August 26th with the inauguration of its new Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, located in the restored Power House just west of Union Station. Under a large tent set […]

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