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Backstage And Beyond

FROM TARTINI TO TAOS: UMKC presents singular collaboration

Followers of contemporary classical music are accustomed to experiments in fusing Old World traditions with those of rock, jazz, folk, even hip-hop. These projects “click” only about ten percent of the time, at best, and when they do it’s often difficult to articulate exactly why. Listening to the Innova Recording of The River, a 60-minute […]

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WOLF IN MASCOT’S CLOTHING: Symphony’s education programs reach thousands in KC each year

An orchestra is more like a sports team than you might imagine. If a lone violinist starts a piece two beats before everybody else, you’re bound for disaster. If an athlete grandstands to the detriment of a team effort, defeat lurks. These simple truths form one of the premises of the Kansas City Symphony’s upcoming […]

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FOUR GO FORTH: Kansas City’s new resident quartet aims high

Determination is usually the main factor that decides whether or not a new arts group will thrive. That’s why there’s good reason to believe that Opus 76, Kansas City’s new “resident string quartet,” is on course to blaze a trail as the most significant local professional quartet in recent memory. Now in its first season, […]

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RUSSIAN SOULS, AMERICAN ACCENTS: Symphony to feature homegrown violinist in all-Russian program

Maria Ioudenitch has spent most of her 23 years in Overland Park and, more recently, in Philadelphia and Boston, but she feels her artistic soul is Russian to the core. And, in fact, the aspiring violin virtuoso, who performs the Glazunov Concerto with the Kansas City Symphony from January 11th through the 13th, was born […]

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BUT HOW DID SHE FEEL? Joyce and Yannick are breaking all the rules for Harriman-Jewell

Great artists are frequently blessed with the most inquisitive of minds. For two decades, Prairie Village native Joyce DiDonato has established herself not only as one of the great singers of our time but also as an artist constantly exploring fresh repertoire, innovative formats, and artistic landscapes where operatic mezzo-sopranos have dared not tread. On […]

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LEAN ON ME: Maverick company presents fresh take on ‘holiday spirit’

One late night a few years back, as playwright Harvey Williams was leaving the Just Off Broadway Theatre where his KC MeltingPot Theatre is based, he noticed the familiar flicker of “campfires” in the Penn Valley woods. A handful of Kansas City’s homeless were nestled up there, trying to stave off winter’s chill, as far […]

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TOP OF HER GAME: At 90, Kansas-born superstar still finding new fans

One of the great things about living long is that sometimes you get to see trends you thought were lost forever make surprising comebacks. Marilyn Maye, the Wichita native who got her start some 70 years ago performing what we now call the “American Songbook” (a genre that was pushed aside for a number of […]

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FINDING HOME: MET mounts American epic by Texas original

There is nothing flashy about Horton Foote’s language. He writes the way people talk. Yet his plays and screenplays have the power to move strong men and women to tears. Small wonder he has won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for The Young Man from Atlanta), two Best Screenplay Oscars (for To Kill a Mockingbird and […]

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IN REVIEW: Choreographed version of Oz story bursts with visuals, stagecraft

It’s amazing, really, that in the dazzle of costumes, projections, puppetry, lighting and even a mechanical Toto, Septime Webre’s new The Wizard of Oz still managed to remain a ballet. The Cuban-American dance maker, who recently left a longtime post at Washington Ballet to take a position at Hong Kong Ballet, is a gifted choreographer, […]

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