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Backstage And Beyond

IN REVIEW: Lyric’s open-hearted ‘Onegin’ strikes to the core of the work’s humanity

The Lyric Opera’s handsome production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin hit home partly because of its simplicity. The spare approach both to design and to direction, and the unfussy singing that managed to avoid excess (even as non-Russian-speakers labored to sing in Russian), allowed us to focus so intently on the drama that we found ourselves […]

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IN REVIEW: Performing-arts season opens with fine, variegated dance

Kansas City’s performing-arts season opened with a vengeance in mid-September, with more than a dozen professional-level productions of music, dance and theater vying for attention. Among the half-dozen or so I managed to take in, one that stood out (after Cliburn medalist Kenny Broberg’s recital, reviewed here) was the Harriman-Jewell Series’ presentation of Parsons Dance […]

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CAD OR VICTIM? Shattering Russian masterpiece opens Lyric Opera’s 60th-anniversary season

It’s true that many operas of the standard repertoire are drawn from stories that are implausible, overwrought or even downright ridiculous. Almost as often, though, composers find themselves setting literary masterpieces to music, and they are challenged to create a work that can at least function on its own terms, stand up to the mastery […]

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Email: Paul@kcindependent.com   Paul studied piano and musicology at WSU and Cornell University. He also earned a degree in journalism, because writing about the arts in order to inspire others to partake in them was always his first love. After earning a PhD from Cornell, he became Program Annotator for the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he learned […]

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IN REVIEW: Recital by local piano student suggests that Cliburn Silver was no fluke

By Paul Horsley Trying to gauge the artistry of a musician on the basis of a performance at an international composition is like trying to identify a future Oscar-winning filmmaker on the basis of a YouTube “short” he or she made in high school. This most unnatural of settings (for which the Van Cliburn International […]

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FROM THE PAGE TO THE STAGE: Carney’s R&J journey comes full circle with KC Ballet premiere

For a kid who was about to devote his life and career to dance, young Devon Carney sure took a long time to realize that Romeo and Juliet was not just a Shakespeare play but also one of the most famous ballets in the classical repertory. “The first time I actually experienced the ballet was […]

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SITTING DOWN FOR A PIECE OF PIE: Coterie Theatre presents reflection on essential Civil Rights event

By Paul Horsley Often when peering at photographs of historically momentous events, after our eyes have stared at the central subject for a while, we begin to gaze at what’s going on at the periphery. Provocative questions can arise from examining the faces of those on the sidelines: What was behind those expressions of shock, […]

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FOOD FOR MIND AND SOUL: These arts highlights can brighten your Fall

By Paul Horsley Feel like “raging against the machine” this Fall? Art is your best recourse! So get out your desk calendars, cell phones, iPads and whatnot and start marking down some of our must-sees. You’ll thank us later! . AUGUST Through September 24: New Theatre Restaurant; Million Dollar Quartet; This fanciful tribute re-creates a […]

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MASTER IN THE WORKS: Cliburn medal in hand, Park U student to make KC recital debut

By Paul Horsley The making of every great musician involves natural talent, assiduous practice and, perhaps most important of all, teachers whose influences mold an artist through intelligence, caring attention and a deep understanding both of music and of career-building. When Kansas City resident and Park University graduate student Kenneth Broberg won the Silver Medal […]

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