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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: Yesterday was Yo-Yo Ma's 60th birthday, and he was the subject of the quiz. Here's another one today. Yo-Yo Ma's recordings, which number close to 100 (!), have won 18 Grammy Awards. What is the name of his brand new disc? It was our featured New Release last week. Answer >>
The stories of H.P. Lovecraft, one of horror fiction’s forefathers, have influenced artists in all disciplines from authors like Stephen King and Jorge Luis Borges to film directors like Guillermo Del Toro and John Carpenter. But, did you know that Lovecraft has also inspired composers? Composer Ryan Ingebritsen is gearing up for the more... more...
Everyone loves a fairy tale, and one of the most magical ways to experience one is at the opera house! Some of the most beloved operas of all time are inspired by fairy tales and other enchanting stories. What fairy tale opera are you? more...
Yup, that's right, J.S. Bach wrote a chamber opera about coffee. And not just coffee, coffee addiction! Here's some facts about Bach's "Coffee Cantata" and how the piece came to be about. more...
When three opera companies in one city all open their seasons on the same night, which opera do you attend? On Saturday, September 26, 2015, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, and Chicago Fringe Opera opened their seasons, performing The Marriage of Figaro, Lucio Silla, and The Turn of the Screw respectively. With two more... more...
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Symphony Hall, Birmingham
The popular Ryan Wigglesworth delivered a purposeful Elgar First Symphony and tinglingly vivid Britten, with an immaculate Mark Padmore
Until the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra announces the appointment of its next chief conductor, all concerts at Symphony Hall will seem a bit like auditions; the lineup of guests there between now and next summer includes a number of likely candidates. Whether Ryan Wigglesworth is one of them, though, is hard to judge: he is very much a composer as well as a conductor, so taking responsibility for a leading orchestra might leave him with less time for his own music.
To judge from this concert, though, Wigglesworth is already very popular with the CBSO and its regular audience. His performance of Elgar’s First Symphony was warmly received, and the orchestra, with all its section principals on duty, played exceptionally well for him. There’s a bold directness about the sound he produces, and the detail he extracts from scores in a faithful acoustic such as Symphony Hall’s. Even if he sometimes fussed, exaggerating ritardandos or adding minute dynamic changes, the thrust of each movement was clear and purposeful, and the return of the main motto theme in the finale’s closing bars as conclusive as it ought to be.
Grand Theatre, Leeds
Katie Bray stands out in a pleasingly fresh cast for Opera North’s Rossini revival, though the Giles Havergal production is showing its age
Certain things, it seems, will always be with us: social inequality, the DFS sale and Giles Havergal’s production of The Barber of Seville, which has been steadily rotating through Opera North’s repertoire since 1986. Time for a reboot, surely?
This sumptuous, rococo production was fairly old-school when it started, though Havergal still manages to invest each revival with an eye for comic detail. There’s a great cliche-buster in the ubiquitous Largo as the stressed factotum reads the name on a fistful of envelopes: “Figaro. Figaro. Figarofigarofigaro…”Continue reading...
Berlin’s three opera houses united to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall and open their seasons with a trio of new productions by Wagner, Offenbach and Meyerbeer
Plenty of great cities do not have an opera house at all. Others, from Milan to Manaus, get by very well with just the one. A few have enough money and public support for two; though, as London knows and New York has discovered, that can prove a struggle. Almost alone in the world, Berlin maintains three opera houses, and all three of them remain companies that cut a dash on the international stage.
Berlin’s state opera, the Staatsoper, is the descendant of the 18th century Prussian court opera and has long been one of the premiere houses of the world. The Komische Oper, founded in the 19th century, has always promoted operetta and innovative ideas, with a global artistic influence out of all proportion to its size. Meanwhile the Deutsche Oper, established after 1945 to bring opera to west Berlin – the other two houses were in the communist east – straddles both traditions while aping neither.Continue reading...
Fifa provisionally suspends president Sepp Blatter, secretary general Jerome Valcke and Uefa chief Michel Platini for 90 days.
Nato defence ministers have renewed reassurances to allies in view of Russia's "troubling escalation" in Syria, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says.
Volkswagen's US boss makes a "sincere apology" to US lawmakers for installing "defeat devices" to cheat emissions tests on its diesel cars.
As the state budget stalemate drags on for a fourth month, Gov. Bruce Rauner tries...
Plans to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art along the Chicago lakefront seem like...
Crain’s Chicago Business deputy managing editor Ann Dwyer examines the 26th street...
travel with wfmt
Discover WFMT's Classical Italy next May! Join Peter van de Graaff on this exclusive twelve-day classical music lover's journey to "Bella Italia" next May. Imagine staying in the heart of Venice in a restored old abbey and experiencing Donizetti' opera La favorite at the historic La Fenice Opera House!