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      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: The story line of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro is a sequel to Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville, with most of the characters appearing in both operas. Who wrote the plays on which those operas are based? Answer >>

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      Fisching for Excellence in Chamber Music

      This week's Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert welcomes the 2014 Fischoff Competition gold medalists. The Akropolis Reed Quintet came together at the University of Michigan. They had walked away with the silver medal in 2012, before clenching the gold in 2014. In July, the Akropolis Reed Quintet was presented with the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award for their imaginative programming for children. Every year, approximately 125 chamber music groups more...

      The Devil Gets a Second Act

      "L'histoire du soldat" ("The Soldier's Tale") is a curiosity. It's theater. It's a musical composition. It's a work rich in orchestral color, but has only six players. With a unique ensemble of actors, dancers and instruments, it's been a one-of-a-kind for nearly 100 years – until now. more...

      A British Import: the BBC Proms

      They gave the world Monty Python and the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Leave it to the British to organize something as inexplicable and wonderful as the BBC Proms, with a subculture of devoted attendants, some of whom line up hours before a concert for a £5.00, standing-room-only ticket more...

      Impromptu with Ken Burns

      As a director who's covered everything from the Civil War, to baseball, to prohibition, to the national parks, Ken Burns is famous for making epic films about human endeavors – not so much for making biographies, although personal accounts are a hallmark of his storytelling style. His latest series is a biography, weaving together the stories of three people named Roosevelt more...

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      The 101 strangest records on Spotify: Peter Michael Hamel - Colours of Time / Bardo

      Spawning from the 70s Krautrock scene, this visionary composer with an obsession with Indian classical and all things avant-garde penned a skull-bursting symphony of serene synth minimalism

      A master of the relationship between vowels and chakras - something our old friend Kay Gardner knew all about - in 1978 Munich-born Hamel looked at the world of avant-garde, jazz and pop music and deduced a trend toward a more soul-oriented, introverted musical language. Now, whether thats right or not is, as so many other things, open to as many interpretations as you care to indulge in, but whats certain is while keyboard player/synthesist Hamel may have once been lumped in with a lot of other New Age composers, he has always been able to transcend genre and create music with real depth and purpose.

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      Callas the divine is dead: from the archive, 17 September 1977

      The opera diva Maria Callas was considered one of the greatest singers of the twentieth century although she had her detractors

      Maria Callas, the opera singer who put as much passion into her life as into her art, died in her Paris flat yesterday of a heart attack. She was 53. The divine Callas was the international symbol of prima donnas, as much for her incomparable voice as for her tantrums and her long love affair with the Greek ship owner Aristotle Onassis.

      She had not appeared on stage in the last four years. Friends said her obsession with her weight and vigorous dieting have contributed to her sudden death. She was plagued by weight problems all her life. At 20, she weighed 15 stones. In the fifties she had to crash-diet, losing more than four stones in a few weeks, so that she could take leading romantic roles.

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      Emma Thompson takes on role in Sweeney Todd musical in West End

      Actor to play piemaker Mrs Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's work after Broadway run and after 25 years away from London stage

      Playing Mrs Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd on Broadway was the most terrifying experience of Emma Thompson's life, she revealed on Tuesday, so the actor's decision to reprise the role and return to the London stage for the first time in 25 years might seem a little surprising.

      She hopes to cope better this time. "As in no nausea, no actual nausea," she said. "If I can manage the fear without the nausea, I'll be really happy."

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