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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Check back soon for another quiz question.


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      QUIZ – What Fairy Tale Opera Are You?

      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...

      10 Facts About Bach’s Coffee Opera You Need to Know

      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...

      With 3 operas on 1 night, which do you pick?

      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...

      Your Soundtrack for the Supermoon Eclipse

      Tonight we'll experience a serendipitous celestial spectacle: a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse! As you're watching the skies, you need a little night music for the perfect soundtrack. Check out this list of moon music: some are well known classics, others are almost as rare as a supermoon eclipse! more...

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      Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk review – masterpiece has rarely sounded better

      Coliseum, London
      New ENO music director Mark Wigglesworth gets off to a flying start with a searing account of Shostakovich’s only major opera

      The dazzling brass fanfares, blasting their crazed fortissimos from either side of the orchestra pit, would be reason enough to rush to hear Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1934) at English National Opera. The music blisters, bubbles, froths and caresses. The cast is effective, chorus robust, enlarged orchestra on peak form. Conducted by Mark Wigglesworth, making his debut as music director of ENO, Shostakovich’s masterpiece has rarely sounded better. If the production, designed and directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov, is less exciting, at least it does not obscure the brilliance of the score.

      The music blisters, bubbles, froths and caresses

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      Alessandro Scarlatti: Con eco d’amore CD review – a delicious selection

      Elizabeth Watts (soprano), the English Concert/Cummings
      (Harmonia Mundi)

      Golden-voiced soprano Elizabeth Watts has spent the past few years unearthing neglected arias by Alessandro Scarlatti, father of Domenico and founder of the rich Neapolitan school. With 600 cantatas and 100 operas to his name, Watts had plenty to go at. She’s come up with a delicious selection – some, such as Se geloso è il mio core from Endimione e Cintia (1705) and Farinelli’s showpiece, Torbido, irato, e nero, from Erminia (1723), dangerously difficult; others sweetly placid and beguiling – Sussurrando il venticello from Tigrane (1715), for example. Watts just about gets away with the spectacular pyrotechnics but is most affecting when Scarlatti takes his foot off the accelerator.

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      Rameau: Anacréon (1754) CD review – an important landmark

      Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Choir of Enlightenment/Williams, Matthew Brook, Anna Dennis, Agustín Prunell-Friend
      (Signum Classics)

      Debussy conducted a version of Rameau’s one-act Anacréon back in 1909, but it has taken the scholarly ingenuity of Jonathan Williams and a major collaboration to revive it in our time. This Rameau project, involving Oxford University and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, shows how integrated research and performance have now become. The music here is well worth restoring: the instrumental dances full of burbling flutes, whooping horns and beating drums show Rameau as thoroughly contemporary in his vivid imagination; they rather overwhelm the paler vocal lines. This performance does not quite achieve the elan and rhythmic lift of the greatest Rameau recordings, but it’s an important landmark.

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      travel feature

      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!

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      new releases

      Dvorak: New World Symphony

      DSO Live

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      A Festival of Julius Fucik

      Chandos CHSA-5158

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      Chopin: Preludes

      Deutsche Grammophon 481 1910

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      The Franchomme Project

      Delos DE-3469

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      Parry: Choral Music

      Hyperion CDA-68089

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