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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Who am I? Iím an American composer born in Mississippi in 1895. I was the first African-American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, the first to have a symphony played by a leading orchestra, and the first to have an opera performed by a major company. I attended the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where I studied with George Whitefield Chadwick. I was a music arranger for W.C. Handy's band and later arranged for radio and films. I am often referred to as the Dean of African-American composers. Who am I? Answer >>

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      Countertenor David Daniels on Finding His Voice, Finding Himself, and Being Married by Justice Ginsburg

      David Daniels is “the most acclaimed countertenor of the day, perhaps the best ever,” to use the words of the New York Times. Though many know him best for portraying some of opera’s greatest heroes from Julius Caesar to Orpheus, he is also passionate about civil rights. more...

      QUIZ: What American Composer Are You?

      Take this quiz to find out which dean of American music you're most like! Are you sparse and minimal like Philip Glass? Or do you prefer the sis-boom-bah John Philip Sousa? Do you prefer Samuel Barber's sonic landscapes of America, or Scott Joplin's Ragtime portraits of American life? more...

      Our Country, ‘Tis of Thee: How Marian Anderson Broke Boundaries for Singers of Color

      Younger generations of Americans take it for granted that the United States has been legally desegregated. But, before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, segregation was the norm, including in concert halls across America. more...

      15 Queer Composers You Should Know

      June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. We celebrate the music of LGBTQ composers all year long since it’s hard to escape a concert season without hearing works by Handel, Tchaikovsky, Britten, and others. But we wanted to recognize a few notable figures, past and present, who do did not or do not identify as heterosexual. Some more... more...

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      The Flying Dutchman review – Opera North's perfect theatrical storm

      Town Hall, Leeds

      Opera North continues to revitalise Wagner, dramatically presenting his voyage into gothic fantasy as a quasi-cinematic digital experience

      In just under five years, Opera North has transformed itself from a company that largely avoided Wagner to establishing a new paradigm for the way his operas might be presented. To describe the company’s concert-hall Ring cycle – for which complete tetralogies are scheduled next year – as “semi-staged” seems a major injustice. Rather it was a quasi-cinematic experience in which Richard Farnes’s conducting and Peter Mumford’s video design aligned in a perfect theatrical storm.

      A perfect storm is how their current collaboration commences, as broiling images of an angry sea accompany Wagner’s orchestral recollection of a harrowing voyage that washed him on to the shores of Norway in 1839, inspiring his first mature opera.

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      Nudity, Nazis and nipple-slicing: 12 controversial opera productions

      A production of William Tell at Covent Garden prompted walkouts with a five-minute rape scene. It’s not the first time an opera has stirred outrage

      Related: The Royal Opera House rape scene disgusted its audience. But it did not move them | Deborah Orr

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      The Royal Opera House rape scene disgusted its audience. But it did not move them | Deborah Orr

      It’s easy to cause outrage, as the booing of the William Tell production showed. The real challenge is to make the cruelty on stage spark meaningful emotions

      The first time I went to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, about 200 years ago, the audience booed at the end of the production. I say 200 years ago; it was actually 1991, and a not overly admired revival of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots.

      At the time, I knew no different, and just thought this was how grand opera audiences behaved – like hooligans. The next day, however, the scandal was on the front page of the Daily Telegraph. It’s a big deal when the members of a Covent Garden audience start behaving as though they’re still members of the Bullingdon club.

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      new releases

      Sugarloaf Mountain

      Avie AV-2329

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      Glass: Piano Music

      Decca 478 8079 (2 CDs)

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      Gidon Kremer: New Seasons

      Deutsche Grammophon 479 4817

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      Keith Jarrett: Concertos

      ECM B0022987-02

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      American Chamber Music

      Hyperion CDA-68094

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