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Carl's Morning Quiz
Carl's Morning Quiz: check back on Monday, July 28 for another round of quiz questions.
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Chicago Classical Calendar
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If you've ever seen a nature documentary about the Serengeti, you might have some sense of the migratory patterns of classical musicians. There are music centers, like watering holes, to which players journey in order to refresh, commune with others, and nurture the young. The Aspen Music Festival is one of those places. One only has to read the biographies of Chicago's top musicians more...
On Monday, July 28th, the President and First Lady will recognize Joan Harris for her tireless support of the arts. It was announced on Tuesday that she would be a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. The visage of Joan Harris is a familiar one around the lobbies of the Civic Opera House and Symphony more...
When Yevgeny Kutik was a boy, his mother declared, "Enough." She packed up her family and left the Soviet Union. There wasn't any one reason. It was a series of reasons: Yevgeny was bullied in Kindergarten; she was laid off because her employers exceeded their "quota of Jews"; her older son had picked up racial slurs at school more...
Getting beyond “The book was better” - Last week, when Lyric Opera presented a sneak peek at the opera based on Ann Patchett’s bestselling novel "Bel Canto," general director Anthony Freud quickly closed the door on comparisons to the book. Addressing a gathering of patrons and members of the media, Mr. Freud shared some of more...
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One billion people watched her perform a freedom anthem at the Commonwealth Games launch. Will the South African singer pack the same punch at the Proms?
Pumeza Matshikiza discovered opera as a teenager quite by accident. One day, she was switching between radio stations, and stumbled on the great Swiss soprano Edith Mathis, singing in The Marriage of Figaro. She was spellbound.
Music lessons were, however, beyond the reach of a Xhosa child born in a township on South Africa's Eastern Cape especially in the last years of apartheid. But, as Matshikiza says, "you develop other means". A quick student, she learned African and European music by ear while singing in church choirs.Continue reading...
Royal Albert Hall, London
Some superlative playing in Bach's masterpiece, under the baton of Roger Norrington, but the evening's chief glory was the beautifully controlled choral singing
This year's Proms allow us to hear both of Bach's passions, albeit in radically different treatments. The Berlin Philharmonic brings Simon Rattle's and Peter Sellars' much-discussed "ritualisation" of the St Matthew as part of its visit in September. First, however, came Roger Norrington's interpretation of the St John with the Zürich Chamber Orchestra and Zürcher Sing-Akademie a straightforward concert performance, fascinating, beautiful and erratic in equal measure.
Central to Norrington's approach was the careful yet unobtrusive differentiation of the score's component elements, so we were conscious throughout of how they interlock to form a dramatic and emotional whole. The recitatives that carry the core biblical narrative were taken slowly so that every word could register. The Sing-Akademie used scores for the choruses, but put them aside for the chorales, delivering the former with great intensity, but treating the chorales as moments of quiet introspection. The arias, meanwhile, were big emotional statements, done with operatic grandeur and agility.Continue reading...
Italian tenor admired as an authoritative interpreter of Verdi
There was no finer interpreter of Donizetti's, Verdi's and Puccini's tenor roles throughout his long career than Carlo Bergonzi, who has died aged 90. His singing of all three composers' music evinced an innate sense of how to mould an immaculate line projected on a long breath, an exemplary clarity of diction, and an authoritative use of the particular style called for in interpreting a role. Over and over again, you could hear, and can still hear on his many recordings, how to shape a phrase and to do so with a voice of intrinsic beauty, flawlessly produced, so no effort seemed involved.
He eschewed vocal histrionics, and ensured that the expression was applied from within the aria or ensemble. Far from being a macho tenor, he was the aristocrat of the breed and as such universally admired, even if he did not evoke the visceral excitement of his near-contemporaries Franco Corelli and Luciano Pavarotti.Continue reading...
The bidding process for licences to extract shale gas - using the controversial process fracking - will begin later, the government announces.
The UN Security Council is set to call for an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza after fighting continued on Sunday.
Ministers are "turning their backs" on victims of domestic violence, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper will say in a speech later.
On this edition of Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review with Joel Weisman, thousands of...
Joel Weisman and his panel of journalists discuss former Mayor Richard M. Daley not...
Big plans are in the works for Chicago's riverfront as the mayor unveiled today a $500...