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      Carl's Morning Quiz

      Carl Grapentine

      Carl's Morning Quiz: Tenor Luciano Pavarotti was born in Modena, Italy on this date in 1935 -- he would have been 80 today. Perhaps the most famous operatic tenor of the second half of the 20th century, he successfully crossed over into collaborations with pop artists and became well-known to the general public as one of The Three Tenors and other appearances. In 1982 he starred in a movie, playing an operatic tenor who is treated -- and falls in love with -- a throat doctor played by Kathryn Harrold. What was the name of the movie? Answer >>


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      Get a Sneak Peek at Pianist Conrad Tao’s New Album

      Chicago audiences will know pianist Conrad Tao from his time as Composer-in-Residence with Music in the Loft, and from WFMT’s airwaves. Earlier this year, we featured the 21 year old pianist as one of our 30 Under 30. I spoke with this talented young performer and composer about his recently released album, Pictures, which is Lisa Flynn’s New Release of more... more...

      Tanya Tagaq on Ancient Singing and Eating Baby Seals

      Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq recently brought her sounds to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago during the 2015 World Music Festival Chicago. She has collaborated with some of today’s most acclaimed artists from Björk to Matthew Barney. Her recent album Animism won Canadian album of the year at the 2014 Polaris Music Awards, beating out more... more...

      Hear the Infernal Sounds of H.P. Lovecraft

        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 long more... more...

      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...

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      Carmen review – Gringyte impresses in Scottish Opera's robust production

      Theatre Royal, Glasgow
      Mezzo-soprano Justina Gringyte’s voice is steel-clad in this fail-proof Carmen that will never ruffle too many feathers

      Related: Facing the music: Justina Gringyte

      This production by Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser premiered in Cardiff in 1997 and has resurfaced at Welsh National Opera and Scottish Opera several times since. It’s easy to see why. It’s a fail-proof Carmen, dark and sumptuous, full of soft-lit Seville oranges and sultry poses. It will never look old or ruffle too many feathers. It doesn’t really push a particular reading of Carmen either as feminist maverick or figment of male fantasy, but there’s just enough subtlety in the power play to keep things tantalising. The final confrontation between Carmen and Don José happens on a stripped-back stage with a sudden emotional starkness that lingers after the curtain falls.

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      Die Entführung … review – visual delights and strong cast for Glyndebourne's tour

      Glyndebourne, Lewes, Sussex
      The comedy of Mozart’s culture-clash piece does not stifle the complexity at the heart of the opera

      David McVicar’s production of Mozart’s clash of cultures comedy returns to Glyndebourne for the autumn tour, somewhat shorter than in its original form as staged in the summer, but still including far more dialogue than usual and offering a more serious view of the work than regularly presented.

      That’s all to the good. Although there’s plenty of broad humour in Ian Rutherford’s revival, the show never loses sight of the complexity at the heart of the piece, in which two Christian couples find themselves in Muslim territory, and at the mercy of an equivocal Turkish overlord. That the latter – the non-singing role of Pasha Selim, here performed with a riveting combination of dignity and menace by Franck Saurel – is a Christian who has converted to Islam only enriches the ambiguity of response that the work demands of its audience.

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      Friedrich Cerha Day review – a fuller picture of the man who finished Lulu

      Wigmore Hall, London
      From early radicalism to later, more strikingly personal work, the day celebrated the breadth of the veteran composer’s output

      Outside his native Austria, Friedrich Cerha seems destined to be remembered as the man who finished Lulu, making the third act of Alban Berg’s opera dramatically and musically complete. For the past 30 years, his painstaking work on one of the musical landmarks of the 20th century has overshadowed Cerha’s own music, an output that includes three operas and a wide range of orchestral and chamber works. But the Wigmore Hall’s Cerha day put that music in the spotlight, with three concerts given in the presence of the composer, who will be 90 next year.

      The emphasis was on Cerha’s recent chamber music, and the final concert, given by Ensemble Modern, included the world premiere of a piece commissioned for the occasion. Piccola Commèdia evokes the spirit and brittle wit of the commedia dell’arte in an instrumental suite that takes the form of a comic opera – overture, five acts and an intermezzo – with music that is effervescent, wonderfully clear, and larded with quotations. But the piece that Ensemble Modern played before it, Konzertante Tafelmusik, with its echoes of neoclassical Stravinsky and Hindemith, composed in the late 1940s, and revised two years ago, reinforced the idea that, stylistically, Cerha’s music has gone full circle, and that his more radical music of the 1950s and 60s is very definitely in the past.

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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

      Bach: Gamba Sonatas

      Hyperion CDA-68045

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      Divine Redeemer

      Naxos 8.573524

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      Prokofiev: Works for Violin

      Onyx 4142

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      Conrad Tao: Pictures

      Warner Classics 0825646056941

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      What Artemisia Heard

      Sono Luminus DSL-92195

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