Chicago Fringe Opera Brings Rarely Performed Glass Opera ‘In the Penal Colony’ to the Windy City
At 79 years old, Philip Glass has composed 27 operas. Yet, only a handful have been performed in Chicago, though the composer spent formative years in the Windy City as a student. Still, Chicago has been home to a couple of important Glass premieres. In 2002, the Goodman Theatre presented the world-premiere of Galileo Galilei, which the theater also commissioned. Two years earlier, his In the ...
How Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ Became an Opera
“Opera is an irrational art form,” Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec reflected as he prepares for the world premiere of his latest work, The Shining, at Minnesota Opera. “The first question that a composer must ask when writing an opera is: why are the people singing? There has to be a reason why these people standing on stage are singing ...
15 Books About Music For the Young & Young at Heart
Every library could use more books! Here are our top books about music for the young and the young at heart.
Conductor Mariss Jansons on Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony, Music, and Politics
Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, titled “Leningrad,” was written during one of the most horrific sieges in history. From 1941 to 1944, Hitler’s army surrounded Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and over one million civilians died. Conductor Mariss Jansons, renowned for his interpretations of Shostakovich symphonies, has a particularly interesting connection to Leningrad. Jansons was born in Soviet-controlled Latvia. Later, he would ...
Leif Ove Andsnes on Becoming Beethoven, Brahms
Like most musicians, Andsnes does not always get to pick and choose what he plays. In recent years, however, Andsnes has been able to immerse himself in some of his favorite repertoire. “I just finished a four year Beethoven journey where I immersed myself in the music of this great composer, especially his five piano concertos,” he said. “I basically just played Beethoven for years.”
The Truth About the “Worst Singer of All Time,” Florence Foster Jenkins, Told by Her Accompanist
Florence Foster Jenkins couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Yet, she made her Carnegie Hall debut to a completely sold-out house on October 25, 1944. In fact, tickets were so in-demand that the night of the performance, 2,000 people hoping to grab seats to hear Jenkins were turned away.
Tenor Javier Camarena on His History-Making Met Encore
Tenor Javier Camarena made history on March 12, 2016, when he performed an encore during a performance of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at the Metropolitan Opera, making him one of three singers to offer encores so in the company’s recent history. He spoke about performing the encore, the music itself, and other exciting moments in his career in anticipation of his upcoming performance in ...
“Rhythm is universal”: Tabla Player Zakir Hussain on Music, Politics, & Cross-Cultural Collaboration
When Zakir Hussain, one of the world’s greatest percussionists, speaks about his childhood in Mumbai, it’s easy to understand how his career has led him to collaborations with diverse artists from Ravi Shankar to Yo-Yo Ma to Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. “Every day I grew up studying the Quran, singing Christian hymns, and playing Hindu devotional music,” Hussain said ...
10 Contemporary Composers You Should Know (…Who Also Happen to Be Women)
During March, Women’s History Month, we draw special attention to the music of women composers past and present on WFMT. Here are 10 living composers who are changing music today, along with 10 albums featuring their music you might want to add to your library.
Beyond Barber — 11 more Rossini operas you should know
Rossini is one of the most successful opera composers in history. He made so much money from the 39 original operas he created between 1810 and 1829 that he retired in his late 30s. Here are a few Rossini operas worth exploring besides his most well known work, The Barber of Seville. Rossini made his professional debut at age 18 ...
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