Arts Corner

MUSIC PAST, MUSIC PRESENT: Choral composition honors Harriman’s life and the Series he founded

By Paul Horsley
Any celebration of the Harriman-Jewell Series is to some extent a tribute to Richard Harriman, the late William Jewell College professor who cofounded the world-renowned series that bears his name. What a shame that Richard, who died in 2010, didn’t live to see this season’s 50th anniversary celebration, for among other things it features a number of artists who were longtime friends of Richard’s and who have remained loyal to the Series.

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ADIEU, ‘MR. B’: KC Ballet presents Bolender ‘Nutcracker’ one last time with help of Todd protégé

By Paul Horsley
Ballet is ephemeral at its core, the product of a certain time and place, a specific set of dancers, musicians and designers. This year it’s with no little sadness that the Kansas City Ballet bids farewell to Todd Bolender’s durable production of The Nutcracker, which after 34 years has run its course and is to be replaced with a new version in 2015.

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PRESCIENCE AND POETRY: Harriman series celebrates golden anniversary with returning pianist

By Paul Horsley
Just as Kansas Citians often think of themselves as residing at a geographic and a spiritual center-point of the United States, Macedonians characterize their nation as occupying a special place at the heart of Europe. So it’s especially apt that in 2004 the late Richard Harriman, whose mind was always working several steps ahead, chose Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski to inaugurate the Harriman-Jewell Series’ path-forging Discovery Series.

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IT’S ABOUT THE ART: KC Friends of Alvin Ailey, celebrating 30 years of community-building, presents the full AAADT in schools and at the Kauffman Center

By Paul Horsley
The staggering 30-year success of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey has been built on community-based projects, educational initiatives for children and annual visits of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and its youthful Ailey II. But at the heart of that success is something that Tyrone Aiken, the Friends’ executive director since 2005, doesn’t want to lose sight of: great art.

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PASSION WITH A FLICKER OF FIRE: Lyric brings attractive production, fresh voices, to Verdi classic

By Paul Horsley
The challenge of Verdi’s La traviata is to present plausible characters and convincing emotional heat within the context of a famously, perhaps notoriously, contrived story line. This is a tall order even for the greatest opera companies, which have tended to rely on fabulous singing, high production values and Verdi’s durable if problematic music.

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WACKY WONDERLAND: KC Ballet opens season with an explosion of color, design and dance

By Paul Horsley
The beauty of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, in its original literary version by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and in its many retellings through the last century and a half, is that it actually tells two stories at once. The first is that of a very curious little girl who through a series of dream-like experiences learns much about family, friendship and the wondrous world of the imagination.

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