Arts Corner

ANATOMY OF A CANCELLATION: Operatic duo saves the day for Harriman-Jewell Series when choir’s tour collapses

By Paul Horsley
One of the marks of a great arts presenter is the ability to jump into the breach at a moment’s notice when crises arise. The Harriman-Jewell Series’ had originally announced that a highlight of its current season was to be a visit by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir, a group of South African students that performs an eclectic mix of African and Western music.

read more


BOULEVARD OF DREAMS: MET’s upcoming move spurs growth of Main Street as KC’s ‘mini-Broadway’

By Paul Horsley
If there’s a sleeping giant among Kansas City theater companies, that genial beast appears to be on the verge of waking up, with a roar. The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre has been doing increasingly excellent work for 12 seasons: classics and new works, comedies and ponderous plays that deal with racism, sexism, ageism, you name it. Or in the words of producing Artistic Director Karen Paisley, who founded the company, “masterworks and contemporary classics.

read more


BEHIND BARS: Lyric Opera takes a stab at problematic prison opera (review)

By Paul Horsley
Dead Man Walking is like the Clockwork Orange of opera. You might appreciate its artistic achievement, admire its remarkable attention to detail, even recognize its potential for redeeming social value. But you really don’t have fun, and at the end you find yourself asking whether you’ve gained anything from the grueling experience of sitting through it.

read more


DEATH, LOVE AND SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: Lyric Opera presents local premiere of true-story drama

By Paul Horsley
Opera since its beginnings has reveled in hot political topics, from the injustices of feudal society in The Marriage of Figaro to the hapless political prisoners in works such as Andrea Chénier and Tosca. Contemporary opera occasionally takes on controversial historical issues, too, crafting real-life events not so much to make political statements as to create effective works of art.

read more