Arts Corner

PASSION FOR OPERA: Lyric’s new leader has reputation for growing companies

Deborah Sandler traveled many roads before finding her niche: She sang, played the piano, studied mathematics, worked on a doctorate in musicology, wrote grant applications. But when she started working in opera, she knew she’d come home. “Producing opera is really my passion,” says the Philadelphia native, who on July 1st becomes the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s new General Director — succeedingEvan Luskin,who will retire after 26 years with the company.

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WEEKEND AT THE KAUFFMAN

REVIEW: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet nudges contemporary dance into intriguing areas

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has been called one of the standard-bearers for the future of American dance, and their programs of almost entirely new works suggest that, while ballet remains at the foundation of what we do, dance must continue to explore new territory to keep growing.

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WEEK IN REVIEW: MIDORI, BRAHMS AND CARNAGE

Midori possesses an exceptional gift for rhetorical expression and soaring melodic lines, and her violin tone is rich and full, never forced, even when she bears down hard. On October 27th at the Folly Theater she and her pianist, Özgür Aydin, were best in Shostakovich’s Sonata, Op. 134, where their inner musical personalities meshed beautifully to convey the composer’s dark vision of pain under Soviet rule.

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SHAVE AND A BIG LAUGH

Lyric closes season with classic Rossini opera
Sure The Barber of Seville is a frothy, wry and at times deliciously silly comedy. But it can’t be played as pure farce, says William Theisen, who directs the Lyric Opera’s production opening on April 21st at the Kauffman Center. “These characters cannot be cartoons,” said the director. “You do have a heightened reality here, and certainly Bartolo is very much a buffo character. But you have to care about these people.

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