NIXON IN CHINA: LYRIC OPERA PRESENTS LOCAL PREMIERE OF AMERICAN CLASSIC
Can an opera teach us things about historical events that we can’t glean from factual accounts alone? John Adams’ opera Nixon in China provides one of the most compelling answers to that question, for by general agreement it is a piece that deepens and broadens our understanding of President Nixon’s famous 1972 visit to Mao’s China and its impact on global politics.
Rational Exuberance: Ray Chen’s KC debut showcases substantial interpretive strengths
A classical musician’s devotion to the intentions of composers long deceased often finds itself at odds with the present day’s realities of myriad stimuli and instant gratification. Therefore, it is becoming quite uncommon to encounter performers capable of captivating audiences while simultaneously revering thousands of markings in aging texts.
WHEREFORE ART THOU: KC Ballet’s version of Shakespeare classic conveys drama through pure dance
You might think of Shakespeare as being all about language, but several of his works have been made into ballets in which the entire dramatic arc is expressed without a single word being uttered. Perhaps the most powerful of these is Romeo and Juliet, which owes much of its cache to a brilliant score by Prokofiev.
SKY’S THE LIMIT: PARK PIANO STUDENT HAS EYE ON INTERNATIONAL CAREER
Behzod Abduraimov almost didn’t become a pianist. At age 6 he failed his very first piano examination, getting stuck in the middle of Schumann’s The Wild Horsemanseveral times before his teacher finally told him to stop. “After that my teacher said I would never be able to play a piece on piano from beginning to end without making mistakes, ever,” says the 21-year-old Park University student with a laugh.
THE BIG 12: TOP MOMENTS IN KC PERFORMING ARTS FOR 2011
This year will go down in history as a milestone in Kansas City’s performing arts life, as the opening of the Kauffman Center has spurred all of our local arts groups to new heights. Here are a few of my favorite moments of the year, listed in chronological order. All of these have been reviewed on this blog: Use Search screen at upper right.
Harriman-Jewell Series: Joshua Bell, violin, and Sam Haywood, piano.