Arts Corner

Subtly…not so much

Lyric Opera embraces Puccini’s most sensationalistic opera
No one ever accused Puccini of subtlety for his potboiler Tosca. A diva agrees to “give in” to a lecherous villain in return for her lover’s freedom. Instead she stabs him. Villain betrays her. The lover is executed. She leaps to her death.

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Amenable to the ecumenical

Summer Music at the Cathedrals uses music to bring faith groups together
At a time when Roman Catholics and Episcopalians seem to be growing ever-further apart, gestures of unity are always refreshing. That’s why Summer Music at the Cathedrals, a musical partnership between Our Town’s Catholic and the Episcopal cathedrals downtown, is a welcome addition to the upwelling of local performing arts during the last decade.

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Blood, thunder and high Cs

Lyric Opera opens season with a vocally arresting Tosca
The plot of Tosca is a pretty crass affair, but even seasoned opera devotees keep returning to the piece because it features what is perhaps Puccini’s most incisive and consistently compelling musical score. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City was wise to eschew tinkering with the drama in favor of confronting head-on the opera’s musical glories.

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Growth happens

Pianist shows he is moving in a more serious direction
Young people do grow up, a fact we sometimes forget when we expect youthful celebrities to act mature beyond their years. The version of Lang Lang who played Tuesday, September 15 on the Harriman-Jewell Series was a notably more serious pianist than the one who performed on the same series in 2004, also at the Folly Theater.

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Room at the top

Violinist again displays gifts that are winning over the classical world
Stefan Jackiw played a  beautiful recital on September 26 at the Folly Theater, confirming once again my ongoing impression that he is destined to lead a career at the very top of the toughly competitive world of classical violin.

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