Arts Corner

Vivacious Valkyrie

Wagnerian soprano shows personal side in Harriman-Jewell recital
Deborah Voigt is known to the opera world for her portrayals of stern, stately and imperious Wagner and Strauss heroines: Ariadne, Brünnhilde, Elisabeth, Elsa, Isolde, Salome. Her persona in solo recital is decidedly different, chatty and folksy and witty, and on October 30 a smallish Harriman-Jewell audience seemed to have a pleasant time listening to her sing from a wide-ranging repertoire.

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Shtick to the basics

Lyric Opera’s Pinafore is best when it honors the authors
Gilbert & Sullivan’s operettas are so durable that directors succeed best when they go easy on shtick and focus on dead-on execution of the shows’ intrinsic rich humor. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s production of HMS Pinafore, which opened November 6 at the Lyric Theatre, was most convincing when it stood back and let us listen to W.S. Gilbert’s peerless lyrics, set to music with blinding cleverness by Arthur Sullivan.

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Head of the class

Lyric presents timeless Gilbert & Sullivan satire of social order
We like to think of the United States as a classless society, where a pauper can rise to the top and anyone can marry for love regardless of rank or station. Still, the idea of our daughter marrying the gardener gives pause — unless, of course, it turns out that the gardener was “switched at birth” and is actually heir to the Microsoft fortune.

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Eight singers, nine composers, one CD

Octarium sports ingenious new project
Take eight younger singers with decades of rigorous vocal and choral training, hone them to a razor-sharp blend and place them in a church with clean, resonant acoustics, and you have the formula for a sonority that is as luxurious as a Lexus, as rich as triple-chocolate cake, as eloquent as a Shakespeare sonnet.

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