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October 2014
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chicago

Chicago’s Incubator for Opera Singers

Ryan Opera Center bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba as "Don Giovanni"

Richard Ollarsaba, who was the “cover” for Don Giovanni star Mariusz Kwiecien, got the call at 10:00 am: “Mr. Kwiecien will not be able to sing today. You’re on.” He had four hours until curtain.

“The instant I got the call, adrenaline shot through my system, but after the initial shock I immediately went into work mode and the only thing I could tell myself was ‘Just do your job’

Live from WFMT is Back with Dvorak Concerto

Drostan Hall

Monday nights have long been a showcase for local talent and beyond with a weekly broadcast of live music and conversation on WFMT. After a summer series of broadcasts from the Ravinia Festival, Live from WFMT kicks off a new season on Monday with a broadcast from Nichols Concert Hall at the Music Institute of Chicago. Monday’s show presents the ensemble Camerata Chicago with soloist Joshua Roman

Emerging from “Cultural Black-out”

Evacuating the paintings of London's National Gallery

Imagine the walls of the National Gallery stripped bare, a city of 8.6 million people shrouded in darkness; theaters, cinemas, museums – all shuttered. As England entered the Second World War, authorities quickly took measures to remove cultural assets, while reducing the potential for civilian casualties by strictly enforcing black-outs and quashing the city’s night life

Chicago Chamber Musicians Ensemble Live

Brass

Longtime principals of the Chicago Chamber Musicians continue the first Monday tradition of giving free lunchtime concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center. Trumpeters Charles Geyer and Barbara Butler will sit down with french horn player Gail Williams to play the bookends of the brass repertoire: arrangements of Renaissance and early Baroque pieces

A Grande Dame, Dame Kiri at Ravinia

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Skypes with composer Jake Heggie from her home in England

When she made an appearance on Downton Abbey as the turn of the century opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, producer Gareth Neame told “The Telegraph” the whole crew rushed to hear her sing, “It was the sight of all these tough electricians and grips and all the people you see on a film set with tears

Lyric Opera Opening Night

Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni, Metropolitan Opera

The 60th season at Lyric Opera of Chicago begins on Saturday with a bit of nostalgia: Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the same opera that launched the company 60 years ago.

Lyric Opera’s new production won’t look much like the original, however. It is directed by Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls, who is putting a more modern spin on the classic tale.

CSO at Millennium Park: Allegro con Muti

Fans crowd Millennium Park to see Riccardo Muti conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Update: 7:43 pm CDT

Friday’s crowd is estimated at over 20,000 people. Hundreds more are being turned away at the park entrance.

Riccardo Muti brings the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to Millennium Park on Friday for a free, all-Tchaikovsky concert. It’s been four years to the day since Maestro Muti gave his inaugural concert in the park’s

Winners of Genius Grants “Inspire us all”

Public artist Rick Lowe

People who win don’t even know they’ve been considered, but on Wednesday they were identified by international news agencies as “21 extraordinarily creative people who inspire us all.” Some are scientists; others are historians, poets, or lawyers. There’s an artist, a jazz musician, and a cartoonist. They are the 2014 MacArthur Fellows, recipients of what’s often called the genius grant, a $625,000 cash prize – no strings attached

Nicholas Phan: a Tenor with a Mission

Tenor Nicholas Phan, artistic director of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago

“…to make Chicago a world home for the study and performance of art song and vocal chamber music.”

That is the goal of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago. They’ve recruited tenor Nicholas Phan as artistic director, and are hosting the 2014 Collaborative Works Festival this week with Susanna Phillips, Michelle DeYoung, Kelley O’Connor, Joshua Hopkins, and Nicholas Phan.

Tenor Nicholas Phan is giving a WFMT Impromptu

In the Studio with Jason Vieaux

Jason Vieaux

His name appears alongside Usher, Rosanne Cash, and Beyoncé on NPR’s list of “50 Favorite Songs of 2014 (so far).” Jason Vieaux is definitely a man of the 21st century. He tweets, he’s on iTunes, and though he makes appearances all over the world, manages a full teaching schedule online.

Vieaux’s answer to a culture obsessed with playlists