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November 2014
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chicago

Director Mike Nichols and WFMT

Award-winning director and writer Mike Nichols

Today the world is remembering the life and work of writer and director Mike Nichols, who died suddenly on Wednesday at the age of 83. In a career that spanned over six decades, he won nine Tony Awards and an Academy Award for Best Director for the 1967 blockbuster “The Graduate.” Around the offices of WFMT, Mike Nichols is remembered for being among the pioneering forces in the early days of this radio station

Lyric Opera Timeline: the First 60 Years

The interior of Chicago's Civic Opera House

In 1952, a student singer named Carol Fox got to chatting with her vocal coach, Nicola Rescigno, and insurance man Lawrence Kelly about ways to sustain an opera company in Chicago – a series of previous attempts had ended in bankruptcy. They agreed, if they were to attempt such a venture, they would need to marshal community support – and what better way to recruit supporters than to show them an opera? In February 1954

WFMT’s Lyric Opera Weekend

Stars gather at the Civic Opera House to celebrate Lyric's 60th in an unforgettable concert

In February of 1954, Lyric Opera founders Carol Fox, Nicola Rescigno, and Lawrence Kelly launched the first production, hoping it would inspire opera lovers to step forward and offer financial and community support for an opera company in Chicago – it did. Rescigno conducted two performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Nicola Rossi-Lemeni as the Don, and Eleanor Steber

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