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November 2014
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soprano

“Il trovatore,” An Operatic Thrill Ride

TrovAnvil

Combine a searing love triangle, an odious count, a long lost child, some gypsies, a civil war, a haunting, and a witch burned at the stake, and you’ve got Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il trovatore,” an opera stuffed with devices to delight theater-goers and ruin the opera’s protagonists. “Il trovatore” is designed to feel like the fastest two hours and forty-five minutes in theater, with sword fights, shocking cruelty, and tender

Renée Fleming on Her Way to WFMT

Renee Fleming with Impromptu Producer Louise Frank and host Lisa Flynn at WFMT; photo by Noel Morris

Renée Fleming is stopping by WFMT’s studios Tuesday afternoon around 2:30 pm to speak with Lisa Flynn about her new CD, Christmas in New York. With dozens of recordings to her credit, this is her first holiday record. The popular diva used the project as an opportunity to reach across genres to some of her favorite artists. Chris Botti, Kurt Elling

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

Christopher Maltman Tweets and Sings Beethoven, John Adams

Baritone Christopher Maltman, c. Pia Clodi

It is well established that opera singers can sing like canaries. Now we’re finding they tweet like them, too. Baritone Christopher Maltman used Twitter to share something of the on-stage and off-stage energy during his concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony earlier this year

Passings: Licia Albanese, Carlo Bergonzi

Licia Albanese as Cio-Cio-San in "Madama Butterfly"

He gave more than 300 performances at the Metropolitan Opera. She exceeded 400. Two Italian-born, 20th century opera stars passed away in recent weeks: tenor Carlo Bergonzi and soprano Licia Albanese. Bergonzi in particular had a long performance history in Chicago, making his American debut at Lyric Opera in 1955; while Albanese worked primarily in New York

Ryan Opera Center Sings Puccini, Bizet (video)

LauraJNai

Lyric Opera of Chicago dispatched two of its rising stars to join a worldwide chorus of music-lovers celebrating music on June 21.

June 21 is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year – and for the past 4 years, a day of music in Chicago. Locally the festival is known as Make Music Chicago, though the summer solstice tradition of taking instruments to the streets started in Paris as the Fête de la Musique

Video from Make Music Chicago

Chicago Symphony Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin

Make Music Chicago 2014 organized dozens of performances at Daley Plaza and across the Chicago area on Saturday. The citywide festival joined communities around the world in celebration of music on June 21, the summer solstice. One of the organizers, Kuang-Hao Huang, announced at 10:00 am, “Fiji is 17 hours into their day of music.

Opera Singers As Motivational Speakers?

Eric Owens and Ana Maria Martinez addressing high school students, c. Andrew Cioffi

Lyric Opera’s new ambassadors are delivering a message that goes deeper than listening to music: art can heal a community. On their first day, Lyric Opera’s newly named community ambassadors burned the script on typical in-school performances, and the kids are listening.

Muti Takes Orchestra to Cicero High School

Maestro Riccardo Muti

If you believe what you read, the town of Cicero has a troubled history. Iniquitous associations linger for decades, while saying nothing of the men and women who live, work, and raise families here. On Wednesday, the people of Cicero had the opportunity to show something of their fiber: world-renowned conductor Riccardo Muti

Postcard: Renée Fleming at WFMT

Renee Fleming, photo by Andrew Eccles

“The people’s diva,” Renée Fleming paid WFMT a visit on Tuesday, which also happened to coincide with the release of her latest recording, Guilty Pleasures. Ms. Fleming chatted with Lisa Flynn and discussed the new recording (hear the interview)