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Classical Music and Dance
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Finding fresh ideas in Rossini’s ‘La Cenerentola’

“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” That often-quoted quip applies as much to opera as to theater, and nothing is harder in operatic comedy than Gioachino Rossini. Not only are there vocal challenges in the bel canto style, but the often repeated lines and many numbers seem to scheme
Classical Music and Dance
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Caroline Shaw octet provided a break in the gloom

 Present Music presents a smorgasbord of composers and styles, with some degree of hit and miss as part of the nature of performing new music. The season finale, performed Friday evening at the Cabot Theatre (normally home to Skylight) was decidedly more miss than hit
Classical Music and Dance
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gilbert Varga conducts Tchaikovsky and Mozart

 Guest conductor Gilbert Varga returned to conduct the final classical concert of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra season last weekend. The highlight was Karen Gomyo’s account of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin, with every note and nuance emerging with clarity and exquisite taste.
Classical Music and Dance
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A great ensemble hits its stride as season nears end

 A member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra I have wanted to hear more from as a soloist is principal cellist Susan Babini. After her first featured solo in the orchestra a few seasons ago, I paraphrased the famous line from Jerry Maguire: “She had me at hello.” I have heard her only
Classical Music and Dance
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

‘8 is Enough’ reaches lyrical heights

 The final Frankly Music concert of the season was performed last week at Wisconsin Lutheran College. Most in the audience certainly were aware of the events of the previous concert at this venue, after which the Stradivarius violin Frank Almond plays was stolen. The story traveled around
Classical Music and Dance
Thursday, May 15, 2014

Florentine’s production of the world’s favorite opera

 Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème is probably the world’s favorite opera, about romance within a group of impoverished young artists in Paris and the intrusion of tragic fatal illness. The music is so appealing and sympathetic that it will connect with an audience in almost any performance
Classical Music and Dance
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

De Waart leads MSO in warm, full-bodied performance

 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Music Director Edo de Waart conducted his last concert of the season last weekend. I cannot help but repeat some of the same thoughts previously written about his transforming impact on
Classical Music and Dance
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Edo de Waart guides MSO with insight and transparency

 What I like best about Edo de Waart is that he is not an imposing interpreter. Some conductors’ personalities ultimately seem as important as the composer of the work performed. This is not De Waart’s approach, which in my opinion makes him one of the best “interpreters.” Under his guidance