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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 8, 1992
Everyone eventually checks out of the Hotel Eden -- they have to.But the Peabody Conservatory of Music is betting that "Hotel Eden," a new comic opera about three couples who can't seem to get along in Paradise, will want to make audiences check in. This 1989 opera, which receives its East Coast premiere at Friedberg Hall this Thursday, has Peabody Opera Theater director Roger Brunyate rapturously evoking Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" when he speaks about...
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 14, 2014
 You've read about their clashing views in all of those 5-4 Supreme Court decisions. Now hear them sing their arguments. "Scalia/Ginsburg," a comic opera by Baltimore native and recent law school grad Derrick Wang, imagines Justice Antonin Scalia having to get through three ordeals -- shades of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" -- with the help of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the summer of 2013, excerpts from the work-in-progress were performed at the Supreme Court for Scalia and Ginsburg, two longtime friends and opera fans who gave the project a thumbs up. "It was such a great honor," Wang says.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 18, 2007
When it comes to comic opera, you can't go wrong with a story about rustic life, as even Lucy Ricardo proved in an I Love Lucy episode with her immortal, if rudely shortened, creation The Pleasant Peasant. THE BARTERED BRIDE / / Performances Saturday; March 28, 30 and April 1 / / Lyric Opera House / / 410-727-6000 or baltimoreopera.org
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January 31, 2010
Sunday Art exhibits Works by the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters and ink and watercolors of Karen Freeman and David Young will be on display through Feb. 14 at the Galleries at Quiet Waters Park, 600 Quiet Waters Park Road in Annapolis. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Call 410-222-1777. Comic opera Opera AACC presents "Die Fledermaus (The Bat)," a comedic play interwoven with cases of mistaken identity that put a wife's lover in jail and her husband in lawyer's robes, at 8 p.m. at the Pascal Center for Performing Arts, 101 College Parkway in Arnold.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 16, 2001
For pure, unadulterated comedy and bright, ear-catching music, Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" remains hard to beat. The score alone can make us smile - delectably nasty sound effects coming from the violins as slimy Don Basilio sings about the art of spreading malicious gossip; the slow-motion tune that conveys the characters' confusion during the Act 1 finale; the rolling melody that gets tossed around as everyone tries to bid Don Basilio goodnight in...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jeff Landaw and Jeff Landaw,Sun Staff | February 27, 2000
"There's something inherently disappointing about success," mutters W.S. Gilbert toward the end of the acclaimed new movie "Topsy-Turvy." Mike Leigh's film, about England's comic opera team of Gilbert and Sullivan, takes its plot from the making, in 1884-1885, of their greatest triumph, "The Mikado." But beneath the brilliant comedy is a layer of irony: Gilbert and Sullivan have gone down in history for the work they valued least. Composer Arthur Sullivan (played in the film by Allan Corduner)
NEWS
October 17, 1993
TACOMA, Wash. -- Leroy Ostransky, a longtime composer, music educator and author of three books on jazz, died Monday at age 75.Mr. Ostransky was a professor emeritus of music and composer-in-residence at the University of Puget Sound.He composed five symphonies and a comic opera, "The Melting of Molly." He also wrote an autobiographical memoir, "Sharkey's Kid."@
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | August 2, 2007
These days, talk of kidnappings or executions by hideous means usually refers to disturbing news from the Middle East. But, oddly enough, such topics also apply to a gem of a comic opera that manages to get laughs out of false imprisonment, a shooting and even an attempted impalement -- all set to deliciously tuneful, rhythmically buoyant music. If you go L'etoile will be performed at 8 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Barns at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, Va. Tickets are $58. Call 877-965-3872 or go to wolftrap.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | May 4, 2008
In his last year at the University of Milan, where he majored in music history, Paolo Micciche wrote his thesis on the origin of comic opera in the 17th century. Some years hence, a university student may well write a thesis on the origin of Micciche's trademark high-tech graphics in the staging of operas, comic or otherwise. On Stage Madama Butterfly will be performed at 8:15 p.m. Saturday and four more times through May 18 at the Lyric Opera House, 110 W. Mount Royal Ave. $46 to $132.
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By SYLVIA BADGER | November 12, 1995
AN EVENING of comic opera was the theme of the 27th Grand Opera Ball, which netted $110,000 for the Baltimore Opera Company, making it the most financially successful ball ever held. According to Carol Jean Young, chairman of the ball, that amount is more than double the board's goal of $50,000.The evening began with a cocktail hour where about 360 guests could view four large cartoon displays, each one depicting one of the four operas scheduled for this season. The exhibits were the winners of the cartoon competition, of which the ball's honorary chairman, Steve Geppi, owner of Diamond Comics Distributors, was the sole judge.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | May 4, 2008
In his last year at the University of Milan, where he majored in music history, Paolo Micciche wrote his thesis on the origin of comic opera in the 17th century. Some years hence, a university student may well write a thesis on the origin of Micciche's trademark high-tech graphics in the staging of operas, comic or otherwise. On Stage Madama Butterfly will be performed at 8:15 p.m. Saturday and four more times through May 18 at the Lyric Opera House, 110 W. Mount Royal Ave. $46 to $132.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | August 2, 2007
These days, talk of kidnappings or executions by hideous means usually refers to disturbing news from the Middle East. But, oddly enough, such topics also apply to a gem of a comic opera that manages to get laughs out of false imprisonment, a shooting and even an attempted impalement -- all set to deliciously tuneful, rhythmically buoyant music. If you go L'etoile will be performed at 8 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Barns at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, Va. Tickets are $58. Call 877-965-3872 or go to wolftrap.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | March 18, 2007
When it comes to comic opera, you can't go wrong with a story about rustic life, as even Lucy Ricardo proved in an I Love Lucy episode with her immortal, if rudely shortened, creation The Pleasant Peasant. THE BARTERED BRIDE / / Performances Saturday; March 28, 30 and April 1 / / Lyric Opera House / / 410-727-6000 or baltimoreopera.org
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 21, 2004
Give me a laundry list," Gioachino Rossini supposedly said, "and I will set it to music." You can be sure he would have a lot of fun with such an assignment. After all, a composer who could get amazing musical and comical mileage out of such words as "cra cra" and "tac tac" would hardly be fazed by "easy on the starch" or "extra bleach." Rossini fans never tire of hearing the clever way he used "cra cra" and "tac tac" - or, for that matter, "ding ding" and "boom boom" - in the Act 1 finale of his first full-scale comic masterpiece, L'italiana in Algeri.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 17, 2003
Otherwise perfectly sensible opera-goers have been known to look down their lorgnettes at comic works in the repertoire, as if a little light music and silly antics couldn't possibly add up to high art. Maybe these doughty types just haven't figured out what everyone else learned eons ago - comedy is a lot harder to do successfully than drama. That goes double for comic opera. The best Italian examples of this genre offer superbly crafted scores, deftly drawn characters and evergreen sitcom plots.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 16, 2001
For pure, unadulterated comedy and bright, ear-catching music, Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" remains hard to beat. The score alone can make us smile - delectably nasty sound effects coming from the violins as slimy Don Basilio sings about the art of spreading malicious gossip; the slow-motion tune that conveys the characters' confusion during the Act 1 finale; the rolling melody that gets tossed around as everyone tries to bid Don Basilio goodnight in...
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 17, 2003
Otherwise perfectly sensible opera-goers have been known to look down their lorgnettes at comic works in the repertoire, as if a little light music and silly antics couldn't possibly add up to high art. Maybe these doughty types just haven't figured out what everyone else learned eons ago - comedy is a lot harder to do successfully than drama. That goes double for comic opera. The best Italian examples of this genre offer superbly crafted scores, deftly drawn characters and evergreen sitcom plots.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 14, 2014
 You've read about their clashing views in all of those 5-4 Supreme Court decisions. Now hear them sing their arguments. "Scalia/Ginsburg," a comic opera by Baltimore native and recent law school grad Derrick Wang, imagines Justice Antonin Scalia having to get through three ordeals -- shades of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" -- with the help of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the summer of 2013, excerpts from the work-in-progress were performed at the Supreme Court for Scalia and Ginsburg, two longtime friends and opera fans who gave the project a thumbs up. "It was such a great honor," Wang says.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jeff Landaw and Jeff Landaw,Sun Staff | February 27, 2000
"There's something inherently disappointing about success," mutters W.S. Gilbert toward the end of the acclaimed new movie "Topsy-Turvy." Mike Leigh's film, about England's comic opera team of Gilbert and Sullivan, takes its plot from the making, in 1884-1885, of their greatest triumph, "The Mikado." But beneath the brilliant comedy is a layer of irony: Gilbert and Sullivan have gone down in history for the work they valued least. Composer Arthur Sullivan (played in the film by Allan Corduner)
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | March 29, 1998
ASPEN, Colo. -- The cards seem real enough. At least Ted Carpenter can take them out of his pocket, hold them in his hands and say he's got something to show for three nights' work at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. They're not tarot cards, but they might as well be for the mysterious power they suggest. As if the Hanged Man or the Emperor himself walked up to Carpenter and said: great show, nice work, let's talk.Instead, these talismans come from an agent in Beverly Hills and a manager of casting for Disney Studios, among others.
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