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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 1, 2009
A few years ago, Sylvia McNair felt she had reached "the bottom of the bottom." Not long after discovering that her husband of two decades wanted out of their marriage, she learned that she had breast cancer and might have only six months to live. Today, the Ohio-born soprano could not look healthier or happier as she rehearses a new work fashioned out of Kurt Weill songs and created expressly for her by the American Opera Theater; it premieres this week at Baltimore's Theatre Project.
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FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 13, 2009
Out of 17 distinctive songs by Kurt Weill, American Opera Theater artistic director Timothy Nelson has fashioned an engrossing, even edgy, piece called "Songspiel," getting its premiere at the Theatre Project. The show is first and foremost a vehicle for stellar soprano Sylvia McNair, but it's far from a cabaret act. The music comes from such stage works as "Happy End," "Mahagonny" and "Lost in the Stars." Nelson also mined several of Weill's potent stand-alone songs. The concept for "Songspiel" involves a narrative about a woman battered by life and nature - the latter quite literally, with references to Hurricane Katrina.
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NEWS
October 14, 2005
Opera opening -- Annapolis Opera will open its 2005-2006 season with Opera auf Deutsch at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Annapolis. A celebration of German wine and food will be featured along with a selection of arias by Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Kurt Weill, Franz Lehar and others. Performers will include Lori Hultgren, Danielle Talamantes, Yvette Smith and Michael Gallant (at right). Tickets are $60 and must be ordered by Monday. For ticket and series subscriptions, call 410-267-8135.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 1, 2009
A few years ago, Sylvia McNair felt she had reached "the bottom of the bottom." Not long after discovering that her husband of two decades wanted out of their marriage, she learned that she had breast cancer and might have only six months to live. Today, the Ohio-born soprano could not look healthier or happier as she rehearses a new work fashioned out of Kurt Weill songs and created expressly for her by the American Opera Theater; it premieres this week at Baltimore's Theatre Project.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | June 10, 1994
On paper the idea of an entire evening of Kurt Weill as a symphonic pops concert must have seemed like a terrific idea to the Baltimore Symphony management. Weill was, after all, a first-rate symphonic composer who transformed himself into a superb composer for the theater. Moreover, his music is challenging enough -- the young Otto Klemperer counted himself among Weill's champions -- so the interests of the BSO and its music director, David Zinman, figured to be engaged. It was only two years ago, Zinman and the BSO and several soloists presented a memorable evening of Leonard Bernstein's theater music.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 13, 2009
Out of 17 distinctive songs by Kurt Weill, American Opera Theater artistic director Timothy Nelson has fashioned an engrossing, even edgy, piece called "Songspiel," getting its premiere at the Theatre Project. The show is first and foremost a vehicle for stellar soprano Sylvia McNair, but it's far from a cabaret act. The music comes from such stage works as "Happy End," "Mahagonny" and "Lost in the Stars." Nelson also mined several of Weill's potent stand-alone songs. The concept for "Songspiel" involves a narrative about a woman battered by life and nature - the latter quite literally, with references to Hurricane Katrina.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 3, 2004
For the Columbia Orchestra's final concert of its 2003-2004 season, Maestro Jason Love and his musicians will take a walk on the lighter side as the ensemble takes the Jim Rouse Theatre stage for an evening of "Symphonic Pops" at 8 p.m. Saturday. The program will be repeated at 3 p.m. Sunday at Westminster High School in Carroll County. Over the years, pops concerts have come in two varieties. A generation or two ago, in the days of Arthur Fiedler and his vaunted Boston Pops, the pops experience afforded orchestras an opportunity to present lighter, shorter classical works that were hard to squeeze onto regular concert bills dominated by full-length symphonies and concertos.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 27, 2003
The issue of political dissent never loses its timeliness. Just now, with voices of opposition to all sorts of governments around the world getting louder by the day, that issue is particularly pertinent. It provides an extra degree of power to Peabody Chamber Opera's exceptional double bill at the Theatre Project - Kurt Weill's Mahagonny Songspiel and Udo Zimmermann's White Rose. Weill's short, biting piece of cabaret-style entertainment from 1927 took effective pot shots at the unsettled post-World War I scene in Germany and beyond, a time when "there is no peace in us, and no compassion, and there is nothing a man can depend upon."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley | March 19, 2009
The world premiere of The Soul Collector has the makings to be an offbeat delight. The surreal comedy is not only written by David Emerson Toney, who has been a fixture for years in Washington as an actor, playwright and screenwriter, but it also marks a bold step forward for Everyman Theatre, which until now has specialized in previously produced plays with a track record of success. Vincent Lancisi, Everyman's artistic director, has described Toney as "a new and vibrant voice in American theater" and says he's eager to introduce Baltimore audiences to his work.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | January 2, 1997
One of the legendary musical groups in New York during the 1950s and early '60s was the New York Wind Quintet. According to some music lovers, those halcyon days may be returning because of the five young wind players -- flutist Marya Martin, oboist Stephen Taylor, clarinetist Alan Kay, hornist David Jolley and bassoonist Frank Morelli -- who formed the New York Wind Soloists a few years ago. This ensemble will perform what promises to be a fascinating program...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley | March 19, 2009
The world premiere of The Soul Collector has the makings to be an offbeat delight. The surreal comedy is not only written by David Emerson Toney, who has been a fixture for years in Washington as an actor, playwright and screenwriter, but it also marks a bold step forward for Everyman Theatre, which until now has specialized in previously produced plays with a track record of success. Vincent Lancisi, Everyman's artistic director, has described Toney as "a new and vibrant voice in American theater" and says he's eager to introduce Baltimore audiences to his work.
NEWS
October 14, 2005
Opera opening -- Annapolis Opera will open its 2005-2006 season with Opera auf Deutsch at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Annapolis. A celebration of German wine and food will be featured along with a selection of arias by Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Kurt Weill, Franz Lehar and others. Performers will include Lori Hultgren, Danielle Talamantes, Yvette Smith and Michael Gallant (at right). Tickets are $60 and must be ordered by Monday. For ticket and series subscriptions, call 410-267-8135.
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | June 3, 2004
For the Columbia Orchestra's final concert of its 2003-2004 season, Maestro Jason Love and his musicians will take a walk on the lighter side as the ensemble takes the Jim Rouse Theatre stage for an evening of "Symphonic Pops" at 8 p.m. Saturday. The program will be repeated at 3 p.m. Sunday at Westminster High School in Carroll County. Over the years, pops concerts have come in two varieties. A generation or two ago, in the days of Arthur Fiedler and his vaunted Boston Pops, the pops experience afforded orchestras an opportunity to present lighter, shorter classical works that were hard to squeeze onto regular concert bills dominated by full-length symphonies and concertos.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 27, 2003
The issue of political dissent never loses its timeliness. Just now, with voices of opposition to all sorts of governments around the world getting louder by the day, that issue is particularly pertinent. It provides an extra degree of power to Peabody Chamber Opera's exceptional double bill at the Theatre Project - Kurt Weill's Mahagonny Songspiel and Udo Zimmermann's White Rose. Weill's short, biting piece of cabaret-style entertainment from 1927 took effective pot shots at the unsettled post-World War I scene in Germany and beyond, a time when "there is no peace in us, and no compassion, and there is nothing a man can depend upon."
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | June 10, 1994
On paper the idea of an entire evening of Kurt Weill as a symphonic pops concert must have seemed like a terrific idea to the Baltimore Symphony management. Weill was, after all, a first-rate symphonic composer who transformed himself into a superb composer for the theater. Moreover, his music is challenging enough -- the young Otto Klemperer counted himself among Weill's champions -- so the interests of the BSO and its music director, David Zinman, figured to be engaged. It was only two years ago, Zinman and the BSO and several soloists presented a memorable evening of Leonard Bernstein's theater music.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | October 22, 2000
Kurt Weill, who was born 100 years ago and died 50 years ago, left an extraordinary mark on the 20th century. Keenly aware of how the darkest impulses of human nature were being unleashed in the early decades of the century, Weill used music -- and piercing texts by the likes of Bertold Brecht -- as a means of analysis and protest. From full-scale satire and irony in such music-theater classics as "The Three-Penny Opera" and "Mahagonny" to intimate cabaret songs, Weill's creations have a uniquely affecting power.
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