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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 10, 2001
If the legend of Faust had not emerged centuries ago, it would surely appear now. In a world obsessed with acquiring untold wealth, conscience-free power over other lives and impossible physical beauty, the notion of selling one's soul to the devil doesn't seem the slightest bit implausible. And if a composer were to turn this diabolical idea into an opera today, the result might be very much like Ferruccio Busoni's "Doktor Faust," which premiered in Germany 75 years ago and received its first Metropolitan Opera performance Monday evening.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
All across the globe, worried Metropolitan Opera fans, not to mention assorted pundits and politicians, are caught up in the suspense of the company's testy contract negotiations with its many unions. Last night's late-hour reprieve -- management agreed to extend talks for 72-hours, rather than impose a lockout at midnight -- has only revved up the anxiety even more. To provide an appropriate soundtrack for these tense times, I offer one of the greatest examples of musical tension in all of opera, Siegmund's extended cry of "Walse!"
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FEATURES
By Glenn McNatt and Glenn McNatt,SUN STAFF | October 26, 1997
On a bright Sunday morning in 1985, the Rev. Teresa Martin-Minnich had just concluded a tightly reasoned, intellectual sermon before the sea of well-to-do white faces at Baltimore's Roland Park Presbyterian Church.Then something totally unexpected occurred.A large, strikingly handsome African-American woman with a leonine mane of jet black hair suddenly rose to her feet and, without a trace of self-consciousness, burst into song.Amazing Grace, How sweet the soundThat saved a wretch like me!
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2013
Lyric Opera Baltimore found itself in need of a new villain less than two weeks before the company's season-opening production of "Tosca. " The exceptional bass-baritone Eric Owens, who had quite a triumph recently as Alberich in the Metropolitan Opera's controversial staging of Wagner's "Ring," was to have sung the role of the despicable Scarpia in Baltimore. A case of strep throat has caused him to cancel. Replacing Owens will be another American singer, bass Raymond Aceto, who has earned fine notices for his performances as Scarpia with the Houston Opera and Santa Fe Opera.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 5, 1999
1945: Copland's "Appalachian Spring"1955: Marian Anderson sings at Metropolitan Opera1956: H.L. Mencken dies
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | April 17, 2008
NEW YORK --"Whatever the noblest does, that, too, will others do; the standard that he sets all the world will follow." If you go Satyagraha will be performed five more times through May 1 at the Metropolitan Opera. Call 212-362-6000 or go to metoperafamily.org/metopera.
FEATURES
October 12, 1990
ISOLA JONES, singing the lead role of Carmen in her Baltimore Opera debut, has performed the mezzo-soprano role and others 400 times at the Metropolitan Opera. She has sung 10 times in televised operas.John Absalom, tenor, sings Don Jose. Craig Heath Nim, baritone, sings Escamillo. Also new to Baltimore is Enrique Batiz, the conductor of the Baltimore Opera Orchestra. Matthew Latta is the director.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | February 13, 1997
By any standard, Florence Quivar ranks among the greatest and most versatile -- she's as terrific in Mahler as she is in Verdi -- mezzo-sopranos of the last half-century. This wonderful singer -- who is now celebrating the 20th year of her debut at the Metropolitan Opera -- will make a rare Baltimore appearance this Sunday in Morgan State University's Performing Arts Series.Mezzo-soprano Florence Quivar will sing in Murphy Auditorium at Morgan State University at 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $25; for tickets or further information, call (410)
NEWS
November 12, 1997
Margaret Harshaw,88, a soprano and mezzo-soprano who sang at the Metropolitan Opera for 22 seasons, died Friday in Libertyville, Ill.Francis I. Linn,78, died of lymphatic cancer Sunday, days after he was re-elected to a fourth term as mayor of Gettysburg, Pa.Annie Dodge Wauneka,87, a longtime Navajo Nation leader who won the Freedom Medal, the United States' highest civilian honor, for work against tuberculosis, died Monday in Flagstaff, Ariz.H. Richard Hornberger,73, a surgeon whose novel inspired the movie and television series "M*A*S*H," died Nov. 4 in Portland, Maine.
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By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | June 10, 1999
Florence Kirk Keppel, a lyric soprano who went from New York's Metropolitan Opera to teaching and performing in Carroll County, died Sunday of Alzheimer's disease at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster.Mrs. Keppel, who sang under her maiden name, Florence Kirk, had lived in Carroll County since 1954. She was 90.She was raised in Philadelphia's Germantown, earned a bachelor's degree in music and education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1931 and studied operatic performance at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2013
This being an arts blog, I try to leave political issues aside, but, sometimes, there's just no way to avoid them. Case in point: The anti-gay laws and sentiments in today's Russia. The effect of those policies on the arts became all too clear and disturbing this week. It's bad enough to read about the seizure of satirical paintings that target Czar -- oops -- President Putin. The artist, Konstantin Altunin, has already fled to France seeking asylum, according to reports. What galled me even more, on a personal level, was the news that Russian filmmakers working on a biopic of Tchaikovsky, with some government financial support, plan to give the famed composer a form of posthumous ex-gay therapy.
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By Mike Giuliano | November 30, 2012
It wouldn't be the Christmas season without George Frideric Handel's "Messiah," and in Howard County that means a performance by Columbia Pro Cantare on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Jim Rouse Theater at Wilde Lake. "Handel's 'Messiah' arrives every December and has a worldwide and fabulously successful run," Columbia Pro Cantare music director Frances Motyca Dawson says about this 18th-century oratorio's widespread appeal. "It has a sense of theater and of great drama. Handel came out of opera, and when he turned to writing oratorios that sense of drama never left him. There is a very special quality to the music that continues to delight the ear, mind and heart.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 6, 2012
In terms of talent, glamour and wide appeal, few opera singers today rank as high as mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. No wonder there's quite a buzz at the Peabody Conservatory, where Graves will join the voice faculty in the fall. People are still talking about a master class that Graves gave at the conservatory last September. "She didn't know she was auditioning," said Phyllis Bryn-Julson, the distinguished soprano who chairs the voice department. "It was a phenomenal day for the students.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | October 31, 2010
Four superb singers took to the stage during the Annapolis Opera's "Concert of Stars," welcoming the crowd to the beginning of the company's 38th season. The stellar performer was Annapolis resident and Metropolitan Opera baritone Jason Stearns, who has recently returned from performing in Oslo, Norway. Opening this program, Stearns delivered a compelling rendition of Umberto Giordano's "Nemico della Patria?" from "Andrea Chenier. " Later, the two-season Met performer sang a riveting "Credo in un Dio crudel" from Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello.
NEWS
August 21, 2009
PAUL "DUKE" HOGUE, 69 Cincinnati, Baltimore basketball star Paul "Duke" Hogue, a star center on the University of Cincinnati's back-to-back national championship basketball teams, died Monday in Cincinnati of heart and kidney failure, said Patti Hogue, his wife of 43 years. The 6-foot-9-inch center helped lead the Bearcats to NCAA championships in 1961 and 1962, both times defeating Jerry Lucas-led Ohio State squads in the title games. Mr. Hogue was chosen the most outstanding player in the 1962 NCAA tournament.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2009
News of Annapolis baritone Jason Stearns' Metropolitan Opera debut gave some Annapolis Opera folks incentive last October to plan a trip to New York City to offer support recently in his role as Monterone in Verdi's Rigoletto. Former Annapolis Opera president Leah Solat coordinated plans and board member David Stern arranged bus transportation and lodging for the group for Stearns' April 1 debut. Stern also arranged for the group to take a 2 1/2 -hour backstage tour of the Met on the same day. Stearns lives in Annapolis with his wife, Suzanne, who also had a singing career and continues to give voice lessons, as does Jason when time allows.
FEATURES
By Frederick N. Rasmussen and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF | December 27, 2003
Opera buffs around the world were devastated when they learned earlier this year that ChevronTexaco will terminate its sponsorship of the weekly Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts at the end of the 2004 season. As of last week, the Met was still seeking a sponsor for its broadcasts, which cost $7 million annually. The Met first took to the airwaves on Christmas Day in 1931, when listeners nationwide tuned to NBC to hear a performance of Hansel and Gretel. Its narrator, working from a soundproof cage in Box 44 in the grand tier of the old Metropolitan Opera House was Deems Taylor, a critic and composer, who "whispered a running comment into the ears of millions of listeners on both sides of the Atlantic, telling them just what the wicked old witch and the two hungry children were doing and going to do next," reported The Evening Sun. According to a Metropolitan Opera archivist, Taylor, whose commentaries were not very successful, was replaced in 1932 by announcer Milton J. Cross, the former voice of the Chicago Civic Opera.
NEWS
August 21, 2009
PAUL "DUKE" HOGUE, 69 Cincinnati, Baltimore basketball star Paul "Duke" Hogue, a star center on the University of Cincinnati's back-to-back national championship basketball teams, died Monday in Cincinnati of heart and kidney failure, said Patti Hogue, his wife of 43 years. The 6-foot-9-inch center helped lead the Bearcats to NCAA championships in 1961 and 1962, both times defeating Jerry Lucas-led Ohio State squads in the title games. Mr. Hogue was chosen the most outstanding player in the 1962 NCAA tournament.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | November 6, 2008
"Everyone abhors me," sings one of history's most notoriously cruel women early on in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, "and yet I wasn't born for such a sad fate." That may not be enough to make her a totally sympathetic character, especially since she does a whole lot of poisoning in the last scene. But Renee Fleming offers a valiant, persuasive portrayal of the conflicted Lucrezia in Washington National Opera's new production of this rarely staged work, a production that yielded dynamic musical and visual results on opening night at the Kennedy Center.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | April 17, 2008
NEW YORK --"Whatever the noblest does, that, too, will others do; the standard that he sets all the world will follow." If you go Satyagraha will be performed five more times through May 1 at the Metropolitan Opera. Call 212-362-6000 or go to metoperafamily.org/metopera.
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