Speight Jenkins will be the first to tell you that there's grand opera and then there are Richard Wagner's operas, those massive, sprawling epics populated by feuding gods, warrior women sporting winged helmets, knights of the Grail and sexually frustrated lovers. These "integrated works of art," as Wagner called them, are the ultimate challenge for any opera company, demanding forces that could populate a small town.
George Gershwin had high hopes for his first opera, a setting of DuBose Heyward's novel 'Porgy.' "If I am successful," he wrote, "it will resemble a combination of the drama and romance of 'Carmen' and the beauty of 'Meistersinger,' if you can imagine that." The 75th anniversary touring company comes to Cincinnati for one night (Feb. 24) with a production approved by the Gershwin estate and overseen by Michael Capasso, general director of New York's Dicapo Opera Theatre.
The 75th anniversary touring company of Porgy and Bess comes to Cincinnati for one night. Set in the vibrant black working class neighborhood of Catfish Row in Charleston, S.C., the story of the crippled beggar Porgy and his love for good-time girl Bess plays out against the realities of a tightly-knit community, segregation, violence and drugs. 8 p.m. at the Aronoff.
I am on a bus with 46 other members of MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir, and we're headed for prison: the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. We're singing for the inmates, and a current of unease runs underneath the animated chatter.
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s recently appointed Steven Goldstein as the Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Theatre. He has impressive stage, film and opera credits, appearing in productions staged by David Mamet, William H. Macy and renowned opera director Francesca Zambello.
Eighth blackbird, the wildly innovative, Grammy-award winning sextet acclaimed as the country’s premier contemporary music ensemble, makes a welcome return to Cincinnati with Meanwhile…, a program of five works by established masters and exciting young composers. 8 p.m. at CCM's Corbett Auditorium.
The new year for Chamber music opens with strings. And flutes. And clarinets, prepared piano, flexatones, harmonicas, bongos and cowbells. That's standard operating procedure for eighth blackbird, the wildly innovative sextet acclaimed as the country's premier contemporary music ensemble (performing Jan. 12 at CCM). Acknowledges flautist Tim Munro, "We like to wreak havoc in a creative way."
Four years ago, clarinetist Ixi Chen moved from New York to join the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and immediately began networking with other young professionals. A brainstorming session drew 15 musicians, and concert:nova was born. The group took inspiration from cellist Matt Haimowitz, a champion of new music who performs in concerts halls and Rock clubs and collaborates with leading conductors, Hip Hop artists and Klezmer musicians.
For its third season opener, concert:nova joins forces with light sculptor Tony Luensman and video artist Charles Woodman for 'Playing With Light,' a typically eclectic program featuring works by George Crumb, Arvo Prt, George Tsontakis and the English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis. They play at 7:30 p.m. at the concert:nova Garden downtown.
Once a month, crowds gather at Northside Tavern for a hot session of trio sonatas and brass quintets. Or wind ensembles and string quartets. Or operatic arias. On a recent Sunday evening, an audience decked out in jeans, multiple tattoos and piercings ambled past the Cincinnati Wind Quintet warming up to perform a Viktor Ewald piece. It's another evening of Classical Revolution, Cincinnati's branch of a growing national network that bypasses the concert hall for bars and nightclubs.