Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

Two of the country's oldest and most venerated music institutions, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, are beginning their seasons with a change in artistic leadership. Both organizations are grappling with 21st century issues of bringing new audiences in and convincing them that centuries-old music forms are central to their lives today.

Despite being one of the first and oldest forms of popular music, opera sometimes struggles to connect with 21st century audiences. However, Anthony Roth Costanzo is breaking down the genre's stodgy stereotype and making opera more accessible — taking his distinctive sound to the masses, from a sixth-grade classroom in the Bronx to NPR's own Tiny Desk.

Photo by Joan Marcus


Andy Aitchison

A Tempo this Saturday (9/22 at 7 pm) features a conversation with author Judith Chernaik, whose book, Schumman: The Faces and the Masks, was published this month. Host Rachel Katz will speak with Chernaik about the way Schumann expressed and wove these various personas through his music, critical writing and personal correspondence, as well as how his relationship with Clara - and his struggle with Clara's father - are reflected in his music. 

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell has died.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

ARTHUR MITCHELL: I was the first black classical dancer with a major company in the United States of America.

The New York Philharmonic announced Sunday that it has taken action against two prominent musicians over unspecified "misconduct": the orchestra's principal oboist, Liang Wang, and its associate principal trumpeter, Matthew Muckey.

The orchestra said the decision came after a five-month internal investigation, led by a former federal judge. Both musicians dispute the Philharmonic's findings, and while the musicians' union reviews the orchestra's decision, the two have been placed on unpaid leave.

A Minneapolis Theater 'Prop God' Retires

Sep 15, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Ding dong merrily on high...

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Remembering Broadway Star Marin Mazzie

Sep 14, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

One of Broadway's best-loved leading ladies has died. Actress Marin Mazzie died yesterday from ovarian cancer at the age of 57. Mazzie was known for her roles in the musicals "Passion" and "Ragtime." Jeff Lunden offers this appreciation.

Opera Philadelphia's annual Fall Festival, O18, opens September 20, continuing Opera Philadelphia's mission of presenting new works that explore diverse voices and themes, along with more traditional productions, and this week's A Tempo (Saturday 9/15 at 7 pm) provides a preview of one of the festival's centerpieces, "Sky on Swings" by Lembit Beecher.

When the sci-fi teen musical Be More Chill opened in New Jersey a few years ago, it got a ho-hum critical response. But then something surprising happened.

The cast recording and some YouTube videos went viral. Then came fan art, fan fiction and fan covers of the songs on social media.

When the show opened off-Broadway last month, it sold out entirely. In February, Be More Chill will move to Broadway.

At the Metropolitan Theatrical Awards in Mexico City, actresses in sequined floor length gowns and actors in tuxedos ranging from the debonair to the eccentric, walk the red carpet striking poses for photographers on a recent Tuesday evening at the historic Teatro de la Ciudad.

It is an unusual place for tensions over immigration and cultural identity.

Photo by Joan Marcus


Maryland Lyric Opera this month kicks off its 2018-2019 season, which will include its first fully-staged production since its founding in 2014. The season includes a concert performance of La Fanciulla del West in September and a staged production of Lucia di Lammermoor in January, as well as expanded opportunities to young singers through its Young Artist Institute. A Tempo this Saturday (9/8 at 7 pm) features a conversation with Music Director Louis Salemno about these programs and Maryland Lyric Opera's mission. 

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Photo by Matthew Murphy


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