Arts and Culture News

News from the arts world.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

A great maestro has died.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIMON BOLIVAR YOUTH ORCHESTRA OF VENEZUELA PERFORMANCE OF EVENCIO CASTELLANOS' "SANTA CRUZ DE PACAIRIGUA")

SHAPIRO: Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of Venezuela's El Sistema Youth Orchestra.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 was an industrial disaster that killed 146 garment workers in New York City. The fire became a touchstone for the labor movement of the 20th century. An opera inspired by the disaster tells the story from a different point of view and it's getting a special type of New York debut.

Since the Disney animated musical Frozen premiered five years ago, the song "Let It Go" has been inescapable. Even the daughters of its songwriters were a bit tired of it.

"Like many people in our culture, there was a feeling of Frozen fatigue, if you will," says co-songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

If you want to know how much the Bolshoi Theatre means to Russia, pull out a 100 ruble note, and there it is: the grand facade of the building.

Go inside, and it's an imperial wonderland. Gilded balconies ring the stage, and more than 100 crystal chandeliers shimmer above rows of crimson velvet seats.

It's impressive, but not quite as impressive as what's happening onstage. Dancers in toe shoes and tights are rehearsing Anna Karenina, a ballet based on the Tolstoy epic.

When it comes to heavyweight game-changers like Claude Debussy, super fans even celebrate death anniversaries. It was 100 years ago, March 25, 1918, that the visionary composer lost his battle with cancer and died in Paris at age 56.

To mark the occasion, Warner Classics has issued a handsome 33-CD box containing what the label says is "the most complete collection ever made" of Debussy's music.

Disney's latest movie-turned-Broadway show is Frozen, and this week, theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews the musical. Tune in Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Opera Philadelphia

With the successful launch of its new Fall festival format under with its belt, Opera Philadelphia this week announced its plans for its O18 Festival. The festival will run September 20-30, 2018, bringing two world premieres, two new productions and some other treats to opera audiences at a variety of venues.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated at 11: 30 p.m. on March 19, 2018

A Cirque du Soleil performer died after falling at a Tampa, Fla., show over the weekend when his hand slipped off the double rings, the theatrical company announced Sunday.

"While he was performing the aerial straps number, longtime aerialist, Yann Arnaud, fell onto the stage," Cirque du Soleil's VOLTA said in a statement on Twitter.

Sing Sing Correctional Facility is not the sort of place you'd expect to find a flourishing music community, but a workshop run by Carnegie Hall offers inmates the ability to learn in harmony. Twice a month, artists from New York City travel to Sing Sing and spend a day giving 30 inmates enrolled in the Musical Connections program formal training.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Consequences of Racism.

About Clint Smith's TED Talk

How do you raise a child in a world taught to fear the color of their skin? Poet and writer Clint Smith explains the difficulty of black parenting, and the implications of being black in America.

About Clint Smith

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

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Here's a musical riddle that has kept people guessing for over a century.

English composer Edward Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme, ('Enigma') op. 36 is one of England's most beloved musical works. It's commonly known as the Enigma Variations.

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