Classical | Texas Public Radio

Classical

Texas Public Radio Classical Music blog and other stories.

On November 8, singer Anthony Roth Costanzo will take center stage at the Metropolitan Opera, debuting as the star of a new production of Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten. It's a remarkable turn for a celebrated singer who nearly lost his voice to thyroid cancer.

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In 1993, composer and violinist Mark O’Connor  wrote “The Fiddle Concerto.” O’Connor, an award-winning fiddle, mandolin, and guitar virtuoso, successfully integrated country fiddling into a symphonic work that, with the help of Warner Bros. Records and classical radio stations hungry for new American sounds, became a crossover hit.

The new movie Joker is a psychological character study of a lonely, disturbed man who turns violent. Dark, chaotic, unconventional — all descriptions that would make sense for a movie about one of the most infamous and unpredictable villains in comic book history. But in fact, director Todd Phillips wanted this Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, to inspire empathy. To give this comic book character human depth, director Todd Phillips brought in a composer who could transform darkness into sensitive musicality.

One of the most prominent composers of the late 20th century has died. Giya Kancheli was from Georgia — and the music he wrote, whether for films or for the concert hall, was full of light, shade and an incandescent longing. He died Wednesday at age 84 in his home city, the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Kancheli's death was announced by his longtime record label, ECM; his son, Sandro Kancheli, told NPR that his father had suffered from heart failure for a long time.

Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET

The embattled opera singer Plácido Domingo resigned Wednesday as general director of LA Opera, the company that he helped found and that he led for more than 15 years. The news broke in the midst of two formal investigations into accusations of sexual misconduct made by 20 women about alleged incidents that took place between the 1980s and the 2016-2017 performance season.

Domingo is also withdrawing from all scheduled appearances there, including a run of Gaetano Donizetti's Roberto Devereux next February and March.

Remembering Opera Star Jessye Norman

Oct 1, 2019

Grammy award-winning soprano Jessye Norman has died. The Metropolitan Opera calls her “one of the great sopranos of the past half-century.”

She died in New York on Monday at the age of 74. Here & Now‘s Robin Young remembers Norman’s legacy.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Opera fans are mourning one of the world's most revered voices.

Soprano Jessye Norman died Monday morning at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York. Her death was confirmed to NPR by a spokesperson for her family, Gwendolyn Quinn, as well as a representative from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. The official cause of death was septic shock and multi-organ failure, secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015. She was 74.

It's a story fit for Hollywood.

An unidentified woman, her hair pulled up in pigtails and arms loaded with bags, sings a hauntingly beautiful rendition of a Puccini aria seemingly spontaneously on the platform of a Los Angeles Metro stop.

A video of the woman was posted to Twitter by the Los Angeles Police Department late Thursday evening.

Libby Day

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio offers its own version of a pay-it-forward style concert this weekend. YOSA's Troy Peters said the side-by-side concerts they perform twice a year have that pay-it-forward aspect built into their DNA.


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