It was 50 years ago this month that the Lyric Opera of Kansas City presented its first production, one of the most popular operas: Puccini's La boh?me. To mark the occasion, the company returns to the bittersweet love story set in 1830s Paris as this season's opener.
The Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Artistic Director Ward Holmquist calls La boh?me "one of the great operas of the Western world." Holmquist says when the Lyric discussed presenting the work again, he was "revitalized" by the film Rent to consider casting younger performers.
As part of an exhibition called Conversation Pieces, each Sunday the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a gallery talk about a work. Dr. Craig Prentiss, associate professor of religious studies at Rockhurst University, provides a reading of Ed Blackburn's Cain and Abel from a religious standpoint.
Kansas City, MO – It's fairly typical for a museum to be closed to the public on a Monday. On September 2, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art added another day: Tuesday. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's Director and CEO Marc Wilson stresses that the museum will not be closed on Tuesdays. It will be closed to the public, but reserved for school groups, an estimated 1000 visitors a week. Wilson says it's a priority to keep the museum free, and with rising fuel and energy costs, they didn't want to pass along cost increases to visitors.
Kansas City, MO – Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her series about a boy who migrated from Central America to the United States. Like many other children, as Nazario uncovered, he traveled through Mexico riding on top of freight trains. Nazario based her series on one Honduran teenager's experience, and she spent years researching his life and journey.
The Kansas City String Quartet Program celebrates its 15th season this year. And for the past two weeks, middle and high school age string players have gathered in classrooms on the campus of Pembroke Hill to learn the fine art of chamber performance. KCUR's Laura Spencer sends us this postcard.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Faculty Concert: August 8, 2008, 6 p.m. Kauffman Foundation Town Center 4801 Rockhill Rd Kansas City, MO
As part of an exhibition called Conversation Pieces, each Sunday the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a gallery talk about a work. Artist James Brinsfield talks about his own artwork Transit, on display in the exhibition Conversation Pieces.
In previous works, New York-based composer Kristin Kuster has drawn inspiration from architecture, weather and mythology. A new work, called "Ribbon Earth", is inspired by Missouri artist Brent Collins's sculpture, Pax Mundi (World Peace), created with a spiraling bronze ribbon. It's on display at the H&R Block headquarters downtown.
A $17 million Crossroads redevelopment plan received the green light from a City Council committee Wednesday.
The Finance and Audit Committee endorsed philanthropist Shirley Helzberg's proposal for the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building, which would house the Kansas City Symphony offices. The project includes a tax increment financing district to renovate the four-story 1930 building, add a two-story addition and a two-level 40 space parking garage.
As part of an exhibition called Conversation Pieces, each Sunday the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a gallery talk about a work. Kemper Museum director and CEO Rachael Blackburn Cozad explains her attraction to artist Richard Diebenkorn's Untitled (1987)
By Drew Bolton
Kansas City, MO – Conversation Pieces at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, July 11-September 28, 2008
The Arts KCFund, like a United Way for the arts, raised nearly $732,000 during its annual spring workplace giving campaign and recently announced its latest round of grant recipients. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
Crossroads Ballet Festival Artistic Director Matthew Powell started dancing at the age of 6, and he's danced professionally for 10 years, including 7 years with the Kansas City Ballet. But, Powell's a relative newcomer as a choreographer.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Here, Matthew Powell talks about how he first started to learn the skills in a Choreographic Workshop at the Kansas City Ballet.
Summer is usually the off-season for dancers. But this weekend, dancers from across the country will be featured in a new showcase for classical and contemporary works called Crossroads Ballet Festival.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Laura Spencer spoke to artistic director and founder Matthew Powell about starting the Crossroads Ballet Festival and his decision to leave the Kansas City Ballet after seven years.
Purists sometimes criticize Cray's brand of the blues as "too commercialized." His fans say it's fresh and contemporary approach. KCUR's Susan Wilson asked Robert Cray about that recently, when he was in town for the Rhythm and Ribs festival.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art preparators Jason Myers and Christopher Bell discuss the arduous task of installing Chakaia Booker's large-scale, sculptures created from salvaged rubber tires in her exhibition.
Kemper Museum Curator Christopher Cook interviews visiting artist Chakaia Booker and discusses the materials she uses as well as her background.
By Drew Bolton
Kansas City, MO – RubberMade: Sculpture by Chakaia Booker at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, June 6-August 17, 2008 MUSIC: "Demon" performed by Kansas City group BCR (from the album BCR: Tribute to Sun Ra)
In the second part of their conversation, artist Chakaia Booker talks with Kemper Museum Curator Christopher Cook about various interpretations of her work and some of the challenges she has faced in the creation of her large scale sculptures.
By Drew Bolton
Kansas City, MO – RubberMade: Sculpture by Chakaia Booker at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, June 6-August 17, 2008
Jonathan Biss makes his Kansas City Symphony debut. At the age of 27, Biss is considered one of the finest pianists of his generation, working with orchestras, as well as performing solo recitals and chamber music. KCUR's Laura Spencer talked to Biss recently from his home in New York about his love for Beethoven and what it's like to be the third generation in a family of professional musicians.
This week, the eight-voice a cappella choir, Octarium, presents a program called "Should Have Been Choral" including everything from Renaissance music to ABBA. Artistic director and founder Krista Blackwood is the former choir director at St. Andrew's. Blackwood told KCUR's Laura Spencer that when 8 of her soloists sang together in 2001, it planted the seed for the group.
Up and coming jazz trombonist Kevin Cerovich talks about his new album and why he's leaving KC.
By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – Every May, many college students are graduating, and struggling to decide what direction to take next. For trombonist Kevin Cerovich, who recently graduated from the UMKC Conservatory , the next step is a big one. Soon, he'll be moving to New York City in hopes of breaking into the jazz world. But, as Alex Smith found out, the 23-year-old musician is already off to a strong start.
On Mother's Day weekend, StoneLion Puppet Theatre unveiled The Spirit of the Wood. It's a giant interactive puppet spectacle that the community helped build: a 20 foot monster of trash, 9 foot giant butterflies, 20 foot walking trees, and lots and lots of frogs.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Artistic director Heather Nisbett-Loewenstein provided this preview before a recent rehearsal on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Nearly 150 years after his death, abolitionist John Brown remains a controversial figure; some consider him a martyr, others view him as a terrorist. A new opera, written by a native Kansan, aims to explore the complexity of John Brown's character and his legacy. For John Brown photos, check here.
Bach Aria Soloists (from left to right): Matthew Johnson, cellist; Jan Kraybill, organist; Rebecca Lloyd, soprano; Robert Brand, guest baritone; Elizabeth Suh Lane, founder, artistic director, violinist; Tina Cho Johnson, guest violinist.