The Minnesota Opera has cast a man to play the part of a male character in Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro." What's the big deal about that, you ask? Well, Mozart set the character's part in a high vocal register; it's traditionally sung by a woman.
VocalEssence is celebrating the wide-ranging creative output of composer William Bolcom with the two-week festival "Illuminating Bolcom."
Artistic Director Philip Brunelle describes Bolcom as the quintessential American composer.
For its debut as Skylark Opera, the former North Star Opera company is staging Kurt Weill's 1949 musical tragedy, "Lost in the Stars," which is set in South Africa. In a Minnesota Public Radio studio session, members of the cast sing selections and discuss the musical's contemporary relevance.
It's been more than 35 years since her Metropolitan Opera debut, but mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade says she's still learning how to use her voice. Von Stade is in the Twin Cities for a Schubert Club recital with her friend and colleague, bass Samuel Ramey.
Composer Hannibal Lokumbe says being in the presence of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks has affected everything he does. Lokumbe's oratorio honoring Parks is the centerpiece of the annual "Witness" concert by the Twin Cities choral group VocalEssence.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's newest "artistic partner" is a French pianist who's also collaborating with the Berlin Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall. Pierre-Laurent Aimard is making his debut in his newest role with the SPCO this week.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is taking four junior high school students along on its European tour. They earned their places on the trip by promising to share their experiences when they come back home.
St. Paul composer Abbie Betinis has written her sixth annual Christmas carol. She is carrying on a family tradition begun in 1922 by her great-grandfather.
Ted Libbey's new "NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music" offers a way into the often intimidating world of classical music via online interaction. In a conversation with John Birge, Libbey discusses the 11 years it took to create the book and how he decided what to include.
Pulitzer Prize-winning Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen has written a new novel. "Rise and Shine" is the story of two sisters in New York City.
Before they left for last weekend's semi-final round in the Metropolitan Opera National Finals, three area singers visited our studios for some music and conversation with Minnesota Public Radio's John Birge.
The Schubert Club Museum in downtown St. Paul has a special letter on display -- a letter Mozart wrote to his wife Constanze in 1790. The letter is intimate and affectionate, addressing Constanze as "Dearest Little Wife of my Heart."
When writer Anne Lamott became a mother, she captured the joys and messes of motherhood in her best-selling book called "Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year." Now Anne Lamott's son is fifteen, and motherhood is still on her mind in a new book of essays called "Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith." On Mother's Day weekend she talked with Minnesota Public Radio's John Birge.
It has been seven years since violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Orli Shaham released their acclaimed CD "DvoÅ™Ã¡k for Two." Now their "sibling harmony" returns in a new album by this brother/sister duo, in music by Prokofiev. MPR's John Birge caught up with the siblings just before they set off on a seven-city tour which includes stops at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, Washington's Kennedy Center, and New York's Carnegie Hall.
John Birge chats with virtuosos Chang and Silverstein about first collaboration together with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.