Every Monday morning at about 9:15, I'll be joining John Birge on Classical MPR to discuss some of the fun and fascinating stories we're featuring on our site. Three stories we'll be talking about this morning:
• Anna George Meek's "alto's-eye view of choral music," published last month, quickly became one of our all-time most-read articles on ClassicalMPR.org. We've now followed it up with "A bass's-eye view of choral music" by Jim Ramlet. Jim says "it's not all beer and Skittles in the back row," and describes a Rachmaninoff performance that sent the entire second bass section down to a low B flat, earning an audience member to spontaneously volunteer what Jim calls "the best review ever."
• The Fargo-Moorhead Opera has been a going concern for almost 46 years, but they've never produced a world premiere--until this month, and now they're staging two on March 28 and 30. Austin Gerth writes about the opera's decision to stage full productions of Buried Alive and Embedded: two short operas inspired by the writing of Edgar Allen Poe. The operas, commissioned by New York City opera incubator the American Lyric Theatre, were composed by Jeff Meyers with co-librettist Quincy Long. "Why would you not come?" says Fargo-Moorhead Opera director David Hamilton. "It's cool, it's new, it's something different. It's a way of showing that we're not just this little city in the frozen tundra with nothing to do."
• There's a lot you can do with a violin, and Orange Mighty Trio member Zack Kline is holding a summer camp designed to teach kids how to bridge Beethoven and bluegrass. In what Kline is calling a "chamber fiddle camp," kids will learn how to combine music theory and classical techniques with improvisation and folk playing. Sheila Regan talks with Kline about his innovative approach.