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Interchanging Idioms
Chip Michael
Discussions about Classical Music, Concerts, Festivals, Operas, Recordings, Films and the people who work in the industry.
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Intensive musical residency program pairs Symphony musicians with elementary school students


Second grade students at Airport Elementary School in the Ferguson-Florissant district will present a special musical assembly and performance showcasing all they’ve learned during the St. Louis Symphony’s Adopt-A-School program. The concert takes place at the school on Thursday, December 8 at 2pm.

Adopt-A-School provides an in-depth approach to music education. It features weekly visits from St. Louis Symphony staff and musicians which focus on classical music, basic musical skills and learning the instruments of the orchestra. One special visit even featured a hands-on conducting class taught by St. Louis Symphony Resident Conductor Ward Stare. In addition, the students at Airport Elementary school prepared for and attended a St. Louis Symphony education concert, took part in a special percussion demonstration and got a behind the scenes tour of Powell Hall. The St. Louis Symphony’s Adopt-A-School program at Airport provided a positive experience this year for many students who were directly impacted by last May’s devastating tornado.

During their school assembly on December 8, the students will show off all that they’ve learned, performing and presenting a musical they wrote and composed using their new skills.


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Join the Colorado Symphony this weekend for a downtown holiday tradition


Join the Colorado Symphony, Colorado Symphony Chorus, Colorado Children’s Chorale and vocalists in a program of your favorite traditional Christmas carols and songs including "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Sleigh Ride," "The Hallelujah Chorus" and more. Special mood lighting and a few magical guests from the North Pole make this holiday classic the perfect way to celebrate the season.

HOLIDAY SERIES
Colorado Christmas - Presented by Macy's Foundation

FRI 12/9 - 7:30 p.m.
SAT 12/10 - 2:30 p.m.
SAT 12/10 - 6:00 p.m.
SUN 12/11 - 2:30 p.m.
SUN 12/11 - 6:00 p.m. Best availability!
Boettcher Concert Hall

Tickets available online or by calling the box office 303.623.7876.


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BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS BIG BEAUTIFUL DARK AND SCARY
Double album with films from Cantaloupe Music

Premiere Recordings of Music by LOUIS ANDRIESSEN (with film), DAVID LONGSTRETH (from the Dirty Projectors), CONLON NANCARROW, KATE MOORE, MICHAEL GORDON, DAVID LANG, JULIA WOLFE, and EVAN ZIPORYN
The Bang on a Can All-Stars have recorded their first studio album in five years, for release on Bang on a Can’s sister-label Cantaloupe Music in 2012. The album, Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, is also the first to include the All-Stars’ current line-up: Ashley Bathgate, cello; Robert Black, bass; Vicky Chow, piano; David Cossin, percussion; Mark Stewart, electric guitar; and Evan Ziporyn, clarinets. In celebration of its 25th birthday, Bang on a Can is giving a very special gift to the public. The complete, double album will be available to download for free during the first 25 days of January (January 1-25) from www.bangonacan25.org. In exchange, listeners need only share a memory, thought, story, or photo of Bang on a Can from the last 25 years, to be displayed online. The result will be a scrapbook of memories not just from those closest to the organization, but from the many people worldwide that Bang on a Can has touched over the years. And those new to Bang on a Can can still get the free download.

With Big Beautiful Dark and Scary, the Bang on a Can All-Stars show off their blazing speed, polyrhythmic virtuosity and all-world versatility in a return to the core Bang on a Can sound – an uncategorizable supermix of classical and electric instruments that is part classical ensemble, part rock band, and part jazz sextet. The album is the first in a decade that features the All-Stars exclusively, rather than as part of a collaborative project. Each of the pieces on the double-CD calls upon a different kind of virtuosity, demonstrating the range of musical abilities and experiences arguably unique to this ensemble. Recorded in New York City, all of the music on Big Beautiful Dark and Scary (including the arrangements of the works by Conlon Nancarrow) were written for and premiered by the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

The album features Four Player Piano Studies by the legendary recluse Conlon Nancarrow, who lived most of his adult life in Mexico City. To escape the limitations of human performance, Nancarrow wrote much of his music for player piano, resulting in music that is nearly impossible for live performers. For the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the key word here is “nearly.” In fact, the Bang on a Can All-Stars have been championing a number of these studies in breathtaking arrangements by Evan Ziporyn that bring out the music’s extreme, machine-like, rapid fire rhythmic layering alongside Nancarrow’s bluesy, boogie-woogie feel.


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SATURDAY, 12/3

6 – 7 pm A Leroy Anderson Christmas WFMT Hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin and the composer's son Kurt Anderson, the BBC Concert Orchestra performs Leroy Anderson’s Christmas favorites.

SUNDAY, 12/4

Noon – 1 pm A Leroy Anderson Christmas WFMT Hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin and the composer's son Kurt Anderson, the BBC Concert Orchestra performs Leroy Anderson’s Christmas favorites.


SATURDAY, 12/10


6 – 7 pm Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs NPR
The choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges join forces for spirituals, carols, and sacred texts from the Martin Luther King, Jr., International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

SUNDAY, 12/11

noon- 1 pm Boston Camerata: An American Christmas. WGBH From our Fraser performance studio, The Boston Camerata explores a uniquely American celebration of the season from the ensemble that has pioneered in the rediscovery of American musical roots.


1 – 3 PM Music of the Baroque: Brass & Choral Holiday Spectacular. WFMT Jane Glover conducts Chicago's Music of the Baroque with music of the 16th and 17th centuries by composers such as Johann Vierdanck, Michael Praetorius, Thomas Tallis, Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Gabrieli, Jacob Handl and John Francis Wade, among others.

SATURDAY, 12/17

4 – 6 pm The St. Olaf Christmas Festival. APM More than 500 musicians from St. Olaf College are featured in a festival of hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations.

6 – 7 pm Christmas Around New England. WGBH Enjoy a special program of New England’s most beloved, original and unusual musical artists and their holiday musical traditions, recorded in concert around the six-state region.

7 – 10 pm Holiday Pops 2011! WGBH Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus take the stage for your favorite carols, a few surprises, and a visit from a certain fellow in a red suit, direct from Symphony Hall in Boston!


SUNDAY, 12/18

Noon – 1 pm The Boston Camerata: A Medieval Christmas. WGBH . A holiday celebration with the Boston Camerata's most beloved program of all time. "A Medieval Christmas," absent for many years from the Boston area, now returns with its enchanting music and the eternally powerful story of the Nativity. Magnificent medieval song and poetry from France, Provence, England, and Germany, performed by a virtuoso consort of voices and instruments, will fill the ears and warm the hearts of old Camerata friends and newcomers alike. Anne Azéma directs the Boston Camerata.


1 – 3 pm Holiday Pops 2011! WGBH Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus take the stage for your favorite carols, a few surprises, and a visit from a certain fellow in a red suit, direct from Symphony Hall in Boston!

3 – 5 pm LIVE! A Bach Christmas WGBH The Handel & Haydn Society and American conductor Steven Fox, in his H&H debut, perform Bach’s Cantata No. 133 and Part V of the Christmas Oratorio, live from Jordan Hall.

MONDAY, 12/19

7 – 8 pm Carols for Dancing WGBH The Renaissonics return for a program that explores the dance origins of favorite seasonal carols, with intriguing narratives by Ellen Kushner.

TUESDAY, 12/20

7 – 8 pm Chanukah in Story and Song. PRI Actor Leonard Nimoy is host and narrator, and Western Wind performs Ladino songs of Spanish Jews, Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe, and modern Israeli tunes.

WEDNESDAY, 12/21


7 – 8 pm A Chanticleer Christmas. APM The San Francisco-based men’s chorus is known as an “orchestra of voices” and recognized worldwide for their brilliant technique and musicality.

10 – 12 pm A Paul Winter Solstice Concert NPR Paul Winter, his ensemble, and special guests join NPR to celebrate the longest night of the year the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, a space of acoustic glory and esthetic majesty.


THURSDAY, 12/22

7 – 8 pm Welcome, Christmas! APM A perennial favorite featuring the Minneapolis-based ensemble VocalEsssence. Recognized internationally as one of America's premier choral arts organizations, VocalEssence is led by the visionary conductor Philip Brunelle.


FRIDAY, 12/23

7 – 9 pm Performance Today’s “Christmas Around The Country.” APM Fred Child brings you a “Holiday Mix Tape” of captivating performances of holiday music from concerts around the country.


9 pm – 1 am “Feliz Navidad” from Concierto. WDAV Host Frank Dominguez shares traditional Spanish language villancicos of the season, sacred works by composers such as Joaquín Rodrigo, and carols and Christmas songs with Hispanic artists such as tenor Plácido Domingo and pianist Gabriela Montero.

SATURDAY 12/24, Christmas Eve

8 – 10 am The Nutcracker WGBH Boston Ballet conductor Jonathan McPhee joins host James David Jacobs for a “guided tour” of Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet score.

10–11:30 am LIVE! A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols WGBH This world-wide live broadcast tradition once again brings you a service of readings and music, live from King’s College, Cambridge, in England.

11:30am – 4 pm Christmas Eve Songs and Stories with Ray Brown WGBH
Classical New England’s popular Saturday afternoon host enlivens one of the most magical days of the year with great music and heartwarming tales.

4 – 6 pm A Carolina Christmas from Biltmore Estate with Kathy Mattea NPR/WDAV
The sounds of Appalachian folk traditions, African-American spirituals, Celtic jigs, and more fill America’s largest private home, The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

6 – 7 pm Jonathan Winters' A Christmas Carol NPR
Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents Dickens' holiday classic in a special performing edition prepared by Dickens himself for his own presentations.

7 – 10 pm Holiday Pops 2011! WGBH Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus take the stage for your favorite carols, a few surprises, and a visit from a certain fellow in a red suit, direct from Symphony Hall in Boston!

10 – 11 pm A Leroy Anderson Christmas WFMT Hosted by conductor Leonard Slatkin and the composer's son Kurt Anderson, the BBC Concert Orchestra performs Leroy Anderson’s Christmas favorites.

11 pm - Mid Echoes of Christmas. APM Moving selections of choral classics celebrating Christmas. The Dale Warland Singers provided magical performances to listeners across the country for over 30 years and were acclaimed as America's premiere choir. Their signature holiday concert—beloved by public radio listeners nationwide—was the annual Echoes of Christmas program. Drawing upon the archive of their live performances, Dale Warland and host Brian Newhouse create a very special Christmas musical treat.

SUNDAY, 12/25, Christmas Day

6 - 7 am The Bach Hour on Christmas WGBH Host Brian McCreath’s popular weekly program features one of J.S. Bach's glorious, celebratory creations for Christmas Day, the Cantata No. 63, “Christen, ätzet diesen Tag.”

7 – 11 am Bar0que in Boston for Christmas Day WGBH The warm presence of Laura Carlo accompanies great holiday favorites from the pens of Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, and their contemporaries.

11 am – noon Boston Camerata: A Medieval Christmas WGBH Anne Azéma directs an enchanting program of Mediaeval song and poetry from France, England, and Germany.

Noon – 1 pm Christmas Around New England. WGBH Enjoy a special program of New England’s most beloved, original and unusual musical artists and their holiday musical traditions, recorded in concert around the six-state region.

1 – 4 pm Handel’s Messiah from Handel & Haydn. WGBH Join Ron Della Chiesa for one of Boston's most cherished holiday traditions as Music Director Harry Christophers leads the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus in Handel's Messiah, recorded in concert Symphony Hall in Boston with soprano Sophie Bevan, alto Catherine Wyn-Rogers, tenor Allan Clayton, bass Sumner Thompson.

4 – 5 pm Boston Camerata: An American Christmas. WGBH From our Fraser performance studio, The Boston Camerata explores a uniquely American celebration of the season from the ensemble that has pioneered in the rediscovery of American musical roots.


5 – 6 pm The Bach Hour on Christmas WGBH Host Brian McCreath’s popular weekly program features one of J.S. Bach's glorious, celebratory creations for Christmas Day, the Cantata No. 63, “Christen, ätzet diesen Tag.”

6 – 8 pm A Bach Christmas WGBH The Handel & Haydn Society and American conductor Steven Fox, in his H&H debut, perform Bach’s Cantata No. 133 and Part V of the Christmas Oratorio, in concert at Jordan Hall.


8 – 9 pm Christmas with the Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs NPR
The choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges join forces for spirituals, carols, and sacred texts from the Martin Luther King, Jr., International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

9 – 10 pm Carols for Dancing WGBH The Renaissonics return for a program that explores the dance origins of favorite seasonal carols, with intriguing narratives by Ellen Kushner.

10 pm - mid Music of the Baroque: Brass & Choral Holiday Spectacular WFMT
Jane Glover conducts Chicago's Music of the Baroque with music of the 16th and 17th centuries by Thomas Tallis, Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Gabrieli, and more.

MONDAY, 12/26, Boxing Day

10 am – 2 pm Boxing Day Brunch with Alan McLellan WGBH
Classical New England’s midday host has a salute to a great British tradition, replete with special guests, Christmas Crackers, figgy pudding, and lots of great music from the U.K.’s finest concert halls.

4 – 6 pm The St. Olaf Christmas Festival. APM More than 500 musicians from St. Olaf College are featured in a festival of hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations.

TUESDAY, 12/28
7 – 8 pm Hanukkah Lights 2011. NPR A perennial public-radio favorite, Hanukkah Lights features Hanukkah stories and memoirs written by acclaimed authors expressly for the show, asread by NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

FRIDAY, 12/30

9 pm – 1 am Feliz Año Nuevo with Concierto! WDAV Host Frank Dominguez explores the many New Year’s traditions with a Spanish accent, ranging from traditional Mexican waltzes to Viennese Waltzes conducted by one-time Argentinians Daniel Barenboim and Carlos Kleiber.

SATURDAY, 12/31 New Year’s Eve

7 pm – 1 am Pops Goes New Year’s Eve! WGBH Symphony Hall may be dark, but WGBH’s Studio 6 will be ablaze with Ron Della Chiesa’s warm personality and high-spirited program designed to bid Auld Lang Syne to 2011. After all, “The Best is Yet to Come!”

SUNDAY, 1/1/12 New Year’s Day

11 am - 1 pm New Year’s Day from Vienna 2012 WGBH/NPR
Direct from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, it’s the most popular classical music concert in the world! This year, Mariss Janssons leads the annual celebration concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, featuring the waltzes, marches, galops of the Strauss family and much more. Laura Carlo hosts.

3 - 5 pm LIVE! Boston Baroque’s Gala First Day Concert. WGBH Why should Vienna have all the fun? Cathy Fuller is on hand for a Boston New Year’s Day tradition live from Sanders Theatre in Cambridge. Martin Pearlman and Boston Baroque start the New Year with Bach's Concerto for Two Violins, a sparkling Corelli concerto grosso, a harp concerto by Handel . . . and a surprise finale!

6 - 8 pm New Year’s Day from Vienna 2012. WGBH/NPR In case you’ve had too much holiday cheer, we offer you an encore presentation of the morning program.

8 - 10 pm Boston Baroque’s Gala First Day Concert. WGBH Relive the revelry from earlier in the afternoon at Sanders Theatre.


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A concert of Romantic drama and Classical spirit


In his Manfred Symphony, Tchaikovsky created music quite unlike anything else he’d written: an austere opener littered with brooding silences and yearning outbursts; a strange, glistening scherzo that appears like a dream; a final movement that edges towards the ether before the organ crashes in with a nave-shaking chord to reaffirm the radiant joy of life. After similarly fascinating textures from Julian Anderson's Fantasias and Mozart’s most spirited violin concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Manfred will truly empower the spirit.

Click for full details and free programme notes

3 December 2011 | 7.30pm
Royal Festival Hall

If you're coming to the concert why not arrive early to catch a lively performance by The Band from 4:30pm on the Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall? It's free!


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The American Composers Forum announced the 2012 McKnight Visiting Composers Program. This program is made possible by the generous support of The McKnight Foundation. The McKnight Foundation also funds artist fellowship programs in ceramic arts, choreography, dance, literature, music performance, photography, playwriting and theater arts, screenwriting and filmmaking, and visual arts, administered respectively by the Northern Clay Center, Northrop Auditorium, The Loft, MacPhail Center for Music, mnartists.org, Playwrights’ Center, Independent Feature Project/North, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Funded by the McKnight Foundation, up to two fellowships will be awarded to composers who live outside of Minnesota to design and produce their own residencies in Minnesota. The composers should expect to spend approximately 60 days in Minnesota, working with a Minnesota community--or communities--of their choosing.

This is not a commissioning program, although new work may be part of the residency. In keeping with ACF's commitment to promoting awareness and understanding of living composers, this program encourages interaction with a variety of communities where new music is rarely heard, such as rural areas, schools, community centers, and with participants who may not have worked with a composer before.

Up to two fellowships of $14,000 will be awarded.

Application deadline: Friday, March 16, 2012 (postmark).

For complete guidelines and application materials, click here.


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Colorado Gives Day is a statewide initiative by the Community First Foundation to build individual giving in Colorado held each December 6th There is no limit to the amount people can give and some of what's donated will be matched. So, it's a great time to make that contribution for your favorite (currently struggling) arts organization(s).

There is no limit to the contribution and you can give early by scheduling your donation. Go to GivingFirst.org where all the charities have already been pre-screened. There are search screens to guide you toward where you want to give your gift. Or, I've included some links below to some arts organizations that could really use your support this year.

Opera Colorado

Colorado Symphony

Colorado Ballet

Don't miss this chance to really make a difference to these organizations and your community by keeping arts alive!!!


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I don't listen to music as much as I should (according to friends and family). Heck, I don't listen to music as much as I'd like, but partly that is due to the effect it has on me.

Music creates in me a sense of wonderment, a blissful haze at the immensely marvelous world I inhabit. This includes music from the anonymous composers pre-Palestrina, to the post-Modernist composers of today. Everything from Bach's beautiful lines to the angular atonality of Webern, I love it all.

The problem with loving it all is trying to decide what to listen to, what to embrace at any given moment. Because I also compose, this can be particularly problematic as anything I listen to can (and does) affect what I write. So, if I'm in the midst of a piece (or 4 as I am right now), listening to pieces in styles different from what I'm working on can reek havoc on my own composition.

Yet, there are moments like tonight, when I had a particularly trying day --not a bad one, just exhausting (mostly physical, although there was a fair amount of crunching numbers too). What I wanted this evening was to relax. I thought for a while about putting on some late romantic music, some Debussy or Chopin to soon the aching muscles. Then I thought, perhaps some Bach would do well to echo the numbers and yet put them into beautiful order.

As I scanned the internet, tweeted with friends, tried to catch up on my email (which is horribly out of control), I ended up listening to a broad spectrum of pieces. I don't think it ventured so far back as to the 14th century, but was a least one madrigal in the mix. There was also a 21st century piano concerto by a new composer (no, not mine). Ravel and Rachmaninoff made it into the mix, as did some John Adams. I almost played a Beethoven piece, and would have except I'd heard a couple of his recently, so I moved on to Mozart. Donizetti and Verdi added their voices to the play list, which moved to Britten and then to Ligeti.

In the end (although the music is still playing as I write), my mood was dramatically altered. The music wasn't all nice easy listening, but it was all great music. Somewhere, deep inside, I resonate with these amazing composers and their works.

I love music. Even better, I compose music; I get my hands dirty with it. Like a sculptor with clay, so in love with the human form, they not only get to look at it, they get to re-create it with their hands. I am so in love with music I can't help but dive in and become one with it.

No matter what you do for a job, take a moment and immerse yourself in music. Let it wash over you, through you. Then get your hands dirty and create music of your own!!!


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Following her star turn in the season-opening production of Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera, Anna Netrebko – the “diva assoluta del mondo” (Opera News) – returns to Europe to reprise one of her most celebrated roles: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Having performed Mozart’s heroine to rave reviews on tour with the Met and at the Salzburg Festival, Mariinsky Theatre, Vienna State Opera, and Covent Garden (the last of which prompted Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times to praise her “melting poignancy and gleaming power”), the superstar soprano takes her signature portrayal to Milan for her eagerly-anticipated debut at the Teatro alla Scala in a season-opening new production by Robert Carsen (Dec 7–23).

For her long-awaited first La Scala appearance, “the reigning new diva of the early 21st century” (Associated Press) graces a world-class cast that includes leading Mozart specialist Peter Mattei as Don Giovanni and star bass-baritone Bryn Terfel as his beleaguered servant Leporello. Daniel Barenboim, who collaborated with Netrebko on her bestselling 2010 Deutsche Grammophon album In the Still of Night, conducts the production. Don Giovanni’s opening-night performance on December 7 will be transmitted in high definition to movie theaters worldwide, as part of Emerging Pictures’ Opera in Cinema series.

The Milan performances come on the heels of Netrebko’s unbridled success at the Met, where she opened the 2011-12 season in the title role of a new production – and the company premiere – of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. In headlining David McVicar’s new staging, she became the face of the Met’s season, her image appearing on billboards, buses, and subways all over New York City. On stage, meanwhile, the soprano consistently proved herself an “undisputed superstar” (New York Post); due to what the Associated Press styled her “mesmerizing stage presence” and “uniquely alluring vocal timbre,” she “brought down the house” (New York Times). “Netrebko has a voice to die for,” marveled the Daily News. “Her voice was sure and luminous throughout and at its most radiant in the dramatic outbursts,” agreed the Huffington Post. “Her appeal is deceptively simple: when she sings, you don’t want her to stop,” confirmed the New York Observer. In short, as Martin Bernheimer exclaimed in the Financial Times, “Bravo Bolena! Soprano Anna Netrebko dazzles!”


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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3 at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT


Renée Fleming returns to The Met: Live in HD in one of her greatest roles, the title character in Handel’s Rodelinda. In this Baroque showpiece, Fleming plays a queen who must fight treacherous enemies to keep her son safe and the memory of her exiled husband alive. Handel’s score gives her the opportunity to sing some of the most beautiful and challenging arias in her extensive repertoire. The all-star supporting cast includes two of the world’s most prominent countertenors, Andreas Scholl and Iestyn Davies, as the exiled king Bertarido and his friend Unulfo; versatile mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the noblewoman Eduige; Joseph Kaiser as the usurper Grimoaldo; and Shenyang as Grimoaldo’s corrupt advisor, Garibaldo. Baroque specialist Harry Bicket, who led the 2004 Met premiere of Stephen Wadsworth’s fast-paced, fluid production, conducts. Deborah Voigt hosts the transmission.

Encore screenings:
Select U.S. theaters: Wednesday, January 4, 6:30 p.m. local time
Canada : Saturday, January 28, 12:30 p.m. local time

Find a theater near you


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