Rising mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde sings the title role in the Lyric Opera production of “Carmen,” which premieres April 23 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. “It’s delicious to play a role where you do something you wouldn’t do in your real life,” Švēde says.
In “Pixar in Concert,” the music from the studio’s animated films, which typically is required to enhance the visual storytelling without subsuming it, was brought center stage Friday night at Helzberg Hall. The orchestra, for the most part, embraced the diversity and challenge of the program.
Beau Bledsoe’s Ensemble Iberica and tenor Nathan Granner will provide the music, Jennifer Owen is bringing the choreography and Owen’s dance company, Owen/Cox Dance, will perform “Danza” Friday and Saturday at the Polsky Theatre at Johnson County Community College.
The performances will feature music by Charles Ives, George Gershwin and Claude Debussy. Also on the program is a violin concerto by American composer David Ludwig, performed by his wife, Bella Hristova. And Friday at the Folly: The Takács Quartet
A convivial spirit suffused Helzberg Hall for the Kansas City Symphony’s concert on Friday, combining the effervescence of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s final piano concerto and the jovial triumph inherent in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, conducted by music director Michael Stern.
Gustav Mahler originally named his Symphony No. 1 after one of his favorite novels, “Titan,” by Jean Paul. But after three performances, Mahler dropped the title and discounted any link between his symphony and the book.
I attended a concert of the Overland Park Orchestra at Tomahawk Ridge Community Center at 119th and Lowell streets to hear Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, which the Kansas City Symphony had performed countless times while I was a member.
“To be read, played and danced,” the original instructions for Igor Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale,” are not usually how it is presented nowadays. So it was a tremendous undertaking for Owen/Cox Dance and NAVO to present a lean, new production of the 1918 work. Together with actor Robert Gibby Brand, they brought their interpretation to Johnson County Community College’s Polsky Theatre on Saturday.
Kansas City has a gamelan ensemble, Gamelan Genta Kasturi, which will give a free performance March 26 at the Quixotic School for the Performing Arts. Also, the Kansas City Chorale will present Springsong on March 26.
On Friday, Friends of Chamber Music and the Kauffman Center co-presented the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with violinist Pinchas Zukerman. The concert included a lively set of standard repertoire, as well as the world premiere of Harold Meltzer’s “Vision Machine.”