The Opera Studio at the University of Illinois--a class separate from the University's full opera productions--offers students training in some of the crucial skills required to sing, and act, in operas. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Studio will present two one-act productions in Urbana: Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors and Giacomo Puccini's Suor Angelica. We'll have a live preview on the Monday edition of "Live and Local."
Live and Local
Mary Courtney is a member of the traditional Irish band Morning Star. She’s also a splendid singer, guitarist and bodhrán player, who grew up in a musical family in County Kerry. She uses her music to spread Irish culture and to educate her audience about the struggles of the Irish people. Mary Courtney will play in Urbana Friday night, and she’ll play for us live on the Friday edition of “Live and Local,” visiting with guest host Roger Cooper.
The Other Guys, an offshoot of the University of Illinois Varsity Men’s Glee Club, call themselves a “comedy octet.” They also happen to sing a cappella music of many styles really well. They’ll give their annual Holiday Concert Saturday night, and they’ll sing for us live on the Thursday edition of “Live and Local.” Also, guest host Vincent Trauth will welcome I Ketut Gede Asnawa, director of the University’s gamelan group, in advance of Saturday’s concert.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra was originally formed from members of Wynton Marsalis’s septet and surviving members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. They’ll play in Bloomington Thursday night, and I’ll talk with longtime member Victor Goines on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” Also on the show, guest host Roger Cooper will preview Charleston Alley Theatre’s production of Miracle on 34th Street with members of the cast.
William Bolcom is a composer of cabaret songs, concertos, operas, symphonies and much more. He has won Grammy awards and the Pulitzer Prize and performs in duo with his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris. Mr. Bolcom and Ms. Morris will be in residence at the University of Illinois this week, including a program on Wednesday called “Rethinking American Opera.” They will be my guests on the Tuesday edition of “Live and Local.”
Holiday season means choral music--on the radio, in stores, in schools and in concerts. On the Monday edition of "Live and Local," we'll have live performances by two very different choral ensembles. First up will be the madrigal singers from Champaign Central High School, in advance of their upcoming madrigal dinner. Then we'll hear members of Amasong: Champaign-Urbana's Premier Lesbian/Feminist Chorus, previewing their winter concert.
The Village of Gifford was hit by a tornado on Sunday, causing substantial destruction. A group of area musicians will gather in Urbana for a relief concert Wednesday night, among them singer-songwriter Rebecca Rego. She’ll sing for us live on the Wednesday edition of “Live and Local.” Also live in our studio, we’ll hear the Sycamore Brass Quintet, who will perform Friday night to benefit arts and music programs in the Champaign-Urbana schools. (Rebecca Rego will be joined by her band, The Trainmen, for a show Saturday night, also in Urbana.)
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music is tucked away at the University of Illinois. The Center acquires records and artifacts that document America’s local and national music history. As American Music Month draws to a close, I’ll talk with curator Scott Schwartz about the Center’s current exhibits. We’ll also meet the ballet mistress for Champaign Urbana Ballet, who present their annual performances of The Nutcracker starting December 5.
We take a listen to a few segments from past shows with guests Ben Bedford, Davina & The Vagabonds, & members of the University of Illinois Opera program.
This weekend, Millikin University will premiere Adam Gwon’s new musical, String, which was partly developed in Millikin’s own innovative New Musicals Workshop. I’ll talk with director Lori Bales on the Friday edition of “Live and Local.” And we’ll have a live preview of the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown from young students in the STAR Dance and Drama program at the Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan.