Music Reviews

A kind of rapture at St. Thomas

Earlier this month, on a pleasant early Sunday evening, Hyde Park’s St. Thomas the Apostle Church was the site for a concert of opera arias. The event served both as a fundraiser for the church’s musical programs and also a chance for the general public to experience the pleasing acoustical qualities of the church. Luciano(…)

“The Medium” is the message

“The Medium” is the message

Where: Collaboraction Pentagon Theater, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through Nov. 2 Phone: 847-430-4341 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Just in time for Halloween, Third Eye Theatre Ensemble is now offering an engaging production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s short, two-act opera “The Medium.” This haunting work, running just over an hour, premiered in 1946,(…)

South Shore Opera’s “La Traviata” stumbles

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The beautiful and gleaming Paul Robeson Theater at the South Shore Cultural Center was the locus of a worthy but frustratingly awkward attempt Saturday night at staging a truncated version of Verdi’s “La Traviata.” An audience of just under 150 took in a performance that was part concert, part(…)

Daring Danes Deliver

Daring Danes Deliver

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic University of Chicago presents kicked off its 2014-15 season with a remarkable performance at Mandel Hall by the Danish String Quartet. Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violist Asbjørn Nørgaard and cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin were thrilling in performances of works by Haydn, Schubert and Thomas Agerfeldt Olesen.(…)

Strauss’s “Capriccio” shines

Strauss’s “Capriccio” shines

RECOMMENDED Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through Oct. 28 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Lyric Opera of Chicago is now offering a lavish and lovely production of the final opera by Richard Strauss. “Capriccio,” which is centered around a debate on the relative importance of words or music in(…)

Guest girds Baroque Band

Guest girds Baroque Band

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Baroque Band opened its 2014–15 season in Hyde Park with yet another one of the special guests which have made their concerts so rewarding over their first seven years. Catalan countertenor Xavier Sabata was the main attraction, singing excerpts from two operas based on Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto’s 16th(…)

Mad, bad and dangerous to know

Mad, bad and dangerous to know

What: Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Drive When: through Oct. 29 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Don Giovanni” has returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago in a stunning new production featuring a Don Juan who is mad, bad and dangerous to know. Opening night Saturday offered a revelatory(…)

Sounds of autumn: A 2014 music preview

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Just as the weather has become cool, the Chicago music scene is heating up. This fall preview will highlight some of the classical music and opera events taking place through the end of the year. We’ll start with a look at Hyde Park, then consider the greater South Side,(…)