Music Reviews

Review: “La tragédie de Carmen”

Where: The Den Theater, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through April 13 Web: cubeensemble.com By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The CUBE Ensemble was founded in 1987 by composer and oboist Patricia Morehead. Along with Philip Morehead, her husband of more than 50 years, and other talented local composers and musicians, for nearly three decades(…)

Hyde Park G and S’s “Pinafore” shines

By M L RANTALA Music Critic Hyde Park’s own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company welcomed spring with another fun and frothy production of “H.M.S. Pinafore.” This silly story of “The Lass that Loved a Sailor” was given three performances this past weekend at Mandel Hall. Since 1960 this troupe has been offering the works of(…)

A rousing “Tito” at Lyric

What: “La Clemenza di Tito” Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Dr. When: through March 23 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic La Clemenza di Tito” is a splendid example of Enlightenment thinking. The main theme is the exercise of power tempered by compassion. Tito rules Rome because his father wrested power from(…)

Review: “Rusalka”

Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Dr. When: through March 13 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic More than a century after it first premiered in Prague, Lyric Opera of Chicago has at last brought “Rusalka” to the Civic Opera House. Dvorak’s greatest opera is both beautiful and thought-provoking with Lyric’s treatment of(…)

Review: “Queenie Pie”

Where: Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph St. When: through March 5 Phone: 312-704-8414 Web: chicagooperatheater.org By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Chicago Opera Theater (COT) opened its 40th season Saturday night with the Chicago premiere of Duke Ellington’s “Queenie Pie” at the Harris Theater. Variously known as a “jazz opera” or a “street opera” or(…)

Review: “The Barber of Seville”

Where: Lyric Opera, 20 N. Wacker Dr. When: through Feb. 28 Phone: 312-332-2244 By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of “The Barber of Seville” is suffused with gaiety, sparkle and laughs. Its sets and costumes effectively transport you to another time and place. The singing is entrancing. But what(…)

Spunky, sparkling quintets

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic The Chicago Ensemble is in its 37th season of presenting chamber music to Hyde Park audiences. One of the keys to its success is the programming of infrequently heard, oft-times unknown musical works. Artistic director Gerald Rizzer (also one of the founders of the group and its pianist) has(…)

Baroque Band delights

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic Neither snow nor cold kept the Augustana Lutheran Church from hosting a large crowd Saturday night. Baroque Band has that kind of audience. Englishman Ian Watson was the guest director and harpsichordist for a program titled “Under the Influence,” which featured a fascinating collection of baroque gems. Conducting from(…)