Britten, Bernstein and a Special Goodbye to Bobby Watson

Spring is finally here, and the students and faculty of the UMKC Conservatory are celebrating with exciting performances throughout this semester. We have had celebration concerts of Beethoven’s 250th, theatre co-productions with The Coterie and The Unicorn theatres and special presentations of the history of electronic music for piano. There are still a lot of exciting performances through the beginning of May. 

BLOOD WEDDING March 11 – 14, 7:30 p.m. and March 15,
2 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, Room 116

Two families in a semi-mythical rural Spain are intricately bound in an unbreakable cycle of murder and revenge. The death-bound love triangle at the center of the play fuels these passions to a fever pitch and propels the story to its unstoppable tragic conclusion. An arranged country marriage between the children of rich landowners is about to take place. A past lover, himself in a loveless marriage, cannot allow the wedding to take place and spirits away the Bride, who goes with him willingly on her wedding night. An entire town goes after the lovers in the middle of the night where pursuers and pursued plunge into a realm of deep darkness where the moonlight is not friendly, and the forest is not shelter enough. Directed by Vanessa Severo. Tickets: $12 general public; UMKC faculty, staff and all students FREE with UMKC or student ID.

ALBERT HERRING (Conservatory Artist Series) March 19 – 21, 7:30 p.m. and March 22, 2:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, White Recital Hall

This comic chamber opera’s libretto is based on Guy de Maupassant’s novella Le Rosier de Madame Husson but is set in the English countryside. Britten himself conducted the premiere in 1947, and the opera is revered today as one of the “greatest comic operas of all time.” Directed by Alan Hicks. Tickets: $12 general public; UMKC faculty, staff and all students FREE with UMKC or student ID.

CHAMBER MUSIC WITH KAREN SAVAGE AND FRIENDS April 1, 7:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center,
White Recital Hall

Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano Karen Savage joins forces with Hyeyung Yoon, Gregory Beaver and Jeffrey Savage for a night of Ravel, Mendelssohn and a world premiere by composer Mathew Fuerst. FREE event. 

BEETHOVEN 250 (1770–2020) THE COMPLETE SONATAS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO April 5, 7:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, White Recital Hall

Conservatory faculty member Joseph Genualdi, violin, and Thomas Rosenkranz, piano, present the second in their series of concerts presenting the entirety of the Beethoven Violin Sonatas. This performance will feature Sonatas No. 2 and 5, as well as the Trio in D Major, No. 1, Op. 70, “The Ghost.” Two more of these exciting performances will occur in the fall semester. FREE event. 

BEETHOVEN 250 (1770–2020) COMPLETE SONATAS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO April 6, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, White Recital Hall

The studio of pianist Alon Goldstein partners with world-renowned violinist Ilya Kaler and members of the UMKC violin studios of Joseph Genualdi and Benny Kim. This double concert will feature all 10 of Beethoven’s sonatas, the most important body of work for violin and piano. FREE event. 

PAUL RUDY faculty recital, April 7, 7:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, White Recital Hall

Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Music Composition Paul Rudy presents an evening of his works including Attunement, Arise! and At the phrygid edge of whiteness featuring faculty performers. FREE event. 

SEAN CHEN faculty recital, April 10, 7:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, White Recital Hall

The Conservatory’s Millsap Artist in Residence Sean Chen will present a night of piano works. FREE event. 

JAZZ NIGHT (Conservatory Artist Series) April 14, 7:30 p.m.,
The Folly Theater 

The Conservatory Jazz Ensembles return to the Folly Theater for their annual UMKC Jazz Night. This hot collage concert features a variety of ensembles that represent the entirety of jazz studies. This concert will celebrate living jazz legend Bobby Watson, who is retiring from the Conservatory after 20 years of teaching the next generation of jazz performers in Kansas City. Tickets: $12 general public; UMKC faculty, staff and all students $5 with UMKC or student ID.

ALON GOLDSTEIN faculty recital April 15, 7:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, White Recital Hall

Jack Strandberg/Missouri Endowed Chair and Distinguished Visiting Professor in Piano, Alon Goldstein, presents a night of piano works. FREE event. 

BENNY KIM AND FRIENDS April 19, 2:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, White Recital Hall

Associate Professor of Violin Benny Kim collaborates with friends in an afternoon of Chamber Music. FREE event. 

DIVIDED April 29 – May 2, 7:30 p.m. and May 3, 2 p.m.,
James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, Room 116

How do we cope in an increasingly divided nation? Where do we turn when the growing schisms within politics, race, gender, sexuality, religion and class have become part of our daily lives? Using physical theatre, interviews, music, comedy and personal storytelling, this graduate production was co-created by faculty member Stephanie Roberts and 2nd-year MFA Acting students. Tickets: $12 general public; UMKC faculty, staff and all students FREE with UMKC or student ID.

SPRING DANCE April 30 – May 2, 7:30 p.m., with a free and informal performance May 2, 2:30 p.m., James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, Spencer Theatre

The dance faculty combine their creative choreography with our talented dance students and collaborate with Conservatory musicians to create innovative performances you won’t want to miss. Tickets: $12 general public; UMKC faculty, staff and all students FREE with UMKC or student ID.

FINALE May 4, 7 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Helzberg Hall

The program, featuring the Conservatory Orchestra and Choirs, includes Leonard Bernstein’s gorgeous Chichester Psalms and Ravel’s choreographic symphony, Daphnis et Chloé. The choirs are conducted by Eph Ehly, Conservatory Professor Emeritus of Choral Music, and the Orchestra is conducted by Kevin Noe, Visiting Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras. Tickets: $25 general public; UMKC faculty, staff and all students $10 with UMKC or student ID.

Tickets to all events can be found at umkc.edu/cto, or by calling the box office (816) 235-6222. Free events do not require a ticket. 

–Jessica Riggins

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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