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The opera and classical music communities continue to grapple with coronavirus restrictions that make live performances nearly impossible. Planning for future performances remains a tricky enterprise because no one knows when venues will be able to reopen.

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No one who saw the world premiere of Manual Cinema's “Frankenstein” at Court Theatre in late 2018 will forget the unique blend of shadow puppetry, 3D puppetry, actors, old-fashioned cinematic techniques, sound design, and live music that brought both Mary Shelley's novel and parts of her bio…

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When the COVID-19 pandemic began to seriously affect everyday life earlier this year, museums and galleries that were forced to close responded by moving their collections online, creating viewing rooms for digital visitors. (In Hyde Park, the Museum of Science and Industry launched a websit…

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Steppenwolf Theatre Company had an ambitious 45th-anniversary season planned for 2020-2021 with six main stage productions, the opening of a brand-new, in-the-round theater, and lots of other activities, but the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying uncertainty have changed much of that.

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The Rush Hour concerts began 20 years ago as a brief respite of music between the end of the Chicago workday and the beginning of a warm summer evening. The International Music Foundation (IMF), the organization putting on these concerts, knew that government coronavirus rules wouldn’t allow…

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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and WFMT have announced the extension of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra radio broadcast series launched in April of this year. The programs air under the somewhat bulky title, “From the CSO’s Archives: Maestro’s Choice—For All Music Lovers in These …

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When I got the press release about Court Theatre's latest plan to engage audiences, I thought it might be a joke. Called “The Liminal Space,” the project is a 24-hour live video feed of the stage of the Abelson Auditorium as it was in mid-March right after Ibsen's “The Lady from the Sea” was…

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As the emerald ash borer — the beetle called “the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America” by the Chicago Parks District (CPD) — continues to chew through the city’s trees, artists are continuing their own efforts to salvage something out of the remains. Last month, Jackson P…

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The University of Chicago Presents continues at the forefront of classical music here in Chicago during the pandemic. While venues remain closed to live audiences, UCP has kept its audiences engaged with top-quality online streaming concerts. Last week they joined with several other organiza…

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Several Hyde Park museums have confirmed they will remain closed after Friday, June 26, when the city and state will enter the next phase of their coronavirus response plans that allow movie theaters, museums, zoos and performance venues to reopen.

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While theaters and theater artists have been coming up with all sorts of inventive programs to connect with each other and audiences on the internet, a key element has mostly been missing: live theater.

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A composer based in Hyde Park has written what may be the first work based on the coronavirus pandemic, which has been released on YouTube with a fascinating video.

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The Chicago theater movement that has grown to more than 250 companies and garnered international recognition really started in Hyde Park, according to Mark Larson's recently published “Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater”.

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Court Theatre is revising its schedule again since we last reported on it (April 10, 2020), and the theater is brainstorming about options, among them outdoor performances, digital courses surrounding classic titles, and virtual possibilities. An announcement about programming is expected ne…

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In the world of opera and classical music the biggest effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been the shutting down of all live performances with an audience. But another huge effect has been the uncertainty of what will follow in not just the days and weeks ahead, but the months and years a…

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Because the Hyde Park Youth Symphony could not have a live spring concert as they would normally do, they decided to have an online one. On May 20, they unveiled a 20-minute video that featured both music and spoken word. Both of the leaders of the organization, Matthew Sheppard and Lindsay …

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University of Chicago Presents has been a local leader in offering Chicagoans alternative ways to experience classical music during the pandemic. Late last month they joined with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, the Academy of Early Music (Ann Arbor), and WFMT to present a free livestre…

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Muralist Dorian Sylvain has been an artist for 40 years. Born in South Shore, she is a Kenwood graduate and mom as well, having raised three sons, Kahari, Kari, and Katon Black. For the past 10 years the family have lived in Hyde Park.

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The 57th Street Art Fair has gone virtual, after canceling its annual in-person show due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Hyde Parker August Tye is a ballet dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She is ballet mistress at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the founder of the Hyde Park School of Dance (originally, the Hyde Park School of Ballet, which expanded its offerings and necessitated a name change). She began winnin…

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Live theater is essentially ephemeral, but digital  technology can provide permanence, and the COVID-19 pandemic makes these recorded performances preferable to no theater at all.

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The biggest April event for American musical theater lovers was “Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration” on April 27. Although belated (Stephen Sondheim's birthday was March 22) and plagued by a half-hour delay and technical difficulties at the start, the live stream on Y…

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Classical music fans received bad news only days ago when the Ravinia Festival announced on May 1 that it was cancelling its entire 2020 season. Ravinia is the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, so all those concerts will be lost along with the other concerts at the leafy, north …

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Luther Vandross soundtracking a Greater Grand Crossing block party. Kids rollerblading over Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” A young couple sitting and laughing with each other while Curtis Mayfield sings “I wanna go back, to the sweetness of time/I wanna go back, and reminisce what was mine.” 

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When the COVID-19 pandemic closed down Lookingglass Theatre Company's world premiere of J. Nicole Brooks' “Her Honor Jane Bryne” just a few days after it had opened, the theater also had to cancel everything it had scheduled around the production. This included a series of post-show panel di…

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Katherine Davis has been learning the piano at home the last month. In fact, she’s been learning the piano for years, despite the fact that, as a blueswoman, she’s tended to stay downstage with the audience during her performances. “I let the musicians play the music, and they let me sing an…

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When the coronavirus shut down Chicago theaters, Court Theatre canceled its production of Henrik Ibsen's “The Lady from the Sea,” which was supposed to begin previews on March 12.

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This week was the scheduled opening of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” the final opera in the Ring Cycle. But the three full Ring Cycles as well as two performances of “Götterdämmerung” were cancelled due to restrictions on large gatherings enacted by G…

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A group of 50 or so Apsáalooke in full Crow regalia led by Chicago’s American Indian Center honor guard marched to the steady beat of drums as they moved east across the University of Chicago’s central quadrangle on March 12.

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For over 60 years the Hyde Park Youth Symphony has served the South Side of Chicago by offering an orchestral experience for kids. Saturday afternoon at the Logan Center a good-sized audience was on hand for the HPYS’s spring concert that featured three different ensembles: the Preparatory S…