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Zucchero to light up Chicago

  Italian bluesman and maverick pop star Zucchero knows how to put together an album: Work with a legendary producer, write and perform with top rock and blues players, crank out 40 vibrant songs, and then whittle it down to the strongest 15 (Page 21). Built on a lifetime of writing, playing and troublemaking, “Black Cat” features the artist’s trademark wit, flair and grit. It also upholds a three-decade tradition of collaborating with such luminaries as Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Sting, Jeff Beck, Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. Zucchero also knows how to put on a ...

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A review of “The Magic Flute” at the Lyric

Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” live, produced by one of the world’s foremost opera companies1 It doesn’t get much better than that even though it’s a bone-chilling 4 degrees above zero outside the toasty Civic Opera House. Having seen this opera so many times, its characters are like old friends to me, so I expected that the Lyric singers would at least do justice to their roles. I wasn’t disappointed. There are a number of things to say about the “Flute’s” many singers, but before we get into that I would just like to once again voice my supreme admiration for ...

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Chicago finally gets to Cleveland

  I can’t believe it! Rock super group Chicago finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! This is epic! For so many years, the fans have clamored for this moment, me among then, and justifiably so. According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. They have sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum and 8 multi-platinum albums. Over the course of their career they have had five No. 1 albums and 21 top-10 singles. The band is second only to The Beach Boys with ...

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A review of the Lyric’s “Lucia di Lammermoor”

  It has been said about theatrical reviewing that if the reporter writes about the directing, sets and whatnot, then the dramatic performances were probably not all that great. But I will say that the Chicago Lyric Opera 2016-17 staging of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” is one of the very best directed and designed productions I have ever seen. At the same time, however, the performance on Tuesday evening, Nov. 1, was sung magnificently, thanks in great part to the Lyric’s wonderful Lucia, soprano Albina Shagimuratova. Solid conducting, choral and instrumental work all combined to make this performance most memorable. ...

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Carmen: The first Verismo opera

  “Carmen” has been in the very first circle of popular operas for over a century. Anyone with any level of interest in the Grand Art should develop some kind of familiarity with it. As it is with all other very beloved operas, first and foremost “Carmen” is loaded from beginning to end with beautiful and memorable music — solo arias, ensembles, choruses — and even a number of purely instrumental passages that are unforgettable. The music is the creation of composer Georges Bizet, who unfortunately died young (at 36), and before he knew what a triumph “Carmen” had become. ...

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Passero celebrates Cubs victory with pair of murals

  With the Chicago Cubs making it to the World Series for the first time in 71 years, Cubs fever has swept the metropolitan area. In the 45th Ward, Jefferson Park Forward commissioned artist Tony Passero to paint a retro mural across from the Jefferson Park Terminal showcasing Cubs legends like Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Ernie Banks and Ron Santo. As the December issue went to press, Passero was putting the finishing touches on a mural across from Wrigley Field spotlighting members of the current Cubs roster. Commissioned by Major League Baseball, the mural was done in time for the ...

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Aliperta exhibits artwork in Glenview

  The artwork of Filippo Aliperta will be on display at the Book Market at Hangar One in Glenview through December. Born in Somma Vesuviana near Napoli, Aliperta has been painting since the seventh grade, learning over the years to create paintings in oils, acrylics and pen and ink and sculptures in ceramics, stone, metal and glass. A cosmetologist by profession, he owns Estetica Professional Hair Design in Glenview. He is a member of the Glenview Art League, North Shore Art League and Casa Italia Art League and he has served as president of Associazione Regionale Campania.

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Renaissance geniuses converge on Water Tower Place

    In “da Vinci & Michelangelo: The Titans Experience,” the curator of the da Vinci exhibit running through Christmas at Water Tower Place will take audiences on a journey through the Italian Renaissance as seen through the eyes these monumental geniuses. By comparing and contrasting their lives and accomplishments, Mark Rodgers relates them to today’s world while helping audience members discover their inner da Vinci and Michelangelo. The multi-media event features movies, videos, 3-D animations and images of their inventions, machines, sketches, codices, paintings and sculptures. For additional information and tickets, visit www.discoverdavinci.com.

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Ramazzotti to perform in Chicago!

  Italian pop superstar Eros Ramazzotti will bring his Perfetto World Tour to the Rosemont Theatre on Oct. 7. The show will feature selections from his multi-platinum “Perfetto” album plus hits that span more than three decades. Born in 1963 in a suburb of Rome, Ramazzotti began playing the guitar at the age of 7 and writing songs as a teenager. His career took off in 1984, when his song, “Terra promessa,” won in the Newcomers category at the Sanremo Festival and was subsequently released throughout Europe. Since then, he has released 11 studio albums, one EP, three compilation albums, ...

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The story behind “Lucia di Lammermoor”

  Ever since its première at the Teatro San Carlo on Sept. 26, 1835, “Lucia di Lammermoor” has held a firm position in the standard opera repertoire. For one thing, it’s Gaetano Donizetti’s greatest musical masterpiece, chock full of brilliant pieces from beginning to end, all brightly colored by the composer’s creative orchestration. For another, the text was very cleverly adapted by Salvatore Cammarano, whom Verdi declared to be the best librettist in Italy, from the 1819 novel, “The Bride of Lammermoor” by Sir Walter Scott, himself no slouch when it came to spinning a tale or turning a phrase. ...

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