Staff Picks categorized 'music'

Rebekah Staff Image

An Unwelcome War Hero

What happens when you come home from war and nothing is the same? Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2018-2019 season with Tom Cipullo’s opera Glory Denied. Based on a book by Tom Philpott, the performances mark the Pittsburgh premiere of the opera and feature the resident artists of Pittsburgh Opera’s training program for young singers. The opera tells the story of Colonel Jim Thompson, the longest-held prisoner of war in U.S. Military history. After suffering for nine years in…
Rebekah Staff Image

Love Among the Ruins

The plot: Boy rescues Girl from a shipwreck and they begin to fall in love.  A few complications - the boy, Idamante, is the son of the King of Crete and the girl, Ilia, is the Princess of Troy. The Trojan War has just ended, so this boy and girl are supposed enemies.  King Idomeneo has sworn to kill the one who rescued the princess, not knowing the…
Timothy Staff Image

White Christmas: The Story of an American Song

I can recommend this book any time of the year because it is about so much more than a seasonal song.  For one, in telling the story of composer and lyricist Irving Berlin (1888-1989), it is about immigration and assimilation, and Jewish contributions to American culture.  It also touches upon how the music business moved from sales of sheet music to recordings by stars, played on…
Rebekah Staff Image

Dad always said, “Don’t go into the woods!”

Scary woods, a house made of candy and a witch? Sounds like the perfect recipe for a Halloween treat! Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2018-2019 season with Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Humperdinck’s compositional style is influenced by Richard Wagner and his colorful orchestrations definitely showcase Wagner’s impact. Humperdinck called his work a Märchenoper or fairy-tale opera, appropriate as its source material is the story by the Brothers Grimm. This opera…
Connie Staff Image

Are You Waiting for Won't You Be My Neighbor?

If you are waiting for the popular biographical documentary about Mr. Rogers, or if you have seen it already and really enjoyed it, try these recommended films and books selected by the First Floor staff at Main.
Rebekah Staff Image

All for Love

Would you sacrifice everything for love, a love that ultimately ends in betrayal? Pittsburgh Opera opens its 2018-2019 season with Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with this opera. I do not like the character of Pinkerton, the brash American naval officer who promises love to Cio-Cio San, but does not truly share the deep feelings she…
Rachel Staff Image

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us: Essays

Ohio-based poet and cultural critic Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib weaves personal memory, politics, race, class and gender together in powerful ways in this rich collection of essays.
Rebekah Staff Image

Love is in the Air

What could be better than a charming love story? Pittsburgh Opera concludes its 2017-2018 season with their April production of Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto comedy, The Elixir of Love. Love-sick Nemorino pines for Adina, a beautiful and wealthy woman who seems out of his league. She also appears more interested in Belcore, a handsome military officer. When traveling salesman Doctor Dulcamara arrives in town eager…