Music of the Baroque to Present “The Chevalier”

Music of the Baroque will present the Midwest premiere of The Chevalier, a new concert theater work written and directed by Bill Barclay. The Chevalier is about the life and music of 18th-century Black composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a master composer, virtuoso violinist, a friend of Mozart’s, music teacher to Marie Antoinette, the finest fencer in Europe, general of Europe’s first Black regiment and a crusader for the abolishment of slavery.  Taking a “concert theater” approach, featuring the interplay of four actors with orchestral and chamber music excerpts, Barclay blends Bologne’s remarkable history with his own compositions, ultimately conflating the French Revolution with the social and political unrest in society today.

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Ravinia’s Acclaimed Bernstein Mass Performance to Receive Broadcast Premiere on “Great Performances”

When Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman and Chief Conductor and Curator Marin Alsop presented Leonard Bernstein’s little-seen music theater masterwork Mass as the centerpiece of Ravinia’s 2018 celebration of the iconic conductor and composer’s centennial, the Chicago Tribune declared it one of the best concerts of 2018, and audiences clamored for a repeat performance. Ravinia obliged, reuniting more than 200 onstage artists—including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Vocality, a cast of “Street Singers,” and even the local high school marching band—for a single 2019 encore that Ravinia arranged to have filmed.

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COVID-19 Closures Pause Chicago’s 2019/20 Cultural Season

Virtually all of Chicago’s stages, concert halls and museums went dark almost simultaneously last week when Governor Jim Pritzker announced state-wide closures of non-essential businesses in an effort to stem the tide of COVID-19 infection rates in Illinois. Programming for the 2019-2020 cultural season came to a screeching halt and audiences typically accustomed to an ocean of wildly diverse performance opportunities found themselves in isolation with mandatory stay-at-home orders from the state.

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