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"The Machine" in Das Rheingold. Photo by Ken Howard, Metropolitan Opera, Courtesy of National CineMedia.

Wagner Marathon in Anchorage — But What About Local Opera?

It’s not often that Alaskans get to see Wagnerian opera, much less the full Ring cycle in one sweep, but this week and next, the Metropolitan Opera is beaming all four Wagner Ring operas to cinemas around the world, including to the Century 16 Cinema in Anchorage. Ring-nuts rejoice! ...more...

Alaska Chamber Singers in Rehearsal. Photo by Gleo Huyck.

Nine (Slightly Biased) Reasons to See the Alaska Chamber Singers This Weekend

The Alaska Chamber Singers are performing this Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, and it promises to be among the best classical music offerings in Anchorage this spring. Okay, okay, I admit that I may be *slightly* biased… I am, after all, one of the altos in the Chamber Singers. But, I stand by my superlative. ...more...

The Original Bacchic Orgy. Gioanni Battista Gaulli's Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne

Nearly Sold-Out Bacchic Orgy: Anchorage Symphony Season Finale

The Anchorage Symphony is playing their season finale this Saturday, and, as of this writing, there are only EIGHT TICKETS LEFT for this sweet concert. If you manage to get a ticket, lucky you. Expect intellectualism, sentimentality, and musical bacchanalia.

So what exactly is on the program? A new piece for our Celestial Soundtrack! The concert will open with Comet, a ten-minute tone poem by George Tsontakis, commissioned for this concert by the Symphony’s “Musica Nova” program. ...more...

Bob Fosse's "Mexican Breakfast", Performed by Thodos Dance Company. Photograph by Cheryl Mann.

Thodos Dance Company Performs Beyoncé… errr, Fosse… in Alaska

Chicago’s Thodos Dance Company is performing in Anchorage on Thursday, April 19, and if that’s news to you, you’re not alone. I just stumbled on the information myself, hidden away on the CenterTix website. The show has hardly been advertised and hasn’t appeared on most local arts calendars, and tickets aren’t yet for sale. But no, Beyoncé is not in the dance company. I’ll get to her in a minute. ...more...

PLUTO. Photo from NASA, ESA, and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute).

Celestial Soundtrack: Music for Pitiable Pluto and Other Cosmic Phenomena

This weekend the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is performing Gustov Holst’s orchestral suite The Planets, and the program got me thinking. Holst has movements for Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune… What about poor old Pluto?

First, some details: Performances are Saturday and Sunday, January 28 and 29, 2012, at 8:00 pm and 4:00 pm, respectively, in the Atwood Concert Hall of the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. ...more...

Sophie Auburn of Pulse Dance Company, Photo by Anthony Lee Photography

Performing This Weekend: Pulse, Anchorage’s Thrilling New Dance Ensemble

Anchorage’s Pulse Dance Company is performing this weekend, and it promises to be the most exciting dance concert in Alaska this spring. That may be a brash and hyperbolic statement, but I can’t help it. Watch a couple videos of Pulse for yourself (there are several on their website). You may decide that you agree with me.

First, the need-to-know: Pulse performs at 8:00 pm on Friday and Saturday, January 20 and 21, 2012 ...more...

Image Courtesy of the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra

Of Free Concerts and Nimrods

The Anchorage Symphony Orchestra is giving a free concert this Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm at the West High School Auditorium (1700 Hillcrest Drive, Anchorage). Doors open at 1:30 pm, and seating is first-come, first-served. No tickets are required. The concert will last about an hour. ...more...

Courtesy of the National Museum of the American Indian and the Anchorage Museum

Anchorage Museum: Cool Stuff Made Of “Weird” Animal Parts

It’s a great week to visit the Anchorage Museum: over the next eight days, the museum will be closing four special exhibits to make way for three new ones, opening in February. Since its expansion in 2010, the Anchorage Museum is now large enough that you can easily miss the great stuff. Here are my suggestions on what to see over the next week. ...more...

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

Mannheim “Steamrolls” Into Anchorage

Mannheim Steamroller is coming to Anchor Town, performing Thursday and Friday, December 29 and 30, in Anchorage’s Atwood Concert Hall. This is just in case you’re not so very sick and tired of Christmas music, four days after Christmas, that your hands itch to snap a candy cane whenever you hear “Deck the Halls”. Founded and produced by Chip Davis, Mannheim Steamroller is one of those gigs you either love or hate, nothing in between, sort of like anchovies or Hillary Clinton. ...more...

Alaska Chamber Singers

Wrong Notes — Or Not — in Tavener’s Annunciation

If you go to the Alaska Chamber Singers’ holiday concert this Friday or Saturday, don’t be dismayed if you hear some very wrong-sounding notes in John Tavener’s Annunciation. If it sounds wrong, it’s probably right. ...more...

Hiland Mountain Correctional Center Women's String Orchestra, Photo by Joanna Knapp

Redemptive Music in Unlikely Places

It’s not the average string orchestra that requires a background check of audience members before its holiday concert. Then again, the average string orchestra is not composed of prison inmates. Alaska’s Hiland Mountain Correctional Center Women’s String Orchestra is holding their annual public concert on Saturday, December 3 at 1:30 pm. ...more...

Sleeping Beauty was broadcast live from the Bolshoi Theater. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Theefer

Bolshoi Ballet in Anchorage — Popcorn Encouraged

It’s true that you can see Russia from Alaska — from the state’s far western islands, anyway. And now you can see Russian ballet from Alaska, from two movie theaters right in Anchorage.

Anchorage’s Century 16 cinema showed the Bolshoi Ballet’s “live” performance of The Sleeping Beauty on Sunday, November 20 and will air an encore performance on Tuesday, November 22 at 6:30 pm. ...more...