Critic’s Choice

Mon Sep 08, 2014 at 1:58 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Michelle DeYoung. Photo: Christian Steiner
Michelle DeYoung. Photo: Christian Steiner

The vocal recital is less of a locally endangered species thanks to the yeoman efforts of the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago. Under the direction of artistic director, tenor Nicholas Phan, CAIC’s Collaborative Works Festival opens Thursday night and offers some sterling vocal guests in a wide array of art song and lieder.

Thursday’s program at the Poetry Foundation will feature music of Bach, Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann, sung by Susanna Phillips, Kelly O’Connor, Nicholas Phan and Joshua Hopkins. Michelle DeYoung offers a solo recital Friday featuring Elgar’s Sea Pictures, de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas, and lieder of Brahms, Schumann and Joseph Marx.

There will be a master class Saturday afternoon and the festival will conclude Sunday at the Logan Center with Phillips, O’Connor, Phan and Hopkins performing Brahms’ Libeslieder Waltzer, and Schumann’s Spanisches Liebeslieder and Bei Schenkung eines Flügels. For information, go to


Think of the opera Macbeth and inevitably Giuseppe Verdi’s roiling drama comes to mind, a work that received memorable performances a year ago from Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Chicago Opera Theater is closing its 2014 season with the other version. Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth is an early work, began when the Swiss composer was in his 20s and living in Paris. Premiered in 1910, this fascinating, little-known opera contains much striking and inspired music, breathing the style of Wagner and Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande.

COT’s production opens 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Harris Theater, starring Nmon Ford, Suzan Hanson and Paul Scholten.

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One Response to “Critic’s Choice”

  1. Posted Sep 08, 2014 at 3:44 pm by Bob Callahan

    It would be great if the Collaborate Arts website could provide a more complete program of their events instead of a generalized “selections from” notice; e.g., there are 26 selections in Myrthen, one of the items on Thursday’s program. I for one would like to know which ones will be performed.

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