Melissa Benmark / WKAR

WSW: Taxes, Spending, Regulation And The "Silent Campaign"

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta says the current debate among Republicans in the Legislature boils down to “Which services are going to get cut? By how much? In order to do what?”

Read More
Wikimedia Commons

Kalamazoo Concert Band Highlights Great Books At Next Show

The final concert of the 2016-17 Kalamazoo Concert Band season, "Off The Shelf," features works that were inspired by great stories, going as far back as the pre-Biblical Gilgamesh, up to 1998's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Director Thomas Evans previews the music with Cara Lieurance, and gives an appreciation of flute soloist Lauren Whitaker, the winner of the Kalamazoo Concert Band Youth Soloist Competition, who will perform with the band in the concert.

Read More

What Questions Do You Have About Islam?

We'll answer them in a radio story.

Celebrating 40 Years of Grassroots!

Win tickets to see Belá Fleck and Abigail Washburn

For Kay and Arnold Soames, happily ever after has turned into something that feels a lot more like humdrum forever more. As the Omaha couple celebrates their thirty-first anniversary, Kay, played by Meryl Streep, and Arnold, played by Tommy Lee Jones, are beginning to realize that somehow during the decades they have spent together, they have drifted very far apart.

The Kane Sisters

Liz Kane and her sister Yvonne grew up in the Connemara region of County Galway. Renowned for their exquisite mirror-image playing, the sisters learned to play fiddle from their grandfather and several East Galway musicians steeped in the special flowing style of the region. During the school year they teach and perform throughout the west of Ireland, and in summers travel to North America to tour and give workshops. 

Painter Bette Dickinson’s work is all about layers. When I came in to her studio at her home in Kalamazoo, she added a few more layers to a familiar Michigan scene. Underneath the oil paint there are waxy layers that give Dickinson’s art this spacey, other-worldly look. Most of her art is more abstract, with colorful splashes and splattered paint. 

The Ladies Library Association in Kalamazoo has recently broken ground on a $2.1 million project to make their historic 130-year-old building more accessible and useful for the community. The Ladies Library Association building in downtown Kalamazoo, finished in 1879 is on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Saturday, Battle Creek will host the second annual music festival Leilapalooza at Leila Arboretum. WMUK's Rebecca Thiele spoke with executive director for the Leila Arboretum Society, Brett Myers, to find out how the festival is working to revitalize the Battle Creek music scene.


Kelly Zajac at Tudor House Tea & Spice in Kalamazoo
Nancy Camden

Even on hot days like these, many of us still drink our morning coffee to get a daily dose of caffeine. But more people are starting to wake themselves up with a cup of tea. Nancy Camden went to Tudor House Tea in Spice in Kalamazoo to learn everything she could about coffee’s old nemesis.

'La Boheme': 19th-Century 'Reality Opera'

Nov 8, 2011

Giacomo Puccini once said that the secret to his success was putting "great sorrow in little souls" — and he did it with a formula that has fueled a spate of modern network television hits.

When William Bolcom's opera A View from the Bridge premiered in Chicago in 1999, one critic described it as "Brooklyn verismo," invoking the emotive style popularized by Italian composers such as Puccini. And that pretty much hits the nail on the head.

It's a story that would seem excessive for even the most lurid of "real life" dramas, or blood-soaked slasher movies. But it's always been right at home in the opera house — Richard Strauss' intense, one-act opera, Elektra.

It's easy to wonder whether actual events in the lives of great composers are directly reflected in their music. Sometimes people even argue about it. But in the case of personal tragedies early in Giuseppe Verdi's life, the case seems like a slam dunk.

Pages