John Wenger / Kazoo Books

Between the Lines: August Snow

Stephen Mack Jones writes award-winning poetry and plays, and he’s won a Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. But one day, inspiration seemed to fall right out of thin air and he soon found himself writing his first novel, August Snow (SoHo Press, 2017), a hard-boiled detective story.

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WMU Department of Theatre

Here's What WMU Theatre Is Offering This Season

Hear Jay Berkow, professor of music theater performance, and Emily Duguay, director of theater arts management discuss comedies, dramas, and musicals that will be be marketed, produced and performed by a talented group of Western Michigan University students. Highlights include the premiere of the West End musical The Witches of Eastwick, in its first college production, and a spring performance of the Webber/Rice classic, Jesus Christ Superstar.

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You Could Win Tickets!

May The Force be with you.

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.

When we think of opera's biggest stars and greatest hits, we tend to think of solo arias. But that overlooks another operatic goldmine: duets.

Over the years, there have been plenty of classic duet collaborations, resulting in legendary recordings and performances. Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti come to mind, singing the "Cherry Duet" from Mascagni's L'Amico Fritz. Going back a little further, there's Jussi Bjorling and Robert Merrill with "Au fond du temple saint," the famous duet from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers.

Dianne Reeves On Piano Jazz

May 13, 2011

This Piano Jazz episode from 1999 features one of today's preeminent jazz singers. Dianne Reeves brings her rhythmic virtuosity to a sparkling set of standards, including duets with host Marian McPartland on "Close Enough for Love" and "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise."

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