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Belfast Blues Begins Previews Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows Belfast Blues The production is directed by Emmy winner Carol Kane. View Comments Set in Belfast in the 1970s and 1980s, Belfast Blues is one wee girl’s story of family, war, Jesus and Hollywood. In the show, Hughes portrays 24 different characters, ranging from her parents and neighbors to most importantly her younger self. The off-Broadway return engagement of Belfast Blues begins performances on September 20. Written and performed by Great White Way alum Geraldine Hughes, the limited engagement will play through October 5 at the Barrow Street Theater. Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 5, 2014last_img read more

Sondra Radvanovsky, Queen of the Met, on Why Opera Is for Broadway Lovers

first_imgThree-for-OneThough the three operas make up what is now frequently referred to as Donizetti’s “Tudor Trilogy,” the composer did not intend for them to be performed as a collective unit. This is in large part due to the range of vocal technique required; Radvanovsky juggles both a lilting lyric soprano and fiery dramatic coloratura throughout the pieces.While Radvanovsky winkingly doesn’t recommend anyone perform all three concurrently, she observes a connective thread throughout that informs her perspective on the operas as a series: Elizabeth.A child actress plays a young Elizabeth in Anna Bolena, and in Maria Stuarda, she’s Mary Stuart’s fierce rival. “Now I understand why she was such a militant, strong lady—because of all the adversity she went through. I got to see that from the outside, and now, finally playing Elizabeth, I have that vocabulary.” Marathon Training“It’s like her coat of armor,” Radvanovsky says, describing Elizabeth’s (“Elisabetta” in Donizetti’s world) ornate appearance. “She puts it on, and it’s her queen persona.” The role presents a tremendous physical challenge, as the crippling effects of age and resentment threaten her regality.“Temperament and tightness often go together,” Radvanovsky explains. “But if you’re tight, you can’t sing. So I have to have that tension in my body, but not in my voice.” The singer, who’s over two decades younger than Elizabeth at the time of her death, observed her elders’ movement on the street and on film to find that balance. “I have to be aware of how my body works and how Elizabeth’s body worked at that time, and integrate the two.”From the sound of her exercise regime, you’d expect her to be an Olympian, not an opera singer. But they’re not that unlike: “You go to the gym to make sure you have the stamina to breathe in the corsets.” Radvanovsky often memorizes music while on a machine. Metropolitan Opera: Roberto Devereux The radiant Sondra Radvanovsky enters her dressing room at the Metropolitan Opera. Some two hours later, and with the help of a 35-pound gown, liquid latex and—who’d have thought—tissue paper, the soprano, barely recognizable, emerges as Elizabeth I in her final days.The metamorphosis, for the Met’s new production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, marks the third and final queen Radvanovsky has taken on this season. She previously portrayed Anne Boleyn and Mary Stuart in director David McVicar’s stagings of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, respectively. She’s the second singer to perform all three in one season and the first to do so at the Met.Before Roberto Devereux opens on March 24, Broadway.com visited Radvanovsky’s dressing room to witness the transformation and discuss the operatic feat. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 19, 2016 Related Shows Roberto Devereux begins performances at the Metropolitan Opera on March 24. Performances will run through April 19.(Dressing room photos: Caitlin McNaney) View Comments Ugly Is BeautifulRadvanovsky brings a distinct theatricality that may raise the eyebrows of opera’s more devoted patrons. The most jarring examples are her visceral—at times guttural—outbursts of emotion that punch through Donizetti’s bel canto score. Bel canto means “beautiful singing,” but the soprano constantly toys with the balance between beautiful and frightful.“It can be shocking when people hear it,” Radvanovsky says, “but that’s supposed to be the point. There are moments where ugly singing and screaming are required.” With a smirk, she adds, “Not everyone will love it. It’ll be criticized, I’m sure.”Radvanovsky, who studied acting as well as singing, stresses that it’s not entirely about the vocals. “Look past [the singing] and see that these were human beings at the heart,” she advises. “Remember that Elizabeth lived; she breathed. We know a lot about her.” Broadway at the MetThe leap from the Great White Way to the Met is closer than ever as theater directors—including Tony winners Susan Stroman, Bartlett Sher and Michael Mayer—offer a contemporary Broadway sensibility to opera. While these stagings often polarize traditionalists and newer audiences, Radvanovsky encourages the interplay between the two.“[Opera] is a lot like Broadway,” she says, before confessing to previously turning down a Main Stem offer and wanting to try her hand at The King and I or Carousel. “The plot is there, and it’s enthralling. I know I’m an opera singer, but we’re actors, too.”Radvanovsky says there is a stigma surrounding opera, citing the “fat soprano” and “park and bark” tropes. But while those stereotypes fade with new and inventive stagings, opera has to evolve to survive. The first step is exposure: “Getting people to come for the first time is difficult,” she says, “but if people give it one try, they’re really drawn into it.”And for those who are still skeptical? “You went to your first Broadway play or musical at some point, right? Come to opera.” Sondra Radvanovsky in ‘Anna Bolena,’ ‘Maria Stuarda’ & ‘Roberto Devereux'(Photos: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)last_img read more

Mullins happy with jumping Djak

first_img “That being said, Willie loves the horse, Ruby loves the horse and he’s in great order.” Mullins also runs last year’s second On His Own and Boston Bob. Last year’s winner Lord Windermere has failed to shine since his short-head success, finishing third in the John Durkan Chase and seventh in the Lexus before showing a slight return to form for trainer Jim Culloty when third in the Irish Hennessy. Owner Dr Ronan Lambe said: “I suspect he might be the forgotten horse of the race because the lead-up to the race was better than last year. We are expecting a big run.” Big-race jockey Davy Russell also believes his mount has every chance of regaining his best form. He said: “I genuinely wouldn’t swap him for anything, he’s a proper horse and loves Cheltenham. “I know his form is not ideal, but he doesn’t really handle soft ground and he’s not in love with Leopardstown as there’s not enough jumping in the race.” Trainer Willie Mullins said: ” I don’t think jumping is going to be an issue any more than it will be for any other horse in the race. “He got around Newbury three-quarters fit and Gowran is a fair test of any horse in that ground. “As Ruby (Walsh) said, normally in the Thyestes in those conditions you’re hanging on from four out if you think you have something left, but he was swinging and the rest were slogging in behind. “Because of the dry autumn we didn’t get a run into him and much less, I didn’t get the work I wanted into him. We ended up at Newbury because we got carried along ourselves and he had the weight advantage. “You have to ask those questions sometimes, but it really wasn’t a fair question to ask the horse with the sort of prep he’d had. I’m putting a line through that.” Owner Rich Ricci is also sweet on his runner’s chance, but admits to having a slight doubt about him seeing out the extended three-and-a-quarter-mile trip. He said: “My only niggle at the back of my mind is, will he stay? “I f the Gold Cup was three miles I’d be leaning in and saying, ‘Wow, what a great chance we have’, but that last two and a half furlongs is so gruelling up the hill. It’s my only niggle. Willie Mullins has dismissed any fears about Djakadam’s jumping ahead of the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday. The six-year-old burst on to the Gold Cup scene at a relatively late stage, booking his ticket with a comfortable eight-length triumph under top weight in the Thyestes Chase at the end of January. He had previously disappointed when only eighth in the Hennessy at Newbury, while he crashed out at the fourth-last in last year’s JLT Novices’ Chase at the Festival. Press Associationlast_img read more

NFL playoff picture: Seahawks take NFC West lead, have edge over 49ers in division race

first_imgBreaking down the remaining schedules for the Seahawks and 49ers, the Seahawks have the slight advantage through the rest of December before the two teams meet in Week 17.MORE: Updated NFL Playoff PictureHere are the Seahawks’ next three games: at Rams, at Panthers, vs. Cardinals. At the same time, the 49ers face this slate through Week 16: at Saints, vs. Falcons, vs. Rams. Seattle’s opponents there have a combined winning percentage of .431 (15-20-1). San Francisco’s upcoming foes have a combined winning percentage of .556 (20-16).By far, the 49ers’ trip to the Saints in Week 14 is the hardest game left for either team before facing each other. By far, the Seahawks hosting the Cardinals in Week 16 is the easiest. Both teams already beat the Rams, so those two rematches are a wash in terms of degrees of difficulty.The Seahawks do have to come out east again to play Carolina, but they are undefeated away from Seattle this season, and the Panthers are in freefall again. The 49ers should also take care of business as heavy favorites when the Falcons visit San Francisco.So then it comes down to Week 17, when the Seahawks host the 49ers to close the season. Should the teams win out before then, they will both be 13-2, with that finale becoming winner-take-all for the division. We know the only way the division will be decided ahead of Week 17 is if either the Seahawks or 49ers go 3-0 and the other goes 1-2 or worse.The real question is, should the Seahawks hold a full one-game lead going into Week 17 and the 49ers win the rematch to even things up, who would win the division should they tie?MORE: Takeaways from the 49ers’ loss to BaltimoreThe first tiebreaker is division record. The Seahawks are 3-0, while the 49ers are 3-1 because they lost to the Seahawks. Assuming Seattle beats Arizona, sweeping Los Angeles would be key for both teams. There’s a fair chance both teams can end up an equal 5-1 in division play.The second tiebreaker is common games. The Seahawks (Vikings, Eagles) and 49ers (Packers, Redskins) each went 2-0 in their two unique games. Both teams lost to the AFC-leading Ravens. The Seahawks lost at home to the Saints. So if the 49ers can win in New Orleans in Week 14, it would be huge for the tiebreaker scenarios; both teams already beat three-fourths of the AFC North, and are likely to beat at least three-fourths of the NFC South. The Rams also can be a difference-maker.The third tiebreaker is conference record. Both teams are 7-1 now, and if they stay even, the tie won’t be broken there, because both teams have only NFC games remaining. Then, it comes down to strength of victory. The 49ers beating the 10-2 Saints would be a huge boost. That’s also where the uncommon games come into play. For Seattle, Minnesota and Philadelphia are a combined 13-11. For San Francisco, Green Bay and Washington are a combined 12-12.Because of the Eagles having an advantage over the Redskins, the Seahawks would be bound to get the fourth tiebreaker, if the 49ers, like them, lose to the Saints. Because the fifth tiebreaker is strength of schedule, the difference in level of NFC East opponent already gives the Seahawks the edge there.Anything can happen over the last month, and usually does. But based on what we think we know about the Seahawks and 49ers now and who they play going forward, down to their rematch being in Seattle, the odds are with the Seahawks to take the division. The Seahawks (10-2) are now in first place in the NFC West after their 37-30 win over the Vikings to close the NFL’s Week 13 on Monday night. They have the division lead by the slimmest of margins over the 49ers (10-2), whom they beat in San Francisco in the Week 10 Monday night game.Both teams have four regular-season games left to determine who wins the division and advances to the NFC playoffs as a likely top-two seed, earning at least a first-round bye and potentially home-field advantage until the Super Bowl. The division runner-up is facing a hard playoff road as the likely No. 5 seed sure to draw a wild-card matchup at the eventual NFC East champions, either the Cowboys or the Eagles.last_img read more

Local experts say workplace violence remains extremely rare

first_imgIt’s impossible to say there’s a trend of increasing gun violence in Vancouver or across the nation, according to sociologist Clay Mosher, who analyzes crime trends and teaches criminology at Washington State University Vancouver.“This could be just a blip,” he said, after two workplace shootings and one drug-related shooting in two days left three people dead and three injured.“You could see this many things in this many days,” Mosher said. “Then you could see nothing for quite some time.”But it’s absolutely possible to say that we as a society are growing accustomed to hearing about random gun violence breaking out anywhere and everywhere — even right here. When it’s not in Chicago or Philadelphia but Fruit Valley and Fourth Plain, Mosher said, local folks just aren’t as shocked as they used to be.“We have become desensitized,” Mosher said. “I do think there’s a normalization of this kind of thing. Whether it’s happening here or somewhere else, it’s seemingly happening all the time.”That has mostly to do with the media universe we live in, he said. “I definitely think the media attention is greater. I think a lot of this is copycat stuff. It’s a catch-22, because the media has to cover it, of course,” he said.last_img read more