From Tulsa Opera's final main stage production this season offered on Friday, May 2nd and Sunday, May 4th at Chapman Music Hall in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center it's Georges Bizet's irresistible drama Carmen!
Amina Figarova grew up in the former Soviet state of Azerbaijan. Her early musical experiences included plenty of American jazz — both of her parents were music fans — but her mother particularly enjoyed the music of Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.
Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 11:17 am
Popcaan is something of an unlikely hero in the world of dancehall. He grew up in the Jamaican projects without becoming a hard-edged "rude boy." And he's neither crooner nor spitfire MC — instead, he stands happily between those extremes. The deejay's debut album, Where We Come From, is equal parts dancefloor anthems and "conscious" tunes about Jamaican life, unified by breezy, fresh production from Brooklyn's Dre Skull.
Cahalen Morrison and Eli West appear on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Innovative and subtle, Morrison and West's music sounds vibrant while drawing from near-ancient folk sources. Broad in scope and subject, Morrison's writing has been compared to novelist Cormac McCarthy. West brings jagged, angular arrangements based in bluegrass and old-time music, but informed by a 21st-century sensibility.
The Teetotallers appear on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Born of an impromptu performance at a California Celtic Festival in 2010, the band features three of traditional Irish music's most respected performers: fiddler and violist Martin Hayes; flute, whistle and bodhrán player Kevin Crawford; and singer, guitarist, and bouzouki and mandola player John Doyle.
Many of us at NPR Music fell hard for Arizona's Sergio Mendoza and his band La Orkesta this year. Together, they mix myriad Latin styles — what Mendoza calls "indie mambo," salted with generous handfuls of cumbia, merengue and ranchera — and then feed all that through a psychedelic prism. They perform their songs with charm and panache, set off by the fireworks of the group's resident showman, the multi-talented Salvador Duran.
An astonishing conversation has emerged in the weeks since Irish mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught began her run as Octavian at the Glyndebourne Festival in England. Erraught was excoriated by a handful of male London critics for her weight — prompting a widespread backlash on her behalf in the aftermath of those reviews.