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October 3, 2008

Free tickets offered for NEA Opera Honors

Set your personal alarms for 10 a.m. Monday. That's when free tickets will be distributed to a program saluting recipients of the first NEA Opera Honors -- billed as the highest national recognition in the opera field -- on Oct. 31. The lineup includes the electrifying soprano Leontyne Price; James Levine, the exceptional music director of the Metropolitan Opera (and Boston Symphony); Carlisle Floyd, composer of Susannah and other great American operas; and Richard Gaddes, a revered administrator who guided companies in Santa Fe and Saint Louis.

Presenters of the awards include stellar tenor Placido Domingo, general director of Washington National Opera. Members of the company's young artists prorgam will perform during the event, along with soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. Hosts for the concert are actress Sarah Jessica Parker and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham. Spoken and video tributes will be part of the evening. All of the honorees are scheduled to be on hand.

The program is at 8 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Harman Center for the Arts in Washington. The box office will start distributing free tickets at 10 a.m. Oct. 6 in person at 610 F Street NW or at 450 7th Street NW; or by phone, 202-547-1122 or (toll-free) 877-487-8849.  

Posted by Tim Smith at 5:42 PM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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