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March 11, 2010

Maryland Opera Studio in training for premiere of "Shadowboxer," about legendary Joe Louis

A shoutout to the communications office of the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center for one of the most imaginative press packets I've seen yet, this one drawing attention to next month's Maryland Opera Studio premiere of "Shadowboxer," a work about the legendary Joe Louis by composer Frank Proto and librettist John Chenault.

Inside an intriguing package that came in the mail was a miniature red boxing glove (alas, not quite big enough for me to threaten annoying editors with), as well as

a pack of snazzy, square-shaped, well-illustrated sheets of thick paper, each devoted to an element of the project.

That got my attention, and so did a dedicated Web site that provides a sterling example of how to promote an arts product. You'll find video, music clips, photos, behind-the-scenes info, background material on Louis (audio, video, print) -- a very with-it way to entice folks into a new operatic experience. Check it out.

Posted by Tim Smith at 1:54 PM | | Comments (1)


"legendary Joe Lewis." Is this a case of fame being sadly fleeting or did you mean someone other than Joe Louis?

I've got to get more sleep. Thanks for the catch. I've made the changes. TIM

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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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