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July 9, 2010

Baltimore Symphony explores 'Planet Earth'; Wolf Trap Opera about to launch Rossini comedy

In case you missed this elsewhere in Friday's Sun, I have an interview with the excellent film composer George Fenton tied to his concert tonight with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra containing passages from his atmospheric score to the mega-hit TV series "Planet Earth." Awesome video from the show will accompany the performance (the one at left is courtesy of the BBC). Should be fun.

I had planned to catch Thursday night's presentation of the program at Strathmore so I could report on it this morning, but a combination of debilitating factors (computer glitches at the paper, lingering fatigue from my DC trip Wednesday for the opening of "Mary Poppins," anxiety over the US/Russia spy trade) kept me from making the trek.

If any of you were there and care to share your experience, please chime in.

Likewise, if anyone attends the Friday concert at Meyerhoff Hall, please feel free to offer your opinions here afterward.

I'll miss the event, as I'm heading to Northern Virginia to celebrate my mother's birthday with the family and then take her to opening night of Wolf Trap Opera's new production of Rossini's comic gem "Il Turco in Italia." (Too much information, I know, but, since you're kind enough to read my drivel, I feel you're entitled to the fullest possible explanations.)

Meanwhile, here's a delectable taste of "Turco," sung by Maria Callas, who had a lot to do with reviving appreciation of this opera during the 1950s:

Posted by Tim Smith at 10:48 AM | | 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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