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February 9, 2011

Washington National Opera Chorus to perform benefit for AGMA Relief Fund

In between preparing for the next production ("Madama Butterfly," opening Feb. 26 at the Kennedy Center), members of the Washington National Opera Chorus are taking time out to lend their voices in support of musicians who are struggling financially during these recessionary times, when there have been so many cutbacks in the performing arts world.

The chorus, led by Steven Gathman, will give a benefit concert for the AGMA Relief Fund at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Ann Catholic Church, 4001 Yuma Street, NW, in Washington. No tickets are required; donations will be accepted.

The program looks remarkably eventful. The first half lists

traditional spirituals and the great folk song "Shenandoah" alongside such contemporary fare as Nico Muhly's "Set Me as a Seal."

The second half features the chorus in its operatic mode, with scenes from such works as "Fidelio," "Hamlet" and "La Rondine."

Posted by Tim Smith at 6:03 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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