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May 15, 2011

Last-minute Sunday music suggestions

Castigate me if you like, but I took Saturday off so completely that I never once touched a computer. How shamelessly 19th-century of me, I know. I may not do much today, either, so get over it.

However, I felt I should jump online to mention a couple of events on the Sunday calendar in case you're hankering for a break from the cloudy, droopy weather.

Opera Vivente's production of ...

Puccini's first work for the stage, "Le Villi" (performed in English as "The Will-o-the-Wisps"), is well worth catching this afternoon at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. I'll have a review eventually posted, but not likely before the 3 p.m. curtain, so suffice it to say that the company serves up this unfamiliar work with considerable imagination and a heap of passion. The next performances of the Puccini piece will be May 19 and 21.

By the way, this is the last production Opera Vivente will present at its longtime home; next season, the operation relocates to a new location across town.

Sunday afternoon also finds the Handel Choir of Baltimore offering a very attractive program that includes Mozart's sublime "Ave verum corpus" and stirring "Requiem."

Melinda O'Neal has done wonders for this ensemble over the past several years. Her idea of using a period instrument orchestra for concerts is just one of her distinctive touches. In this concert, the first-rate early music group Harmonious Blacksmith will also participate, performing some of Bach's "Art of the Fugue."

The concert is at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Ignatius.

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:59 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes

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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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