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Review: ALA.NI aces on an astounding a capella adventure

Jan. 23, 2020 1:47 PM EST

ALA.NI, “ACCA” (ALA.NI) Paris-based, London-born ALA.NI's second album, “ACCA,” astounds with its artistry, an adventurous, almost-all a capella recording whose intricate arrangements and instantly-familiar melodies prove irresistible. The self-produced “ACCA” expands on...

Brazilian pianist Joao Carlos Martins plays the piano wearing bionic gloves at his home in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Martins, 79, was for decades Brazil's most acclaimed pianist, but an accident an a degenerative disease forced him to stop playing with both hands since 1998. That changed a few months ago when a new friend came to him with a pair bionic gloves that suit him perfectly. He can now play again with nine out of ten fingers. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

'Magic' gloves let acclaimed Brazilian pianist play again

Jan. 23, 2020 9:56 AM EST

SAO PAULO (AP) — A few days before Christmas, renowned pianist João Carlos Martins summoned his friends to a Sao Paulo bar so he could show off the best gift he'd received in years: a new pair of bionic gloves that are letting the 79-year-old play with both hands for the first time in more than two...

Italian conductor Jader Bignamini takes the stage during a rehearsal after being named The Detroit Symphony Orchestra's new music director, succeeding Leonard Slatkin, during a ceremony held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. The century-old orchestra on Wednesday announced a six-year contract with Bignamini, starting with the 2020-21 season. He will lead a three-concert home stand this weekend at Orchestra Hall. (Max Ortiz/Detroit News via AP)

Detroit orchestra names Jader Bignamini next music director

Jan. 22, 2020 1:23 PM EST

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday announced the selection of Italian conductor Jader Bignamini as its next music director. The century-old orchestra said it signed a six-year contract with Bignamini, starting with the 2020-21 season. He will lead a three-concert home stand this...

Employees of the public order office block a road close to the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. A train station, an opera house and a TV station in the western Germany city of Cologne are evacuated on Tuesday as experts prepare to defuse an American 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) bomb from World War II. (Roberto Pfeil/dpa via AP)

Experts defuse World War II bomb in German city of Cologne

Jan. 21, 2020 6:24 AM EST

BERLIN (AP) — Explosives experts on Tuesday successfully defused an unexploded American bomb from World War II in the western German city of Cologne, authorities said. The 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) bomb was found Monday evening during construction near the Rhine River in the center of the city. A TV...

FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2019 file photo, Roberto Alvim, director of theater, dance and opera at the Brazil's National Arts Foundation, poses for pictures in Brasilia, Brazil. Brazil’s government has drawn criticism after launching a project that aims to revamp the country’s arts scene, with a focus on nationalism and religion, with Alvim being the driving force behind the initiative. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

Brazil fires top culture official over Nazi-linked comments

Jan. 17, 2020 9:17 PM EST

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Outrage rained on Brazil's government from across the political spectrum after the culture secretary used language similar to that of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels in launching an arts initiative focused on nationalism and religion, forcing President Jair Bolsonaro to fire him...

Mayor of Prague Zdenek Hrib, right, and Taipei city mayor Ko Wen-je display a partnership agreement between the two cities at at the Old Town City Hall in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. The signing comes three months after Prague revoked a similar sister-city agreement with Beijing, an action that angered China. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Prague inks partnership with Taipei after snubbing Beijing

Jan. 13, 2020 9:53 AM EST

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech capital, Prague, on Monday signed a partnership agreement with the capital of Taiwan, Taipei - three months after canceling a similar deal with Beijing and angering the Chinese government. The disagreement over Beijing began after the Chinese insisted on having a clause in the deal...

Jackie, Tito Jackson return to Gary to tour hometown school

Jan. 9, 2020 4:04 PM EST

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Two of Michael Jackson’s brothers returned to their hometown of Gary, Indiana, to watch students perform at a school the siblings last visited nearly a half-century ago. Jackie and Tito Jackson dropped by Gary's West Side Leadership Academy on Wednesday for a tour of its performing...

File---Picture taken March 13, 2019 shows irector Harry Kupfer smokes during the break of the photo rehearsal of Handel's opera

German opera director Harry Kupfer dies at 84

Dec. 31, 2019 9:11 AM EST

BERLIN (AP) — Harry Kupfer, the longtime opera director of Berlin's Komische Oper, has died at 84. His management agency Arsis said in a statement Tuesday that Kupfer died Monday “after lengthy illness” in Berlin. Kupfer's career began in Stralsund, then part of communist East Germany, in...

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019 file photo, opera star Placido Domingo performs during a concert in Szeged, Hungary. Domingo continued his calendar of European engagements despite allegations of sexual harassment, appearing here for a performance to inaugurate a sports complex for a local Catholic diocese. Two investigations into Domingo's behavior were opened in 2019 after Associated Press stories in which more than 20 women said the legendary tenor had pressured them into sexual relationships, behaved inappropriately and sometimes professionally punished those who rebuffed him. Dozens of others told the AP that they had witnessed his behavior. (AP Photo/Laszlo Balogh)

Soul-searching in opera world after tumultuous #MeToo year

Dec. 29, 2019 10:30 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It was a tumultuous year in the opera world, a year in which sexual harassment allegations against superstar Placido Domingo prompted his disappearance from American stages and sparked deep soul-searching. Opera performers are applauding new official efforts to create a workplace free...

FILE - In this June 21, 2013 file photo, conductor Peter Schreier smiles after receiving the Bach Medal in Leipzig, Germany. German opera singer and conductor Peter Schreier has died in Dresden, Germany, the dpa news agency announced Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019 citing his longtime secretary. Schreier was in demand on opera stages all over the world and performed at the Berlin State Opera in his native East Germany. (Hendrik Schmidt/dpa via AP, file)

German opera singer, conductor Schreier dies at 84

Dec. 26, 2019 1:51 PM EST

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Opera singer and conductor Peter Schreier, who won fame at the Salzburg festival and Milan's La Scala, has died in Dresden, Germany. He was 84. The dpa news agency reported Thursday that he died Wednesday, citing his longtime secretary. Schreier, a tenor, was in demand on opera...