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Classical 101

A Burlesque Nutcracker? A Canine Clara? What next?

Gerard Charles: The Only Sane Artistic Director Left in Ballet?

The Chocolate Nutcracker...The Nutty Nutcracker...A Burlesque Nutcracker...A Canine Nutcracker...these are just a few of the ways ballet companies try to distinguish themselves during runs of the seemingly ubiquitous holiday classic.  With Nutcracker the make-or-break production for many ballet companies, artistic directors are looking for every possible Nutcracker angle.

Here's an idea...how about a Nutcracker which features fabulous dancers, sets, and costumes in a classic theatre with Tchaikovsky's fabulous music?

In my opinion, you'll never see a better production of this perennial holiday favorite than the one we have right here in Columbus at BalletMet.  When Artistic Director Gerard Charles and Robert Post get together, it makes for engaging storytelling, great entertainment, and a bit of unpredictability.  (Spoiler alert...the mouse gets it in the end.)  Combine that with fabulous sets and costumes, amazing dancers, and a live performance by the Columbus Symphony, and you have a holiday must-see.  Performances begin December 9 at the Ohio Theatre.  Details here. Read about some of the Nutcracker anomalies in the Wall Street Journal. See some of the marketing posters here.

Health Issues Cause Conductor to Cancel 2 Months of Concert Engagements

Riccardo Chailly, thought by many to be the heir apparent for the ailing James Levine as conductor of the Boston Symphony, is now dealing with health issues of his own. Read Riccardo Chailly Cancels Boston Symphony Concerts (NY Times)

Cincinnati Art Museum Lets Visitors Take a Peek in Their Basement

While it's always enjoyable to see what's on display at the museum, I often wonder what's in the basement, stacked in boxes, and filling the drawers in the warehouses.  A recent visit to one of the Smithsonian Museums prompted me to wonder aloud, "If this great stuff is out here, what tucked-away treasures haven't seen the light of day in 50 or 100 years?". Beginning this month, the Cincinnati Art Museum is going to satisfy visitors curiosity.  Museum Director Aaron Betsky said only about 6% of the collection is ever on display and it was time to change that. Would you like to have the opportunity to just kind of poke around a museum storage area and see what you come across?  I'd love to hear your thoughts. Read Cincinnati Digs Into Storerooms for New "Open Exhibit" (Real Clear Arts)