Tag Archives: USA

Kathleen Battle – Opera Superstar in Chicago!

On Saturday, September 30th, I had the thrill of seeing a true opera superstar at the Auditorium, here in Chicago.  The five-time Grammy Award winner, Kathleen Battle has sung all of the great Operas and reigned supreme at the Metropolitan Opera House, in the 80’s and early 90’s.  Reviewers have long rhapsodized about the quality of her voice. One of opera’s premier lyric and coloratura sopranos, the Washington Post said of Battle “…without qualification, one of the very few most beautiful in the world”; from The New York Times “cream from a miraculous, bottomless pitcher”.

Singing “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra

Her current tour is called Kathleen Battle – Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey While not an opera program, per se, Battle’s training and background come through.  Presented recital style with only a single piano for accompaniment and backed by a 30 voice chorus including  The Chicago Freedom Singers.  The show also incorporates the Reverend Dr. Otis Moss III and Jackie Taylor as Narrators who educate the audience about the history of the Underground Railroad.  There are quotes from Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, who both used the Underground Railroad to escape to their own freedom and in the case of Tubman, she then helped many other slaves find freedom through the Underground Railroad.

Kathleen Battle’s stage presence was amazing and her voice as beautiful and pure as ever it was, considering she is now in her late 60’s, that’s impressive.  She also showed great generosity in giving showcasing solos to several of the other singers.  The repertoire contained such well known gems as “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”, “All Night, All Day” and “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah (Come Out the Wilderness)”.  The presentation was interesting and uplifting, leaving one with the sense of not only having enjoyed an evening of beautiful and unique music, but of also having learned a great deal.

I for one, look forward to future concerts presented by Ms. Battle and having the opportunity to enjoy her beautiful voice once again.

 

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Indenpendence Day Toast

When Francis Scott Key penned the “Star Spangled Banner” in 1814, it was meant as an ode to our country and how we always endure. The morning after the British attacked Fort McHenry, Key noticed our colors still waving proudly above the camp. He sat down and wrote a poem informing the POW’s below the deck of the ship that America was still alive and well. The poem became our National Anthem.
We as Americans should never forget where we came from and the people who have paved the way for us to live the way we do. So as you celebrate with your loved ones today, crack open that beverage, raise it up and salute our Stars and Stripes. Be thankful for what we have today, Happy Independence Day!!!!!! GOD BLESS THE USA!!