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An evening with opera, jazz and Judd

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The latest Sound Waves collaboration between the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and KDHX Radio, 88.1 FM, takes place Thursday in the Pulitzer galleries and is billed as “An Evening of Opera and Jazz.”

The opera part of the equation will feature music from Puccini’s “Pagliacci,” sung by Emily Pulley and Troy Cook – both featured performers in Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ presentation of the work this season in a pairing with another Puccini piece, “Il Tabarro.”

Andy Coco and his band, Rhythm Section Road Show, will supply the jazz. And Opera Theatre General Director Timothy O’Leary will speak and answer questions during the evening on the topic: “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Opera But Were Afraid to Ask.”

According to Philip Matthews, programs coordinator for the Pulitzer, the Sound Waves series, which started as a collaboration between the Pulitzer and KDHX in late 2010, has taken on a wider approach by involving other arts groups in the programming.

“Although we partner with KDHX on Sound Waves, more and more, we’ve been thinking of the series as a collaborative event, that can involve other arts organizations,” explains Matthews. “Recently, we worked with Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts and had them bring in eight poetry readers for a program on Valentine’s Day in conjunction with our exhibit at that time, ‘The Progress of Love.’ So bringing in Opera Theatre to work with us and KDHX was another collaboration that we think will work well.”

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a set by Rhythm Section Road Show, followed by vocal performances by Pulley and Cook from approximately 6:45 to 7:15. O’Leary will speak at 7:30, and short sets of jazz and opera vocals will follow at 8 and 8:30 pm.

“The music and talk will be at the foot of the stairs in the galleries located in front of “Blue Black” by Ellsworth Kelly,” says Matthews. “The stairs create a natural amphitheater for people to sit, and the acoustics there create a space where the sound carries beautifully.”

A lot more is going on in addition to jazz and opera at the Pulitzer this Thursday, Attendees can check out the new exhibit of the works of Donald Judd that opened last Friday, enjoy complimentary beer from 4 Hands Brewing Company and wine – and check out some visiting food trucks.

“We’re glad to feature 4 Hands Brewing’s great beer, and we’ll also have three food trucks parked outside the Pulitzer,” says Matthews. “And I’d like to remind everyone that all Sound Waves events are free to the public.”

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer based in St. Louis. He has written for the St. Louis Beacon since 2009. Terry's other writing credits in St. Louis include: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis American, the Riverfront Times, and St. Louis magazine. Nationally, Terry writes for DownBeat magazine, OxfordAmerican.org and RollingStone.com, among others.

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