Art Hounds: Opera Auditions, Marguerite Duras, Keys Please

Still from Nathalie Granger, directed by Marguerite Duras, 1972

This week's hounds flush out an opera audition with 'Big Apple' written all over it, a French filmmaker who gets her due at the Walker and the annual get-together of some top-notch Twin Cities keyboard improvisers.

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Alison Young is a host and producer for Classical Minnesota Public Radio. Alison says you can glimpse the next generation of opera singers at the Metropolitan Opera's National Council auditions at St. Paul's Ordway Center on Saturday, February 6. The Upper Midwest Region Finals begin at noon and are free and open to the public. Singers between the ages of 20 and 30 compete for prizes of up to $4000 and advancement to the semi-finals in New York.

Sofia Nordenstam is an editor and contributor for the local music blog "Borangutan." She's also a fan of French writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras, a figure in French New Wave Cinema who's gettting a closer look as part of the Walker Art Center's "Of Language and Longing: The Films of Marguerite Duras." Most of the films in the showcase, which runs from February 4th through the 7th, were directed by Duras herself.

Heather Barringer is a percussionist with the internationally-known and St. Paul-based new music group, Zeitgeist. One of Heather's favorite events of the year is the annual "Keys Please" concert, where notable local improvisers Carei Thomas, Todd Harper and Paul Cantrell make mischievous and mesmerizing music on their keyboards. "Keys Please #9" happens Saturday, February 6th at Macalester College's Jane Wallace Concert Hall at 8pm. This year, the three musicians will be joined by guitarist Bob Ockenden.

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