News and Features

Meet A 7-Year-Old Opera Superfan

1 Comment
Categorized Under: KERA Radio reports, Music
willmoore

Will Moore is an opera fanatic — and he’s only 7. Photo: Dane Walters/KERA

Listen to the story that aired on KERA FM:

Seven-year-old Will Moore likes opera. A lot. The North Texas boy saw his first opera, “Magic Flute,” when he was just 5.

He studies opera composers on his iPod, thanks to an app called Master Opera.

After he’s seen an opera, Will sometimes likes to read the summary of it in the “Grove Book of Opera.”

“But if I haven’t seen it, I don’t,” he said. “Because I want to surprise myself.”

And he’s a fan of all kinds of classical music. Last year’s Christmas present? A CD of all the music that Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted.

“There are 100 discs in this.”

He corrects himself: “I mean, 107.”

Loves seeing opera in person

Will watches opera DVDs at home. But he loves attending live performances. He even begs his parents, Geoffrey and Susan Moore, to take him out of town to see them. And he’s a regular at the Met Live broadcasts in local movie theaters.

His three favorite operas? “Les Troyans,” “Carmen” and “Francesca Da Rimini.”

He’s pretty straightforward about the appeal.

“I really like the music and the singing,” he said. “I don’t exactly know why, but in a lot of parts, the music just makes me feel happy.”

A birthday present: Seeing the Seattle Opera — in Seattle

Will’s also got a little obsession with Wagner’s “Ring” cycle.

“I saw the old Met Ring and the new Met Ring, and also the one in Seattle,” he said. “But I only saw the one in Seattle live.”

That’s right. After watching the Ring on DVD, he asked his parents to take him to the Seattle Opera for his birthday last year. He wanted to see it live.

“I watched all four operas,” he says. “And there was only one time when I fell asleep. I fell asleep during Siegfried.”

His parents, who are divorced, support Will’s passion. They both love music, too. Geoffrey Moore used to work in the education department at the Dallas Opera. These days, he lives in University Park and he’s pursuing a doctorate in theology at SMU. Susan Moore, who lives in Lakewood, works as a business manager at a financial consulting firm.

They both encourage all of Will’s interests – he likes to read, play piano and watch movies. He recently went camping. He likes other music, like jazz, and one particular traditional song is a favorite.

“I really like ‘The Bear Went Over the Mountain’,” he says, giggling.

He tries to convert his friends

But opera is his favorite. His parents don’t push it. Will is the one begging, sometimes nagging, to go. They just happen to have the car that can get him there.

Even with supportive parents, it’s not always easy being an opera fan in first grade. He’s tried to convert a few friends.

“That hasn’t worked very well,” Will admits. “They were like, ‘I totally don’t like this; Why did you ask me?’ and I was like, ‘Hey, I just thought you might like it if you listened to it.’” 

But he perseveres. He’s thinking about being a doctor when he grows up. No matter what he does, he’s pretty sure he’ll find a place for music in his life.

“Because I like opera so much,” he said, “I just feel like I’ll never stop liking it.”

Leave a comment

The High Five: Weather Channel Starts Twitter Fight With Fort Worth’s Joel Burns, Sparking Social Media Storm

No Comments
Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Did you catch the Fort Worth and Weather Channel Twitter battle on Monday; Sriracha fever continues; Pecan Lodge prepares for its big move to Deep Ellum; and more.

 

  • The maker of the popular hot sauce Sriracha said Monday that he has no plans to move his contested plant out of California. But he would consider expanding into Texas if the Lone Star State can produce peppers as hot as the ones grown especially for him in Southern California. A pair of Texas lawmakers toured the Huy Fong Foods plant in the Irwindale, where officials are moving to declare David Tran’s operation a nuisance after residents complained about flaming hot odors burning their throats and eyes. Texas State Sen. Carlos Uresti and state Rep. Jason Villalba held a news conference after the visit to extol the virtues of doing business in Texas. Tran said Texas must prove it can grow chili peppers as hot as the hybrid jalapenos he gets. Tran said he would be open to putting a second plant in California or another state, but key is finding a place with the weather and soil conditions to support the hybrid peppers. Uresti and Villalba said their state’s agriculture officials will begin investigating conditions in Texas. [Associated Press]
  • The super-popular Pecan Lodge marked its last day at the Dallas Farmers Market over the weekend. But, dear barbecue fans, there’s no need to fret. Pecan Lodge will open again soon – perhaps May 23 – in Deep Ellum. The Dallas Observer visited on Sunday to soak in the scene – and the sauce. The Observer reports: “There was a feeling of nostalgia that hung heavy in the air at Shed 2, because most understood that Pecan Lodge will be a completely new animal when it reopens in Deep Ellum soon. … Most expected a deluge of customers on this last day of business — a television camera captured the first plates of brisket as they slid across the counter — but the line was the shortest it had been in some time, barely running the length of the restaurant. It was Mother’s Day, and Mom trumps all — even smoked meats.”

 

  • Mayors of two North Texas towns affected by the recent string of earthquakes testified Monday at a Texas House subcommittee meeting. The Texas Tribune has this report: The mayors say that the state has moved too slowly in investigating what’s behind the phenomenon and whether local oil and gas activities are to blame.  “If I could sum up our experience in one word, it would be frustration,” Azle Mayor Alan Brundrett said Monday at the first meeting of the Texas House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity. “While everyone seemed genuinely concerned, there is a disconnect between various stakeholders.” Lynda Stokes, mayor of neighboring Reno, said her town’s major concerns are “getting lost in politics.” … The Tribune reports the subcommittee is tasked with investigating any possible links between the state’s booming oil and gas industry and a recent uptick in earthquakes.

 

  • She’s called Fort Worth’s godmother of rock ‘n roll. Fort Worth Weekly profiles LaVon Rosenauer, aka Ema, who for 40 years has run a booking agency that “provides everything from pop bands to clowns to celebrity look-alikes to orchestras to comedians.” The Weekly reports: “She had no idea … that she would become a major force in the local rock ’n’ roll scene during the roaring 1960s and 1970s, back when bands like Texas, Lynx, Lo Della, Savvy, Jamm, and Pantera ran wild.” She handled local bookings for Pantera for about a year before the group got really big. She got into the business when she booked gigs for a band that her sons formed. Soon, bands were lining up for her services.  Today, she’s 84, but she plans on continuing to work and book gigs.

 

Leave a comment

The High Five: Texas Officials Visit California To Try To Lure Sriracha To Lone Star State

No Comments
Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas is trying to lure Sriracha to the Lone Star State; Plano officials to vote to approve Toyota’s big move; changing attitudes about football in Texas; and more:

  • Today, Texas officials are on an important mission – they want the company that makes the Sriracha hot sauce to expand its operations to the Lone Star state. A delegation is in California Monday to meet with Huy Fong Foods, Inc., the producer of the popular product. State Rep. Jason Villalba, a Dallas County Republican who happens to be a huge fan of Sriracha, sent a letter to Huy Fong, extending an invitation to move to Texas. The California plant that makes the sauce produces a strong odor. Neighbors aren’t happy. Huy Fong had to shut down part of its operation after the city of Irwindale, Calif., filed suit. The matter attracted headlines nationwide. The company says it isn’t interested in moving out of California, but could be open to expanding, NPR reports. The Texas Tribune reports: “[Villalba will be] joined by state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, who represents the district where most of the chili peppers needed for the sauce are grown. San Antonio or a nearby city could be a good fit for the factory’s location. … State Rep. Hubert Vo, D-Houston, will also be in the delegation. Vo speaks Vietnamese, the native language of Huy Fong Foods founder and chief executive David Tran.”
  • The city of Plano is scheduled to vote on an agreement with Toyota on Monday that moves the automaker’s U.S. headquarters to the Dallas suburb. The city proposes a 100-acre reinvestment zone and a 10-year, 50 percent rebate on property taxes. The Dallas Morning News reports that in exchange, Toyota will agree to occupy at least 1 million square feet of office space and have up to 3,650 by Dec. 31, 2018. Toyota announced last month that it was moving its U.S. headquarters from California to Texas. Gov. Rick Perry said that Texas offered the company $40 million in incentives from the taxpayer-funded Texas Enterprise Fund. Toyota plans to break ground in Plano this year. [Associated Press]
  • Voters on Saturday overwhelmingly approved major city and school bond packages and re-elected some familiar faces in North Texas municipal elections. KERA’s Stella M. Chavez has a wrap-up: Frisco ISD voters approved a $775 million bond package that includes plans for 14 new schools, building renovations and technology upgrades. Voters in other cities also decisively passed spending plans. Arlington gets $663 million for schools — that’s the biggest bond package ever in Tarrant County. And Fort Worth OKed $292 million in city bonds. On the Dallas school board, Miguel Solis gets to keep his District 8 seat. In District 6 – Carla Ranger’s seat – Joyce Foreman and Bertha Bailey Whatley are headed for a June 21 runoff. In Irving, Mayor Beth Van Duyne handily defeated longtime rival Herb Gears.
  • Dallas officials said they expected to decide by last Friday which airline gets two gates at Love Field that American Airlines must give up since its merger with US Airways. But the city says it will take more time to make a decision. On Friday, the city said on Twitter: “At this time, a decision has not been made and we will provide an update as soon as more information is available.” The city also said that the city manager and city attorney continue to review and consider “all the relevant information” regarding the gates. The U.S. Justice Department says Virgin America should get the gates to increase competition at Love Field, where Dallas-based Southwest is the dominant carrier. In the meantime, Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, stars in this YouTube video — a love letter to Dallas Love Field. Southwest is fighting back with a “What’s LOVE got to do with it?” campaign.  [Associated Press/KERA]
  • There are changing attitudes about football in football-crazy Texas. The New York Times reports that in the East Texas town of Marshall, the school board approved plans to “shut down the district’s entry-level, tackle-football program for seventh graders in favor of flag football. There was little objection.” The Times continues: “No one here considers the decision the beginning of the end of scholastic football in Texas. The sport remains wildly popular, and recreational tackle leagues are open to 5-year-olds. But because it is happening in Texas, an otherwise small move to end a seventh-grade tackle program reflects how the issue of brain trauma has begun to affect the football landscape. … Recent research has indicated that players as young as 7 sustain hits to the head comparable in magnitude to those absorbed by high school and adult players.”
Leave a comment

Get Ready to Get Wrecked With Art Conspiracy

2014ac-wrecked-webbanner-1

The poster pretty much says it all. Art Conspiracy’s annual summer event will be held June 7 at Life in Deep Ellum. Tickets are on sale.

Art Conspiracy is a group of North Texas artists and creatives who band together to raise money for a different non-profit arts-related organization every year.  More than 40 artists have been invited to contribute works to the June auction. The theme is ordinary objects “deconstructed/reconstructed.”

This is ArtCon’s 9th year – hard to believe – and the group has raised more than $250,000 for small arts groups. As it grows, ArtCon’s working to develop a presence throughout the year.  For example, tonight will be the first “Living Room Series” concert. Fort Worth’s The Theater Fire performs.

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Saturday Spotlight – Fine Art and Flowers

No Comments
Categorized Under: Uncategorized

flowers-for-van-gogh-jeanne-forsythe For this week’s Art & Seek Spotlight, we’re checking out Fine Art and Flowers at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth. Paintings from the museum’s collection have been re-created with flowers by members of the Fort Worth Garden Club. Each arrangement will be set up next to its inspiration.

Leave a comment

The High Five: At Lake Highlands Hardware Store, A Popular Rooster Rules The Roost

No Comments
Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Prince George is attracting a following at a hardware store; we’ll know today which airline will get the extra Love Field gates; more on the Parker County earthquakes; and more. 

  • A Lake Highlands hardware store owner isn’t surprised when new customers have their feathers ruffled over the shop’s mascot. Prince George, a Buff Orpington rooster, occupies a spot in the front of the Gecko Hardware Store and he’s proving to be a big draw. The store’s co-owner, Andrea Ridout, says foot traffic went up noticeably on the weekends when customers realized the rooster likes the attention. Ridout says Prince George started ruling the roost after a little girl returned him after she learned he wouldn’t become a hen. The rooster has occupied the top spot on the store’s pecking order for a year. Dallas officials have given the store an exemption to keep the feathered animal on the premises. Prince George also visits schools and senior citizen sites. [Associated Press]
  • The drama between Southwest Airlines and Virgin America is expected to end Friday when Dallas’s city manager decides which airline will fly out of the last two open gates at Love Field. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao looks at the last-minute jockeying: “The PR battle to win two gates that American Airlines must give up as part of its merger with US Airways has been theatrical. Sir Richard Branson, the English entrepreneur, who’s a minor investor in Virgin America, released a video love letter this week. Southwest Airlines, on its blog and Twitter page, asks “What’s love got to do with it?” Once Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez makes his decision, the real competition begins Oct. 13, when the Wright Amendment restriction ends.
  • A police officer shot and killed a 93-year-old in Hearne this week. Friends say 93-year-old Pearlie Golden still shopped at the grocery store in the small Texas town near Bryan-College Station. Now they and Hearne’s mayor want the police officer who shot and killed her gone. Texas Rangers are investigating what led to a Hearne police officer fatally shooting Golden at her home after responding to a 911 disturbance call this week. Hearne police have said in a statement that Golden “brandished a gun” when Officer Stephen Stem arrived Tuesday night. Prosecutors say a preliminary autopsy shows Golden was struck twice in her body and grazed once. Dozens of protesters Thursday marched to police headquarters in Hearne. Mayor Ruben Gomez greeted them and said he will recommend that the officer be fired at a city council meeting Saturday. [Associated Press]
  • There have been at least 300 minor earthquakes in Parker County, northwest of Fort Worth, since December. That’s according to new research released Thursday by SMU scientists. While that sounds like a lot, it doesn’t mean a big one is on the way. KERA’s Doualy Xaykaothao reports: The latest Texas quakes recorded by SMU scientists are too small to even register at the U.S. Geological Survey. Paul Caruso, a USGS geophysicist, says small quakes, even a swarm of them, are not dangerous. The SMU report is an update on the ongoing data collection by seismologists. They’re trying to identify more accurate locations of the Parker County earthquakes. And they hope to learn whether there’s a link between seismic activity and injection wells that are used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling. Catch up on KERA’s earthquake coverage.
  • The Allen Arts Festival returns Friday through Sunday. The festival features gallery-quality work from local, state and nationwide artists displaying and selling paintings, woodwork, sculptures, glass, mixed media and other works of art. There will also be children’s art activities and live entertainment. The free three-day outdoor festival, which starts at 4 p.m. Friday, is at Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm.
Leave a comment

Sing-Sing, Bang-Bang: ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Musical In WaterTower’s New Season

No Comments
Categorized Under: Theater, Uncategorized

b and c 2Cool. Maybe WaterTower will get to re-use that old truck from its Grapes of Wrath. Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan in the Broadway production of Bonnie & Clyde.

This month is the 80th anniversary of the shooting deaths of West Dallas homies Bonnie and Clyde, ambushed by a posse in Bienville Parish, Louisiana May 23, 1934. So perhaps it’s not a coincidence that WaterTower Theatre has announced its new season will open this fall with the musical, Bonnie & Clyde. After trying out in La Jolla, the show closed quickly on Broadway last year — only 36 performances. But its music is by Frank Wildhorn, the composer who, in addition to writing the hit Jekyll & Hyde, has provided the music for several less-than-successful shows (Dracula, The Scarlet Pimpernel) that have found renewed life in tours and regional productions.

Other WaterTower shows include Manicures & Monuments, a new comedy by Dallas writer Vicki Caroline Cheatwood set in a nursing home. And the theater company will join forces with Fort Worth’s Stage West to co-produce the area premiere of The Explorer’s Club. It’s a spoof of an eccentric,  less-than-top-tier Victorian men’s club whose members persist in bringing their work with them (cobras, guinea pigs, etc.) and who promptly fall into crisis mode when a woman tries to join the fun.

Rounding out the season are a classic musical (Sweet Charity), a classic American drama (Arthur Miller’s All My Sons) and the regional premiere of The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical – a sequel to the original Great American Trailer Park Musical. And there’s, once again, WaterTower’s Out-of-the-Loop Fringe Festival.

Other good news: This is Terry Martin’s 15th season as producing artistic director, and there’s no price increases in either subscriptions or single tickets.

The full release:

Read More »

Leave a comment

The Big Screen: A Dallas Native Goes Hollywood

BigScreen_logoSMALLDoug Mankoff grew up in Dallas and graduated from St. Marks. To fulfill his dreams, he moved to Hollywood, where he’s become an in-demand producer of indie films like Away from Her and Nebraska. This week, we talk to him about what it means to be a producer.

Be sure to subscribe to The Big Screen on iTunes. Stream this week’s episode below or download it.

Leave a comment

The High Five: Sir Richard Branson Shows His Love For Dallas Love Field

No Comments
Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Severe weather is in the forecast today; have you seen the new ad that features a shirtless Dan Patrick?; who’s hungry for donuts?; and more.

Read More »

Leave a comment

The New Face Of Literary Publishing In Dallas

evans 3editSome of the most acclaimed books in print today – the odds are, most Americans will never see them in print. That’s because they’re not translated into English. But one young Dallasite has just started a company to publish books from France, Russia and Mexico. KERA’s Jerome Weeks asks – what in the world is he thinking?

  • KERA radio story:
  • Online story:

The single question Will Evans is asked most often is: Why are you setting up a publishing company — in Dallas? It’s true, his wife’s a lawyer who got a job here last year. And Evans likes the idea of getting publishing out of New York City. Ninety percent of American books are still published in New York.

So Evans asks, why not Dallas?

“As you can imagine,” he says, “publishing is going through a period of upheaval and radical change, and so for that reason, it’s actually easier now to start a publishing house in Dallas than ever before.”

Evans’ new company is called Deep Vellum Publishing. Vellum’s another term for parchment, the name for the animal skins used to make books before paper was invented. Deep Vellum is releasing its first five books starting this fall, and though the firm is just a start-up, the books are by some big literary names. Mikhail Shishkin is the only writer ever to win all three major Russian literary awards. Evans is publishing his collected stories, Calligraphy Lesson. Carmen Boullosa has been called one of Mexico’s greatest writer-poet-playwrights; Evans is releasing her novel, Texas: The Great Theft -- about the relatively unknown invasion of the US by Mexico in 1859. Sergio Pitol is the winner of the Cervantes Prize, often called the Spanish-language Nobel. Deep Vellum is publishing The Art of Flight, the first novel in Pitol’s “Trilogy of Memory.” And Anne F. Garreta was one of the rare female members of OuLiPo, aka the “Workshop for Potential Literature,” the famous French experimental group that often applied mathematics to writing and included such notable authors as Italo Calvino and Georges Perec. Garreta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, is the oldest of the contemporary novels Deep Vellum is publishing.

Read More »

Leave a comment
Page 19 of 927« First...10...1718192021...304050...Last »