REVIEW: Philadelphia Orchestra’s Opening Night

Philadelphia Orchestra

Before the last number of Wednesday’s season-opening concert, the Philadelphia Orchestra‘s incomparable music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, told the audience assembled in Kimmel’s Verizon Hall that it was more important now than ever to spread the word about the excellence of the ensemble.

Alas, it was a not-so-subtle sub-theme that filled the evening, that the Orchestra’s musicians were back in negotiations and that they were currently working without a contract. Several members of the organization, ranging from musicians to administration, spoke of these negotiations after the opening number, which was a ravishing interpretation of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” In retrospect, the tune was an eerie prelude to talks about the Orchestra’s future. Read more »

These North Philly Kids Did the Tango for the Pope


Photo | Rob DiRienzo

Just after taking the stage at the Festival of Families, Jafar Thomas couldn’t lose his smile.

“I knew I had to give a good performance to everyone who came here,” he said.

He is one of 40 eighth graders from the Jesuit elementary school Gesu School in North Philadelphia that had been preparing for weeks to dance on the festival stage in Logan Square—broadcast for thousands on the 40 Jumbotrons set up along the Parkway and other places throughout the city.

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15 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

INTERVIEW: Opera Philadelphia’s Down-To-Earth Diva Lisette Oropesa

Lisette O

When Lisette Oropesa started studying to play Verdi’s tragic heroine Violetta in La Traviata for Opera Philadelphia, she read the book-turned-play The Lady of the Camellias, which is the source material for Traviata. It’s based loosely on a real story, and it didn’t do much for Oropesa’s nerves.

“It was depressing as can be,” she recalled. “I couldn’t do anything with the role for three months. It was miserable and disgusting.”

But there was another layer to Oropesa’s emotional journey to master Violetta: Her mother, an opera singer herself, has performed the role for years. It was literally in her blood. Read more »

The New Philadelphia Fillmore: Reviewed

Photo by HughE Dillon

Photo by HughE Dillon

Say this for Hall & Oates—they are nothing if not punctual. Last night’s curtain-raising show at the new Fillmore Philadelphia was set to start at 8pm, and I was still exploring the new venue when Michael Nutter introduced the hometown duo on stage. But no one in the sold-out crowd was there for the mayor, and really, the night felt more like a grand opening featuring a special musical guest than a Hall & Oates concert. The music was what you’d expect from two guys in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, who both gave requisite props to their hometown. But the star of the show was the Fillmore itself.

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10 Songs Hall & Oates MUST Play Tonight at the Fillmore

Hall & Oates open the Fillmore with a sold-out show on Thursday. | Mat Hayward /

Hall & Oates open the Fillmore with a sold-out show on Thursday. | Mat Hayward /

Who better to kick off Fishtown’s new Live Nation Music venue, the Fillmore, than Philly legends Daryl Hall and John Oates? To make it the best Philly experience possible, we’ve put together a suggested setlist for tonight’s show, curated by our editorial staff. Are you listening Mr’s Hall and Oates?

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Art Garfunkel Sings With the Roots on The Tonight Show

Last night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, legendary singer-songwriter Art Garfunkel joined Philly’s Questlove and Black Thought (aka the Roots as Black Simon and Garfunkel) for a rendition of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.” As Pitchfork points out, the breathy performance is worthy of classic Simon and Garfunkel, and they even throw in a little of 1970 S&G hit “The Boxer” at the end. Check it out above.

Fetty Wap Backs Out of Forbes Under 30 Concert Following Accident in Jersey

The Forbes Under 30 concert on Penn’s Landing, which will cap off the Forbes Under 30 Summit happening in Philly from October 4th to 7th, hasn’t had the best of luck wrangling and, most importantly, keeping its talent. At first it was announced that Swedish DJ Avicii would perform with Hanson and electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling, but Avicii had to back out, claiming he needed some time off.

He was replaced by not one, but two (arguably even more exciting) performers: New Jersey hip-hop rising star Fetty Wap and pop sensation Shawn Mendes. Now, following a motorcycle accident last week in New Jersey that left him with a broken leg and a really sad Instagram update, it appears Fetty will be stepping down to be replaced by another hip-hop contemporary, A.S.A.P. Rocky.

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