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December 29, 2014 NPR Music remembers musicians — singers, songwriters, instrumentalists — and other visionaries we lost in 2014. Explore and celebrate their musical legacies.
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Titania awakes clinging rapturously to Bottom, still wearing the donkey's head, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mendelssohn wrote music for a production of the play in 1843.
Henry Fuseli/Getty Images
May 24, 2014 Inspired by Shakespeare, Mendelssohn captures all the magic and frivolity in the music he wrote for the Bard's otherworldy play.
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Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala.
Giorgio Lotti/Mondadori/Getty Images
January 21, 2014 One of the great post-World War II conductors, Abbado had a searching musical intellect that he employed in orchestral and operatic music from Mozart to Verdi to contemporary composers.
Don't be caught fishing for facts about Verdi on the bicentennial of his birth.
October 9, 2013 Don't know your Traviata from your Trovatore or your Otello from your Aida? Try out this handy cheat sheet — with music — to explore the greatest of Italian composers on the centennial of his birth. Hear his music and learn the unlikely story of his rise from a small town to international renown.
Mozart's Queen of the Night (portrayed here by soprano Diana Damrau), in his The Magic Flute, is one of opera's more intense mothers.
May 9, 2013 Try rummaging through opera to find a tender scene between a mother and child and you'll come up stymied. Why are so many operatic moms depicted as murderous women on the verge of a nervous breakdown?
Tenor Joseph Calleja, the 2012 Gramophone Artist of the Year.
Mathias Bothor/courtesy of the artist
September 27, 2012 From Calleja to Abbado to Grosvenor, read about and hear some of the winners from this year's highly prestigious awards ceremony, held today in London.
Soprano Cheryl Barker (as Jenůfa) and tenor Peter Wedd (as Luca) sing in a production of Leoš Janáček's Jenůfa from Opera Australia.
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images
April 18, 2012 Hear opera reinvent itself in the hands of cutting-edge composers facing an uncertain new century.
November 22, 2011 Suggestions for pairing wine and classical music from one of Chicago's top sommeliers — a former professional percussionist.
Operatic tenor Joseph Calleja has a passion for music, food and wine.
November 21, 2011 The celebrated tenor pairs music and wine with three seasonal dishes from his home country.
Claudio Abbado conducts this concert performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland.
Peter Fischli/Lucerne Festival
January 7, 2011 Beethoven's only opera is about a daring woman who dresses as a man, risking all to save her imprisoned husband. Read the story and hear excerpts from this Lucerne Festival production.
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