Arts News

Every Friday morning, Randy Stewart talks with artists, performers, directors and administrators from the area visual and performing arts scene, and presents a comprehensive calendar of arts events.

(Poster design courtesy Missouri Philharmonic)

We knew them for 15 years as the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra.  They’ve changed their name this season to the Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra.  But it comprises the same musicians, and the same Music Director, Dr. Christopher Koch, wearing one of his several musical hats—he’s also Music Director of Springfield Regional Opera, and Associate Professor of Music at Drury University.  The Missouri Philharmonic opens the 2019-2020 season Thursday September 12 at 7:30pm in the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.  Dr. Koch stopped by to talk about the concert.

(Poster design courtesy St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church)

"Opa!" New food menu items and a chariot ride for the kids will highlight the 12th annual Greek Festival, September 6-8 on the parking lot at St. Thomas the Apostle Orthodox Church, 4200 S. Holiday Avenue, which is just off West Republic Road, a few blocks west of Kansas Expressway in southwestern Springfield. The three-day event is a traditional family-oriented celebration of everything Greek. Jeannie Duffey spoke about the festival on KSMU's "Arts News."

(Logo design courtesy

Back with her "Spotlight on Joplin" for September 2019 is Emily Frankoski, Community Arts Director at Joplin's Connect2Culture. She was on the phone with me while waiting in the Chicago airport--an excellent way to wait out an airport layover!  As usual, our fifteen-minute conversation merely scratched the surface of Connect2Culture's "Arts, Culture and Entertainment in Joplin, MO" list for September; you can see the complete list starting September 1st at Here, in chronological order through the month of September, are the items we discussed.

(Poster design courtesy Branson Regional Arts Council)

The Branson Regional Arts Council launches their 7th theatrical production of the year with "Steel Magnolias," opening August 29th at the Historic Owen Theatre, 205 S. Commercial Street in downtown Branson.  According to BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber, “We are so thrilled with the response that we are getting already—tickets are selling quite well.  And we really love the fact that Springfield is getting behind what we’re doing down in Branson.  We had several Springfield actors involved in many of our productions recently.”

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Regional Opera)

Mansfield, Missouri native Michael Spyres is an internationally renowned tenor—he’s back (briefly!) in Springfield for a week following a production of Vincent D'Indy's epic opera “Fervaal” with the Radio France Music Festival in Montpellier.  Recently he was named Artist of the Year by The Professional Critics Syndicate of France, and he’ll make his Metropolitan Opera debut this season in the title role of Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust.” But Spyres “grew up” musically with Springfield Regional Opera, of which he is now Artistic Director.