Bye-Bye Bauer | The Reader's Guide Feature | Chicago Reader

Bye-Bye Bauer 

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The lobby of the College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center was mobbed for the season finale of the New Philharmonic in early May. Fans had turned out in force for the orchestra's tribute to its founder, Harold Bauer, who more or less single-handedly brought professional classical music to Du Page County. Bauer had already retired from the college faculty, and that evening he gave his final performance with the Philharmonic after 27 years as its music director. Now he's back for one more farewell run--this time with the DuPage Opera Theatre, which he also founded, 26 years ago. For his swan song as artistic and music director, Bauer has chosen La traviata, Verdi's 150-year-old masterpiece based on Alexandre Dumas' semiautobiographical novel, The Lady of the Camelias. Traviata is the story of Violetta, a high-class prostitute who finds true love, sacrifices it for what she thinks is the good of her lover, then dies--a sort of downer Pretty Woman. Staged by Timothy X. Troy, it'll be sung in English, with Sarah Hibbard as Violetta, Tod Kowallis as the clueless boyfriend, and Scott Skiba as his interfering father. "I love every note of it," Bauer says. "Just wanted to do it one more time with the company I love best." Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra music director Kirk Muspratt will succeed Bauer with the opera and orchestra. La traviata opens with a matinee at 3 on Sunday, July 11, then plays at 8 Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, July 13, 16, and 17, at the McAninch center on the college campus, Park and Fawell in Glen Ellyn. Tickets are $34, $32 for students and seniors; call 630-942-4000.

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