Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Metropolitan Opera tenor to perform at UT

‘Mr. Warmth,’ Don Rickles, hailed for lifetime achievement


Metropolitan Opera tenor Michael Sylvester will perform a recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the University of Toledo Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall to help kick off the second annual Art Song Festival at UT.

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Metropolitan Opera tenor Michael Sylvester will perform a recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the University of Toledo Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall to help kick off the second annual Art Song Festival at UT.

Sylvester studied music and voice at Westminster Choir College and Indiana University, where he earned a master’s degree in music.

His stage career crisscrossed the globe. Sylvester performed in starring roles in London’s Covent Garden, Milan’s La Scala, the Vienna and Berlin opera houses, the Paris Opera, and Buenos Aires Teatro Colon, among others, plus all the major opera venues in the United States.

During the 1990s, Sylvester appeared in more performances of Verdi’s Aida, as Radames, than any other tenor in Metropolitan Opera history. He made his professional opera directorial debut with the same work in 2001, with the Indianapolis Opera.

For his Toledo program, Sylvester’s program will be a celebration of German, Italian, and American music by Robert Schumann, Giancarlo Menotti, Norman Dello Joio, and Steven Mark Kohn.

Tickets are $10 at the door.


Rickles honored

Don Rickles was to receive the Friars Club lifetime achievement award for comedy at a gala Monday at the Waldorf Astoria. Among those scheduled to honor Rickles were his good friend Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Kathy Griffin, John Mayer, and Diana Krall.

Bruce Charet, the “scribe” of the club, said Rickles is of the “generation that made the Friars famous. He is sort of the last man standing from the Rat Pack-Sinatra generation. He’s truly one of the greats from that generation and has become an iconic figure for two generations that have come after him. He is the coolest 87-year-old man on the planet.”

Though his ironic nickname is “Mr. Warmth” because of his caustic humor, in reality Rickles is a pussycat. His back isn’t in the best shape, but that doesn’t stop him from making 25 to 50 stand-up appearances a year. In fact, he’s been a mainstay in Las Vegas since 1959.

Rickles has been in New York since last week doing David Letterman’s show and two stand-up gigs, including one Saturday night in Westbury, N.Y., with Philbin.


Bound for ‘Downton’

Carson better stock up on the Pinot Noir: Sideways star Paul Giamatti will be a guest star on Downton Abbey in its upcoming fourth season, it was announced Monday.

According to a news release from Carnival Films, Masterpiece, and PBS, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, perhaps best known for his role as a schlumpy wine snob in Alexander Payne’s Oscar-winning film, will star as Harold, Cora’s “maverick, playboy brother” in the season finale.

It’s the latest surprising casting news for the costume drama, which will look quite different when it returns to PBS on Jan. 14. Following the departure of series regulars Dan Stevens, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Siobhan Finneran, Downton Abbey will welcome a crop of new cast members that includes Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David, and Gary Carr.

Giamatti will appear alongside Shirley MacLaine, also slated to return in Season 4 following a brief guest role in Season 3.


‘Today’ re-schedules Deen

Paula Deen will appear on NBC’s Today show on Wednesday, according to host Matt Lauer.

Lauer’s announcement came Monday, three days after the celebrity cook abruptly canceled on the morning show, where she was scheduled to answer questions about her past use of racial slurs.

Lauer said Deen “told us she will be here this time.”

While questioned last month in a discrimination lawsuit, the 66-year-old Food Network star admitted to using the N-word in the past, but she insisted she and her family do not tolerate prejudice.

Deen issued videotaped apologies Friday afternoon seeking forgiveness from fans and critics. But hours later, the Food Network announced it wouldn’t renew her contract when it ends this month.


M-52 ‘Transformed’

Filming for the blockbuster Transformers 4 will close a section of M-52 between Weston Road and Mulberry Road in Lenawee County beginning at 8 p.m. today through 9 a.m. Saturday, the Michigan Department of Transportation and Lenawee County Road Commission confirmed.

Traffic will be detoured through local roads Weston and Lyons Highway in Michigan and continue on State Rt. 1-20 for Ohio. Detour signs will be posted. For more information, call Lenawee County Road Commission at 517-265-6971.

The unofficially titled Transformers 4 is the latest sequel in the popular summer movie franchise which has grossed more than $2.6 billion worldwide. The film stars Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci, both new to the Transformers series, with Michael Bay returning to direct.

According to, the production is filming in Pontiac, Mich., and sites in Illinois, Texas, and Utah. The film has a tentative release date of June 27, 2014.

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