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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Carl Ratner’s farewell recital to feature friends, Italian classics and Strauss songs

Courtesy of Carl Ratner

Dr. Carl Ratner retired on Dec 31, 2022 after 21 years of teaching at the Western Michigan University School of Music (now the Irving S. Gilmore School of Music). As Director of Opera, he has shepherded countless student productions to fruition, taught private voice lessons, collaborated with colleagues, and continued his own professional career as a baritone. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Ratner says he’ll continue to do all of those things in retirement, minus the committee meetings and administrative tasks that go along with professorship.

At 7:30 pm on Wednesday, Jan 18 in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, Ratner will sing a selection of Richard Strauss songs and classic Italian arias and duets with colleagues Karen Kness, Rhea Olivaccé, Emanuel-Cristian Caraman, Lori Sims and Gunta Laukmane. He shares detail on the repertoire as he talks about the program, and they listen to Allerseelen by Richard Strauss, Leoncavallo’s Mattinata, the “Fly Duet” from Orpheus in the Underworld, and “Au fond du temple saint” from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. Ratner looks back on the highlights of his time at WMU and speaks with pride on the accomplishments of his students.

More information on the Bullock Series recital are available at this website.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.