Loreena McKennitt | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Loreena McKennitt

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For me, guilty pleasures don't get much guiltier or more pleasurable than Loreena McKennitt, the fluttery-voiced Canadian soprano whose new-age fusions of world music and poetry represent what's best and worst about having eclectic taste in an age of cultural imperialism. On her seventh album, An Ancient Muse (Quinlan Road, 2006), she continues to romanticize all over the map, taking lyrical inspiration from The Odyssey and Sir Walter Scott and setting it to music evolved from klezmer and the Byzantine Empire. It's sweeping, hyperromantic, and superficial--don't expect it to make any sense--but it's also hair-raisingly beautiful. Still, there's nothing as indelible here as, say, "The Mystic's Dream" (a journey through 15th-century Spain); that song alone earned McKennitt a decade of indulgences. a 7:30 PM, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker, 312-419-0033 or 312-559-1212, $33-$63. A

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