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Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Surgery Forcing Cancellation Of Hernandez Date

The news from Uptown Opera is disappointing - potentially even serious.

Frank Hernandez, the homegrown baritone who won the Pavarotti Competition, has canceled his dates in September to sing “Cosi Fan Tutte” with the Uptown Opera at The Met.

Hernandez, now with the Houston Grand Opera, is scheduled for surgery on Sept. 2 to correct a stomach disorder related to excess acid.

This is not a particularly dangerous surgery, but for an opera singer, any surgery in the abdominal area can be potentially career-threatening. Those are the muscles used to power the voice.

The best thing for us to do is to redirect our disappointment over not seeing Hernandez in Spokane and convert it into good vibrations which we can send to Houston when surgery time rolls around. If all goes well, he will be singing again by November.

Meanwhile, Uptown Opera has landed a first-rate replacement for Hernandez.

Baritone David Adam Moore, a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music along with Hernandez, will fill the role. Moore has won numerous prizes, including the Italo Tajo Prize at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Because of Hernandez’s cancellation, his new bride, Jan Grissom, will not be able to sing the role of Despina as planned. Her role will be taken over by Spokane soprano Heather Steckler, who has impressed audiences in many productions.

“Cosi Fan Tutte” runs Sept. 5-13 at The Met. Call G&B; Select-a-Seat (325-SEAT) for tickets.

An impressive grant

The Cheney Cowles Museum has received an enormous boost for the (hoped for) opening exhibition of its new expanded facility.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has granted the museum $43,398 to develop “The People of the Rivers: Lifeways of the Northern Plateau,” scheduled for 1999 or whenever the expansion is complete. This will be an extensive exhibition about the Plateau Indian peoples of the Inland Northwest, and will be developed in collaboration with the Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Kalispel and Colville Confederated tribes.

The grant was awarded as part of a national competition. The panel that judged these proposals called it a “model proposal” and one that deserved the “highest commendation.”

This is a natural project for the Cheney Cowles, since the museum has the largest collection of Plateau Indian materials in the nation.

This grant will help the museum realize one of its more ambitious goals: to put the exhibition on national tour after its Spokane run is over.

An honor for Cat Country

KDRK-FM (Cat Country, 93.7) is a finalist in the medium-market category for the 1997 Country Music Association Radio Station of the Year.

Just being a finalist is honor enough, but if the station wins, it will receive its award on the air at the big CMA awards show televised by CBS in September. KDRK will have to beat out stations from Austin, Texas; Greenville, S.C.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Birmingham, Ala.

KDRK just might pull it off.

‘Cats’ tickets vanishing

Speaking of cats, only 300 tickets are left out of 13,000 for five performances of “Cats,” Aug. 29-31 at the Spokane Opera House.

If you want to see this Andrew Lloyd Webber hairball-fest, call G&B; Select-a-Seat as soon as possible.

Where’s Rick Douglas?

Some callers and letter writers have asked this week, “Where’s Rick Douglas ?”

The answer: weekends at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

The KHQ anchor is gone from the weekday 6 a.m. show, which is why people are wondering where he went. Dan Kleckner took over that job a few weeks ago.

However, Douglas is now the weekend news co-anchor along with Beverly Carr . He will also be doing special projects.

Douglas is happy to have more sane hours.

“I don’t miss getting up in the middle of the night,” he said.

A model Inlander

This week’s Inlander is a particularly good one.

It has a fine in-depth cover story by Amy Cannata on “Do We Need This Bridge?” about the Lincoln Street Bridge project, which explains the pros and cons particularly well. It also has good stories about Julia Sweeney , “Jesus Christ Superstar,” art and music.

The Inlander seems to be maturing nicely. And it’s still free.

A true meteorologist

KXLY-4 weather anchor Laura Ashley has earned her seal of approval from the National Weather Association and has completed her certification program in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University.

Snicker if you must, but that MSU certification program is a tough and demanding scientific course. To pass it, you truly have to know your isobars from your isotherms.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

MEMO: Spotlight is a weekly column of news and commentary on the arts and media. To leave a message on Jim Kershner’s voice-mail, call 459-5493. Or send e-mail to, or regular mail to Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

Spotlight is a weekly column of news and commentary on the arts and media. To leave a message on Jim Kershner’s voice-mail, call 459-5493. Or send e-mail to, or regular mail to Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210.

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