Culture Calendar: Detroit Opera, Jack White, & More

Ryan Patrick Hooper, host of ’CultureShift’ on 101.9 WDET, curates your guide to the month in arts and entertainment
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Detroit Opera
Experience La Bohème in reverse order at the Detroit Opera House April 2, 6, and 10. // Image courtesy of Detroit Opera

A new name and a new show for Michigan Opera Theatre

The Michigan Opera Theatre company will now be known as the Detroit Opera, marking a new era for one of the state’s most storied and respected cultural institutions. It’s also under relatively new artistic director Yuval Sharon. The name change will be celebrated with performances of Puccini’s opus La Bohème, on April 2, 6, and 10, at the Detroit Opera House. In a twist, this classic will be presented in reverse — a first for this work. Get tickets at detroitopera.org

A guide to the city’s collection of Albert Kahn architecture

The art deco decadence of the Fisher Building. The stately opulence of the former General Motors headquarters. These are some of the well-known masterpieces of architect Albert Kahn, who is often referred to as “Detroit’s architect,” for the vast number of buildings he designed in the city (some estimates put that total at more than 800 structures, from factories to banks and skyscrapers). In architecture buff and photographer Dale Carlson’s new book, Kahn’s Detroit: A Field Guide to Albert Kahn Designs of the Metro Area, he lays out a detailed self-guided tour of 301 commercial and residential buildings that Kahn designed in metro Detroit. This is a must-have for design lovers looking to dig even deeper into Kahn’s legacy throughout the Motor City and beyond. Find it at local bookstores, including Pure Detroit in the Fisher Building, puredetroit.com, and on amazon.com

Jack White
Jack White’s first of two albums with releases slated for this year — along with two hometown shows — lands this April. // Photograph courtesy of Jack White

Jack White in town

It’s a fine time to add Jack White to the playlist, as he preps to release two albums — Fear of the Dawn (out April 8) and Entering Heaven Alive (out July 22). He’s also scheduled a pair of hometown shows at Detroit’s Masonic Temple Theatre to kick off his massive world tour on April 8 and 9. So far, the singles have shown us two sides of Jack — his sweet, sensitive, and bluesy side (“Love Is Selfish”) and his turned-up-to-11 side (“Fear of the Dawn”). If you’re not feeling the new tracks, don’t sweat it. His Detroit shows are always legendary and loud, pulling together the favorites you know and love while delivering something special and new for the local audience. Visit themasonic.com for additional information. 

Worth the drive: Another stunner of a show at Flint’s MW Gallery 

I’ll never stop screaming from the rooftops that the MW Gallery in Flint is one of the best cultural institutions in the entire state. It’s home to the Mott-Warsh Collection, one of the largest private collections of African American art in the country, spanning more than 800 contemporary pieces across mediums of all sorts. It also introduced a new exhibition, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, which is on display and free to the public through Aug. 20. Under the curatorial direction of Stephanie James, the exhibit explores how people find relief amid life’s daily barrage of challenges and features work from Carrie Mae Weems, Whitfield Lovell, Adrian Piper, and others. Make a day trip of it by consulting our guide to Flint, and learn more about MW Gallery here. Visit m-wc.org for additional information.


Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET Detroit’s NPR station (weekdays from noon to 2 p.m.).

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