It’s Either Him Or Me: Gianandrea Noseda Says He’ll Quit Turin’s Opera Unless General Manager Is Replaced

Noseda

As most Italian opera houses seem to careen from disaster to disaster, Turin’s Teatro Regio has seemed a rare bright spot, with quality and reputation both soaring even as state funding shrivels – and Noseda’s work as music director gets most of the credit. But now his long-simmering tensions with the house’s boss have boiled over.

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Musicians Fight Back For Conductor Fired By Board, Warn Of Mass Departures

ramadanoff

Several players in the Vallejo (Cal.) Symphony have publicly chastised the orchestra’s board for its unanimous vote not to renew the contract of David Ramadanoff, who has served as music director for 33 years. The concertmaster says that “maybe more than half” of the musicians will quit after Ramadanoff’s final concert.

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Why India Loves To Ban Films

india ban 3

“Social scientist Shiv Visvanathan says frequent calls to ban films are part of a broader malaise in a country where ‘a lot of people have made their careers in sensitivities. There are fringe groups in India which mobilise people around issues of obscenity, dirty movies, dirty pictures.’ Political parties like the Congress are particularly touchy, he says, about films that ‘challenge their folklore’.”

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Fearing Riots, Indian Gov’t Blocks Film About Indira Gandhi’s Assassination

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Certification board chief Leela Samson: “We saw the film and decided it could not be released as it was, due to fears that it would lead to disruption of public order. … The film is double trouble. It glorifies Indira Gandhi’s assassins who took the law into their own hands and it glorifies the hanging of the two men.”

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Thelma Holt Tells Tales

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“In the previous 15 minutes, [the legendary London stage producer] has related one story about a fellow theatre producer (unprintable), two stories about a theatre owner (possibly libellous), a yarn about an encounter with the crown prince of Japan (probable diplomatic incident) and a saga that swerves from the crisis in Gaza to David Cameron’s taste in suits.”

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Hemingway for Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton’s Flash Fiction Ads

hemingway for hotels

“It could almost be a writing workshop prompt: tell a story, do it in six words, go for the wow effect – and that’s exactly what the Ritz-Carlton wants. Recently, the hotel company launched a campaign inviting social media friends and followers to provide six-word stories about their Ritz-Carlton experiences with the hashtag #RCMemories.”

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Met Opera Settles Contracts With Last Remaining Unions

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“The Metropolitan Opera announced Thursday night that it had reached labor settlements with the last of its unions, including those representing its costume and wardrobe departments, hair and makeup artists, scenic artists and designers, camera operators and others.”

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How The Elevator Changed Everything

otis elevator

Elisha Graves Otis’s invention didn’t just make whole new styles of architecture possible, writes Jonathan Glancey, it deeply affected our entire culture.

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Asking For Advice Doesn’t Make You Look Dumb – Rather The Contrary

advice

“Down deep, most people are most afraid of this one thing: sounding dumb. New research shows that people shy away from asking for help for fear of appearing less competent, but that this is an unfounded fear: Asking for advice actually makes you seem more capable.”

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Pulp Thrillers In Egypt And The State Of The Egyptian Nation

egyptian pulp

“The golden age of illicit crime fiction translation – from the 1890s through the 1960s – corresponds to the construction of the Egyptian nation, from colonial rule and monarchy to President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalization project. … And now, as authorities attempt to restore law and order, the crime genre is making a comeback.”

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Iraqi National Museum Partly Reopens For First Time Since 2003 Looting

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“The newly renovated halls feature more than 500 artifacts that mainly date back to the Hellenistic period (312-139 B.C.), some of which were retrieved and renovated after the looting of the museum following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.”

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The Classical Music World Is Rife With Drink And Drugs! (Says Yet Another Tattletale)

drink and drugs

“Addiction problems are widespread among classical musicians, for many reasons,” she says. “There is the lifestyle, the odd hours, working weekends, post-concert socialising. Many players use alcohol and beta-blockers to control their performance anxiety and then, after the ‘high’ of a performance, musicians can struggle to ‘come down’ and therefore drink to relax.”

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The Character That Embodies The Entire History Of “The Simpsons”

simpsons moe

The story of barkeep Moe Szyslak – “his oddball beginnings, his pugnacious heart, his rages and joys and astonishing depths – is, in many ways, the story of how The Simpsons went from being a catchphrase-laden pop-culture supernova to one of the most influential cultural works of the late 20th century.”

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I Had Never Seen “The Simpsons”, The Show That Gave My Generation Its Soul

simpsons binge

The Simpsons debuted in 1989, which means millennials have been watching it since elementary school. … The word ['meh'] is so important to my millennial lexicon that a search of my Gchat history displays ’1-20 of many,’ yet by age 30 I had never seen a moment of the show that popularized it.” So Megan Greenwell started binge-watching, and got an education …

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Where Will Amazon Start Using Delivery Drones (Since It Can’t In The U.S.)?

amazon-drones

In India – specifically in Mumbai and Bangalore, where the e-retailer has large warehouses. Service could start as early as this autumn.

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Sympathy For The Devil: Laura Miller Feels Bad For Amazon, Sort Of

Earns Radio Shack

“Lately Amazon has become the Goofus of publishing news, the surly, inconsiderate and gauche kid who never seems to get anything right. … Its pronouncements come in Amazonspeak, a language bred in a corporate echo chamber and the cheerleading threads of its self-publisher forums.”

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“Urlo” – Translating Ginsberg’s “Howl” Into Italian

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“In their letters, Ginsberg answers [the translator's] questions about ‘Kaddish’ and other poems, describing his mother’s ‘paranoiac complaints … used as surreal fragments’; defining cultural references (‘Woody Woodpecker is an allied cartoon character, hero of a series of cartoon disasters in technicolor’); explaining how ‘the LSD poem’ was ‘written at Stanford’s Mental Health Experimental Lab’.”

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How Bookslut Became A Tarot Card Reader

rider waite b

Jessa Crispin: “We all tell ourselves stories, as a way to understand and cope with what’s happening. … Stories were my way in. Those figures in the cards became characters and plot points. I would pull one card every morning, and then look for that character or that plot point in my own life. That argument I keep having with my ex, the one that never resolves? Five of swords.”

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David Hallberg Keeps Fans Updated On The State Of His Foot

hallberg feet

“It was the kind of post you might see on a friend’s Instagram account – a quick note Thursday that the ankle surgery went well, lasted a good four hours, and that his foot ‘must be elevated for over a week so I’ll have time to read and watch god knows what on YouTube.’”

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To Be Or Not To Be: Playwrights On Suicide And Its Complications

suicide

Charles McNulty: “Suicide is an intensely private act that provokes an immense public reaction. It bequeaths to those left behind fundamental questions about the value of existence, the fragility of our social bonds and the hidden life of even those closest to us. For all of these reasons, suicide has been a central concern of drama from its beginnings in 5th century B.C. Athens. What can we learn from the way playwrights have dealt with the complex subject of self-slaughter?”

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SoundCloud To Introduce Ads So It Can Pay Musicians

soundcloud logo

“With 175 million monthly listeners, SoundCloud is the second biggest streaming music service in the world behind YouTube. Yet it hasn’t paid royalties to the creators and rightsholders of that music … Today, SoundCloud is taking its first step [to change that], albeit in a carefully-controlled way with a select group of invited partners in the US for its new ‘On SoundCloud’ initiative.”

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One Guy And A Bunch Of Cardboard Boxes Win Edinburgh Fringe Best Play Prize

object lesson

“A one-man play performed by an illusionist amid a sea of cardboard boxes has won the most coveted theatre prize at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Performance artist Geoff Sobelle’s show [The Object Lesson] will be heading from a tiny room at Summerhall arts centre to the Brooklyn Academy of Music after scooping the prestigious Carol Tambor Award.”

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Even After A Decade On Broadway, “Wicked” Is Casting (Exactly) The Same Spells

wicked

“The producers have been careful, not to say monomaniacal, about replicating the experience they gave audiences in the opening months. … My return visit also confirmed how significant … young fans remain to the show’s success. The audience at the evening performance I attended teemed with bopping tweens and their families.”

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Poet Simin Behbahani, 87, The “Lioness Of Iran”

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A two-time Nobel Prize nominee and one of the country’s most revered writers, “she was a fierce feminist who subverted the form of Iran’s traditional ghazals, love poems traditionally written by male admirers to women. Behbahani flipped the ghazals and wrote hers to men. She used them to write about a mother’s anguish over the loss of her son in the Iran-Iraq war and the horrors of stoning women to death.”

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Vandal Disrupts Jeff Koons Retrospective

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A male artist (it’s always a male artist, isn’t it?) named Istvan Kantor, who has a history of this sort of thing, splashed red paint on a gallery wall in an X shape and scrawled “Monty Cantsin was here” before being led away – to a mental ward, from which, he has tweeted, he has now been released.

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“The Wizard Of Oz” – Feminist Manifesto Or Parable Of Theosophy?

wizard

“The classic film was first shown 75 years ago. Since then, there have been many interpretations, from religious allegory to an acid trip. BBC Culture picks out five of the most interesting readings of L Frank Baum’s modern fairy tale.” (includes video clips)

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14 Artists Who Are Transforming The Future Of Opera

14 artists transforming opera future

“The artists below are some of our favorite opera innovators, toying with non-linear narratives, unusual instruments and new media, to name a few. Some take inspiration from subject matter we’d never expect to see on an opera stage, from gentrification to bad shroom trips to Milli Vanilli.” Some you may know of – composer David T. Little (Dog Days, the upcoming JFK), “electrodiva” Pamela Z – others, you will. (includes video clips)

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A Place Beyond Words: The Literature Of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimers

“As baby boomers approach their seventies and Alzheimer’s disease becomes increasingly commonplace, more and more fiction writers are attempting to reach into that obscure space. … Because the full, internal experience of Alzheimer’s is an account that fiction alone can deliver, … [this is a good time] to reassess the burgeoning genre and determine what its writers can and can’t tell us.”

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Art Isn’t *Only* For Art’s Sake; Politics Is There, But It Isn’t *Everything*

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Alex Ross, responding to Jed Perl: “To debate whether politics is always present or always absent is to play a parlor game irrelevant to the complex, ever-shifting reality in which both artists and their audiences reside. … Ultimately, I cannot forget the historical context. But forgetting is not essential to a full and passionate engagement with the music.” Ross takes as examples the much argued-over Richards, Wagner and Strauss.

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