The Metropolitan Opera said on Tuesday that the new production of Verdi’s Otello that will open its season next month will not use blackface makeup on the white tenor singing the title role, breaking with a performance tradition of more than a century.”
“There’s another popular saying: Wherever there are Chinese people, there is Teresa Teng’s music. I never appreciated her symbolism as a child, back when her music seemed soft and ubiquitous. But it’s not hard to imagine how Teng’s songs about love and distance spoke to the various migrations and political estrangements throughout the Chinese-speaking world. For immigrants throughout the Chinese diaspora, her music was a reminder of their journeys, an excuse to indulge in nostalgia, three or four minutes at a time.
“In Afghanistan, women in uniform are widely seen in the airports and across bases heading to work. But watch a war movie and the roughly 300,000 women who have deployed in America’s post-9/11 wars are largely missing in action. These untold stories have consequences both for how America sees its women in uniform and how they see themselves.”
“You’ve heard of actors getting typecast. But there is no group more slighted, more narrowly cast, than the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. Jon Ronson embarks on a soul-searching odyssey with the bad guys of Homeland, American Sniper, 24, and every other TV show and movie in which the holy warriors get mowed down before they even get to finish one good ‘Allahu Akbar!’“
“The stash of books about ancient coins and Egyptian pyramids seemed to belong more in a 1950s library in Germany than on the back of a truck filled with shoulder-fired missiles. Then again, if you’re an Islamic State fighter with plans to loot and sell antiquities to the West in order to fund your cause, it helps to know which objects to look for.”
“The children around our house have a saying that everything is either true, not true, or one of Mother’s delusions. … The very nicest thing about being a writer is that you can afford to indulge yourself endlessly with oddness, and nobody can really do anything about it, as long as you keep writing and kind of using it up, as it were.”
“Awe is not an everyday emotion. You don’t wake up awestruck. A satisfying lunch doesn’t leave you filled with awe. Even a great day is unlikely to leave you in a state of jaw-dropped, consciousness-opening fear and trembling. Perhaps that’s why, up until about ten years ago, psychology had surprisingly little to say about awe.” So Jonathan Haidt and Dacher Keltner set out to change that.
“Music Unwound” – The NEH and the Music Education Crisis
AJBlog: Unanswered Question Published 2015-08-04
Who’s “Unfair”? Guggenheim & Gulf Labor Coalition Exchange Barbs Over Delayed Abu Dhabi Project
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2015-08-04
Follow that Brook at your Peril!
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2015-08-04
“In an age of unprecedented foreign travel, tourists get quite a bad rap, not least from tourists themselves. Of course, many high-minded people would scoff at the notion that they are tourists, beholden to the same vulgar taste as the travelling masses, even though, as we shall see, that hierarchy is not a very convincing one.”
“There’s my avoidance of readings, my fake enthusiasm as I swindle my own students out of their Friday nights to go to a lecture I won’t attend, my gag-triggering physical loathing of bookstores, my requirement that reading materials appear on my nightstand by benevolent conjury, without any consumer effort from me. There’s my acute failure as an educator to fill any tiny part of the role of writing-community steward that is assumed of me. There’s my own titanic hypocrisy most recently as I think about promoting a new book in the very community I can’t show love for. So here I am. In all my humility.”
Five days before opening, all conventional efforts exhausted, the company resorted to trying to reach Swift on social media and in what may be a first, she granted the rights via Twitter just hours ago. While I suspect there are some contractual details to be worked out beyond “Permission granted,” presumably the tweet from Swift gives Belvoir Street enough comfort that they can proceed.
“There’s a live Bob Marley concert and Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra, John Coltrane recordings and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, part of a collection that for years the DJs wouldn’t discuss for fear that the bosses would order them to destroy them or ship the collection off the island, like other radio stations in the Defense Department broadcasting system.”
The company was looking to commission an adaptation of Ann Patchett’s novel Bel Canto. Jimmy López remembers getting a call about it from his friend, conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya: “November 18th, 2010, I was having lunch and I got a call from Miguel. He said, ‘You need to go home and upload your vocal music to YouTube.'”
“In a slim, Day-Glo orange book that caused a furor when it was published in Germany last year, … a 31-year-old German entrepreneur/professor/art adviser named Magnus Resch … argues that most galleries are undercapitalized and inefficient, and moreover, that with McKinsey-like business strategies … the entire art market could be turned into a profit-generating machine.”
The artists Gerard & Kelly “saw performer compensation ‘as a blind spot in how performance was entering [museum] collections’… They learned that the going rate museums paid performers in major 2010 exhibitions was about $20 an hour, which they found low and arbitrary. (This includes Marina Abramovic’s piece at the Museum of Modern Art, they said, and Tino Sehgal’s at the Guggenheim, the first performance piece that museum acquired.)” So they negotiated a wage formula for performers in their latest work, and included it in the license for any museum that wants to present it.
The executive committee of the [San Luis Obispo Symphony’s] board of directors voted unanimously to terminate Feingold’s employment and he was let go Friday … Feingold’s departure comes less than three months after the ouster of former Music Director Michael Nowak, who had held that post for 31 years and was widely considered the public face of the symphony.”
“Somewhere along the way Cruise went from being the biggest star on the planet to his own films’ worst enemy.” (We all remember the Oprah Couch-Jumping Incident.) “There was something about Tom Cruise’s … well, Tom Cruise-ness that felt like it needed to be brought down a peg.” But Bilge Ebiri, after watching all of his movies for an assignment, argues that Cruise is an underrated, and sometimes ingenious, actor.