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A celebrity flashes and a composer refuses to pay tax

Two storms in the London teacup are exciting the newspapers. At the Barbican performance of Glass’s Einstein on the Beach, Bianca Jagger was challenged by an angry critic in her row to stop taking photographs. The critic blogged about it entertainingly and several newspapers are trying to blow it into a cause celebre. Our eyewitness in the same row reports: ‘it was no big deal’.

Last Friday, the composer Michael Nyman had an opera proposal turned down by the Royal Opera House. He voiced his dismay on Facebook, saying the ROH would never take anything from him again and he might as well stop supporting it with his taxes. (The ROH say t was just the one idea they passed on.) This, too, has been blown into a celebby mini-tempest. There’s obviously nothing happening in this town.


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  1. Michael Nyman’s threat to withdraw his taxes from Covent Garden suggests an idea that might make a lot of composers nervous. What if we were allowed to demand our money back each time we emerged dissatisfied from the premiere of a publicly funded piece of music? I’ve been to loads of concerts where the audience could have spent the commission more profitably at the bar during the interval.

  2. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just stop paying taxes for the things we disapprove of or that gets us PO’d. Unfortunately, that would cause a total break-down of modern society and we’d end up in a state of anarchy (called Greece 2).

    Compared to so many other composers, Nyman is doing rather well. He should stop acting like a spoiled child.

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