Mayor Threatens to Close Rome Opera Down If Unions Go Ahead With Strike

Rome Opera

Three of the five unions representing Opera di Roma employees say they’ll shut down the entire run of Manon Lescaut, starring Anna Netrebko and conducted by Riccardo Muti, that opens Thursday if management doesn’t withdraw plans – required by law – to revamp the budget and reduce the staff at the near-bankrupt opera house.

Dresden’s Semper Opera Fires New Boss Before He Starts

Dresden Semper Oper

Saxony’s arts minister said that Serge Dorny, who had received widespread praise for reinvigorating the Opéra de Lyon and was due to start full-time in Dresden in September, “has managed to gamble away any confidence employees might have had in him in the shortest possible period.”

‘Annie’ Co-Creator Disses Recent Broadway Revival (As His Colleagues Run the Other Way)

Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN.Com

Martin Charnin, lyricist and director of the original production (and of an upcoming non-Equity tour): “The entire [original] creative team (Tom, Charles, and I) simply had to restore the charm and the magic of the musical, that has endured for lo, these many years, and that seemed to veer off-course in the recent Broadway production.” Composer Charles Strouse and book writer Thomas Meehan very promptly disavowed Charnin’s statement.

Fan Fiction Is Huge. So How Do Publishers Get In?


“Literary publishing’s uneasy relationship with fan fiction has been complicated by the realization that fandom is a huge potential market—one stocked with both prolific authors and enthusiastic readers. But tapping that market is a dilemma few publishers seem quite prepared to engage.”

How The Public Square Helps Or Hurts Civil Protest


It’s an “increasingly universal phenomenon: the public square as an epicenter of democratic expression and protest, and the lack of one—or the deliberate manipulation of such a space—as a way for autocrats to squash dissent through urban design.”

Ivan Nagy, 70, One of 20th Century’s Great Ballet Dancers

Ivan Nagy

A major star during the 1970s, he made headlines when he abruptly retired from the stage at age 35, when many observers thought he was at his peak. He went on to direct three ballet companies – Santiago (twice), Cincinnati, and English National – where he raised standards, garnered international attention, and always seemed to bring turmoil.

An Anna Deavere Smith for the Revolution in Ukraine

Playwright Natalya Vorozhbit near Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine, where amid the protests and vi

“Kiev’s Independence Square has been home to many writers and artists. The Ukrainian playwright Natalya Vorozhbit spent the last three months conducting interviews around the area. Her intention, she writes, is to create a piece of theatre to capture what happened when a peaceful protest escalated into horror.”

Top Posts From AJBlogs 02.24.14

Artists in the Digital Age, and Falling in Love with Technology
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-02-24

Speed to the Speed For a Discovery
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-02-25

Emergency Manager Favors Detroit Institute’s “Grand Bargain” (plus: more controversies)
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-02-25

Islands Meet Underwater
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Is Sculpture Boring? Winners of 4th Plinth
AJBlog: Aesthetic Grounds | Published 2014-02-24



“Ghostbusters” Writer/Director Harold Ramis, 69


Ramis leaves behind a formidable body of work, with writing credits on such enduring comedies as “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (which upon its 1978 release catapulted the film career of John Belushi, with whom Ramis acted at Second City), “Stripes” (1981) and “Ghostbusters” (in which Ramis also co-starred) plus such directing efforts as “Caddyshack” (1980), “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This.”

Moviefone Is Going Silent


“The automated telephone service — once so popular that it was lampooned on “Seinfeld” — will be disconnected in about a month, before a planned reintroduction of the Moviefone brand by AOL and BermanBraun, a web and television company.”