Twenty years ago, the Colombian city was a center of the worldwide cocaine trade, notorious for gun violence; even ten years ago the place was considered unsafe. Now it’s considered a hotbed of innovation.
General director David Gockley: “Audience surveys made the point: People want to be wowed every time – with singers, conductors, productions, and we have to deliver or die. … So we have bet the ranch that the increased numbers of productions, the diversity of repertory, five new productions (including the massive epic of Les Troyens, which will stretch us to our limits) should recapture subscribers, fill the houses, and produce [additional] contributions.
“Ten years ago, the genre was a major source of intellectual energy on the right, and the site of a publishing boom, with conservative imprints popping up at industry giants like Random House and Penguin. But after a decade of disruption, uneven sales, and fierce competition, many leading figures in the conservative literati fear the market has devolved into an echo of cable news, where an overcrowded field of preachers feverishly contends for the attention of the same choir.”
“Four days after giving a pilot greenlight to drama Alice in Arabia, ABC Family is pulling the plug on the project about an American teenage girl kidnapped by her extended royal Saudi Arabian family and forced to live with them.”
BuzzFeed, which got a copy of the script, fills us in.
“The concert I signed up for would showcase 100 people from around the world collaborating live in an electronic, computer-driven concert – like a massive group game of Guitar Hero … ‘Sure,’ I said. ‘What could go wrong?’ … If panic had a language, it would probably be very much like what transpired [in rehearsal] that day.”
“I am looking to meditate on the expansive nature of consciousness through dance, where language, dream states, memory, and willful artifice combine to create a unique form. I am interested in dance outside of its ‘narrative’ potential. … My work embodies a convergence of many ideas, not a paring down to one theme.”
“No one is quite sure how the trend will end up, and whether it will succeed at making money or building audiences. But many music organizations say they believe such web streams will prove helpful, saying that they must find audiences where they are, in an era when sales of CDs and digital downloads are declining, and streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are growing rapidly.”
“We benefit from taxing our brains with the mental exercise of humor, much as we benefit from the physical exercise of a long run or a tough tennis match. Comedy extends our mental stamina and improves our mental flexibility.”
“I thought that I could wedge/force/hipcheck my way into a position that would reconcile the type of work that I wanted to do with the teaching that I love. But as a friend of mine said [about] her time on the market, ‘academia is drunk’ — not belligerent or irresponsible so much single-sightedly focused on things that may or may not ultimately matter.”
“Not as many people as we would like in Tunbridge Wells appreciate opera.”
“The compound modifier that many readers and critics have settled on to describe Ms. Aboulela’s work is Sudanese-British, which leaves plenty of room for criticism in a world of relentless categorization.” (And then there’s Scotland.)
“Some readers became so attached to the image of a short, emaciated girl claiming victory in the battle-royal arena that when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss, multiple critics complained that she was too ‘big-boned’ for the part.”
“The to-do list for the decade between ages 10 and 20 includes separating from your parents, finding your place among your peers at school, beginning to make decisions about your own future, and—oh yes—figuring out how to relate to the world, and yourself, as a suddenly and mystifyingly sexual being.”
“Though effective in many ways, he’s largely unsuited for the entrepreneurial and managerial tasks for which he’s responsible.”
“Researchers led by the University of California-San Diego’s Marian Bartlett pitted humans against computers in a battle to see who could best distinguish between genuine and faked facial expressions of pain. We lost, by a lot.”
“The Netflix model is spreading like a spider virus, with companies bundling masses of content for a low monthly fee in an all-you-can-eat format, and packaging them with sifting tools and algorithms to help customers find what strikes their fancy.”
“The dancers involved in this process need to be open-minded and brave.”
“Taking a cue from mission-driven, for-profit companies such as Toms Shoes and Ben & Jerry’s, some museums are getting entrepreneurial about delivering services.”
“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions.”
“Eventually, the library says it hopes to make available online all its 82,000 manuscripts. The manuscripts that will be digitised extend from pre-Columbian America to China and Japan in the Far East, passing through all the languages and cultures that have marked the culture of Europe.”
Where have they all gone ? Today’s music scene seems to be all about being “real”, wearing your heart on your sleeve – Adele, Frank Ocean, Plan B, Drake, Elbow, Emeli Sandé et al would all rather “be themselves” on stage. “I’m like you,” they seem to say, “so buy my records.” But this overly cautious stance is akin to Prince Harry’s efforts to be “one of the lads”. Where’s the drama? The style? Have we lost the art of pretentious performance?
Union members have occupied Paris’ Opera Garnier in a protest over proposed changes to labor rules for theater workers.
“Our research suggests that people who play violent video games as violent black characters are more likely to believe that blacks are violent people,” concludes a research team led by Grace Yang of the University of Michigan and Brad Bushman of the Ohio State University.
“Actors may move to Los Angeles with the hope to make money in movies and television. What they find, however, may surprise them and save their artistic lives: a thriving Los Angeles theater scene of generous, talented artists.”
Said a Public Radio International exec, “During our most recent negotiation, it became clear that our organizations’ expectations regarding our futures were different.” (Ira Glass and his crew hasten to assure us that they’re not ending the show.)
The team of managers and curators at Hong Kong’s M+, part of the long-delayed West Kowloon Cultural District, “is faced with two daunting tasks: It has to assemble a major collection and has to engage the public through temporary offerings, years before the museum building is completed.”