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February 2, 2003

Jan 27-Feb 1

  1. The New Castrati? There are, of course, no more castrati, male singers castrated in their youth so as to preserve their high, immature voices. And while no one would ever suggest a return to the barbaric practice, music historians have long lamented the loss of the unique sound such performers produced. In the last century, the parts originally written for castrati have been largely sung by countertenors, men singing in highly developed falsetto. But many of the most difficult Baroque castrato operas have been all but abandoned for lack of skilled enough performers in the countertenor range. Until now. Chicago Tribune 01/30/03

  2. How Do We Perceive Art? "One of the hottest topics of academic inquiry in recent years has been the relationship between art and cognition. This interest is a natural outgrowth of the cognitive revolution that began in the early 1960s, producing a growing body of knowledge about cognitive processes. Little of value is likely to come of all this ferment, however, without a fundamental reassessment of what exactly is meant by the key term, art, in relation to cognition. Scholars must begin by asking themselves whether that term can coherently encompass all the modernist and postmodernist innovations of the past hundred years." Aristos 01/03

  3. Why San Francisco Opera Is Hurting What's the cause of the financial problems at San Francisco Opera and the resulting change in the way the company does business? Janos Gereben has done a little digging, and offers a list of contributing factors. San Francisco Classical Voice (2nd item) 01/28/03

  4. One Kind Of Art - Why Artists Specialize "Most contemporary artists remain specialists, and the reasons are plain to see. The intensity that we want from art usually emerges only when an artist knows a medium or a kind of structure or a certain vocabulary inside out. This has certainly been true in the past few months in New York." The New Republic 01/23/03

  5. Art Or Money - Can't We All Just Get Along? The struggle between the vision of art and the business of art is neverending. But in tighter economic times, the battles seem more dramatic, more public. "What conclusion can be drawn from this eternal square dance between the powers of money and the powers of art? Artistic directors can't be slaves to money, but they can't be defiantly unrealistic, either." The New York Times 01/28/03

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