“The Celebrate Freedom Rally completely sold out the Kennedy Center with thousands in attendance, and a television audience of millions who watched live on July 1 via Daystar — an evangelical Christian, broadcast television network. The entire event was then re-broadcast four times on July 4 via Daystar. Several weeks later, Dr. Jeffress’ Pathway to Victory website began mailing DVD copies of the Celebrate Freedom Rally to any who requested it via an online registration form. The Celebrate Freedom Rally and Concert taking place inside the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts represents a coup d’état of the cultural and artistic life of the United States.”
Both Keira Drank and her publisher thought that her novel The Continent would be well-received, and, at first, it was. Then came the tweetstorms accusing Drake of writing a white-savior story and stereotyping. She took the criticisms to heart and reworked her text. Lila Shapiro reports on what happened next.
“L’Ange de Nisida (The Angel of Nisida) – composed in the late 1830s after [Donizetti] moved to work in Paris – never saw the light of day. It was written for the city’s Théâtre de la Renaissance, but the company went bankrupt before it was premiered. The opera was thought to have been lost until musicologist Dr Candida Mantica … painstakingly located and deciphered the score’s fragments over eight years. … The work will be premiered on 18 July at Covent Garden by London-based Opera Rara.”
“The general public tends to assume that contemporary paintings should be easily understandable for anyone with eyes to see them (and for more sophisticated audiences, for anyone who spends time and attention on the work). But this is not the case. Even if you are familiar with the moods, settings and styles of portraits you have previously seen, you are not necessarily equipped to understand Kehinde Wiley’s work.”
“There may be a fundamental weakness in the way opera companies present new work: There is so much pressure on each single piece to get white-bread eaters to magically develop a new palate that it becomes somehow less appetizing. What stimulates the appetite is the sight of a rich assortment of different kinds of flours and seeds and rolls, sweet and savory — what you see when you go into any bakery.”
Are best director – Guillermo del Toro – and best picture – in BAFTA’s case, Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri – now a lock for the Academy Awards? (Maybe!)
It’s not clear yet whether the firings of many reporters and hosts will affect listeners’ willingness to donate money. However: “WNYC held a one-day pledge drive in late December, after Mr. Lopate and Mr. Schwartz were fired, and the station had its hosts address the controversy and promise transparency. The station declined to disclose the full results of that drive, though it said last week that listener donations in December and January were up 11.5 percent from the same period a year before.”
The Amazon show’s fourth season dropped over the weekend, and “at a moment when living composers — especially women — struggle to get their works performed, ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ … has become an unlikely destination to hear new music.”
She has said she was attacked, and threatened, by James Toback, and she wasn’t really planning to come forward. “I was the only one who was somewhat known, so I thought this is all gonna be on me, this lawsuit. I won’t be able to put my kid through school. Then it turned out there were 38 other women accusing him, and he called them cunts and cocksuckers and liars, so I thought, OK, I’ll lose everything, I’ll go to court. I will be on the right side of history. Now he’s up to 396 women, and I’m sure there are thousands.”
Analysts predicted an eye-popping $165 million North American weekend take – and their predictions were promptly dismantled by $218 million in ticket sales in North America alone, and almost $400 million globally. The records are almost too many to name: “Black Panther instantly became the top-grossing film in history by a black director (Ryan Coogler) and featuring a largely black cast. … Theaters scrambled to add show times to accommodate crowds; AMC Southlake 24 in suburban Atlanta squeezed in 84 show times on Friday alone.”
For the mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, “the victory completed something of a full-circle journey: She applied to the competition seven years ago without knowing its pedigree, and was promptly told by her teacher to withdraw. ‘She broke it down for me: ‘I appreciate how eager you are, but you are in no way ready for something on this level.’ I was quite bitter,’ Ms. Bryce-Davis said in an interview.”
Norma Winstone’s Movie Music
Norma Winstone, Descansado: Songs For Films (ECM) In an album striking for its quietness and its daring, British vocalist Norma Winstone and her augmented trio interpret music from motion pictures. The augmentation … read more
AJBlog: RiffTidesPublished 2018-02-16
Replay: Igor Stravinsky conducts his Firebird Suite
Igor Stravinsky leads the NHK Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the 1945 version of his Firebird Suite, performed at the Osaka International Festival on May 1, 1959: (This is the latest in a … read more
AJBlog: About Last NightPublished 2018-02-16
Pianist Menahem Pressler at age 94: Fragile, fallible but still a credit to his legacy?
Pianist Menahem Presller, still playing at age 94 Human beings are living longer – and so are performing artists. The question of when do they retire gracefully isn’t going away, and if anything, will only … read more
AJBlog: Condemned to MusicPublished 2018-02-15
Correspondence: Oscar Peterson And Nat Cole
Frequent Rifftides correspondent Svetlana Ilicheva writes from Moscow: I wonder if it is a well-known thing that Oscar Peterson sang? It was a great surprise to find this recording, not only for … read more
AJBlog: RiffTidesPublished 2018-02-15
The adapter and director of Harlem Quartet worked on the script for three years, bringing her adaptation to Paris for only three nights before heading out on a tour of France – a tour that, she says, would not have been possible without Raoul Peck’s 2016 movie I Am Not Your Negro.