With a production of Marin Marais’s 1706 opera Alcione conducted by Jordi Savall, the historic house where Bizet’s Carmen and Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande had their premieres is back with all its Belle Époque splendor renewed. Among the restorers’ proudest achievements is recreating the auditorium’s unique shade of red, somewhere between coral and brick. (slide show with text in French; Google Translate version here)
“Evidence from the carvings, made on a pillar known as the Vulture Stone, suggests that a swarm of comet fragments hit the Earth in around 11000 BC. One image of a headless man is thought to symbolise human disaster and extensive loss of life. The site is at Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey, which experts now believe may have been an ancient observatory.”
Suspicions about the almost sudden spread and funding of American art movements such as Abstract Expressionism led critic Max Kozloff to describe it in a 1973 essay as“a form of benevolent propaganda.” But while much is known about CIA funding for American art during the Cold War, their support for Arab art during the same period has rarely been discussed.
“While most community arts programs for underserved youth were planned by caring, well-intentioned organizers, they are doing serious harm. They are designed to mitigate risk — to treat participants not as creative talent full of ideas and possibility, but as disadvantaged youth or, worse, cautionary tales in the making. Their target outcomes are preventing violence or pregnancy, lowering obesity rates or other deficits attached to their community’s identity — not to prepare our country for a future of innovation and economic participation. This must change.”
“How can we change what we do so that we are bringing in more readers in more places to be more engaged. It’s not a question purely of page views, but more engaged: the term that encompasses both sheer numbers and the kind of readers they are, whether they are subscribers, how long they’re spending on the articles, where in the world they’re located. So what we want in classical music, and what everyone in the paper wants, is to be bringing our journalism to a substantive and engaged readership.”
“Niche reality shows reveal a range of American cultures and give the audience a new experience: the chance to plunge into others’ unfamiliar realities. Dividing “reality” into ever more microscopic fields, the joyously weird new contest shows celebrate the deviations from the normal, amplifying a subculture’s arcana to stadium size. A cynic might cavil that networks are merely exploiting the American viewer’s new taste, trained by social media, for variety and distinctiveness.”
The project by the American Shakespeare Center, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, “invites writers to submit plays inspired by each of Shakespeare’s, on a schedule coordinated with the theater’s season. Two winners will be chosen each year, and will be performed in repertory along with the Shakespeare play that inspired them, starting in 2019. (Each winning playwright will receive $25,000.)”
“While several companies already exist to police artists’ copyright, few have the technical firepower to search the dark web for works that are potentially stolen or forged.” But a DC-based art forensics firm and Singapore-based specialists in online intellectual property violations have teamed up to develop that firepower.
Among the many roles that won her acclaim at the Met, Covent Garden, and two dozen other international opera houses were the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Idamante in Mozart’s Idomeneo, and, in contemporary opera, Kitty Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic and Sister Helen Préjean in Dead Man Walking.
Unplugged, soft-spoken and unchaotic — parents now, rather than children — is a good summary of the Bang on a Can founders these days, even as their energy is undimmed. Their work, once punkishly outsiderish, is now showered with mainstream accolades.
“We were very aggressive about being relevant for the community we were in,” Morlot said. “We want people to feel that this symphony is their community orchestra.” But that part of his job, he said, “is crucial but sometimes exhausting” — the fundraising, the meetings, the oversight for educational programs and civic engagement.
Michelle Hensley founded Ten Thousand Things, which “pioneered an operating style — paying good wages to top-notch actors while cutting costs by keeping designs minimal — now practiced by at least eight companies nationwide.” Now she’s stepping down.
Director Dominic Dromgoole: “The British desire not to do things, not to make things, can be very wearying. But Wanamaker, an extraordinary blend of charmer, irritant, huckster, dreamer and impresario, plowed on.”
Even when you’re not Hamlet, it can be a little … intense. It started here: “I won a contest hosted by Airbnb, where entrants were invited to explain why they wanted to spend the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death at Kronborg Castle — better known to the English-speaking world as Elsinore.”
The 65-year-old was shocked when a lump he discovered on his neck in 2014 was cancerous, but now he’s in full remission and resuming his career with a vengeance (and hoping to premiere an opera in 2019).
Edward Hogg isn’t thrilled about the dismissal of Rice: “It’s very sad, really. Especially at a time like this, you really need your true artists, people like Emma, at the forefront of big theatres like the Globe. I’m such a big Emma Rice fan, so with this we want to do our best not only for ourselves and for our show but for Emma as well.”
“The chairman of the ballet’s board of trustees, David Hoffman, said he was sorry the company was losing them but added: ‘I wish them well. People should take opportunities when they get them.'”
Deborah Riley, longtime co-director of Dance Place, steps down in August, and finding the next director is hectic. “‘It’s been my family,’ she acknowledges. But she won’t miss the constant worries that go along with managing morning-to-night classes for adults and children, after-school programs, summer camps, visiting artists and performances nearly every weekend — and always, always, the funding concerns.”
There’s a “growing global trend among arts institutions that are trying to make an artistic statement while engaging visitors, both returning and new.” And that’s just the authorized projections.
It is, as a matter of fact, already affected: The pound has fallen, and Apple Music is considering raising the cost of a subscription. Then there’s the little issue of touring, and who’s allowed where.
The Polish sculptor “came up with a visual language that was unlike that of her European colleagues, many of whom were inclined toward the Pop-inflected use of commercial imagery and, later, conceptually rigorous objects. Her formalist sculptures relied on rumpled, crumpled, and distressed surfaces that became metaphors for the effects of violence on human skin and land turned up by bombings and battles.”
Poet Jane Hirshfield, who hadn’t done anything political before (“I don’t even give dinner parties,” she said), participated in the Science March on Washington on Earth Day. She said; “Poems are visible right now, which is terribly ironic, because you rather wish it weren’t so necessary. … When poetry is a backwater it means times are O.K. When times are dire, that’s exactly when poetry is needed.”
The space above the hall was a haven for artists of all stripes for many decades. “For Ms. Sargent, Carnegie Hall was as much sanctuary as studio. She moved there to distance herself from an abusive husband who drank, she said. Her starting rent for Studio 901, a well-lighted apartment with a lofted bedroom, was $188 a month.”
The private home in Barcelona had been the residence of a single family for almost a century, but now it will be (another, but can you have too many?) museum about Gaudí.