“In a new Reddit AMA with Darren Aronofsky, the director was asked by a commenter named chickenmagic (of course) if he considered staging his new movie as a play, to which he responded, ‘johan johansson and i are thinking about turning it into an opera.'” (Jóhannsson composed the score for the film.) This could make sense – indeed (as some have observed), it could make more sense than the movie does.
Although many people don’t realize it yet, grocery shopping and cooking are in a long-term decline. They are shifting from a mass category, based on a daily activity, to a niche activity that a few people do only some of the time. Only 10% of consumers now love to cook, while 45% hate it and 45% are lukewarm about it. That means that the percentage of Americans who really love to cook has dropped by about one-third in a fairly short period of time.
The six-volume-plus-online-updates Dictionary of American Regional English, the only project of its type based on in-person field research, was supported largely by grants from the likes of the NEH and the National Science Foundation. “The institutional donors pretty much felt that they did their job to get the dictionary to ‘Z.’ The publicity from the completion of the main text led to an influx of enough money to finish Volume VI, which included maps and indices, but that was it. In the last few years, the staff applied for additional grants to update and add new entries; these failed to materialize.” Jesse Sheidlower offers a eulogy.
Just as the two companies have opened their first major collaboration, “the Joffrey Ballet and Lyric Opera of Chicago announced Friday that the dance company will move its season residencies from the Auditorium Theatre to the Lyric Opera House, beginning in fall 2020.”
In the perpetual tug-of-war between hiring the best artists available from anywhere and helping Australian singers make a living in their home country, the balance has swung to the former, with the number of non-Australians in leading roles in the company having tripled over the past seven years. So a government report has recommended docking funding for Opera Australia by up to $200,000 if it doesn’t maintain an “appropriate balance” of Australian and foreign singers.
“Opera is the coming together of music, theatre, design, people and coughing in the greatest synthesis of art capable of collapsing at the beep of a watch alarm. … As the sounds soar and mingle perfectly, the evening makes sense, the stupidity is forgotten and the burglars and the rain and the hundred cars outside and the fight 40 yards across the street, and then someone sneezes, which is when, somewhere in the middle of the second act, in a radical switch to the American midwest, we return to a stage full of big people and papier-mâché cacti.”
Kyle Swenson reports on “the Russian reaction that greeted a two-minute online video [Freeman] recorded recently for a group hoping to keep alive concerns over Kremlin meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Freeman is being portrayed as a tool of the U.S. establishment trying to bring down Trump” – and as everything from a silly, high-strung thespian to a marijuana-addled old man to someone with a “Messianic complex.”
“The funding through to 2030 is destined for museum sites including the former royal palace at Charlottenburg in Berlin, Frederick the Great’s Sanssouci complex in Potsdam and the Cecilienhof palace … Priorities include renovating dilapidated buildings and parks, increasing fire precautions and security, improving depots and working spaces, and upgrading services for visitors.”
Post-genre thinking seeks to move away from objective methods of characterizing music, instead focusing on a more subjective method within which music is viewed piece by piece with an emphasis on the intention and background of the composer. If a composer has no intent of writing within the “classical” genre label, then attempting to understand the piece through a classical lens is irrelevant. But what about the listener? There is no doubt that all listeners have pre-existing connotations surrounding certain types of sounds. Realistically, because we have discussed music in terms of these genre constructions for so long, a listener’s experience is likely to naturally include elements of: “This moment in this piece of music reminds me of X genre, which makes me think of Y connotation.”
Many journalists and media observers have sympathized with Grigoriadis, who appears to have suffered an authors’ worst nightmare—she spent years writing a book only to sustain an unfair skewering at the hands of a reviewer who didn’t appear to fully comprehend the work. But the review of Blurred Lines has itself set off a drama within the halls of the Times, where the hand-wringing this week has been considerable, sources there told me. “It’s being talked about a whole lot,” said one. Another said, “It’s sloppiness, and also a question of whether or not the public response was adequate. It’s a significant error.”
Her first musical, “Mod Donna,” had its opening at the Public in 1970. One Lamb supporter: “I was at opening night with my then-boyfriend, … a deceptively mild-mannered man who rose out of his chair at the curtain and began to shout that feminism was a sham and that he would tell the awful truth about what wretched liars, manipulators, fakes and so on we in the movement were. I had never seen him in such a rage. Many men in the audience around us were nodding approval at his outburst.”
What one neuropsychology professor thinks: “If our experience of action doesn’t really affect what we do in the moment, then what is it for? Why have it? Contrary to what many people believe, I think agency is only relevant to what happens after we act – when we try to justify and explain ourselves to each other.”
Many people see the artists as the first wave of development and gentrification, of course. “Tensions have simmered for much of the past decade between Bushwick’s longtime Latino and African American residents and artists who moved into the area. But as more people discover the neighborhood’s charms, investors pour money into projects that increase property values and eventually force long-time residents and artists to leave for good.”
She specialized in Odissi, a form of temple dance from the eastern Indian state of Odisha. “By the 1940s and ’50s, Odissi had fallen out of favor in India. But Ms. Devi, who began studying it in 1964, helped revive it through worldwide tours in the 1970s and as a professor in New York University’s dance department from 1972 to 1982.”
The Huntington’s senior paintings conservator, Christina O’Connell, has a plan. “The Blue Boy will be reframed and returned to the portrait gallery on November 1. It will remain there for 10 months while O’Connell processes reams of data and formulates her treatment plan. Then the painting will come down for another several months of treatment. Part of this work will be done in the lab, but as much as possible will be completed in a cordoned-off area of the portrait gallery, in full view of the visiting public.”
Sure, if by that you mean where the world’s wealthy come to play. “At its media preview last Friday, two of the first questions from South African journalists raised awkward points about Cape Town’s reputation as an unequal and inaccessible playground for the wealthy. The city is arguably one of the least African cities on the continent. And its apartheid geography has persisted, with blacks and whites still largely in their separate and unequal enclaves.”
“Selected cities in 28 European Union (EU) countries plus Norway and Switzerland have been ranked in a new report and online tool called the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor. It uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative studies to give a comparative assessment of the cities’ levels of engagement with culture and creativity.”
“It remains one of the hottest tickets in town, it is an essential stop for out-of-town tourists, and it has succeeded in attracting a diverse, engaged, multicultural and international audience. It has also changed the center of gravity on the Mall, drawing crowds to its symbolic nodal point, where the Washington Monument connects the White House and Jefferson Memorial to the Capitol and Lincoln Memorial. There is an energy along 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW that feels new, and welcome, in the city.”
“Opera Philadelphia has been planning this for a couple of years: Now, the O17 festival has begun, turning the city into a giant opera stage for 12 days. The company is striking a huge blow for the idea that arts organizations do better to add new, exciting things than to tread with financial caution. The festival is one of the most enjoyable additions to the fall calendar in years; it’s attracting opera fans from all over; and so far, it looks like a success.”
It is indeed a major step for Washington; Timothy O’Leary is one of opera’s leading lights. Having taken over in St. Louis when he was only 33, he has led that company — one of America’s best summer festivals — with notable strength, at once building its artistic profile with an interesting array of work and securing its finances.
Performances of the new biographical work were abruptly called off just a couple of days before the scheduled premiere on July 11 – allegedly, though not officially, because the piece would have violated Russia’s notorious anti-gay “propaganda” law. Meanwhile, the ballet’s creator, avant-garde stage director Kirill Serebrennikov, is under house arrest on unrelated charges, and the premiere may proceed without him.