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Weekend, September 24-25

Visual Arts

A Call To Replace Italy's Outdoor Art With Replicas Some of Italy's most famous public artworks have been vandalized, and experts are calling for originals to be removed and copies put in their places. "It may sound extreme to suggest that cities such as Florence and Rome could be stripped bare in the future, their historic statues and monuments moved indoors and copies put in their place, but calls are growing for a debate on whether many of the most vulnerable works of art should be removed from public locations for their own safety." The Observer (UK) 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:47 am

Professor Objects To Mandela Statue In Trafalgar Square Professor Glynn Williams, the head of the school of fine art at the Royal College of Art is objecting to plans for a statue of Nelson Mandela to be erected in Trafalgar Square outside the National Gallery. "My main objection to the proposed sculpture is the quality of the work on offer. I believe this to be a run-of-the mill mediocre modelling in an attempt to get a mimetic likeness. The sculpture proposed by Ian Walters is an adequate portrait but nothing more. In my opinion a sculptor of more originality and inventiveness should have been chosen, so a lasting piece of artistic heritage will be left." The Guardian (UK) 09/24/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:44 am

Tate Cancels Display For Fear Of Offending Muslims Tate Britain has canceled display of John Latham's God Is Great because the museum says it is afraid of "offending some Muslims after the London terrorist bombings." The Tate says "that it had to take the 'difficult decision' to avoid its motives being misunderstood given the attacks, which killed 52 people in July, and the present political climate. However, it admitted it had not consulted the Metropolitan Police or the Muslim Council of Britain. Latham, 84, who insists that the piece is not anti-Islamic, says: 'Tate Britain have shown cowardice over this. I think it's a daft thing to do because if they want to help the militants, this is the way to do it." The Observer (UK) 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:27 am

Bilbao-On-Roanoke Roanoke Virginia is the latest to roll the dice on the "Bilbao effect." The Art Museum of Western Viginia is building a new $46 million home. "Interlocking roofs, sheathed with ribs of brushed stainless steel, will roll like hills across the site. Walls with chemically treated zinc shingles will remind visitors of rock striations they've seen in the nearby mountains. A soaring prow of glass will erupt from these layers of metal, inviting wonder and, at the same time, signaling where the front door is. Another word people might use a lot to describe the 75,000-square-foot building, after the dust settles, is beautiful." Washington Post 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 8:36 am

Getty Attorneys: "Masterpieces' Of Questionable Origins Getty attorneys have determined that as many as half of the ancient masterpieces in the museum's collection can be traced back to suspect dealers. "In correspondence with the Getty, the dealers made frank, almost casual references to ancient sites from which artifacts had been excavated, apparently in violation of Italian law, the records show. The Getty's outside attorney considered the letters "troublesome" and advised the museum not to turn them over to Italian authorities. Although Italy is seeking the return of 42 objects, the Getty's lawyers did their own assessment and determined that the museum had purchased 82 artworks from dealers and galleries under investigation by the Italians. They include 54 of the 104 ancient artworks that the Getty has identified as masterpieces." Los Angeles Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 8:15 am

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BSO: Excellence Costs James Levine costs the Boston Symphony. And he makes the musicians work hard. "The BSO players knew what they were getting into. That's why they negotiated what's called the 'Levine Premium' before the maestro's first season. They get an extra $220 for each of the music director's 12 weeks. With about 100 players in the BSO and including other expenses, the total adds up to roughly $278,000 for the season. And there are other costs..."
Boston Globe 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 3:39 pm

Page: Domingo Conquers Tristan Tim Page declares Placido Domingo's new Tristan recording a triumph. "It has long been thought that Domingo had it in him to actually sing Tristan, and some listeners suspected that he might prove to be the most musical Tristan since the legendary Lauritz Melchior, who virtually owned the role in the 1930s and '40s. And now, at the age of 63, Domingo has proved it, with a new recording of "Tristan und Isolde" for EMI Classics. His performance is everything one could have hoped for -- ardent, lyrical, intelligent and astonishingly sweet-toned, with only a few effortful passages to remind the listener that Domingo has been before the public for more than 45 years." Washington Post 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 8:43 am

LA - Story Of A Chamber Orchestra The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is 35 years old. A tumultuous history and a record of solid music-making have put the orchestra on a solid track as one of the city's primary musical assets Los Angeles Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 7:50 am

John Adams Goes Nuclear "Doctor Atomic will surely not deliver history's final verdict on Robert Oppenheimer. It may, however, lay to rest persistent misconceptions about John Adams's work, which has been described since "Nixon in China" as "CNN opera." The label applies well enough to other operas "ripped from the headlines." But it never really applied to the Adams operas, which sought from the first to lend topical subjects the timelessness and ambiguity of myth." The New York Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 7:25 am

  • Checking Out The Physics In A Opera About Science When John Adams and Peter Sellers tried out their new "Dr. Atomic" in front of a physicist last year, they got an immediate reaction. Bad physics! cried the scientist. Well, you can't do an opera about science and have the science be wrong. So the libretto has been tweaked... The New York Times 09/25/05
    Posted: 09/25/2005 7:12 am

Do We Care About Who Sings What? "Today many well-known rock bands are pursuing second acts with new lead singers, raising questions not only about just how far the trend can go, but about where a band's identity truly lies. Music executives say a band's ability to outlive its singer usually depends on which was more influential: the songs or the cult of personality. In the case of Motown ensembles on the oldies circuit, the songs win out every time." The New York Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 6:42 am

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Arts Issues

Racial Divide, Some Illumination? Today's UK is increasingly becoming racially divided. It's important to take on political issues like this in art. But how to bring some clarity? The Observer (UK) 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:36 am

The Genius That Burns Out Young So often the talent or genius that burns bright as a prodigy, ends up burning out early. "We are stalled in a state of permanent adolescence; the economy relies on the avidity of teenage consumers who have to be tantalised with a fresher face every few months. Adolescent celebrities are obsolete by their early twenties." The Guardian (UK) 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:15 am

The Arts Need Introductory Offers As New York's Fall for Dance sampler demonstrates, there's a big audience for dance if it's priced and packaged right. But what are arts organizations doing to lure those people who might be interested but aren't yet ready to commit major money to attending? "It's understandable that theaters want to reward their devotees, especially as they typically constitute half the audience. But what's keeping the venues from encouraging more people, besides students, to become devoted? Why, for example, are there no introductory offers?" Newsday 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 8:55 am

Baryshnikov Center - Building To An Opening Mikhail Baryshnikov is getting close to opening his new arts center on Manhattan's West Side. "I did not want something designed purely for dance. While we were planning, we went to almost every theater and studio space built in New York over the last 60 years and saw what worked and what didn't. The specifics of the spaces, the adaptable walls, the height of the ceilings, the technical possibilities all had to make opera, cabaret or plays feasible, too." The New York Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 6:58 am

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Peter Hall: What Shakespeare Intended "We cannot be sure of Shakespeare's intentions. Indeed, some would say we can't be sure of anything about Shakespeare. Who was he? Did he really write the plays? We are living through a time when a barrage of nonsense is making the rounds about Shakespeare's supposed or hidden identity. Shakespeare, whose genius uncovers every aspect of the human condition, has been identified as a dry essayist moonlighting as a playwright, or as one or another of a couple of extraordinarily privileged aristocrats, who, for some reason (which varies according to their proponents), could never reveal their involvement in such a lower-class pastime as the theatre. It is true that we don't know very much detail about Shakespeare's life, or his theatre, and therefore what he expressed as his intentions." But, it turns out, there is quite a lot we do know... The Guardian (UK) 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:24 am

Enough With The Shakespeare Already! Why the ongoing obsession with Shakespeare? His presence runs through every new theatre season. "Is it audiences that clamour for such well-worn tales or the powers that be? Are Mr Darcy, Anne Boleyn and Macbeth so much more interesting than what's going on today? In this turbulent time of war and money, of natural disasters and manmade destruction, are our contemporary stories so dull, so unfabulous, so irrelevant?" The Guardian (UK) 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:19 am

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The Language Of Global Warming (Where Is It?) "Where is the literature of climate change? Where is the creative response to what Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser, has famously described as "the most severe problem faced by the world"? Cultural absences are always more difficult to document than cultural outpourings. But the deficiency of a creative response to climate change is increasingly visible. It becomes unignorable if we contrast it with the abundance of literature produced in response to the other great eschatological crisis of the past half-century - the nuclear threat." The Guardian (UK) 09/24/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 9:54 am

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Vancouver Goes Bollywood British Columbia has been luring Hollywood films to shoot in the province for years. Now the Canadians are going after Bollywood movies. The attraction? Same as for Hollywood. Great tax breaks and beautiful scenery. One of the first films is directed at Indian audiences, and probably not suited to the tastes of mainstream Western moviegoers. "This is not really a satire of Indians living abroad. I wanted there to be a certain reality to the film, which will set it apart from many Bollywood films. But I didn't want it to be an ethnic comedy in the same way that 'Bend It Like Beckham' or 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' are." The New York Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 7:04 am

Thinking Right In Hollywood "The notion that the American film industry is a hotbed of left-wing propaganda is a venerable one, and some determined demagogues will cling to it no matter what the studios do. But the studios themselves, especially after the stunning success of Mel Gibson's independently financed "The Passion of the Christ," have tried to strengthen their connection with religious and social conservatives, who represent not only a political constituency but a large and powerful segment of the market." The New York Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 6:38 am

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Sample This, Buy That? Sampler programs at low ticket cost have become a popular way of showcasing dance seasons. They're "part of a national and international effort to attract new audiences for dance and other commercially fragile art forms. Some of these gimmicks cheapen their art; it's hard to argue that samplers do that." But do they create more excitement (and audiences) for the rest of the season, or do they steal those audiences (and funding) from the main courses? The New York Times 09/25/05
Posted: 09/25/2005 6:49 am

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