PRs are ‘the nearest thing to prostitutes in public life’
Nick Cohen, in the new issue of Standpoint, lays into the spinners and manipulators that blight his life as a political commentator: Press officers have no concern with truth. It is not that all of them lie — although many do — rather that truth and falsity are irrelevant to their work. Their sole concern […]
Broadway latest: Nympho actor arrested in mid-Cabaret
Shia LaBeouf, an ex-Disney actor best known for his exposure in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, was removed in handcuffs last night after disrupting a performance of Cabaret on Broadway. The cops said: ‘He was being rather difficult and combative, verbally… To the point where security guards asked him to please leave the premises and he […]
The grande dame of Broadway has died
Farewell to Mary Rodgers, daughter of Richard, mother of Adam Guettel. Se was 83. Has there ever been a more stage-musical family? Maryhad a hit in 1959 with Once Upon a Mattress, based on Hans Christian Anderson tale, The Princess and the Pea. Carol Burnett starred. She also wrote From a to z and The Madwoman of […]
The violinist’s guide to flying (hint: you’ll need three passports)
Laurie Niles has provided an up-to-the minute guide of getting in and out of American with your instrument and bow. It ain’t easy. And it’s getting worse. Sorry, folks. Read here.
Another Georgian artist with gender issues
The pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, who has captured the attention before with the abundance of her natural assets, has been sounding off in Vienna about what makes her such a natural artist. She has a Sony album coming out, titled Motherland. A provocative video has been removed from Youtube. Here’s what she says: photo (c) Julia […]
German Bundestag approves culture budget. Guess how much.
1.29 billion Euros. You read that right. Germany is spending US $1.75 billion on arts and culture. (No question who’s winning this war.) And the new minister Monika Grütters (left of Chancellor Merkel) says art must take risks and hurt people as well as pleasing them. Read here.
Last-ever recorded Ring?
Seattle has just announced it is releasing the 2013 Wagner Ring on 14 CDs, digital download and online streaming. The recording features Greer Grimsley (Wotan); Stephanie Blythe (Fricka, Second Norn, Waltraute); Stuart Skelton (Siegmund), Margaret Jane Wray (Sieglinde and Third Norn), (Alberich), Alwyn Mellor (Brünnhilde) and Stefan Vinke. Asher Fisch conducts. Evans Mirageas, a former head of Decca, produces. Given the parlous state of […]
A third union joins the Met siege
Security guards and maintenance staff at the Metropolitan Opera are protesting about a pay freeze. Their union is the third to confront Peter Gelb over austerity plans – after the musicians and the backstage workers. It’s going to be a helluva long, tough summer. More here.
Cecilia Bartoli cancels debut, city cancels show
The most reliable of mezzos has pulled out of L’Italiana in Algeri, which was to have opened tomorrow in Dortmund. Hearing that she was sick, Dortmund cancelled the opera. Benedikt Stampa, of Konzerthaus Dortmund, said, ‘This morning Cecilia called me: She has fallen ill and is inconsolable that she won’t be able to sing.’ Performances were […]
The Luis Suarez of classical music?
We’ve heard of opera tenors with Dracula tendencies. There springs to mind an early music conductor of unpredictable temperament who has been known to speak with his fists. Back in the day, there was Carlo Gesualdo, prince of Venosa, who was widowed in unusual circumstances. There is an Australian company called Opera Bites, but we’re […]