The unbelievably popular blind tenor has a little business running on the side with his architect brother, Alberto. They are building houses in the Tuscan village of Lajatico, their birthplace, and selling them through a London agent for €231,800 to €626,000.

This is not a top-end development. Buyers will have to use the communal swimming pool. More details here.

Andrea’s sales pitch goes like this: ‘Lajatico is nestled among the hills overlooking the end of the beautiful Valdera valley. It’s central position means it is easy to reach other historical Tuscan villages and the beach resorts on the Tuscan sea.’

Someone should set it to music.

Andrea-Bocelli home

John Boehr was walking to a Carmen rehearsal on Thursday afternoon when he was set upon by two men who slammed a brick into his face. They ran off with his gym bag, which contained $15 and his Carmen score.

Boehr, 31, required stitches to his head and was badly bruised. The baritone is making his Dallas Opera debut as Morales in Bizet’s opera.

 

john boehr

The two conductors have signalled support for a no-political group of activists at the Florence theatre who are trying to save if from closure by a range of independent initiatives.

Andrea Baggio, one of the organisers tells us: ‘IO SONO IL MAGGIO is a cultural association created by the passion of some theatre workers with the goal to pull the Teatro del Maggio and its audience closer through an experiment of crowdfunding, the first in Italy in Opera House’s field (as far as we know), and the offer of cultural events.’

Here’s Zubin Mehta accepting his membership card. Check out the group’s website and the Facebook page.

Maestro_Zubin_Mehta florence

 

The director-general, Tony Hall, is about to announce a 20 percent funding increase for arts on television, notably on BBC1 and BBC2

‘Arts programming sits right at the heart of the BBC and is a vital part of who we are. But I want us to be much more ambitious. We need to showcase more of the incredible talent that this country has to offer to the widest possible audiences. It is our privilege and our responsibility to do this,’ he says.

It’s what you’d expect to hear from a recent chief executive of the Royal Opera House, though not, perhaps, quite so early in his tenure or when he has got so many other fires to fight. This is clearly a landmark statement about the future of the BBC. You can read the press announcement here.

Where the money will be found is not specified. And there will be only a qualified welcome for the BBC’s renewed support for the Arts Council’s failed venture, The Space. Nevertheless, this is a landmark moment for the arts in Britain.

tony hall1

We’ve had a cute new video in from Keane Southard, a composer who’s on a Fulbright fellowship researching El Sistema-type projects in Brazil.

Here’s one that went viral in Sa Paolo. Keane has added English subtitles.

child, classical music

End of the road for Minnesota. Watch here. And here. UPDATE: And the live soundtrack here.vanska ax

 

Photo: Judy Griesedieck for MPR News

Watch…. love it!

 

The Andalusian Orchestra go for it on Ashkelon beach.

 

ashkelon