Dear Mr. Gelb and the entire Metropolitan Opera community,
I never imagined I would ever need to sit down and write an apology to several thousand opera goers, to all the people behind the scenes and in the productions, to the staff of such a beloved arts organization, and to New York’s emergency responders. Yet I find myself needing to extend a heartfelt apology to all concerned for inadvertently creating a disturbance at the Metropolitan Opera last weekend.
By way of making amends, please allow me to share a bit of my story, and that of Terry Turner, under whose tutelage I became an avid opera lover.
Terry was a regular customer at the restaurant where I worked for many years. He sat in another waiter’s section, so I only knew him by face. After I went to my first opera in 1999, one of our mutual friends told me Terry really loved opera. So I gave him my number and we chatted a little bit….
According to his updated website, the German tenor will return to the stage after a prolonged break with a recital on November 22 at Madrid’s Teatro Real.
He will then fly to Japan for three concerts, returning to sing at the Nobel ceremony in Stockholm on December 8, followed by the opening of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie.
From its own pages:
Editor in chief Gerard Baker announced … the paper will feature fewer pages with less space dedicated to coverage of arts, culture and local news.
The restructuring of the print paper will result in the elimination of some positions. The paper has already offered buyouts to all staffers and warned of possible layoffs.
Here’s the relevant part of Baker’s memo to staff:
– Our uniquely engaging lifestyle, arts, culture, entertainment and sports coverage now featured in Personal Journal and Arena will be combined in a section named Life & Arts, and included in the main news section of the paper every day from Monday to Friday. This new part of the A section will also feature the cultural commentary and criticism written by the Editorial Page’s team of critics that currently appears in PJ and Arena. The name Life & Arts not only better captures the range of this combined content but also aligns more closely with the relevant sections in our digital products.
– Greater New York coverage will be reduced in size and will also move into the main section of the paper in the New York region. GNY has added greatly to our appeal in the metropolitan region and our readers appreciate our distinctive coverage but the new approach in print will enable us to produce a more concise, focused daily report on life and business in the New York area.
Thomas Gould is leaving Aurora, the enterprising start-up, to join Britten Sinfonia as joint leader.
Sudden flurry of ripples in a competitive pool. Press release below.
Thomas Gould to become Leader of Britten Sinfonia, alongside Jacqueline Shave
Thomas Gould has been appointed Leader of Britten Sinfonia, sharing the position with Jacqueline Shave. In order to fulfill his increased role with Britten Sinfonia, Thomas will step down as Leader of Aurora Orchestra.
In his previous role of Associate Leader of Britten Sinfonia, Thomas led and directed the orchestra to critical acclaim, most recently at the BBC Proms conducted by Thomas Adès, and in the world premiere of James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater, and has directed various widely-acclaimed projects including performances and a recording of Sitkovesky’s string arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and world premieres by Nico Muhly, Thomas Coult and Joey Roukens. As a soloist with Britten Sinfonia, Thomas has performed Thomas Adès’s Violin Concerto (conducted by the composer), the London premiere of John Woolrich’s Violin Concerto, and Max Richter’s Vivaldi Recomposed at the Barbican.
Jacqueline, described by her colleague, cellist Caroline Dearnley, as a “musical force of nature” has been a central part of Britten Sinfonia’s development for ten years, as Leader, director and soloist. As one of the country’s leading chamber musicians, she is also well known for her wide ranging musical interests and, following her successful 10th anniversary season with the orchestra, will now complement her role at Britten Sinfonia with other external projects.
This season, Thomas will lead the orchestra in concerts that include celebrations of Steve Reich at 80 (at the Barbican on 5 November and on tour) and John Adams at 70, Thomas Adès’ Beethoven Symphony Cycle and as director, alongside soloist Mahan Esfahani, of a focus on music by De Falla and the world premiere of a new work by Francisco Coll. He has also directed Britten Sinfonia Academy, the orchestra’s ensemble for outstanding teenage musical talent from the East of England. Jacqueline’s Britten Sinfonia 2016/17 highlights include directing, with Mark Padmore, an Easter performance of Bach’s St John’s Passion, and leading the orchestra in the UK premiere of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (Barbican – 28 November), Thomas Adès’ Beethoven Symphony Cycle and the premiere of new chamber works by Mark-Anthony Turnage and Brian Elias as part of the orchestra’s At Lunch Series.
The irresistible groper is coming tonight to a movie house near you.
Teodor Currentzis, the Perm music director who holds a Russian passport, tells forumopera.com it would be truly dangerous if he ever got around to conducting Tchaikovsky’s male-jealousy opera. Apparently, he has been doing research on the gay and cross-dressing scene in late Tsarist Russia:
Vous avez dirigé des opéras de Chostakovitch et de Prokofiev, mais à part Iolanta, vous n’avez guère abordé le grand répertoire russe. Cela ne vous tente pas ?
Pour être honnête, j’aimerais beaucoup diriger Eugène Onéguine, La Dame de Pique ou Boris Godounov. Je veux les aborder un jour, mais il faut que je trouve le bon metteur en scène, donc pour l’instant ce sont des œuvres que je garde pour plus tard. Et si je peux faire Onéguinecomme j’en ai envie, cela sera dangereux pour tout le monde !
Dangereux sur quel plan ? Pour la voix des chanteurs ou pour leur santé mentale ?
J’ai fait des recherches sur les travestis en Russie au XIXe siècle, et j’ai découvert des photos. Tchaïkovski se croyait malade à cause de son homosexualité, mais il y avait en son temps des lieux secrets où les hommes pouvaient se réunir pour prendre du plaisir ensemble. L’Onéguine de Tchaïkovski n’est pas l’Onéguine de Pouchkine, et ce qui l’intéressait, c’était la relation entre Onéguine et Lenski. Par exemple, dans son premier air, « Ia lioubliou vas, Olga », Lenski commence par utiliser le pluriel, « vous », et quand il passe au tutoiement – le « tu » s’adresse en fait à Onéguine –, c’est là que la musique devient vraiment passionnée, on voit Tchaïkovski pleurer. Quant au bal donné pour l’anniversaire de Tatiana qui se termine en bagarre, Lenski dit en fait à Onéguine « Tu n’es qu’une sale pédale, tu baises des petits garçons ». J’imagine la scène comme un bal masqué où Lenski viendrait déguisé en femme, comme le faisait alors beaucoup d’hommes. Et lorsqu’il s’en va, il garde son travestissement, en jetant simplement un manteau sur la robe. Pour le duel, qui a lieu quelques heures plus tard, je vois d’abord la maison de Larina : il neige dans la pièce, et un messager vient dire en pantomime que Lenski est mort, puis le décor pivote et on assiste à cette mort qui vient d’être annoncée. Pour le duel, Lenski enlève son manteau et il est une femme ; Onéguine tue donc une femme en tuant son ami. Et le duo final entre Onéguine et Tatiana, c’est comme la consolation des anges déchus de l’amour. Voilà ce que Tchaïkovski avait réellement en tête, pour crier son homosexualité à la face du tsar, mais d’une manière que seules deux ou trois personnes percevraient. C’est un message secret adressé par le compositeur à ceux qui le comprendraient.
Donc c’est vous-même qui vous chargeriez de mettre en scène cet Eugène Onéguine ?
Je pense qu’il faut savoir ce que voulait véritablement Tchaïkovski, qui était marié avec une femme mais qui avait cette passion secrète, qui essayait désespérément de se persuader qu’il n’était pas homosexuel. Il faut le savoir, mais il ne s’agit pas de le montrer en faisant un spectacle gay, ce qui serait extrêmement banal. Il y a une anecdote extraordinaire à propos d’une sorte de ministre de la culture qui, en Russie, à cette époque-là, avait donné des instructions très curieuses : il ne fallait surtout pas faire appel aux compositeurs homosexuels, et mieux valait employer les compositeurs alcooliques. Moussorgski, oui, Tchaïkovski, non !
Staff at the NY arts hub have been warned to expect a picket by a Baptist group, denouncing the Juilliard School as a hub of pride and vanity.
(They are not wrong, but still…)
According to Wikipedia, ‘Westboro Baptist Church is a Baptist church which is known for its hate speech, especially against LGBT people, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Jews, American soldiers and politicians.’
The Juilliard Schoolin New York, NYNovember 3, 20168:00 AM – 9:00 AM
THE LORD WILLING, CHRIST WILL BE PREACHED AT THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL, WHERE VANITY AND PRIDE RULE!
Juilliard School, located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, touts that it:
“…trains about 850 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music. It is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading music schools, with some of the most prestigious arts programs. In 2016, QS Quacquarelli Symonds ranked it as the world’s best institution for Performing Arts in their inaugural global ranking of the discipline.”
Oh the vanity of it all!
“For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Gal. 6:3
Too many words to cover the awful sin of this “institution of higher learning.” Sum it up like this: You have made your children to be good for absolutely nothing except full, final and awful destruction!
“Then I went to Euphrates, and digged…the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing. Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the…great pride of Jerusalem [America]. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.” Jeremiah 13:7-10
If you had taught those children to invest 5% of the energy they use for the vanity called “The Arts”, America would not be leading the world in racing to destruction. Clarifying, God will not ever have idolatry, fornication, adultery, divorce and remarriage (which Christ said is adultery, at Luke 16:18, and other places) sodomy, same-sex marriage, murder, lying, stealing and all the rest of your proud sin, including your awful pride. That wisdom “descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” But seek that wisdom that is from above, which “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3.
God said: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird? “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her…double according to her works:… How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.”Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.“ (Revelation 18 – PLEASE, read every word America, it is for YOU!)
We beg of you, while you still have the breath of life:
REPENT OR PERISH – GOD STILL H8S FAGS & PROUD SIN!
You may not have heard of Ron Grant.
The Oscar he won in 1986 was for inventing a piece of software, the Auricle Time Processor – ‘a computer system that enables a music composer to score a program with speed and accuracy previously unattainable’.
The music he wrote was mostly for TV series and animation.
Ron Grant died in Santa Monica at the weekend. Obit here.
His was the first Oscar ever to be awarded for an app. Put that in your fact-checker.
Fascinating snippet by Michael Haas from the memoirs of Hans Heinsheimer, one of the livewires of the golden era of the modernist music business.
Heinsheimer offers the following statistic: over the next 25 years, UE took on 157 operas from 64 composers, along with 32 ballets from 19 composers from across the world. Each of these works required piano reductions which soon became the principal employment of many would-be composers, including a number who were already making a name for themselves: Alban Berg and Anton von Webern, who arranged piano reductions of operas by Othmar Schoeck, Rudolf Wagner-Regeny and Alfred Casella. Following this, the score and all parts needed to be copied and engraved. It was becoming a major industry employing a number of musicians.
‘Tchaikovsky had to hold his chin while conducting for fear his head might fall off….’ oh, yeah?
And ‘Mahler spent three whole years in a secluded cottage …’
A member of the Hamburg State Opera from 1960 to 1993, the contralto Ursula Boese sang a variety of roles at Bayreuth from 1958 to 1965, notably Fricka in Wieland Wagner’s last Ring cycle.
As a guest artist, or as part of the Hamburg ensemble, she went on to sing on all the world’s major stages, from Salzburg to the Met. Probably her starriest moment was a 1973 Ballo she shared in Hamburg with Luciano Pavarotti and Sherill Milnes.
Ursula Boese with Stravinsky after a 1963 Hamburg performance of Oedipus Rex. (Photo: U. Boese)