Paris Opera Ballet Kickstarts Season With Audience Participation

YOU CAN DANCE: Audience participation is not usually part of the deal when you go to the ballet, but the opening gala of the season at the Paris Opera set out to shake up traditions.
Guests were invited to join the Paris Opera Ballet on stage at the ornate Palais Garnier, where they were led by dancers to perform a waltz. In their colorful evening dresses, the untrained participants stood out from the sea of tuxedo-clad dancers.
“We weren’t given any indications whatsoever,” said music producer Pedro Winter, who was the only male picked to go on stage. “The dancers guided me through touch and by maintaining constant eye contact. It turned out to be pretty instinctive in the end. You just let go.”
It was all part of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s “Decadanse,” an electrifying performance featuring 31 dancers. The first act, an energetic group choreography to the tune of Goldfrapp’s “Black Cherry,” gave an indication of the unusual evening to come.
Russian prima ballerina Diana Vishneva and Aurélie Dupont earned rapturous applause for their “Boléro” pas de deux, wearing black asymmetrical costumes designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. Dupont, who retired from dancing in 2015, succeeded Benjamin Millepied as director of the

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Dion Lee to Design Uniforms for the Sydney Opera House

OPERA ACT: Dion Lee will create a new staff wardrobe for Australia’s most celebrated building, the Sydney Opera House.
The collaboration, which will see Lee design uniforms for the World Heritage-listed building’s more than 600 employees, was unveiled in Sydney on Sunday, a few hours ahead of the Australian designer’s opening show for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia’s Resort 2018 collections showcase, which runs until May 19.
Lee’s show will be staged on the Sydney Opera House’s granite Monumental Steps, under its iconic white sails, which are covered in a geometric lattice of 1,056,006 white and cream glazed ceramic tiles.
It will be Lee’s fourth show at the building, which was designed by the late Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.
In 2012, Utzon was also the inspiration for Lee’s International Woolmark Prize collection, which won the competition’s 2012-13 regional semifinals.
“The Opera House is a place that I’ve consistently looked to for creative inspiration,” said the now New York-based designer, who is known for his sculpted tailoring and intricate finishes. “I’m truly honored to be working with the Opera House and its staff to design their new uniforms. Meeting the needs of the Opera House’s very diverse workforce and making

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Meet Begoña Alberdi, The Face of Modern-Day Opera

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Begoña Alberdi – photo courtesy of the artist

Many consider opera to be old-fashioned, what are your views ?

It’s not unusual for people to think of opera as something decadent, old fashioned or anachronistic. The reality is that opera is just a play that is sang, that is how music literature describe. It’s a genre in which stories are sang in a special manner.

Stories about kings, battles and encounters with the Gods have distanced opera from popular songs. That’s why, when it arose in the fifteenth century it was only accessible to the elite.
Nowadays, opera is within anyone’s reach, modern productions are making it more accessible to the public. Singers’ image has also evolved tremendously. We were once static figures on stage strictly focused on vocal performance, today we are more image conscious and enjoy an active media presence.

You are part of a younger generation of opera singers, how would you describe your job to someone who is not familiar with opera?

Being an opera singer requires a dedication that only athletes or people that play an instrument can relate to. It’s a career that comes with great sacrifice. The singer must always be ready, he has to keep studying to keep up to date and have a personal life without burdens. The constant traveling and long rehearsals make it very difficult to have a conventional personal life. Nevertheless, it’s a vocational career and that is the greatness of it.

When you are out on the stage and the first compasses of the piece of music come to live everything becomes clear, everything is worth it, all the sacrifices are eclipsed with the satisfaction of singing at that level. It’s a thrilling and at the same time exhausting career that helps you grow every day as a professional and as a person. Facing the challenges of a musical score and the stage makes us people with great capability and resilience.

When did you start singing and decided to make it your career ?

I started singing when I was very little. My mother would listen to opera live streaming on the radio. Together, we would listen in the dark to those magnificent voices and I would imagine a woman with long hair and never ending capes wandering through marvelous places. I always told my mother I wanted to be like the woman in the radio. Later in life I would learn that woman was Maria Callas.
“I want to be an opera singer” is what I would reply at age 6 when asked about my aspirations.Three decades later, here I am!

If your life was an aria, which one would it be and why?

Well, it’s not easy to consolidate a life in an Aria. I would say there are Arias that represent moments and times in my life in a very surprising way, but the Aria I would say represents many moments and that I identify with is Violetta’s Aria from the First Act in La Traviata. A woman who won’t allow herself to fall in love because her career would be in jeopardy.

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What is the most difficult opera role you have played? What was for you the easiest?

The most difficult role I have played is Norma, but I have to say that the most difficult performance was in a play by Carles Santos, a groundbreaking composer who wrote a play in which the singers were literally floating in the air- hanging in a harness. That is physically the most difficult role I’ve played.Nothing is easy but if I had to choose something achievable I would say Mozart’s Requiem.

Who is your role model, who inspired you?

Maria Callas and Montserrat Caballe are my two exclusive and defined role models.

You are considered teacher among teachers? Why is that? What makes you unique as a teacher?

My many years of experience and passion for human anatomy lead me during a moment in my life to learn what was really happening in my body when I sing: what parts of the body are involved, why, how do you get the highs in your voice or why is the diaphragm so
important.

All these questions (the same my students ask me today) needed an answer and I found them in studying human anatomy. That is why throughout the years I have developed an infallible teaching method that can be taught to anyone. The art of singing is made up of 90% of technique, without it you are jumping into the abyss with no safety net.

My knowledge of the vocal instrument is uncommon and I have worked very hard to teach each student how to use it, sculpting stage ready voices and singers that are physical, mental and emotionally prepared for first division.

You are very involved with children’s rights,why?

Children are magnificent creatures and at the same time a great responsibility. Our future is theirs but their present is ours to take care of. They are pages in a blank book, they learn anything you are willing to teach them. That is why a free, renaissance education is so important. An education that opens the doors of knowledge and prepares them to make their own life decisions.
Child abuse and taunting in their early years are devastating and prevents any chance of stability or opportunity.

It is not an easy path to be an opera singer, what would you change within that arena?

In the opera world, I would change a lot of people. These are difficult times and we are “trapped” in a dynamic of personal preferences that has nothing to do with the quality and excellence of singing capabilities. Our representatives and directors are the ones that decide who sings and where. Trends change and sometimes you sacrifice quality for other criteria that is far from what opera should be.

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How is Begoña off the stage, is there a difference between the opera singer and the person?

Offstage Begoña is a woman who takes care of her friends, watches over the voices that have trusted her every day and someone who fights for human rights, who believes in individual freedom. A woman of strong character and at the same time sensitive to the fundamental values. She knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want.

On stage, she is a confident, professional, and serious (even when she is funny), hardworking and without inhibitions. You can’t take your problems on stage nor your insecurities or personal battles.

What are your future plans?

The future is part of a world of dreams and illusions. Right now I’m writing a book about “The Alberdi Method”. The vocal technique that I developed and I use with my students. This is very motivating, it will include all my vocal knowledge and experience, a magnificent and unknown instrument. I will reveal all the secrets to singing and will dissipate any doubts people have about singing.

What is your biggest dream ?

My professional goal is to take my voice to the Scala Theatre in Milan and The Metropolitan opera in New York. I have been singing for over 25 years and have been invited to almost every theatre in the world. I have sung in Barcelona at the Liceu Theatre, at the Royal Theatre in Madrid, opera Houses in Berlin, Frankfurt, Venice, Rome, Vatican City, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and countless other countries around the world. However, these two theatres are the Mecca of a singer, the zenith of a career.

My personal dream is to keep enjoying what I do every day. To be able to improve people’s lives by working with groups and associations that help the less fortunate. Also, I would like to keep helping the younger generations discover the wonderful world the opera is and to take their voices to the top. I would love to leave good memories in those people that know me and just keep enjoying every day whatever the universe has in store for me.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Watch the First Trailer for Luc Besson’s Space Opera ‘Valerian’

The first trailer for Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” landed on planet Earth Thursday morning. The film is based on the French comic series “Valerian and Laureline” and stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline. Herbie Hancock, John Goodman, Rihanna, Clive Owen and Ethan Hawke also star. Besson… Read more »

Variety

SHOPPING DISCOUNT UPDATE:

6″ Musical Lighted Phantom of the Opera “Journey to the Lair” Shadow Box

6″ Musical Lighted Phantom of the Opera “Journey to the Lair” Shadow Box


Officially licensed merchandise Features The Phantom and Christine in a boat on their way to the Phantom’s Lair Plays the tune: “Overture” Requires 2 “AA” batteries (not included) Gift boxed Dimensions: 4″H x 6″W x 4.5″D Material(s): resin
List Price: $ 94.00
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6″ Opera House Insipred Glittered Sideways Harp Christmas Ornament

6″ Opera House Insipred Glittered Sideways Harp Christmas Ornament


Glittered Sideways Harp Christmas Ornament Item #3214143 Features a plastic figurine of a golden harp one might see in the Opera houses in days of olde touched with glitter to add that extra shine to your Christmas tree Comes read-to-hang on a matching gold nylon cord Fully dimensional ornament Dimensions: 6″H x 4.5″W Material(S): plastic/nylon/glitter
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The Dead Alive: Or The Double Funeral. A Comic Opera. In Two Acts. With Additions And Alterations. As Performed By

The Dead Alive: Or The Double Funeral. A Comic Opera. In Two Acts. With Additions And Alterations. As Performed By


The 18th century was a wealth of knowledge, exploration and rapidly growing technology and expanding record-keeping made possible by advances in the printing press. In its determination to preserve the century of revolution, Gale initiated a revolution of its own: digitization of epic proportions to preserve these invaluable works in the largest archive of its kind. Now for the first time these high-quality digital copies of original 18th century manuscripts are available in print, making them highly accessible to libraries, undergraduate students, and independent scholars.The eighteenth-century fascination with Greek and Roman antiquity followed the systematic excavation of the ruins at Pompeii and Herculaneum in southern Italy; and after 1750 a neoclassical style dominated all artistic fields. The titles here trace developments in mostly English-language works on painting, sculpture, architecture, music, theater, and other disciplines. Instructional works on musical instruments, catalogs of art objects, comic operas, and more are also included. ++++The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to insure edition identification:++++<sourceLibrary>Library of Congress<ESTCID>W031674<Notes>Libretto only. The music was composed by Samuel Arnold. Cf. Grove''s dictionary of music and musicians, 3rd ed. Booksellers'' advertisements, p. [47-48].<imprintFull>New-York : Printed by Hodge, Allen, and Campbell; and sold at their respective book-stores, M.DCC.LXXXIX. [1789]. <collation>[2],iv,[1],8-46,[2]p. ; 12deg
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What the FACH? ~ The Definitive Guide for Opera Singers Auditioning & Working in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (2nd Edition).

What the FACH? ~ The Definitive Guide for Opera Singers Auditioning & Working in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (2nd Edition).


If you are looking to expand your opera career to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. If you want to work as a full-time singer (Fest) in one or more opera houses. If you are curious about what life is like as a singer in a German-speaking Fest ensemble. If you want to become fluent in German. What The FACH? 2nd Edition (http://www. what-the-fach.com) gives you a detailed, first-hand look into life as an English-speaking opera singer in the German theater system. Written by a full-time opera singer working in Europe, this invaluable resource is a ‘must have’ for every singer wanting to break into the German-speaking opera world. The bestselling guide is back for its Second Edition with detailed information covering virtually everything you can think of, including everything you never thought to think of but still need to know! There are countless English-speaking singers already working in the German-speaking world, and with What The FACH? 2nd Edition, you can have the knowledge they already possess in hand. READ WHAT OPERA PROFESSIONALS ARE SAYING. “.a comprehensive resource for decoding the mysteries of professional singing in Europe.”- HUGH RUSSELL, Canadian baritone “.without a doubt the best reference of its kind. .What the FACH? answers the obvious and not-so obvious questions – in a concise and very funny way – that one comes across while working in Central Europe’s ‘Fest’ opera system.”- KATE ALDRICH, American mezzo-soprano “Any singer planning an audition trip to Germany should READ THIS BOOK FIRST! It will answer multiple questions, help in travel planning, seve them money AND prevent many headaches!”- KIRSTEN GUNLOGSON, American mezzo-soprano “Not only is this book a MUST HAVE for any singer who has considered going to Europe, it is also a wildly entertaining read!”- COREY MCKERN, American baritone “What the FACH? is a witty, common sense approach to one of the most challenging endeavors for a develop

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Where High Concept Performance Art Meets The Trashy Soap Opera

Many an art lover, no matter how classy her tastes may be, gets a certain buzz from vegging out in front of a trashy soap opera or a bawdy reality show. We certainly qualify. If you fit this bill, you better be keeping a close eye on performance art darling Kalup Linzy, whose portfolio takes the shape of a mutant hybrid of high brow art and low brow TV in the best of ways.

Linzy, born in Florida and based in New York, creates low-budget videos inspired by daytime soap operas, with Linzy himself donning a variety of characters, from talented and naive struggling starlets to conniving vixens who will do anything to get to the top. In his current solo exhibition, “Art.Jobs.Lullabies,” Linzy adds to and remixes his ongoing drama-drenched mythology, divulging the lives of performance artist Pisces and video artist/singer Kaye, among others.

chewing

The timing of Kalup’s work is a little bit off and causes a delay that is really funny,” Thomas Lax, exhibition coordinator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, told The New York Times. “All his characters are trying to approximate an ideal, but they’re just behind or ahead of it.”

Somewhere between Cindy Sherman, Ru Paul and Tim and Eric, Linzy crafts a glittery art world parody that captures the very real value of role playing in self­-actualization. In Linzy’s words: “​I’m still learning where I fit in with all these personas… Sometimes these roles are embarrassing, but the more embarrassed I feel, the better it is for the audience, a relative once said to me. That creates a space of real freedom.”

If you love the guilty pleasure of binging on YouTube music videos but hate the shameful aftermath, get ready for your holy grail. Linzy’s two new videos, “Don’t Make Me Over” and “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue” premiere below.

Don’t Make Me Over/We People Who Are Darker Than Blue from KalupLinzyStudio Films on Vimeo.

“Art.Jobs.Lullabies” will run until May 2, 2015 at Garis & Hahn in New York. See Linzy’s blogs on the Huffington Post here.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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History of the Opera: From Its Origin in Italy to the Present Time. with Anecdotes of the Most Celebrated Composers and Vocalists of Europe,

History of the Opera: From Its Origin in Italy to the Present Time. with Anecdotes of the Most Celebrated Composers and Vocalists of Europe,


Used – This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1862 edition. Excerpt: …music of the principal parts,” he continues, ” wer$ written for a class of voices which 110 longer exists, t and for these parts no performers could now be found. A series of recitatives and airs, with only an occasional duet, and a concluding chorus of the slightest kind, w

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Soap Opera Star Freddie Smith Charged With DUI After Crash That Injured His Girlfriend

JEFFERSON, Ohio (AP) — Soap opera actor Freddie Smith has been charged with felony vehicular assault and misdemeanor driving under the influence after a single-vehicle crash that injured his girlfriend in northeast Ohio.

The 26-year-old “Days of Our Lives” actor lost control of his car on a curve in Ashtabula (ash-tuh-BYOO’-luh) County on Oct. 7 and ended up in a culvert, causing his car to flip over. Authorities say Smith, who was visiting his Ohio hometown, was legally drunk at the time of the accident, with a blood-alcohol level of .093. The legal limit in Ohio is .08.

Smith’s attorney declined to comment.

Twenty-seven-year-old actress Alyssa Tabit of North Hollywood, California, was trapped in the car and was seriously hurt. She is recovering.

Smith suffered minor injuries.
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Dido & Aeneas , Bluebeard’s Castle in a Duo at LA Opera

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Two probing views of obsessive love spelled success for the marriage of inconvenience between Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Their double-bill opening Saturday at the Chandler Pavilion marked the LA Opera’s second collaboration with wave-making Australian stage director Barrie Kosky. It also heralded the promise of a long-term relationship.

Chief Director of Berlin’s Komische Oper from 2012, Kosky debuted here last year with a spoofy Mozart’s Magic Flute that looked like a silent movie. As with that production, this sparely staged pairing originated in Europe, but that’s where their resemblance ends. Change-ups are a habit of the chameleon-like director.

Two and a half centuries span the two tragedies of Dido and Bluebeard, one with a lot of fun, the other with none. When Kosky teases in an interview before the opening that the works have little in common, you can count on seeing as many parallels as lanes on the freeway you took to the Music Center. He spins an enigmatic few of them in the printed program: “Arrival and departure, departure and arrival, a woman and a man, a man and a woman, a lost Eden, a forgotten Eden and a remembered Eden.”

The protagonists of these tales are fodder for a psychiatrist’s couch. Except for her brief amatory union with Aeneas, Dido’s clinical depression keeps her so withdrawn from her court she heeds neither cheering up nor sinister plots. Duke Bluebeard’s guarded split personality is a fatal attraction to obsessive new wife Judith, who, against his will and her own safety, makes him reveal his lethal all.

However linked the psycho-atmospherics may be, their respective stagings sharply contrast. Katrin Lea Tag’s spare scenery, slow-rising curtains, and vivid costumes (owing much to Julie Taymor and Germany’s Pina Bausch) evoke radically different landscapes, historic time zones, and sound-worlds. The use of unscripted whispers in both works heightens the drama and helps span their stylistic discontinuities.

Dido and Aeneas

Dido is bathed in bright lights and dressed in (mostly) pastel-infused but freakish period clothing. Its drama unfolds on the outer edge of the stage proscenium, barricaded from behind by an accordion-shaped screen. The narrowly defined space emphasizes the wafer-thin superficiality of the courtiers, and probably also Dido’s hold on power. A long white bench stretches across the stage to seat the retinue: a collection of nit-wits, sycophants and nasty plotters, who by turns ape the droopy sentiments of their queen or trot off to bizarre and brazen behaviors.

All the while they sing nicely to Purcell’s delicate score. (“If you drop it will break” was Kosky’s earlier characterization.) The music was realized with great fluency in the large hall, aided in projection by the forward placed screen. The modest-sized baroque orchestra was peppered with period instruments (wood bassoon, oboe and flute, with a continuo of organ, harpsichord and theorbos) and conducted to precision by Steven Sloane.

As Dido’s sister Belinda, soubrette soprano Kateryna Kasper is the court’s excitable teenybopper. Her “To the hills and the vales” shimmered with youthful enthusiasm as sung to an enchanted audience from the outer edge of the orchestra pit.

Outlandish comedy comes from the combo of a sorceress and two witches sung by an improbable assemblage of three African-American countertenors, led by recent Operalia winner John Holiday (the sorceress) with G. Thomas Allen and Darryl Taylor. Dressed in pitch black and suggesting a trio of harping crows, they were the conspirators against Dido who pranced and danced and shook their jowly cheeks in celebration of their own wickedness. Holiday even changed into a mock Dido dress as he spitefully employed an imposter Mercury to order Aeneas’ departure for Rome. This has the intended effect of fatally demoralizing his queen. The sketch leveled the audience with laughter.

Handsome Liam Bonner’s Aeneas, en route from Troy to Rome, is presented more as feckless wanderer than purposeful hero. His plush baritonal colors lent plummy hues to his bass region and a tenorial gleam higher up. After Dido’s fragile state of mind dismisses him for even thinking of leaving her, Aeneas stomps off stage and down to the the audience seating area, slamming a side door on his way out. Temper, temper.

Dido is the only role treated as serious, and the contrast of her demeanor with that of the others enhances her isolation. In her local debut as the sole holdover from European productions, Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy’s aristocratic poise and pearly voice captured Dido’s exquisite melancholy, furious anger, and, in her famous lament “When I am laid in earth” and its aftermath, her grisly end-of-life journey of shocking gasps and sighs. As she dies, orchestra members and courtiers, who earlier had migrated from stage to pit, depart one by one, so that when Dido finally expires in a slump, she is left alone to commune with eternity. The scene touchingly recollected the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson of not so many years ago singing Bach’s “Ich habe genug.”

Bluebeard’s Castle

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The mood of Bluebeard’s Castle after the interval grows even darker and much heavier. It unfolds on a large empty disc sitting in the Chandler’s cavernous backstage, blackened but otherwise unadorned. The two protagonists, also draped in black, rotate on this disc in a glacially slow but intense dance of death. The spatial infinity suggests the bottomless pit of Bluebeard’s concealed and bloody marital history and also Judith’s morbid curiosity. The use of people in lieu of sets, which was suggested in Dido, here becomes literal. Traditional productions employ seven actual doors, which Judith coaxes Bluebeard to open, but in this instance three sets of supernumeraries stand in for the chambers containing his former wives. Former iterations of the Duke himself stream gold dust, leafy vines, and water in a dystopian Garden of Eden made fearsome and fatal after the fall.

Claudia Mahnke as Judith and Robert Hayward as Bluebeard act out their Hungarian rendition of Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf, forcing open the doors to each other’s personalities. If, due to unrelieved narratives, their vocal tours de force can’t quite keep us engaged for the hour-long layer-peeling intensity, their joint efforts earn points for honesty and sheer perseverance.

Bartók’s score is an expressionistic time bomb. Its massive modern orchestra can be compared in size and sonority, also artistic importance, to those of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Berg’s Wozzeck. Each morbid revelation in the opera is accompanied by an ever more splendid soundscape, the most dramatic being the brass ensemble that depicts the castle’s magnificent gardens in a kind of post-Wagnerian grandeur. Steven Sloane and his instrumental charges bridged the huge stylistic chasm after Purcell’s light textures to realize superbly this musical Mount Everest.

Apropos and worthy of note, the heavy costs of this joint production were not in sets but in musicians, and thanks for that.

Left in the mind’s eye after the performances was Dido’s white claustrophobia and Bluebeard’s black infinity, like the eternally clinging teardrops in a yin-yang.

—ooo—

Performances continue through November 25. Contact: LA Opera

Photos are by Craig Matthew for the Los Angeles Opera
Top: Paula Murrihy and Liam Bonner as Dido and Aeneas
Bottom: Claudia Mahnke as Judith and Robert Hayward as Duke Bluebeard

Rodney Punt can be contacted at Rodney@ArtsPacifica.net
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki And 2 Congressmen Plan Protest Of ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ At Metropolitan Opera

NEW YORK (AP) — Some big-name politicians are joining Jewish protesters in a growing firestorm against an opera they say glorifies Palestinian terrorists.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Gov. George Pataki and two U.S. congressmen are among hundreds expected outside the Metropolitan Opera on Monday to protest the Met premiere of “The Death of Klinghoffer.” It’s based on the 1985 murder of a disabled Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, on the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship hijacked by four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front. The 69-year-old New York retiree was shot in his wheelchair and pushed overboard.

Organizers plan to bring 100 symbolic wheelchairs to the rally at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan.

The Met already has canceled its planned November movie theater and radio broadcasts of American composer John Adams’ 1991 work amid pressure from Jewish groups — especially the Anti-Defamation League — whose members say the music romanticizes Klinghoffer’s killers, along with the opening “Chorus of Exiled Palestinians.”

Met General Manager Peter Gelb warned the broadcasts could trigger anti-Semitism overseas.

But opera expert Fred Plotkin says the work depicts the Klinghoffers as the moral backbone.

“Does this opera present the killers in a favorable light? No,” he says. “Are the Klinghoffers far and away the most sympathetic characters in the opera, the ones we care about most? I believe so.”

The opera has been a lightning rod since February, when it was first scheduled for this season.

The opposition is now reaching fever pitch, with word spreading that protesters may try to disrupt Monday’s performance.

It’s the second large New York demonstration against the work since the Met’s Sept. 22 season opening night, when protesters carried signs that read “Klinghoffer Opera/Propaganda Masquerading as Art” and jeered at arriving spectators.

Plotkin notes that many “Klinghoffer” opponents have never seen the work.

The Met is advertising it with the slogan: “See it. Then decide.”

“The Death of Klinghoffer” was first premiered in Brussels in 1991, with little controversy, then in various European cities as well as at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it was greeted with both praise and anger — especially from Klinghoffer’s two daughters.

“The Death of Klinghoffer” runs through Nov. 15 at the Met.
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1858 in Sports: 1858 in Chess, 1858 in Cricket, Sports Clubs Established in 1858, Blackheath F.C., Opera Game, King James VI Golf Club

1858 in Sports: 1858 in Chess, 1858 in Cricket, Sports Clubs Established in 1858, Blackheath F.C., Opera Game, King James VI Golf Club


New – Chapters: 1858 in Chess, 1858 in Cricket, Sports Clubs Established in 1858, Blackheath F.c., Opera Game, King James Vi Golf Club, Anderssen’s Opening, Kingston Rowing Club, North Sydney Cricket Club, 1858 English Cricket Season. Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 36. Not illustrated. Free updates online. Purchase includes a free trial membership in the publisher’s book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Excerpt: Blackheath Football Club (The Club) is a rugby fo

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First Nighter: Musicals “Atomic,” “The Mapmaker’s Opera,” “ValueVille”

Atomic, at the Acorn, is the show that asks the musical question: Once the A-bomb was realized, was it wise to use it? Coming up with an answer requires a great deal of serious thought, which is what librettist-lyricists Danny Ginges and Gregory Bonsignore and composer-lyricist Philip Foxman give it. Whether they’ve given it enough thought–in a tuner that may push the limit on how far musicals dealing with difficult issues can go–remains in question.

Ginges, Bonsignore and Foxman tell their story within an intriguing framework. Appearing before the House Un-American Activities Committee, the brilliant though arrogant J. Robert Oppenheimer (Euan Morton) decides to defend his loyalty to the country by telling the history of the development of the devastating weapon that irrevocably changed mankind’s history.

Oppenheimer introduces the tale of Leo Szilard (Jeremy Kushnier), then and now an almost forgotten figure in the building of the atomic bomb. It was Szilard who got the genius notion about a chain reaction leading to splitting the atom, a possibility discounted prior to the mid-1930s.

Fearful, particularly when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, that German scientists would build a bomb before anyone else, Szilard devoted his life to the project (eventually the Manhattan Project), at times jeopardizing his marriage to pediatrician Trudy Weiss Szilard (Sara Gettelfinger).

When the war with Germany ends, Szilard considers the long-term implications of the bomb and concludes that using it against Japan is too much for his conscience to bear. He tries to stop it but is foiled in an attempt to reach Harry Truman–partly because Oppenheimer argued successfully that deploying the bomb would result in the occasion’s being an effective future deterrent, which, of course, it has been. So far.

It’s a meaty subject, all right, with Ginges, Bonsignore and Foxman bringing in supporting players like Enrico Fermi (Jonathan Hammond), Edward Teller (Randy Harrison) and project liaison Arthur Compton (David Abeles), who objected to Szilard’s resistant attitude towards the kind of secrecy under which he was expected to operate.

In a production where Neil Patel’s sleek grid-like set (that annoyingly obscures lights behind it specifying locales) and David Finn’s lighting are crucially effective, the human and humane nature of those associated with the super-human efforts–the amount of drinking the participants did, for instance, and then their abiding post-bombing guilt–is both surveyed and stinted.

Szilard’s details are unfolded in great detail, but Oppenheimer’s, on the other hand, aren’t. (Fermi is presented almost strictly as a caricature Italian.) It’s not unusual for musicals to jump over biographical segments, and that occurs in excess with Oppenheimer. How he became Manhattan Project head is completely ignored, practically reducing him to the heavy in the piece, a bombastic bombing advocate with his signature cigarette in hand.

And since this is a musical, there’s the music. It’s something of a rock score during which every once in a while Kushnier, who has a solid belt, steps center stage–sometimes on a table–and, not unlike Idina Menzel in If/Then, delivers a power ballad with all his might. That just about every song he’s given sounds like the one that preceded it isn’t helpful, nor are the lyrics, which are rife with clumsy off rhymes. Neither Oscar Hammerstein nor Stephen Sondheim nor any other Golden Age lyricist you might mention would ever rhyme “office” with “nauseous”–especially since the correct adjective is ‘nauseated.”

Kushnier isn’t the only forceful singer in the group, directed with cogency by Damien Grey and choreographed when it’s called for by Greg Graham. The other eight ensemble members match him when their turns come. Is it going too far to say they’re all a blast?
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Most people know about Swan Lake, but perhaps only those who see The Mapmaker’s Opera at PTC Performance Place as part of the New York Music Festival, will know about Paloma Lake. That could be the English title of “Leyenda de la Paloma,” the dance that begins the musical’s second act and, as choreographed by Stas Kmiec and danced by Natalia Lepore Hagan and Andrés Acosta, is the most interesting part of an otherwise uninvolving work.

Adapting Béa Gonzalez’s novel of the same name set on the eve of the Mexican Revolution, librettist-lyricist Victor Kazan and composer Kevin Purcell unfold the story of naturalist’s assistant Diego Clemente (Joel Perez), who paints birds, and rich man’s daughter Sofia Duarte (Madeleine Featherby), who fall in love across class lines and eventually bear the consequences.

While occasionally throwing in flimsy references to the increasingly inflammatory ruling class/workers condition, the flamenco-influenced musical musters little urgency. While guitarists Nilko Andreas Guarin, Frederick Bryant Hollister, Richard Miller and David Boddington add flavor, the songs eventually give the impression of being a series of rhymed clichés.

The cast, directed half-heartedly by Donald Brenner, is divided into two halves, the half that does its best with the material (Alma Cuervo, Lorraine Serabian, Tony Chiroldes) and the half that doesn’t. But there is money on the stage in a series of animated drawings that indicate various Yucatån locales. Since there’s no credit for a projections designer, set designer Andrew Lu must deserve the credit.
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Pretentious and muddled aren’t the most encouraging words to describe a production of any kind, but they unfortunately apply to ValueVille, also at the PCT Performance Space and part of this year’s NYMF.

It’s a spin on Jean-:Paul Sartre’s No Exit, and in it a handful of people are trapped with each other in an Ikea-like Purgatory akin to a roach hotel where you can check-in but you can’t check out.

Eddie (David Spadora), a recent college grad, arrives and immediately encounters nervous ex-girlfriend Meg (Emily Koch), a tyrannical boss Don (Christopher Sutton) and a few others, including a forever-pregnant shopper (Stephanie Fittro).

The idea seems to be that once any of them realizes what landed them in this pre-Hell and right the personality flaw, he or she is free to go. Yet, several of them do make the connection but still remain condemned to their dire spot. So what does librettist-lyricist-composer Rowan Casey think he’s doing?

Not crafting memorable songs, that’s for sure. At one point there’s a “cheesy feel-good ballad,” which isn’t my assessment but that of naysayer Don. Towards the end, Sharonda (NaTasha Yvette Williams) blares an 11 o’clock gospel song that lands in the time-honored way of 11 o’clock gospel rants. It’s followed by Eddie, Meg and company singing a rather sweet song called “Heart & Soul.” It’s not the Frank Loesser-Hoagy Carmichael “Heart and Soul,” but arranger Ryan Cartwell has the wit to end the ditty with a piano reference to the golden oldie.

ValueVille is directed by the terrific performer Donna Lynne Champlin making her debut in this capacity, and choreographed by the terrific performer Jeffry Denman. They both can be forgiven the lapse.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Beijing Opera Facial Masks Deck Playing Cards Poker

Beijing Opera Facial Masks Deck Playing Cards Poker


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