WHAT HAPPENED IN SAN DIEGO?San Diego Opera’s Sudden Demise
San Francisco Classical Voice: Janos Gereben General director Ian Campbell: “…It is not an expense issue. It is a problem on the revenue side. Drops in both sales and contributions over several years now mean that we doubt we will be able to complete the next season.”A Stirring Requiem for San Diego Opera’s Senseless, Premature Death
Los Angeles Times: Mark Swed
Who has ever heard of a major arts institution with a $15-million budget, one of the country’s top 10 opera companies, simply throwing in the towel over a deficit of a couple million dollars and not fighting to the end because there is no dignity in that?
IS OPERA MORPHING?
Musical or Opera? Stage Companies Are Drawing on Both Art Forms
New York Times: David Belcher
The trend started as a way to increase box office income and get some new people inside the building, but now companies in both the U.S. and Europe are proudly mounting full-scale productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim and even Andrew Lloyd Webber. (Don’t worry, they’re not going to do Mamma Mia just yet!)
Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s ‘Gründlehämmer’ Rocks Out Medieval Style
Washington Post: Heather Keeting
Guns N’ Roses meets serious opera as the Baltimore Rock Opera Society presents “Grundlehammer” in Washington D.C. In the review: There’s both a seriousness of intent and abundant appreciation for the form apparent in the work of The BROS, as the troupe calls itself.
The Met. Can it be Saved?
Parterre Box: Dawn Fatale
Following up on an incisive analysis of what’s really wrong at the company, Dawn Fatale says the Met needs to be more exciting – and makes some intriguing and inventive suggestions for just how to do that.
S.F. Opera Looks to the Future, Eyes Wide Open
San Francisco Classical Voice: Janos Gereben
Lamenting the folding of the San Diego Opera as “a tragedy,” the general director of the San Francisco Opera rallied his troops, but pulled no punches about the challenges ahead.
Indianapolis Opera Cancels Final Show of Season
Indianapolis Business Journal
In the statement issued Tuesday, opera officials said they “started the 2013-2014 season with a board-supported plan to return to producing four main stage productions, but decided to not to risk further financial strain by pushing forward with the final production of the year.
AND, HOW ABOUT THE MOVIES?
Fewer Americans Go to the Movies
Wall Street Journal: Erich Schwartzel and Ben Fritz
The number of tickets sold fell nearly 11% between 2004 and 2013, according to the report, while box office revenue increased 17%. With home-entertainment options improving all the time— whether streamed movies and television, video games, or mobile apps—and studios releasing fewer movies, people are less likely to head to their local multiplex.
THE GENDER ISSUE
Classical Music’s Shocking Gender Gap
CBC Music: Michael Morreale
An article focused on the Canadian music scene with interesting data on the primary orchestras. Despite efforts to balance the equation over years, there’s evidence that talented women are being prevented from having the successful careers they deserve.
Equality Article Sparks Outrage from VSO’s Bramwell Tovey
Bramwell Tovey tweets back at CBC Music, blasting the article as inaccurate, sensationalist, Toronto-centric, plagiarized, and borderline liable. An interesting read!
1, 2, 3… Action
New Music Box: Monika Herzig
As Women’s History Month winds down, spring offers the perfect opportunity to sweep out the clutter from the past and move forward into a future that brings together the music of black, white, brown, male, and female individuals all over the world.
Girls-Only Course Aims to Tackle Shortage of Female Conductors
The Guardian (UK): Peter Walker
Hopefully a course like this will get younger women interested. It’s about celebrating role models and equal opportunities, but it’s also about putting that initial germ of an idea into a girl’s mind, that this could be for me.
Youth, Maturity, and Physicality in New Classical Ballett
The Atlantic; Judith Ohikuare
In 2007, Misty Copeland became one of the most recognizable figures in classical ballet when she earned a spot as the first black female soloist in two decades to perform with the American Ballet Theatre. She continued to make history as the first African-American woman to assume the title role in The Firebird. Not bad for a dancer from a single-parent household who put on her first pair of slippers at the overripe age of 13.
ARTS PLANNING IN THE CITY
London Mayor’s New Cultural Strategy: More Busking?
The Stage: Nicola Merrifield
The Boris Johnson has unveiled his updated cultural strategy for the capital, which includes commissioning studies on the impact of public investment for culture, and how to better support busking.
‘Cultural hub’ proposed for London’s Square Mile
The Guardian: Mark Brown
The Barbican and the Museum of London want to create a cultural hub that will be as buzzy as those on the capital’s South Bank and in South Kensington.
Medellin’s Renaissance: What the Colombian City Can Teach Us About Urban Renewal
The Globe and Mail: Marina Jimenez
Twenty years ago, the Colombian city was a center of the worldwide cocaine trade, notorious for gun violence; even ten years ago the place was considered unsafe. Now it’s considered a hotbed of innovation.
DreamWorks Animation Unveils $2.4 Billion Shanghai Complex
Variety: Patrick Frater
Due to open in 2017, the Dream Center will have a 500-seat Imax theater, an entertainment district modeled on London’s West End and a venue for red carpet and festival events. The project is backed by DreamWorks Animation, Chinese investment.
Dubai to Put Art Museums in Subway Stations
Gulf News: Shafaat Shahbanadri
In the first phase, four stations have been identified for the project, with each to be transformed according to one particular theme: Islamic art and Arabic calligraphy, inventions, contemporary art and [multimedia] visual art.
INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Detroit Symphony Dives Headlong Into Streaming
New York Times: Michael Cooper & Rebecca Schmid
No one is quite sure how the trend will end up, and whether it will succeed at making money or building audiences. But many music organizations say they believe such web streams will prove helpful, saying that they must find audiences.
I Was a Player in the Global Internet Orchestra
The Daily Dot: Blog post by Cassandra Khaw
“For one moment, we were performing together, as faceless to each other as we were to the audience. The Global Net Orchestra was about what we were doing together. It might not have been perfect or even pretty. But it felt like the beginning of something bigger.”
Why Wu-Tang Will Release Just One Copy Of Its Secret Album
Forbes: Zack O’Malley Greenburg
The complete upheaval of the music industry’s business model has been well documented, but you DID NOT see THIS coming. The notoriously esoteric hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan has been recording a double-album in secret for several years. A single copy of the recording will tour museums, galleries and festivals like it’s King Tut’s sarcophagus—and listeners will pay $30 to $50 to hear it in highfalutin listening parties.
Au Revoir, Entrepreneurs
The New York Times: Liz Alderman
“France has been losing talented citizens to other countries for decades, but the current exodus of entrepreneurs and young people is happening at a moment when France can ill afford it.”
ARTS PROGRAMMING AND JOURNALISM
BBC Makes Push Into The Arts With Two Big Hires
The Stage (UK): Matthew Hemley
Director general Tony Hall has announced a range of new arts programs and strands which he said would put the arts at “the very heart” of what the BBC does.
Arts For Everyone On The BBC? Not with Opera, Ballet and Still more Shakespeare
The Guardian: Stella Duffy
In response to the announcement at the BBC, Stella Duffy asks Where is the experimentation? Where are the emerging artists? (And without BBC3 how will they find out what they can do?) Where are the companies that do make art for everyone?
How You Can Save Arts Journalism Starting Right Now
Howard Sherman (blog)
If you want to see intelligent, comprehensive coverage of the arts – features and reviews alike – then you’ve got to start clicking. Journalism is well on its way to being a numbers game for most outlets. It’s not enough to be happy that arts coverage exists, you have to actually engage with it to insure its survival and the job survival of those who create it.
Aerobic Exercise Helps Boost Mindfulness
Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
As Project Jumpstart presents a series of three Mind & Body workshops, this will help those who attend! For some people—especially men—the methods often used to cultivate mental stillness, such as yoga and meditation, don’t feel like a good fit. Fortunately, new research from Germany finds an alternative approach that action-oriented folks will find much more appealing.
What Does a $45 Million Viola Sound Like? Violist David Aaron Carpenter Gives You a Preview
Open Culture/ NY Times: Michael Cooper
This spring, one of the best-preserved Strads in existence will go up for auction at Sotheby’s. Built sometime between 1700 and 1720, during the very best period of Stradivari’s work, the viola is a real rarity, one of only ten in existence. Maybe that justifies the starting price of $45 million. What does that prized strad actually sound like, you might wonder?
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