- As our Credo above makes clear, we try to stay fully clear of politics here at Ionarts. Our international readership does not come here for American political coverage, and we want to make neither half of our American readership, on whatever side of the spectrum, have to slog through tiresome political grandstanding. There is plenty of that elsewhere on the Internet, even on almost all other arts and music blogs. That being said, the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States should not pass completely without comment. (Privately, your moderator says "Hooray!" -- .PDF file.) No matter how you feel about it, take a moment to read the Langston Hughes poem ("Let America Be America Again") published this week by one of our favorite bloggers. [Languagehat]
- Confirming Internet rumors in recent weeks, the Austrian daily Wiener Zeitung speculated that Gerard Mortier will not be coming to New York City Opera after all, and then it became official and in the New York Times. Anyone want to place bets on when New York City Opera (and perhaps Michigan Opera Theater?) will go the way of Opera Pacific? [Opera Chic]
- Speaking of financial disasters, the world-wide credit crisis/recession has hit Washington's cultural scene badly. The worst news of all, as Anne Midgette reports, is that Washington National Opera has put the much-anticipated opening of its American Ring Cycle, planned for next fall, on ice. Instead, we will get Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet with Diana Damrau (sounds good to me), Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro (meh), and a revival of Porgy and Bess (bleh). Color me disappointed. [Washington Post]
- Don't look now -- Alan Rich thinks that Mortier should go to Los Angeles Opera instead, which will apparently get to keep its Ring cycle next season. [So I've Heard]
- Ugh, just when one thought that President Bush could not do any more harm to the arts in America, Bryant Manning reports that Lee Greenwood will serve a six-year term on the National Arts Council. [Mysteries Abysmal]
- Edo de Waart is stepping down as Chief Conductor of the Santa Fe Opera. Hasn't he done something like this before? [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Why did American taxation become less progressive?
47 minutes ago