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3.5.09

In Brief

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • In more news of how far blogs have come -- we have been reading the literary blog Bookslut since the time Ionarts was founded. It has always been an informed and entertaining read. Now its founder, Jessa Crispin, has announced she is giving up editing the site as well as her home in Chicago, packing it all up to move to Berlin. And look at where the news got reported. [Chicago Tribune]

  • Giorgio Lalov, a Bulgarian-born impresario known for on-the-fly touring productions of favorite operas, has announced plans to start a new permanent opera company in Baltimore, which lost its resident opera to bankruptcy earlier this year. His wife, Jenny Kelly, was born in Baltimore and will also be involved. Lalov claims that he can run his company on a budget equal to a third of that of the old Baltimore Opera. The plans for the first season -- La Bohème, Rigoletto, and The Barber of Seville -- do not sound all that interesting, but good luck to them. [Baltimore Sun]

  • Richard Fairman raised a question that has been giving me food for thought this week. How much has the audience Lang Lang has attracted for himself played a part in his (occasionally bad) choice of repertoire? [Financial Times]

  • Have a look at the photos of the installation of Anish Kapoor's new sculpture Dismemberment of Jeanne d'Arc, in the old city market of Brighton. The enormous work will have two legs, a "womb pit," and two giant red mounds that represent breasts. During the Brighton Festival -- in fact, tomorrow night -- Kapoor's piece will serve as the backdrop for two performances of Rossini's Giovanna d'Arco (in Salvatore Sciarrino's 1987 orchestration). Whoa. [The Guardian]

  • Sometimes people will say things to the foreign press that they would not say to reporters in their own country, although the trend of globalization and the Internet probably makes that much less true now. French music critic Renaud Machart says that while the Metropolitan Opera used to be thought of as a factory for opera stars, it is now admired for its musical quality and its daring stagings. The Met's Peter Gelb speaks to Machart about finding the right place for opera in the lives of people struggling to make it through the financial crisis. After stating that he chose to cancel the revival of Ghosts of Versailles because of the cost's of its "heavy staging," Gelb said that the Robert Lepage Ring Cycle "justified the investment of a large budget. His artistic vision and the very complex technological tools put at his disposal will make this Ring a touchstone of the Met of the future and draw in a new audience." About inviting Otto Schenk back to the Met to direct the final revival of the old production, Gelb added, "In the future, revivals will be supervised by the directors themselves and not by assistants reading from notebooks. It is by such details that we will improve the artistic quality of this company." [Le Monde]

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