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12.7.09

In Brief: Midsummer Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Scott Spiegelberg pointed out the video embedded here, a tribute to Michael Jackson by Robert Ridgell, an organist at Trinity Church, Wall Street. The improvisation combines strains from Jackson's Beat It and the Jackson 5's ABC. [Musical Perceptions]

  • With hat tip to ArtsJournal, a man in Manchester -- or, as The Times put it, "a Mancunian man," which summons up images of an exotic space alien -- has sued a theater that promised him a performance of the musical The Wizard of Oz and gave him a staging with recorded music instead of a pit orchestra. The amazing part is that he won and was awarded the cost of the money he spent on the tickets for his family. The trial's expert witness, one Harrison Birtwhistle, put it best, saying that without an orchestra or musical director “a performance of The Wizard of Oz is best described as karaoke.” Score one for the professional musicians. [The Times]

  • Not that everyone in Music Blogville has not already pointed this out, but a great big Chapeau! to mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who broke her leg (officially a fractured fibula) during a performance as Rosina in Barber of Seville (an acclaimed and high-profile one in London, to boot) and yet finished the show on crutches. She then got fitted with a cast and has continued the run performing in a wheelchair! The ticket-paying public, who endure frivolous singer cancellations far too often, should be sure to give this stellar singer an extra ovation for her grit. [Yankeediva]

  • Well, baseball is a pretty slow game -- "'The buzz has been awesome. Of course, we'd rather people come to see our beloved Nationals, but our attitude is, if people having sex in the seats gets people to come to the park, it's good for baseball'. Perry credits the Washington fans themselves -- 'the greatest and most sexual fans in the world', she said gratefully -- with the spontaneous invention of the Fuck-Cam." [The Onion]

  • We agree that this is a rather nice place to have an espresso. [Veritas et Venustas]

  • Poor Roberto Alagna received a drive-by envenoming from Opera Chic this week, based on some comments he made in France-Soir. (For the record, it was the journalist, not Alagna, who applied the phrases "the tenor of tenors" and "the absolute king of bel canto" -- it's a puff piece. Nor did Alagna really call himself Don Giovanni or Enrico Caruso. Read the article.) No doubt about it: Alagna is a character and he loves publicity. Check out Marie-Aude Roux's assessment of listening to Alagna's dress rehearsal for his big en plein air concert at Versailles. She reports that Alagna insisted on rehearsing in a T-shirt "with a big red devil on it, above which was written 'God is busy. May I help you?'" [Le Monde]

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