- Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, backed out of appearing for an interview with Jon Stewart. The intrepid faux news anchor interviewed a muppet version of Steele instead. [The Daily Show]
- Americans, do you know who your Poet Laureate is? Her name is Kay Ryan, and Adam Kirsch has a brilliant profile of her and her poetry. [The New Yorker]
- "[Calixto] Bieito, master of gratuitous obscenities, packs [name of opera withheld] with his usual diversity of bodily fluids. Vomit, blood, urine, sperm, and tongue julienne are mingled with ashes and incense." Can you guess what opera Bieito is deconstructing just from the quotation? No, because he does the same thing no matter what the libretto is actually about. The review, by Shirley Apthorp, is a laugh riot. [Financial Times]
- "Borges’ narrator opines that the Book-Man is thus analogous to a god, but I would argue that Jerome is a better fit—after all, it is not God that librarians dream of, but Jerome, and if this longing for the Perfect Library sometimes takes the form of idolatry, so be it." Perfect Library or Infinite Library? With hat tip to Maud Newton, a fascinating piece by Colin Dickey. [Lapham's Quarterly]
- News flash -- CNBC reports that opera is an extravagant art. "Thank goodness the government isn't paying for the Metropolitan Opera!" Oh wait, the Met does receive grants from the government -- I thought reporting involved gathering factual information. [Parterre Box]
- The art of improvisation in "classical" music is far from dead: come hear one of the greats, organist Gerre Hancock, who is the guest for the annual Octave of Easter celebration at the National Shrine. He will play at the noon Mass and give a free recital at 6 pm. The recital will conclude with a long improvisation -- a symphony in five movements, each inspired by one of the great mosaics in the Shrine's upper church. [Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception]
Mon coeur s’est calmé!
37 minutes ago