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29.8.10

In Brief: Late August Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Live from the Festival de La Chaise-Dieu (the church of the former Benedictine abbey shown at right), an online radio broadcast of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers, performed by the Academy of Ancient Music and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. [France Musique]

  • Last spring Philip Kennicott deplored the decision to close the main entrance of the United States Supreme Court and, in the name of security, have visitors enter through a smaller ground floor door on the side of the building. The House of Representatives has recently introduced a resolution to call on the Supreme Court to open its doors again. [Philip Kennicott]

  • Prosper Mérimée put the ruins of the Roman arena in Fréjus on the French register of national monuments. Now the Mairie in the southern French town is going to build a "new amphitheater" on the site, covering the ruins with a concrete structure capable of holding 5,000 spectators in a more secure space. [Le Figaro]

  • Network television's audience is only getting older (median age now 51), so cue the chorus chanting the death of network television. Quote from one NBC executive: "If you try to young down your median age, you're going to be going against gravity." [Philadelphia Inquirer]

  • Scholars have uncovered a remarkable series of Hellenistic wall paintings, at a site near Petra, in Jordan. [The Observer]

  • Hugo Wolf was born 150 years ago on March 13, and Martine Mergeay has a review of the EMI set containing some 300 of his songs. [La Libre Belgique]

  • A new song festival in Baltimore, at An die Musik LIVE, will be devoted to the songs of Hugo Wolf on October 23 and 24. [Baltimore Lieder Weekend]

  • You may recall that laughably bad production of Don Giovanni at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. After critics shellacked director Dmitri Tcherniakov, French baritone Gabriel Bacquier has used the staging as an excuse to lambaste excessive opera directors as "pornographers who flaunt their neuroses as if they were one of the fine arts." [PlaybillArts]

  • This fall James McTeigue will begin shooting a film to be called The Raven, in which John Cusack will play Edgar Allan Poe trying to track down a serial killer who has been inspired by his own horror stories. [Reel Fanatic]

  • Andrew Simpson, professor of composition at Catholic University, on how he goes about accompanying a classic silent film. [TBD.com]

  • An Ode to Fact Checkers. RIP. [New York Times]

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