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In Brief: Quasimodo Edition

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

Leontyne Price appears on What's My Line? (with hat tip to La Cieca)
  • On Easter Sunday we had the most delightful news of another long-desired resurrection, that of Marion Lignana Rosenberg, the author of one of our favorite erstwhile Internet destinations, vilaine fille, and much more. We wish her all possible success with her new project and travel plans. [Re-visioning Callas]

  • Check out the new blog to cover developments on making the photography collection of the Smithsonian more accessible to the public. [The Bigger Picture]

  • Bruce Weber's obit for adult movie star Marilyn Chambers was not intended to be funny, of course, but the way that he summarized the "plot" of the notorious film that lost Chambers her sponsorship deal with Ivory Soap cracked me up: "Ms. Chambers was an aspiring actress and model in 1972 when she starred in Behind the Green Door, a pornographic film about a woman who is abducted to a theater and ravished in front of an audience, ultimately to her great satisfaction, by both men and women." You stay classy, Gray Lady. [New York Times]

  • In this hilarious fake poll ("What Are We Twittering?") one of the responses made me wonder: 22% "Waiting for cue -- flute solos suck." The thought of an orchestral musician tweeting in the middle of a concert seemed so absurd. But is it? Perhaps on stage in a symphony concert would be too brazen, but why not in a ballet or opera pit? Any readers ever seen this happen? No names please! [The Onion]

  • How could Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg audition for the YouTube symphony thing (the gimmick everyone was talking about and about which I could not care less -- Anne Midgette's article in the Post sums up the performance perfectly) and not get chosen? By videoing herself playing the piano, of course. [Oboeinsight]

  • Yeah, whatever did happen to Sofia Coppola the film director? Like Keith Demko, I too described her last film -- three years ago -- as "her first failure," a gorgeous, stylish looker of a film with a dud of a story behind the exterior, like one of the famous Parisian confections featured in it, beautiful colors and sheen on the surface and nothing but air inside. With a better script, it could have been a devastating tragedy, a lesson that Coppola has hopefully learned during the intervening years. Thankfully, the director of Lost in Translation and Virgin Suicides, both extraordinary movies, is getting behind the camera again, with Somewhere, about "a bad-boy actor (Stephen Dorff) stumbling through a life of excess," at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont, who receives a surprise visit from his daughter (Elle Fanning). Coppola has written her own screenplay again (that worked for the two films set in her own times, if not for Marie Antoinette), and she starts shooting this summer. [Reel Fanatic]


Anonymous said...

The question about twittering in the opera pit brings to mind Berlioz's fantastic stories (collected in Evenings at the Orchestra, in a great Jacque Barzun translation) -- all supposedly told by orchestral members during their performances of the works they were uninterested in.

Charles T. Downey said...

Oh, that is a marvelous connection to make. For anyone else interested, if you can read French, the whole text of Berlioz's Soirées de l'orchestre is available online. I am sure there are many wonderful anecdotes about orchestral players of our own time out there.