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In Brief: Leaving the Lake Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • The magnitude of reactions to the death of Michael Jackson this week was, frankly, surprising. His music (mostly mediocre, in my opinion), his performing personality (memorable, if weird), and (most of all) his perversions, excesses, and eccentricities have surely left a mark on the popular imagination. But was the outpouring of grief and commemorations really warranted? In lieu of my own assessment of one of the strangest lives of our age (I just don't care that much), read this one. [Countercritic]

  • Tim Page's look back at his career as a music critic should be required reading for anyone trying to write critically about music. [Opera News]

  • A sneak peek at the set for Santa Fe Opera's premiere production of Paul Moravec's new opera The Letter, from the librettist, Terry Teachout. [About Last Night]

  • Congratulations to Jessica Duchen, who has landed one of those rare blogger/columnist jobs, replacing Ian Bostridge as music writer for a relatively new British intellectual magazine. [Standpoint]

  • Anne Midgette published some great articles on tour with the National Symphony in China and South Korea. Watch her speak about the experience in an interview for PBS. [NewsHour with Jim Lehrer]