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In Brief: Advent II Edition

funny pictures of cats with captions
Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, in Los Angeles performing in yet another Barber of Seville, meets composer John Adams: "he asked me what I was doing in LA, and I simply said, 'Ah, Barber over at the Pavillion'. 'Barber?' he responded, 'Which one - Vanessa'?" [Yankeediva]

  • This is the sort of thing that I somehow feel one should not trust, but researchers have used scanning technology to isolate what they think are the original pigment colors of Leonardo's Last Supper, to create a digital image of what they think the fresco looked like when Leonardo completed it. [Discovery News]

  • This year, more than most, the nominations for the classical categories of the Grammy Awards struck me as mostly odd choices. Not that anyone really cares about them. You already know that I did not much like Marin Alsop's recording of the Bernstein Mass with the Baltimore Symphony, loved The Little Match Girl Passion, the jury is still out on Musto's Volpone (charming but a stylistic mishmash), and liked Jennifer Higdon's violin concerto more than the one she composed for percussion. [Grammy Awards]

  • As a preview of the new equestrian spectacle by Bartabas, Marie-Aude Roux spoke to Natalie Dessay recently about her love of horseback riding, something the French soprano discovered with her daughter during their summer stays in Santa Fe. Dessay, whose new DVD of Pelléas et Mélisande (a role we have long wanted to hear her sing) will be released early next year, says that she would say yes if Bartabas asked her to perform somehow in one of his shows. [Le Monde]

  • Cecilia Bartoli is touring with her castrato program, and here is how Nicolas Blanmont described her concert at the Bozar Center for Fine Arts in Brussels (my translation): "In the velvet-cushion, ritualized world of classical music, to take the stage after the orchestra has already begun the piece, and even worse dressed as a musketeer -- complete with a two-colored cape over a doublet, form-fitting pants, red gloves and black thigh boots, and a feathered hat (given to the lutenist) -- is just not done. Especially for a woman. Bartoli, however, is that daring, and a large part of her audience goes crazy for it. As seen when she made a grand entrance on the stage, with the room breaking out into an ovation so loud that Il Giardino Armonico had to stop playing to start over from the beginning of its accompaniment of Porpora's Come nave." [La Libre Belgique]

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