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In Brief: End of April Edition

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

  • The subject of a recent review was connected to the Chapelle Royale in Versailles, built by Louis XIV at the turn of the 18th century. This year is the 300th anniversary of the dedication of the chapel, on June 5, 1710. It was here that Louis XIV was the first to introduce an orchestra into a sacred liturgy: at the largest celebrations, as many as 90 choristers could be seated in the choir. Like other royal or imperial chapels, the upper level was reserved for the king and the royal family. [Le Figaro]

  • Classical music critic Alan Rich has died. Timothy Mangan has some thoughts. [Orange County Register]

  • You should probably go read some of Alan Rich's last thoughts about music, at the blog he started as a way to reinvent himself after being one of far too many great classical music critics to lose his job. [So I've Heard]

  • Part of the sélection officielle at this year's Cannes Film Festival (May 12 to 23 -- a week earlier than normal) was announced this week, with more veteran directors being featured than new names: Bertrand Tavernier La Princesse de Montpensier), Mike Leigh (Another Year), Abbas Kiarostami (Certified Copy), Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun 2). Ridley Scott's Robin Hood (with Russell Crowe) will open the festival, and Tim Burton will preside over the jury, which includes Emmanuel Carrère, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Benicio Del Toro, Alberto Barbara, Victor Erice, and Shekhar Kapur. Doug Liman's Fair Game, a spy thriller with Sean Penn inspired by the story of CIA agent Valerie Plame-Wilson's cover being blown, will be the only American film in competition. [Le Figaro]

  • With hat tip to The Cranky Professor, some people are building a castle in a small town in Arkansas -- and they're building it using only medieval building techniques. [Columbia Missourian]

  • The Operaplot contest is back, and this year it's bigger: more prizes offered by opera companies around the world, a real live opera star (Jonas Kaufmann) as judge, and probably more entries than one has a chance of actually reading. It starts tomorrow and goes through Friday. We'll pick some of our favorites for the roundup next week. [The Omniscient Mussel]

  • Summer must be nearly here: see what's on at the Proms this year. [BBC Proms]

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