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In Brief: Death of the Humanities Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Giorgio Strehler directed a legendary production of Mozart's Marriage of Figaro in the Opéra royal de Versailles in 1973, which the Opéra de Paris is reviving this fall for only the latest of twenty-some revivals. Of course, for its traditional tendencies, it was one of the favorite Parisian stagings that Gerard Mortier quite literally shelved, even ordering the sets to be destroyed and the costumes (like the gown for the Countess, shown at right) sent off to a historical collection. Just as intentionally, Nicolas Joël has reversed Mortier's attempted assassination, a process that included reconstructing the costumes and sets according to the memories of those who worked on the original production. Philippe Jordan conducts, and the two casts include Christopher Maltman, Barbara Frittoli, Dorothea Röschmann, Luca Pisaroni, Erwin Schrott, Karine Deshayes, and Isabel Leonard, among others. [Le Monde]

  • As mentioned in last week's link dump, the core disciplines of university education, the humanities, are in danger of disappearing. Students, faced with huge debts for an undergraduate education, are more and more choosing technical and other non-humanities majors. The University of Southern California has already eliminated its entire German department, and now SUNY Albany has announced it will axe programs in French, Italian, classics, Russian, and theater. Stanley Fish has a piece about this sad state of affairs. He lays at least part of the blame on "progressive academics," many of them professors of the very disciplines now under threat, who argued that there was no reason to maintain traditional humanities requirements for all students just because universities had for so long, that some of those areas were "relics from the past." Those same "visionary faculty members" may now suffer elimination of their jobs as a result. [Opinionator]

  • Joseph Lin will be the new primarius of the Juilliard String Quartet in 2011, replacing Nick Eanet. [Arts Watch]

  • There is an exhibit of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat at the Musée de l'art moderne de la ville de Paris. A few pictures. [Le Monde]

  • Leonard Bernstein and Dimitri Mitropoulos. Ugly. [Parterre Box]

  • In the first five days of the exhibit Hitler and the Germans at the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, 20,000 visitors passed through. It is apparently the first exhibit in Germany on the subject. [Le Point]

  • See my weekly column with picks for this week's best in classical music performances in Washington. [DCist]


Anonymous said...

Sorry you missed the Bach Sinfonia concert this weekend of the Salieri and Mozart (Levin) requiems. It was a superb concert, but no mention here, alas.

Charles T. Downey said...

The Post reviewed it, but every once in a while I cannot attend everything.