Links beyond this blog have been known to expire, sometimes rather quickly. I wish things weren't this way (but they are). I will do what I can to choose wisely (but don't say you weren't warned). Click away!
Every performance in the Celebrity Series of Boston 2009-2010 season is on sale on from 9am to 5pm (regular box office hours 10-4) this Monday morning, September 14. Call (617) 482-6661 or visit http://www.celebrityseries.org anytime. Start your engines!
This project has an air of inevitability to it, but London's Royal Opera House will perform an opera using Twitter contributions for the libretto. Here is a snippet of the AP story:
"In an effort to get more people involved with opera, which sometimes
suffers from an elitist, highbrow reputation, London's world-famous
Royal Opera House is turning away — temporarily — from classic talents
like Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini and giving the composer's pen
to ... just about anybody.
All you need to contribute is a
computer or a mobile phone and an account on Twitter, the popular
micro-blogging site that is open to all."
And no I don't mean jazz "cats," I mean the furry, purring kind, on video. The video above is the first movement. Visit this page for the other two and an explanation of the project with source materials.
I'm not sure how to describe this. Is it "on the level?", "cruelty to animals?", "a joke?" Well, the cat videos are real and he really did attempt to recreate Schoenberg's famous work and no cats were harmed in the making of this video. On the other hand, how could it not be a joke? If it is a joke, it's no ordinary joke, etc.
It's only a 2-minute excerpt, but cellist Maya Beiser's multi-media performance, "World to Come," doesn't need much time to make an impression. You could call it a solo cello performance, because in one sense it is, but there is quite a bit more going on here visually.
Jeremy Eichler's review of Saturday evening's Boston Modern Orchestra Project concert begins with a reference to Gil Scott-Heron's famous screed from 1970, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. After reading the entry I first congratulated myself ridiculously for getting the reference, and then thought what a good decision The Globe made in hiring this remarkable critic (and soon to be Dad). I'm not sure just whom I should be congratulating for pulling the trigger on his hire, so I'll throw my thoughts up here and hope that someone is vain enough to Google their professional decisions in search of my validation.
Gil Scott-Heron, excerpt from The Revolution Will Not Be Televised:
The revolution will not be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia. The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal. The revolution will not get rid of the nubs. The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.
The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised. The revolution will be no re-run brothers; The revolution will be live."
Jeremy Eichler, from Maestro, is that a DJ with your orchestra? (Note: Neither Mr. Eichler, nor any of the Globe writers, write their own headlines. Just thought you should know, since I'm truly interested in having you visit these links...):
"The revolution in the idea of what an orchestra can be -- from a collective instrument designed for the traditional symphonic repertoire, into an omnivorous agent of the new -- has been underway for well over a decade now, even if it has not been widely televised."
There is also this from the same review:
"Under the poised direction of conductor Gil Rose, BMOP sounded full and fearless throughout the evening. This protean ensemble made sharing the stage with drum kits and electric guitars seem perfectly natural. For these fine players, it probably is."
Gil Rose and DJ Spooky rehearse Anthony DeRitis' Devolution on Friday, May 18 at Sanders Theatre while James Otis looms in the foreground (full disclosure: in case it isn't obvious...this photo was taken by yours truly, not by a Globe or Herald pro)
The concert is over now, but the Boston Modern Orchestra Project's Saturday night performance at Sanders Theatre, part of our Boston Marquee series, got quite a bit of attention (deservedly so, of course) from local media, including Boston's two major daily newspapers (which two are the "major" daily newspapers, you ask, knowing there are several Boston papers issued daily? The answer is: the ones with their ownzip codes are the majors, ok?).
The Boston Globe weighed in with Matthew Guerrieri's Roll Over Beethoven from page one of Friday's Living/Arts section. Matthew followed up, admirably and typically, on his blog, Soho the Dog with a few bits that ended up on the cutting room floor. I love that he does this. Why should those tasty bits of interview wisdom end up as butcher's leftovers to be made into journalistic scrapple, or worse, not made into anything. Serve while fresh, I say.
Keith Powers was next with his Boston Herald entry on Saturday, Modern orchestra blooms with Rose. Considering this paper's troubles of late, the effort was especially noteworthy. Kudos.
Cannonball Adderly once famously said of (some) New York jazz audiences, "You get a lot of people that are supposed to be hip, and they act like they're supposed to be hip, which makes a difference." Cannonball eventually found his really hip New York audience at a matinee performance at New York's Village Vanguard, and while recording there, told the house, "Hipness is not a state of mind, it's a fact of life. You don't decide to be hip, it just happens that way." With our Boston Marquee performance by BMOP, the Celebrity Series skipped the trial and error and managed to find something authentically hip. "Hip" in the sense that the event was authentic and it mattered (don't ask me what that means exactly, the audience could feel it). The concert featured the world premiere of Evan Ziporyn's Celebrity Series commission, Hard Drive, the North American premiere of Steven Mackey's Dreamhouse, and Anthony DeRitis' collaboration with DJ Spooky, Devolution, so it was bound to be perceived by many as something that "mattered." In actual performance, not only was it supposed to matter, it did matter. More than a state of mind, it was a fact of life.