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Recent News, Commentary, and Ideas.

Opera News: Philip Kennicott

The question of the week: Does opera have the ability to be politically correct?  With so much history involved, centuries of social change and evolving moral codes, Washington Post chief critic Philip Kennicott opens the discussion.


Renée Fleming: 'Live Cinema is a Threat to Opera'
The Telegraph: Rupert Christiansen
Renée Fleming, queen of the New York Met, discusses quitting the stage, and how opera is changing forever.

In Beyoncé's 'Formation,' A Glorification Of 'Bama' Blackness
NPR’s Code Switch: Jesmyn Ward
“When I saw Beyoncé's "Formation" video, I understood. I knew who she was portraying in the video, and what she was trying to tell me and all the other bamas.”

What Artists Actually Need Is an Economy That Works For Everyone
Creativz: Laura Zabel
Because our systems aren’t just broken for artists, they are broken for everyone. I’ve come to believe we can’t really improve life for artists in any broad or lasting way without improving life for everyone.

The Connection Between the Arts and Neighborhood Diversity
CityLab: Richard Florida
In diverse, disadvantaged communities, the arts and artists contribute to a city’s economic and social fabric, build community, bolster neighborhood identity, and spur innovation and economic development.

New Ways Into the Brain’s ‘Music Room’
The New York Times: Natalie Angier
Scientists have identified neural pathways that react almost exclusively to the sound of music – any music.

The Grammys: What Makes an Album of the Year?
The New York Times: Jon Pareles
Long shot wins, unscripted moments, and strange celebrity interactions are among the best reasons to watch awards shows like the Grammys, which are on CBS on Monday. The album of the year category is where they turn up surprisingly often.


Indiana University Mourns the Loss of Distinguished Professor, Ballet Legend Violette Verdy
A sampling of announcements around the world:

The End of SoundCloud?
FACT Music News
SoundCloud could be forced to close after $44m in losses.

'Hamilton,' the Biggest Thing on Broadway, Is Being Taught in Classrooms All Over
Newsweek: Zach Schonfeld
Hamilton is the Broadway success story of the year, maybe the decade. And it’s about to become the hottest item on your 11th grader’s U.S. history syllabus.

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Music Festival
Indianapolis Star: Wei-Huan Chen
A collaboration with Earth Charter Indiana, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Indianapolis Zoo, and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, that will connect what’s being presented on stage with what’s happening to the natural world.

Sacramento Philharmonic Draws Patrons Back into Concert Hall
The Sacramento Bee: Edward Ortiz
Ticket sales and subscriptions for the season have outpaced expectations, a bright development for the 19-year-old orchestra, which has struggled since the 2008 recession.

Long Island Philharmonic Shuts Down
Newsday: Steve Parks
As a result, there will be no in-school programs — serving thousands of students, often in underserved districts in terms of classical music training — with Philharmonic musicians this spring, and no free concerts this summer in parks across Long Island.

Amid Tension, Met and James Levine Mull Last Bow
The New York Times: Michael Cooper
Mr. Levine is struggling to hold onto a position that has defined his life — and shaped the company — after continuing health problems have made it difficult for many performers to follow his conducting.

Misty Copeland and Degas: Art of Dance
​As she channels the artist Edgar Degas's most famous ballet works ahead of a new exhibition at New York's Museum of Modern Art, dancer Misty Copeland opens up about what it feels like to make history.

Washington Ballet's Septime Webre Steps Down as Artistic Director After 17 Years
Classicalite: Ian Holubiak
Webre is credited with aiding it company in an unprecedented period of financial and artistic growth.

What the Washington Ballet Needs in a New Director
Washington Post: Sarah Kaufman
With a strong financial position, the Washington Ballet has an opportunity to shoot for the top. It should focus on the very highest quality, not just the short-term buzz of exhilaration.


English National Opera in Crisis: Who can Keep the Magic Alive?
The Observer: Riona Maddocks
Despite a glorious Magic Flute revival, a new artistic director of the stricken opera company will face some hard decisions

Sofia Coppola's La Traviata to Set Opera of Rome Back on Song
The Guardian: Stephanie Kirchgaessner
The American film director Sofia Coppola is to make her opera debut this year with a production of La Traviata, at the Opera of Rome – a star-studded coup for the beleaguered venue, which has long been overshadowed by La Scala in Milan.

Paris Opera Ballet Opts for Silence Over Benjamin Millepied’s Resignation
The New York Times: Roslyn Sulcas
Critics of Mr. Millepied have portrayed him as having given up precipitously and abandoning a company that he had promised to remake as a 21st-century troupe.


There Is No Reality, Only Perception With Your Career Brand
Huffpost Women: Caroline Dowd-Higgins
Accurate and powerful branding is essential to be able to tell your professional story and not succumb to inaccurate perceptions of others.

An Essential Digital Marketing Guide for Artists
Decoded Magazine
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that your digital marketing cuts through the noise, and to successfully build an engaged fan base.

Kickstarter Passes 100,000 Funded Projects, 22% Of Them Were Music
Despite the growth of music-centered fan funding platforms like PledgeMusic, Kickstarter is still very popular with many musicians.

How Artists Are Using Pioneering Mobile Apps to Change the Music Game
FlyPaper: Jeremy Young
Apps have been developed as interactive play, a way to remix an artist’s work or create new organic works, a platform to provide exclusive content, and even as a way to simulate an artist’s voice.

Rebeat Introduces the First 'Music Enterprise Software' Solution
Digital Music News: Paul Resnikoff
Music Enterprise Software attempts to emulate the enterprise software systems that are already successfully managing extremely complex systems in other industries.


Zero Gravity Music Video!
OK Go delivers on Upside Down & Inside Out.  An amazing technical feat.

Feeling the Bern, in G Minor
The New Yorker: Ryan Lizza
The jazz musician Marcus Roberts’s new EP, “Race for the White House,” features songs meant to capture the candidacies of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Ben Carson.


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