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A roundup of news and opinion in the industry. If you’d like to add your voice to the listings we choose each week, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.



A key week in the future of the Metropolitan Opera!

The Diva Departs: Renée Fleming’s Farewell to Opera
NY Times: Charles McGrath
For Renée Fleming, the superstar soprano who will sing the Marschallin, and for music, this really is the end of an era: This “Rosenkavalier” may well be her farewell to staged opera. She will sing her final performance on the afternoon of Saturday, May 13.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Will Shake Things Up at the Met Opera

NY Times: Michael Cooper
The young, energetic conductor is about to shape the company’s next era.


Who’s Guilty When It Comes to Crimes of Cultural Appropriation?
The Daily Beast: Lizzie Crocker
Why is a white artist disqualified from painting a portrait of Emmett Till? Should under-represented cultures have their own monopolies on art, fiction, and style? How cultural appropriation became a minefield.

The Arts In Times of Conflict
Arts Professional: Daniel Gorman
Reflections from the executive director of Shubbak, a multi-artform festival held in London every two years, that presents the work of artists from across the Arab world.

Why Authoritarians Attack the Arts

NY Times: Eve Ewing
As Hitler understood, artists play a distinctive role in challenging authoritarianism.

Making Music an Instrument for Change: How NEA-funded HOLA Points Kids Toward a Better Path

Los Angeles Times: Jessica Gelt
YOLA at HOLA has received $270,000 in the form of five successive annual grants from the National Endowment for the Arts since 2013. The program provides intensive orchestral instruction, including classes on music creativity, singing and ensemble rehearsals, to 250 students in 1st through 12th grades.

An Interview with Iranian Harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani Parker Ramsay
Over coffee on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Esfahani expressed that he didn’t simply want to do an interview cataloging his musicianship and career as “outliers.” That said, he went on to offer some insights and opinions of certain trends and strains of the historical performance movement—trends which not only have affected the interpretation of music, but have more far-reaching consequences as well.

The Lifelong Effects of Music and Arts Classes

Pacific Standard: Tom Jacobs
If your local symphony or non-profit theater are selling enough tickets to stay afloat, thank a music teacher.

Science Classes Won’t Future-Proof our Children. But Dance Might

The Guardian: Christina Patterson
Focusing exclusively on science, maths and tech is misguided. Future workers will need the creativity that only the arts teach.

Yuja Wang: 'If the music is beautiful and sensual, why not dress to fit'?

The Guardian: Fiona Maddocks
The Chinese piano prodigy takes no prisoners. She embraces Brahms and Beethoven as fiercely as she defends her right to wear what she likes.


11 House Republicans Sign Letter Supporting the NEA
NY Times: Sopan Deb
The list of vocal Republican allies has slowly grown in recent weeks.

Joffrey Ballet’s Archive Heads to the New York Public Library

NY Times: Joshua Barone
Film and documents from the Joffrey Ballet’s 61-year history have been donated to the New York Public Library for the Performing Art’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division. The gift coincided with the company’s return to New York for the first time last week since it moved to Chicago in the mid-1990s.

Star Tenor (and Jacobs alumnus!) Has a New Philly Gig

(and an Esperanza Spalding work in progress) Peter Dobrin
While continuing his singing career, Brownlee will work on repertoire with president and general director David B. Devan, music director Corrado Rovaris, and others. One of his first projects is to help develop a new opera with jazz musicians Esperanza Spalding and Wayne Shorter that's expected to premiere in 2019. One of his big goals is to show young people in Philadelphia that opera is cool.

Atlanta Ballet Loses its Star Dancers; Half the Company will Leave or be Let Go at Season’s End

Arts Atlanta: Scott Freeman
Multiple sources within the company told ArtsATL that the departures are the culmination of a culture clash between the open and modernistic atmosphere fostered by previous artistic director John McFall that was embraced by the dancers, and the classical ballet ethos favored by Gennadi Nedvigin, the new Bolshoi-trained artistic director.

Colorado Ballet Set Box Office Records for 2017 Season

The Denver Post: Mark Jaffe
Seven years ago, the Colorado Ballet appeared to be at a financial death’s door, but Saturday’s bustle and a 2017 season finishing with record attendance and box-office receipts show the company is very much alive.

8 Memorable Moments From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction

NY Times: Ben Sisario and Joe Coscarelli
At its 32nd annual event, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday night, the usual controversies — band schisms, score-settling at the microphone — were mostly absent.

Is Miami Music Week Over?

Thump: Michelle Lhooq
What happens to Miami Music Week, once the epicenter of America's corporate dance music bubble, in today's post-EDM world?

This Little-Known Statistic Hurts Women in Film But These Women Are Determined To Fix It Anna Klassen
In 2016 women comprised seven percent of directors, 13 percent of writers, 17 percent of editors, 24 percent of producers, and five percent of cinematographers in the top 250 domestic grossing films of the year, according to the Celluloid report. These statistics are abysmal and appalling, but not entirely unexpected. Previous years haven't been any better for women, and sexism in the industry is now a widely-known reality. And yet there is one group of creatives that have it even worse: women film composers.


ENO ‘Would Not Survive’ Without Musicals, Claims Michael Linnit
The Stage: Georgia Snow
Linnit, who stages musicals at ENO's London home with fellow producer Michael Grade, said ENO was right to add musical theatre to its seasons, despite criticisms levelled at the company for moving away from opera.

To Boo or Not to Boo? Royal Opera Music Chief Defends Vocal Crowds
The Guardian: Mark Brown
Antonio Pappano says while latest trend of booing villains can be fun, calling out a bad performance is a step too far.


How Significant Is the Music Industry's Rebound?
The Atlantic: Spencer Kornhaber
Last week, the Recording Industry Association of America broke good news for the sector it monitors: Music revenues in 2016 were the highest they’ve been in eight years, and year-over-year gains of 11.4 percent were the largest percentage increase seen since 1998. This growth has been almost entirely driven by the rise of streaming, the technology long discussed as the potential savior of the beleaguered music business and that’s now, finally, maybe making good on its potential.

Roland Founder and Music Pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi Dies at 87

The Guardian: Ruth McKee and Jamie Grierson
Tributes have been paid to the man behind the synthesiser and drum machines that revolutionised electronic music in the 1980s and 90s, Ikutaro Kakehashi, who has died aged 87. The Japanese engineer founded the Roland Corporation in 1972 and invented a range of electronic drum machines and synthesisers used throughout popular music since the mid-1970s – by performers from Prince to New Order, Dr Dre to Kraftwerk.

I Needed a Guitar Teacher. So I Turned my Alexa Into One.

FreeCodeCamp: Terren Peterson
This highlights where interactive voice applications are better than traditional mobile platforms. A voice application doesn’t need use of your hands.


Watch a Dance Performance Change in Real Time with Facial Projection Mapping
The Verge: Lizzsie Plaugic
“INORI (prayer)” is a dance performance video that uses real-time facial projection mapping to change the look of the dancer’s faces. Over the course of about one minute, the dancers are made to look like skulls with empty eye sockets, big-toothed clowns, and terrifying dolls with their jaws unhinged.

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