Britain's Royal Ballet will hold four dance performances at a London arena famed for hosting top rock acts in a bid to bring ballet to a wider audience.
The performances of "Romeo and Juliet" in June 2011 will mark the first time the Royal Ballet has danced at an arena venue in Britain. They can normally be found at the plush Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
London's 20,000 seat O2 arena usually hosts such popular music acts as Arcade Fire, Scissor Sisters and Lady Gaga.
To commemorate the centennial of the awesome Galina Ulianova, a one-week forum is taking place in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. There's also a professional all-Russian ballet contest for forty young artists. OC is quite intrigued by the revival of the ballet “The Red Poppy” by Reingold Glière -- communist flowers in the sky ftw.
A single scallop, perfectly cooked alongside sunchokes and almonds, makes up an appetizer dish that costs $24. A wee bit of tripe and strozzapreti, elegantly paired with the crunch of herbed bread crumbs and some sweet tomatoes from San Marzano, goes for $28. (That eggplant parm is a side dish. It costs $16. Geddouttahere.) A blue-red dry-aged prime rib-eye runs $130 for two.
In contrast, for $22, you could get a standing-room place in the orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera on Wednesday night to see Elina Garanca singing Carmen.
On the other hand, between Garanca and Sardinian gnocchi, a lot of opera lovers would choose the latter. Even if carbs aren't that good for you to begin with.
As goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, Roberto Bolle had visited Sudan in the past. At the beginning of this month he has visited the Central African Republic for a week (an experience, he says, that left him "deeply affected and scarred"), sharing his diary with IoDonna magazine, the weekly for Corriere della Sera. Bolle danced for Africa last night in Rome, at Auditorium Conciliazione, and tickets had been sold out forever.
But those who are willing to help -- UNICEF provides anti-malaria medication, promotes HIV prevention, digs wells to provide clean drinkable water among other things -- can do so by donating money over to UNICEF.it website, or by calling the Italian toll free number 800-7450000.
From Bolle's diary entry for the final day of his travel:
"Coming home to a Milan that now looks as fake as a reality TV show. The one thing I can do to make this trip complete is to go back to my work, and dance for Africa"
There is a stunning moment in “Maestro” as Hershey Felder, playing Leonard Bernstein’s alter ego on stage, and the conductor-composer himself, on a large screen in an old film clip, join in a seamless piano duet from Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde.”
This tour de force at the Geffen Playhouse characterizes the fusion between the personas of actor-singer-writer Felder, very much alive and lively at 42, and Bernstein, who died almost 20 years ago at 72.
"Black Swan", the new Darren Aronofksy film with Natalie Portman (Opera Chic coverage here and here) will have a limited release on December 3. Next month's "Elle" magazine (above) will carry a very nice review by Karen Durbin:
One one level, Black Swan is a girl fest with terrific dark edges: anorexia, self mutilation, veiled mother-daughter enmities. But it's also a richly textured fable about sex, power, desire and danger that speaks to all women.
Especially for opera fans, since one of the -- many -- devastating scenes in the novel takes place at the opera.
Here's Eleanor Marx's take, from Part 2, Chapter XV:
Despite Emma's explanations, as soon as the recitative duet began in which Gilbert lays bare his abominable machinations to his master Ashton, Charles, seeing the false troth-ring that is to deceive Lucie, thought it was a love-gift sent by Edgar. He confessed, moreover, that he did not understand the story because of the music, which interfered very much with the words.
"What does it matter?" said Emma. "Do be quiet!"
"Yes, but you know," he went on, leaning against her shoulder, "I like to understand things."
Whether the whole "cheap fashion for the masses" thing will amount to a tragic case of brand dilution or a populist triumph in a time of crisis remains to be seen. What we know is that the frenzy is allo ver Milan -- this coming Friday the spanking new GAP store in Milan -- the first in the country -- will sell the new exclusive collection (only at the Milan store,London's Dover Street Market and Colette in Paris) "Valentino for GAP".
Next week, on Nov 23, two H&M stores will introduce their new (impressively affordable) Alber Elbaz capsule collection.
Conductor James Conlon will be staying on as music director of the Los Angeles Opera at least through the end of the 2012-13 season, the company said Monday. His contract was set to expire at the end of the current 2010-11 season. Conlon joined L.A. Opera in fall 2006, succeeding conductor Kent Nagano.
One thing you need to know about Riccardo Muti the man (as opposed to Muti the conductor) is that he can turn on & off his charm switch with amazing ease. You don't want to be on the receiving side of one of his trademark scowls or icy stares; but when the man chooses to be warm and funny (for example, at a post-performance dinner when the performance went well or very well), he's just that -- warm and funny and amazingly self-effacing.
Earlier tonight, showing up at the Che Tempo Che Fa talk show on Italian TV, the country's leading TV talk show, to promote his autobiography, Muti chose to be, well, very, very funny.
His opening gambit -- prodded by host Fabio Fazio -- was to tackle the topic of his famous, preternaturally black hair (as of late, grey at the temples). Not the result of a dye job but of good DNA: "My father died at 85 with a full head of jet black hair". But then he immediately told a hilarious story of his arrival in Milan as a young student on 11/2/1962 (btw, November 2 in Italy is the Day of the Dead). He mentioned how the Milanese cold weather and fog left the Southern boy horrified ("a scene out of a Totò movie").
He was wearing a heavy overcoat, a long scarf and a wide-brimmed fedora hat: then Muti explained that he went straight from the train station to the Conservatorio where he ran into a Neapolitan friend of his who made fun of Muti's fedora. And Muti quoted verbatim his friend's taunt in Neapolitan dialect: "You look like a c*ck in a hat".
Muti never wore a hat again in his life (the little story brought the live studio audience down; once again when he apologized for mentioning "a body part").
Muti also explained how he feels guilty for missing his sons' births -- he was conducting and he didn't feel right betraying his commitment with his orchestras (his two sons, now grownups, were in the audience), therefore "to this day I wonder -- did I make a mistake?"
Muti also mentioned how Verdi is the composer closest to his heart, the one whose approval, in a hypothetical afterlife, would mean the most to him. "But then -- Muti smiled, looking up -- Verdi is up there, and I'll end up elsewhere... so unfortunately I'll never meet him".
Tonight at 8:10pm Italian time, RAI's Che tempo che fa will host Riccardo Muti, writer/actor Giorgio Faletti and jazzy piano man Stefano Bollani.
Muti will talk about his new Italian-language autobiography "Prima la Musica, poi le Parole" that came out a couple days ago, filled with anecdotes from his fifty-year long career, through his native Naples and his positions at Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Philadelphia, Florence's Maggio Musicale, Milan's La Scala, and his Orchestra giovanile Luigi Cherubini. We look forward to the Maestro's wit drawn from host Fabio Fazio.
Milan's elegant Principe Di Savoia hotel currently has on display Montegrappa 1912's opera pen sets from the past few years in the lobby, although it only makes us miss even more the old Giardino d'Inverno bar that was remodeled last year -- where the display cabinets now stand was once immense fish tanks. We'll still gladly drink, but in less fishy company.