Around The Classical Internet: July 22, 2011

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Composer Steve Reich. i

Composer Steve Reich. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images
Composer Steve Reich.

Composer Steve Reich.

  • The cover to the newest Steve Reich album, featuring his work WTC 9/11, has stirred up some serious controversy.
  • Baritone Cornell MacNeil, who sang at the Metropolitan Opera more than 600 times, died last Friday at age 88. On one infamous occasion in Parma in 1964, he remonstrated with an audience's heckling one of his colleagues by shouting, "Basta, cretini!" ("Enough, idiots!") and stalking offstage.
  • Two unions repping singers and musicians at New York City Opera have filed a petition with the New York Attorney General's office to block the company's move from Lincoln Center, saying that such a move was a violation of the City Opera endowment.
  • Two City Opera board members have left in the past week: investment banker and theater producer Roy L. Furman and conductor and composer Jonathan Sheffer, who said that the company's artistic choices had "broken faith with the audience."
  • The Paul Taylor Dance Company will hold three weeks of performances at the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, City Opera's nearly former home. As the New York Times acidly put it: "The corpse is still warm, and already they are dancing past it."
  • The Philadelphia Orchestra Association is trying some creative budget-cutting measures in its bankruptcy petition, and would like to renegotiate its rent with the Kimmel Center.
  • And the Philly folks won't let their musicians take a closer look at their books. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Peter Dobrin characterized the organization's response this way: "You didn't follow proper procedure, we have an awful lot of laundry, and it doesn't need to be aired now - or maybe ever."
  • The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's lost $3 million over 2009 and 2010, due in part to huge cuts in funding from the state and flat attendance.
  • Deborah Voigt may be making her mark as the sharp-shooting title character in "Annie Get Your Gun" at Glimmerglass right now, but she's hanging up her hat as Ariadne, at least at Chicago Lyric Opera this coming season.
  • It's not often that a soloist publicly disparages a performance he or she has just given, but pianist Cyprien Katsaris did just that.
  • Tanglewood has had to scramble to find replacements for James Levine, but this summer of searching has led to some real finds, including Finnish conductor John Storgards: "in one electric moment after another, Storgards made [the program] his own."
  • In other festival news, Jean-Yves Thibaudet had to cancel his Aspen Music Festival date due to a bad back, but cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han pulled off a recital to rave reviews on just a few hours' notice.
  • Frightening: An English-language online magazine called Inspire, published by associates of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, ran a picture of the Sydney Opera House alongside a lesson in bomb-making.
  • It's not just Rufus Wainwright making operas now – Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has announced that she's collaborating on a "psycho-opera" to open in New York in October.
  • And ex-Libertines frontman Carl Barat is taking the lead in a reworked version of Monterverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris — it will be called Pop'pea.
  • Anna Netrebko and her hubby, baritone Erwin Schrott, are planning to open a restaurant, though no indication of where. She also says Traviata is off her singing menu.
  • "Is it naff to go to an entire evening of Ennio Morricone?" and other burning questions that might be on the minds of BBC Proms first-timers.
  • How the Met is like Comic-Con: "You find that the [opera] addicts share much in common — probably to their protestations and their horror — with people who get obsessed about other things, whether that be comic books or Lord of the Rings."
  • Not content just to collaborate with André Rieu, Anthony Hopkins is looking forward to performances of more of his work, this time with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Says the Oscar winner, "I never felt I belonged in the acting business."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.