Category Archives: Week in Review

Week in Review – May 23, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

OPERA
The larger cultural conversation about gender parity blew up the opera world this week when five male critics blasted up-and-coming Irish soprano Tara Erraught‘s body rather than her voice in a recent performance. Needless to say, the internet reacted, including open letters by mezzo-soprano Alice Coote and bass baritone Trevor Bowes

After months of turmoil, San Diego Opera had a special announcement this week:


The company has signed on for a scaled-down 50th anniversary season, staving off closure with an impressive crowdfunding campaign. Fellow music BFFs San Diego Symphony will donate concert space while Houston Grand Opera will lend the Nixon in China sets at no charge. A day after the announcement, California’s AG announced an audit of the company…

A strike could be looming for Metropolitan Opera‘s orchestra musicians should contract talks not improve…

VISUAL
Detroit’s state house of representatives voted that  Detroit Institute of Art cannot renew a property tax millage once it expires in 2022. A key source of support, the millage allows for free museum admission, among other benefits…

Through “credible sources” the FBI has confirmed sightings of  long-missing Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art stolen during a notorious 1990 heist…

JAZZ
A Syracuse-area couple designs a home inspired by the music of jazz guitarist Pat Metheny

THEATRE
One of our Tweeps schools the Twitterverse on how little Off-Broadway actors actually get paid…

LITERATURE
To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee is reinstating a lawsuit against an Alabama museum for using the author’s trademarks without permission…

SCIENCE (yes, science!)
Surprising exactly no one in the music industry, a British Psychological Society has shown that musical training can increase blood flow to your brain

CROWD
From Kickstarter: An independent cinema in Hudson, Florida needs help converting to digital

From Indiegogo: A musician in Emporia, Kansas wants to start a free music and arts festival in town…

Got an item we missed? Email, tweet, or Facebook us…

Week in Review – May 16, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

CLASSICAL
Green Bay Symphony Orchestra says “thanks, but no thanks” to a grassroots effort to save the group, which is scheduled to disband after the 2014-2015 season.

DANCE
Bucking the current trend, Seattle’s Whim W’Him goes from pickup troupe to professional dance company, offering its corps of 10 dancers up to 35 weeks of work annually…

FUNDING
Florida’s legislature approved a whopping 384% increase in arts funding, rocketing the state from 41st to 5th in per capita arts spending per person.

OPERA
Aaand, they’re off! Metropolitan Opera begins labor talks in earnest, with the Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. While the tone was conciliatory, the two sides already have trouble agreeing on how to do math…

San Diego Opera and its controversial leaders are officially going their separate ways. The opera plans a press conference for Monday, bumped from today due to the San Diego county wildfires…

VISUAL
The Big Three automakers may chip in to help the Detroit Institute of Art raise needed funds to avoid having its works sold to bail out the city’s bankruptcy. Meanwhile
House reps take aim at an aid bill for the museum while a bankruptcy law expert calls shenanigans on the city’s proposed art-for-pensions deal.

THEATRE
Should Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber team up to write the next James Bond torch song?

CROWD
From Kickstarter: A Baltimore artist wants to create the first of a fleet of art trucks/mobile art galleries…

From Indiegogo: A St. Louis non-profit needs support for their efforts to help Syrian refugees complete their musical training

Got an item we missed? Email, tweet, or Facebook us…

Week in Review – May 9, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

CLASSICAL
Minnesota Orchestra‘s reinstated music director Osma Vanska now begins the long work of rebuilding a damaged ensemble…

Meanwhile, Orchestra Iowa shows us how it’s done in the Buckeye State…

Green Bay Symphony Orchestra calls it quits…

And Denver asks the Colorado Symphony to kindly extinguish its bring-your-own pot concerts

OPERA
Metropolitan Opera‘s singers union has taken the unusually public step of inviting the media to its first day of contract talks with opera management…

With the Save San Diego Opera crowdfunding campaign just over 92% of the way to its $1M goal, the singers union has dropped its suit against the opera, but the city’s arts council recommends the city cut funding by more than 50%. Even just the threat of closure can have an impact on one artist’s dreams…

Meanwhile, Opera Delaware cancels its May production due to financial concerns but sees potential on the horizon…

JAZZ
This fall, Philadelphia hosts OutBeat, the nation’s first GLBT jazz festival

THEATRE
For some more complex works, putting Broadway off for a while sets up better Broadway prospects…

From the international desk, the Globe to Globe Hamlet initiative (to bring the play to every country on earth in celebration of the Bard’s 450th birthday) is struggling on Kickstarter…

LITERATURE
New York apparently has an Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society, a book group which loves “good books and sunny days and enjoying both as nearly in the altogether as the law allows”...

VISUAL
Rather than jettisoning the entire collection to help the city emerge from bankruptcy, one commentator suggests selling just one painting from the Detroit Museum of Art

CROWD
An LA improv comedy club without a front door wants some new digs…

An art collective that began on a Pittsburgh porch wants a permanent home…

And one of our Twitter friends messes with our mind about The Wizard of Oz:

And then puts it at ease:

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Week in Review – April 25, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

CLASSICAL
Minnesota Orchestra has rehired acclaimed Finnish music director Osmo Vanska who resigned amid the ensemble’s tortuous 16-month labor lockout. The rehire comes with vast community support – a “Finnish It!” campaign caught fire in the Twin Cities, with supporters wearing the blue and white colors of the Finnish flag…

Under new regulations that began in February, instruments that have any amount of ivory are banned from entering the U.S. unless it can be proved that they were purchased before 1976, including any violin bows with a small piece of ivory at the tip, and also some bassoon bells and piano keys…

OPERA
San Diego Opera apparently can’t actually close with just a board vote. Approval from the San Diego Opera Association, a group of over 800 members who donate at least $100 each, is also required and is by no means certain. The Association and board will both meet Monday.

Amid the Metropolitan Opera‘s ongoing labor negotiations, one chorus member shares what her time is actually worth

JAZZ
Signs of a turnaround for Impulse Records bodes well for a renaissance in major-label jazz divisions…

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation awards $1.7 million in unrestricted grants to 13 jazz artists

THEATRE
South Carolina’s House of Representatives voted to cut $52,000 from the College of Charleston‘s budget after it assigned Alison Bechdel‘s gay-themed memoir Fun Home to incoming freshman. Not to be silenced, Bechdel and the entire cast, director, and composer of the Public Theater’s recently closed musical production of the book reunited for two sold-out performances at an off-campus theatre near the college.

LITERATURE
On James Baldwin‘s 90th birthday, the African-American writer’s presence in classrooms is fading, some say due to his unflinching take on racism, some say to make room for more modern black authors…

VISUAL
Conservators at the Art Institute of Chicago are using a new laser technique to unearth the original paint pigment of an 1883 Renoir. The pigment, made of crushed insects, creates a striking red color that fades over time…

CROWD
From Kickstarter: The Light Factory wants to build two new galleries, a darkroom, and digital classroom in its Charlotte, NC digs…

From Indiegogo: Dancer Clement Mensah wants to lead creative movement workshops with 200 children in Cambodia…

Got an item we missed? Email, tweet, or Facebook us…

Week in Review – April 18, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

OPERA
A reorganization plan appears to be in the works for San Diego Opera following a contentious board meeting, where several board members resigned including the chair, and community town meeting last night. The company’s final performance this past Sunday was an emotional event featuring a sold-out house, a candlelight vigil, and a lead singer kissing the stage following his curtain call. Meanwhile, the company’s singers will try to force arbitration over their contracts and speculation has begun about what might be done with the company’s scene shop

CLASSICAL
The Minnesota Orchestra‘s annual Symphony Ball has been canceled after its co-chairs resigned saying the current climate at the embattled institution doesn’t lend itself to celebration. The event raises over $1 million annually for the orchestra…

DANCE
City University of New York has responded to a lack of affordable dance rehearsal space in the city with the CUNY Dance Initiative, backed by almost $300K in foundation grants. The Initiative will provide rehearsal and performance space at its campuses in all five boroughs…

THEATRE
The Tony Award race for Best Musical has a wide open field for the first time in ages…

Unlike many businesses, Seattle-area theatres are not afraid of a $15 minimum wage

LITERATURE
Legendary Columbian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at his Mexico City home at the age of 87…

FUNDING
Los Angeles makes slow but real progress in freeing up $7.5 million in public arts funding from a sea of red tape

VISUAL
Tired of your San Francisco apartment? Looking for a change? Live in this museum

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Week in Review – April 11, 2014

What caught our eye this week…

OPERA
Drama over the potential closure of San Diego Opera continues. The company’s staff and chorus sang for their future to the San Diego City Council, though the final decision rests with the opera’s board  whose chair now says she wants to save the company. Meanwhile, the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents the singers, has asked the National Labor Relations Board to freeze the company’s assets and Opera America has weighed in with transition suggestions…

The latest labor talks at the Metropolitan Opera have gotten off to their most contentious start in decades complete with emails about bedbugs in the men’s dressing rooms…

THEATRE
After much community protest and an overwhelming display of support at a local forum, Timberlane High School‘s administrators reversed their decision to cancel the 2015 production of Sweeney Todd. The Plaistow, NH school will perform the PG-rated “school edition” as well as produce an “alternative production” for those not comfortable with the Sondheim musical…

Not so fortunate are the students of the University of South Carolina Upstate who won’t be seeing Leigh Hendrix‘s comedy piece How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less which the university canceled when state legislators accused it of “recruiting…aberrant behavior.” The show was to have been featured as part of the university’s Bodies of Knowledge conference. Hendrix has posted a video response

FUNDING
A committee in the Massachusetts state house of representatives has proposed a 54% cut ($11 million to $5 million) to funding for arts, humanities & sciences. Representative Cory Atkins has introduced an amendment to restore the funding with 102 representatives co-signing to date…

VISUAL
The battle over Detroit Institute of Art‘s collection continues with a group of creditors proposing several billion-dollar bids to sell off all or some of the museum’s collection as part of the city’s attempts to emerge from bankruptcy. A Detroit Free Press columnist ain’t having it

The takeover and restructuring of the Corcoran Gallery in DC is more complex and drawn out than expected…

From the international crime & punishment desk, a fugitive manages to become finance chief of a Czech museum, stealing 1/3 of its annual budget…

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