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Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Gotterdammerung@ The Met

In Opera, Uncategorized on April 28, 2009 at 7:14 pm

This was a fitting good bye to the Schenk production. Some great singing and acting by new to The Met, Christian Franz as Siegfried and Katarina Dalayman as Brunnhilde and pillars of past productions;John Tomlinson as Hagen, Richard Paul Fink in a terrific Albrerich. Wagner uses some of the Italian devices that he scorned, the chorus jumps to mind, maybe to come down to earth for us as the scenes come from under the river and in caves to the world that men live in complete with grass and sunshine .  The  story is why we call soap operas just that!

The Met Orchestra gets a giant, no pun, hand before each act, and after. They have become the peak to aspire to in The Ring performances. After all the hand wringing about this being a great production, and it is, twenty years is a long time . Let’s see the new Lapage sets before we think it’s the end of the world, no pun here either. New interpretation is what keeps Opera vital and alive as a contemporary art form. New people and new ideas and new audiences will keep The Ring going for another 150 years.

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Visionary Lectures@ The New Museum

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Don’t get me wrong, I like Bill T. Jones and think he is a terrific choreographer , but if The New Museum is going to be new then it has to get new visionaries to this series. Bill is looking, fondly and successfully, through a rear view mirror and enjoying much deserved accolades for a wonderful career in dance. Let’s get “New”!!. I joined the New Museum to get a contemporary view on the art world. The “Younger Than Jesus” show is visionary show giving us a peek at the future of art and what is happening now. Not all great art, but brave in trying to get on with it. I went to the “Degenerate Art Ensemble” show and was impressed and entertained; very new. I want very much for the New Museum to be different than her uptown stuck in a period sisters. Show me the way. This tough market is an opportunity for our museum to make inroads with new artists who need a place to show and can’t rely on the galleries to show them. It would be a sin to let this daring new building to lose her focus!!!

Did I mention New???

The Picture Generation @ The Met

In Uncategorized on April 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Just in time for the Younger Than Jesus comparison The Met comes up with this large and interesting survey of the first appropriation artists born in the 40’s and 50’s. There is a lot of familiar work, Richard Prince just had a show at the Guggenheim, and Cindy Sherman is everywhere; appropriately, no pun intended! The Times loved this show, but I can’t muster love, but a strong like is in order. The New Museum show is all young artists now and the Met show captures their group at a similar age. Aside from being a good show The Met is making a contemporary statement as the first show under the new director and a stab at  younger patrons that all museums will be trying to attract.

David Salle makes a strong showing and it was interesting that the Whitney’s pal; Dara Birmbaum’s Wonder Woman is there too. James Wellig’s travel posters Barbara Kruger and Sherry Levine and many artists that we’ve not thought about in a long time. Here is the list
John Baldessari, Ericka Beckman, Dara Birnbaum, Barbara Bloom, Eric Bogosian, Glenn Branca, Troy Brauntuch, James Casebere, Sarah Charlesworth, Rhys Chatham, Charles Clough, Nancy Dwyer, Jack Goldstein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Thomas Lawson, Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Allan McCollum, Paul McMahon, MICA-TV (Carole Ann Klonarides & Michael Owen), Matt Mullican, Richard Prince, David Salle, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Michael Smith, James Welling, and Michael Zwack.

Even the reception showed some new thinking. A jazzy group on the balcony and better snacks and a trending younger crowd  was also a big hit.

Keep it it up Met, we need you!!!!

The Degenerate Art Ensemble@ The New Museum

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm

This is why I became a member of The New museum! Not sure what this was about, but it pulled me in totally. A group of multi-talented folks pushing the boundaries of what theater and music and…. Everything in one package. Dancing and singing and video and theater and a band , these guys do everything. The workshop format is so good to understand what artists go through to bring a finished product to the stage, see how it plays on the road!! The New Museum is a wonderful venue for this kind of experimental theater.

Die Walkure @ the Met

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I know, I know, it was last Saturday that we saw this wonderful second part of the Ring cycle. I don’t know how people go in 5 days. It would be weeks before I could speak. This is the first Met Die Walkure that didn’t have Placido and Deborah so it was a shock.the Cast

Conductor: James Levine
Brünnhilde: Iréne Theorin
Sieglinde: Waltraud Meier
Fricka: Yvonne Naef
Siegmund: Gary Lehman
Wotan: James Morris
Hunding: John Tomlinson

was superb though even the last minute substitution of John Botha by Gary Lehman; who did a bang up job and got a deserved standing O. Maybe because there was not so much star power the story came through more . Or there was better acting?

The Met Orchestra is THE RING orchestra and Jimmy made it the best! James Morris has to retire; how can he be a better Wotan? The 5.5 hours flies by, can’t even tell people that ,they call the mind police. The objective that Wagner had becomes apparent with this opera. That is, to move the story forward with dialog and music hints, leitmotif, and still be great music. Every one loves this production and thinks it is the definitive Ring, but in Europe they are always pushing the envelope to make it more “modern”

I love the way that this goes from the river bottom, and the caves, to the mountains,  where the gods are and finally levels out in the natural world that men{people} inhabit . Almost like a fairy tale! As with all things next will come and we’ll always love this great production!!!

Younger Than Jesus @ the New Museum

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2009 at 7:05 pm

The New Museum is new to me, no pun intended , and this was the first opening that I attended and it was a good one. Too crowded to see the art so I’ll talk about that another time, but the party was really fun. Lot’s of young people and the roof view is wonderful at night with a cold beer to take the edge off, remember we gave up wine for lent, glad that’s coming to an end. The concept of a generation makes for a great over view of what is happening now so I hope this takes off and is well attended. The prospecting for art school talent to sell in the galleries has got to be off, what with the recession and all so these young people are getting a forum without the pressure to sell the work. That’s a good thing . Maybe they’ll have time to develop and grow(hate that word) into a NEW New thing. Stay tuned

George Wein @ Carnegie hall

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm

George started the Newport Jazz festival over 50 years ago and some of the players are still proforming with him. When his wife , Joyce , Died he started a public mourning process that must be hard for him. It’s a little like a museum where the diplsy is live music, great but dated. Too bad there is nothing happening that is new; rock music is the same, see my Allman Bros blog. That being said the playing is wonderful, . Sat next to Dick Hyman’s wife and she was so charming and added “color commentary” too make the concert even better. Here are the players:

Howard Alden, Guitar
Regina Carter, Violin
Evan Christopher, Clarinet
Jimmy Cobb, Drums
Anat Cohen, Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone
Dick Hyman, Piano
Jay Leonhart, Bass
Ken Peplowski, Clarinet
Bucky Pizzarelli, Guitar
Larry Ridley, Bass
Randy Sandke, Trumpet
Lew Tabackin, Tenor Saxophone
Warren Vaché, Trumpet
George Wein, Piano
Jackie Williams, Drums

Everyone knew Joyce and played something dedicated to her, very touching. I got this ticket on a trade from another concert and really am happy to hear these giants!

St. Matthew Passion @ St Ignatius

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm

It’s not an annual event, but it seems like it. The way that Kent Trittle presents this monumental work seems different each time. I’m not sure if the choruses are place in different places or some thing I missed, but each time it is different. Sort of the first time you heard it feeling. Three plus hours is almost like real time and it is sooo effective. The music is Bach and there is not much to improve on there and the message becomes more intimate with each hearing! I told some one the story: a nice Jewish boy gets in trouble with the Romans about a Passover dinner, and it made it more universal to me . Even though I was being “cute” it made a point!!

The Passion is so wonderful that I can’t say anything just wait for next year to see it again