Friday, May 22, 2015

Sumi Jo Sings In "Youth" Film Competing For Palme D'Or Prize

Soprano Sumi Jo performing in the film Youth.
"American composer David Lang has written what he calls 'candy-wrapper music' for the Cannes competition film Youth in which Michael Caine plays a retired musician wrestling with old age. It won't win him another Pulitzer Prize, the award he got in 2008 for his haunting Little Match Girl Passion, and the music he composed for the film's candy wrapper scenes wasn't even used. Instead, the film by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino has occasional scenes with scratchy sounds and a catchy rhythm that come from Caine's character scrunching up a candy wrapper in a very deliberate way and manipulating it back and forth in his fingers. Youth, which is competing for the main Cannes Palme d'Or prize, has Caine playing Fred Ballinger, a retired composer and conductor taking a holiday at a posh resort in Davos, Switzerland. Lang, who gets the music credit for the film, said he had actually composed music for the candy-wrapper scenes, although what he wrote in the end was not used. 'Let's just say I wrote a lot of different versions of candy-wrapper music and we had many, many discussions about what kind of candy it should be,' Lang said after a screening of the film on Wednesday. He said he'd 'auditioned' many different candy wrappers to find the one that was 'most sonorous' but could not remember which one had finally been selected. He credited the director Sorrentino, who got to know of Lang by using his music in La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty), which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, for having a wonderful musical sensibility. 'He loves music, he's very musical, 'The Great Beauty' has an incredible score,' Lang said about working with Sorrentino for the new film. 'When talking to him about it, it was very clear that music was part of the organizing principle of the film.' On behalf of the movie's fictional composer, Lang wrote a piece called Simple Songs which is performed by soprano Sumi Jo, violinist Viktoria Mullova and the BBC Symphony Orchestra." [Source] See the trailer for the film after the jump.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Christian Grey Uses Music South Of The Border To Seduce Ana Steele

Billionaire Christian Steele invites college student Anastasia to his penthouse apartment to find that she is a virgin and quickly rectifies that by making love to her. As she wanders the lavish home, there is the soft sounds of string in pizzicato and a soprano voice floats over the top. The piece is from a larger work called Bachianas Brasileiras composed by Heitor Villa-Lobos. The particular selection is known as "No. 5 Ária (Cantilena)". A translation of the text is as follows:

Eventide, a rosy cloud, slow and transparent
over the spot, dreamlike and beautiful!
The moon gently appearing beyond the horizon,
embellishing the eventide, like a sweet maid
preparing herself till she's dreamily gorgeous,
with her soul avid to become beautiful
yelling to heaven and earth, to all of Nature!
Silent are the birds to her sad laments
and reflected on the sea all of Her richness...
Soft the light of the moon awakes already
a fierce desire that laughs and cries.
Eventide, a rosy cloud, slow and transparent
over the spot, dreamlike and beautiful! [Source]

"The Bachianas Brasileiras (Portuguese pronunciation: [bakiˈɐ̃nɐz bɾaziˈlejɾɐs]) are a series of nine suites by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, written for various combinations of instruments and voices between 1930 and 1945. They represent not so much a fusion of Brazilian folk and popular music on the one hand, and the style of Johann Sebastian Bach on the other, as an attempt freely to adapt a number of Baroque harmonic and contrapuntal procedures to Brazilian music (Béhague 1994, 106; Béhague 2001). Most of the movements in each suite have two titles: one 'Bachian' (Preludio, Fuga, etc.), the other Brazilian (Embolada, O canto da nossa terra, etc.)." [Source]
"Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 British-American erotic romantic drama film directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson with a screenplay by Kelly Marcel, based on the 2011 novel of the same name by British author E. L. James. It stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who begins a sadomasochistic relationship with young business magnate Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). The film premiered at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival on February 11, 2015, and had a wide theatrical release on February 13, 2015, by Universal Pictures. Despite mixed reviews, it was an immediate box office success, breaking numerous box office records and earning over $569 million worldwide. It is currently the third-highest-grossing film of 2015. Its sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, are scheduled to be released on February 10, 2017, and February 9, 2018 respectively."

Purchase the 50 Shades of Grey: The Classical Album by clicking here. Watch Kathleen Battle sing Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, plus more plot info and a few more stills of the famous penthouse, after the jump. 

Renée Fleming Sings For Bill Clinton And Rahm Emanuel In Chicago

Soprano Renée Fleming, whose lucrative Creative Consultant position at the Lyric Opera of Chicago was recently renewed to 2017, performed this morning for the inauguration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. She sang "America the Beautiful." Also in attendance was President Bill Clinton. More photos after the jump.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Renée Fleming Gives Revealing Gotham Interview To Vera Wang

RF: You know what’s interesting for me—I don’t know if you feel this way—but I have this need to keep things fresh. My inspiration, in a way, is Joni Mitchell, because she would do these albums that were different; she went to jazz, to rock, and she would completely reinvent herself. I loved it. I know she would complain that she lost audience who only wanted the same thing, but I’m an artistic person, and I recognized her search. You have to do that every time you do a show. When I see your shows, I always wonder how you keep coming up with new ideas.
VW: Well, it’s very difficult; I can’t say it isn’t. Some seasons are better than others, but it’s an excruciating process! Bringing up some insane audiences that you have sung for—you have performed at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and also for President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. I just wonder: Do you feel extra pressure at these events?

RF: I really love doing these events because it is so exciting to be a part of history. In a way, it’s much more satisfying than having to sing in front of a core opera audience that is super critical—I find that much harder. In our field, we are criticized in the paper every time we perform, but there is also the blogger world now….
VW: Same thing in fashion today. Anyone can write anything they want about you, whether they are qualified or not.

RF: I think there is a tremendous misogyny towards women, especially with those of us who have public lives. One year, I saw two weeks of tabloid articles about Madonna’s hands. I just thought, What is this world we are living in?
VW: Do you run into a lot of good and bad things about being high-profile in New York?
RF: New York is no problem for me, unless I’m around Lincoln Center; people are so respectful and wonderful about what I do. You probably have a lot, though.

VW: I had dinner with you once at Sant Ambroeus, and I remember a very big patron of The Met came over and bowed in front of you at the table [Laughs]. I believe it was Bruce Wasserstein, and he wasn’t a man to bow in front of anyone. So I was very impressed that night.
RF: That’s not an every-evening event, I have to say. Maybe I should pay someone to follow me into restaurants and bow. That’s something Raquel, my character [in the play], would do.
VW: With all the accolades you have received, does it ever get old?
RF: Accolades never get old [Laughs]. It’s never enough, because those of us who are hugely self-critical, and I know you are as well, are always thinking things are not good enough and that you have to be better. It’s part of our nature to always be searching for something better, and no accolade from outside can change that.  [Source]
Read the full interview by clicking here. Watch a video of the photo shoot, complete with narration from Renée Fleming, after the jump.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Santa Fe Opera Announces 2016 Anniversary Season

The Santa Fe Opera has announced the 60th Anniversary Season for the summer of 2016! Operas will include La Fanciulla del West, Don Giovanni, Roméo et Juliette, Capriccio, and Vanessa. See the press release after the jump. (Photo: Paul Horpedahl)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Barbara Hendricks To Give Speech And Get Honorary Degree At UNL

Barbara Hendricks seen here in her groundbreaking portrayal of Mimì for the
1988 film version of Puccini's La Bohème directed by Luigi Comencini.
"Spring semester commencement exercises at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are set for May 8-9. Graduate and professional degrees will be awarded May 8 at 3 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Commencement for students earning bachelor's degrees is May 9 at 9:30 a.m., also at the arena. Opera singer and UNL alumna Barbara Hendricks will give the undergraduate commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. Born in Arkansas, Hendricks received a bachelor of science degree from UNL and later studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 1974, she made her operatic debut at the San Francisco Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival as well as her recital debut in New York City's Town Hall. Hendricks has sung at the Paris Opera, the MET in New York, Covent Garden in London and La Scala in Milano. Hendricks made her jazz debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1994 and has since performed regularly in jazz festivals throughout the world. She starred as Mimi in the 1988 film La Boheme and played The Angel in Peter Eotvos' opera Angels in America in 2004 in Paris." [Source]

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Layla Claire Featured In Women's Wear Daily Prior To MET Run

"Soprano Layla Claire has been more than a little busy recently — in fact, she’s had to learn three new roles this year, including the part of Anne Trulove in the Metropolitan Opera’s version of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, which will open at Lincoln Center on Friday. On this day, she is wearing a printed Club Monaco dress that flatters her coloring — Claire is a member of a rare breed, the redhead who retains the vibrant color of her hair into adulthood. 'My mother used to say, ‘You don’t like it now, but you’ll be sorry when it’s gone,’' she observes. But it’s still there. Her three new parts, which she considers 'dream roles,' are the Governess in The Turn of the Screw in Zurich; Blanche in Dialogue of the Carmelites, in Washington, and now Anne Trulove. Critics praise her big voice and clean sound. Claire, now 33, divides her free time between British Columbia — where she grew up and her family lives — and Berlin, where her boyfriend, American baritone John Chest, is based. 'I call him my zen master,' she says of the latter. 'He keeps me calm.' The soprano, who is tall and slender, is very careful with her health and her voice, including watching what she eats when she goes out to dinner and doing yoga daily at Yoga Pure in New York." [Source] Read the full story here. (Photo: Steve Eichner)

Uber Driver Tries To Drown Out Pavarotti While Passenger Listens

Find out what the tune is after the jump.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Opera Fail: Disappearance Of An Opera News Posting On Facebook

Opera News took to their Facebook page yesterday asking followers where they would rather see their next opera: Vienna or Milan. Users immediately began to point out the obvious and the post has since disappeared. Perhaps some editing would have resolved the issue? See the original post after the jump.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Jessye Norman Talks Racism, President Obama, And Hillary Clinton

Politically Inclined: Soprano Jessye Norman is ready to support Hillary Clinton for 2016. (Photo: Sarah Lee/Guardian)
"Looking back at her childhood, the opera star Jessye Norman says she cannot remember a time she was not trying to sing. 'I liked to put on some of my mother’s costume jewellery and a feather boa or something, and pretend I was some grand singer,' she recalled recently. Today, although Norman no longer performs in full-scale opera, she is solidly established as a 'grande dame'. Last week, Norman, 69, stormed centre-stage once again with some full-throated support for her friend Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. 'I would certainly support this enormous brain,
The soprano seen here in December 1997 with President 
Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton at the Kennedy
Center Honors during the playing of the National Anthem.
this incredibly generous heart this amazing woman,' she proclaimed. The celebrated soprano’s bold contribution to the presidential race followed fast on her recent public complaint that many attacks on Barack Obama’s record are fuelled by hidden racism. She alleged that 'racialism was practised at the highest levels of government', adding: 'We should be better than that, we should be bigger than that.' For Norman, the culprits are mostly 'on the other side of the aisle' – Republican Congress members who have plotted against President Obama since his inauguration, she claims. If the Democrats felt the lack of a Wagnerian Valkyrie on their side, the role is now filled. And what’s more, they have found someone who can bridge the awkward gap between Ms Clinton’s supporters and Obama’s people. Norman is that rare thing, a prominent member of both camps.....Political awakening came young. While she has described her childhood home in Augusta, Georgia, as 'our little Garden of Eden', her middle-class, church-going family were involved in the civil rights struggle. So Norman and her four siblings were aware, though sheltered from the harsher side of segregation: 'I came from a very strong core of people who told us, practically on a daily basis,
Jessye Norman receiving the 2009 National Medal of Arts
 from President Barack Obama at an East Room ceremony 
at the White House.
that, ‘You are as good as any other of God’s creations, and you will hear something different when you’re outside of this house but know that the truth is here’.' Her first experience of 'American apartheid' came as a five-year-old on a station platform, waiting in her Sunday best for a train to take her to visit relatives in Philadelphia. ;I of course had too much energy to sit there and I saw the sign and it did say ‘whites only’ and I thought, well, there wasn’t anybody sitting there, so what difference would it make if I were to go over there and sit and play? Why would it bother anybody? Of course my mother and father took a different view.' She understood more later when she saw President Eisenhower on one of his regular golfing trips to Augusta. Watching him walk into church, her father informed her they were not allowed to worship in the same place. Later, as an adult, she kept a journal, noting down instances of casual racism. She stopped when it began to depress her: 'It became clear to me after doing this for a while that I wasn’t serving any purpose except to make myself sad.' Further political insight came when she sang in Berlin, regularly passing through Checkpoint Charlie. She was impressed by the love of the arts she found in East Berlin. 'Even though they lived
In 2013, Jessye Norman sang during a ceremony honoring 
the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for U.S. 
Rep. John Lewis, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,
 and Speaker of the House John Boehner. 
under the oppressive regimes, their spirits were not squelched'....Landmarks of her career include singing at both Ronald Reagan’s and Bill Clinton’s second inaugurations and a recording of Wagner’s Liebestod in the late 1980s. Her farewell performance at the Met in the Makropulos Case was hailed as a great achievement in 1996, but since then she has focused on highly lucrative recitals." [Source] Click here to see a list of other opera singers that have performed at Presidential Inaugurations since 1941. Watch videos of Jessye Norman singing Copland's "Simple Gifts" at the Inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1985 and a medley of spirituals for the Inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1997. Other political or government-related performances highlighted during her career include singing for Queen Elizabeth II's sixtieth birthday celebration in 1986; performing the French national anthem, 'La Marseillaise,' to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution on July 14, 1989; singing at Tchaikovsky's 150th Birthday Gala in Leningrad in 1990; performing for the 700th Celebration Party of Swiss National Day in 1991; singing at the funeral of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994; performed at the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, singing "Faster, Higher, Stronger"; On June 28, 2001, she and light lyric coloratura soprano Kathleen Battle performed Vangelis' Mythodea at the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, Greece; On March 11, 2002, Norman performed "America the Beautiful" at a service unveiling two monumental columns of light at the site of the former World Trade Center, as a memorial for the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City. [Source]

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Michigan Opera House Joins Prestigious List Of Historic Theatres

"The Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater has been included in the 2015 Membership of the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT), a list that also includes all the major NYC Broadway houses operated by Disney, Nederlander, Shubert, and Jujamcyn. As an LHAT member, Tibbits Opera House staff will have access to professional development opportunities and national media attention and will be able to attend the National Conference of Historic Theatres taking place in Nashville this summer. 'I am delighted to include Tibbits Opera House as a member of the League,' said Ken Stein, Executive Director for LHAT. 'We constantly showcase the important contributions being made in arts and preservation from historic theatres throughout North America, and it will be great to include the contributions from Coldwater.' The League champions the preservation, restoration and ongoing operations of historic theatres across the United States and Canada. Tibbits Opera 1-louse is among the distinguished list of theatres that have proven to be economic drivers and cultural cornerstones in communities across the nation." [Source]

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How Partying In Paris And Singing R. Kelly Helped Lucas Meachem


Click here to watch an amusing anecdote from Lucas Meachem about how hanging out with Paul Groves and Susan Graham at Karaoke really paid off at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The story begins at the 5:36 marker of the video. See photos of the infamous Iphigénie en Tauride production from 2006 by clicking here. And feel free to click on the above photo to enlarge it and get lost in the blue eyes of the star baritone. Watch Lucas Meachem perform "Soliloquy" from Carousel after the jump.

How A Photograph Gives Renée Fleming A Full-Circle Moment

This image of Renée Fleming was shot by photographer Matthew Rolston for Vanity Fair magazine in the early 1990s. What is the significance of this photo today? Read all about it after the jump.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Olafur Eliasson: Where Art Design Meets The World Of Opera

Three chandeliers (2004) by Olafur Eliasson, adorn the lobby of The Royal Danish Opera House in Copenhagen.
"Olafur Eliasson (Icelandic: Ólafur Elíasson; born 1967) is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. In 1995 he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research. Eliasson represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and later that year installed The Weather Project in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London. Eliasson has engaged in a number of projects in public space, including the intervention Green river, carried out in various cities between 1998 and 2001; the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007, London, a temporary pavilion designed with the Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen; and The New York City Waterfalls, commissioned by Public Art Fund in 2008. Olafur Eliasson was born in Copenhagen in 1967 to Elías Hjörleifsson and Ingibjörg Olafsdottir.
Glasfassade Bühnenfenster (2005) at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.
His parents had emigrated to Copenhagen from Iceland in 1966, he to find work as a cook, and she as a seamstress. He was 8 when his parents separated; he lived with his mother and his stepfather, a stockbroker. His father, then an artist, moved back to Iceland, where the Eliasson spent summers and holidays. At 15 he had his first solo show, exhibiting landscape drawings and gouaches at a small alternative gallery in Denmark. However, Eliasson considered his "break-dancing" during the mid-1980s to be his first artworks. With two school friends, he formed a group — they called themselves the Harlem Gun Crew — and they performed at clubs and dance halls for four years, eventually winning the Scandinavian championship. In 1987, Eliasson’s grandfather killed himself, in Copenhagen. The same year, Eliasson’s father, who had
Music Wall (2006) at the Alsion Concert Hall in Sønderborg, Denmark. (Photo by Adam Mørk)
remarried, was hospitalized for alcoholism. Olafur returned to Iceland to help care for his two-year-old half sister, Anna Viktoria, and he decided to apply to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied between 1989 and 1995. In 1990, when he was awarded a travel budget by the Royal Danish Academy, Eliasson went to New York where he started working as a studio assistant for artist Christian Eckhart in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and reading texts on phenomenology and Gestalt psychology. Eliasson received his degree from the academy in 1995, after having moved in 1993 to Cologne for a year, and then to Berlin, where he has since maintained a studio. First located in a three-story former train depot right next door to the Hamburger Bahnhof, the studio moved to a former brewery in Prenzlauer Berg in 2008. In 1996, Eliasson started working with Einar Thorsteinn, an architect and geometry expert 25 years his
Echo House (2007) for Manchester International Festival Opera House. (Photo by Joel Fildes)
senior as well as a former friend of Buckminster Fuller. The first piece they created called
8900054, was a stainless-steel dome 30 feet (9.1 m) wide and 7 feet (2.1 m) high, designed to be seen as if it were growing from the ground. Though the effect is an illusion, the mind has a hard time believing that the structure is not part of a much grander one developing from deep below the surface. Thorsteinn's knowledge of geometry and space has been integrated into Eliasson's artistic production, often seen in his geometric lamp works as well as his pavilions, tunnels and camera obscura projects. For many projects, the artist works collaboratively with specialists in various fields, among them the architects Thorsteinn and Sebastian Behmann (both of whom have been frequent collaborators), author Svend Åge Madsen (The Blind Pavilion), landscape
Olafur Eliasson created the production for Henze's opera Phaedra at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin (2007)
architect Gunther Vogt (
The Mediated Motion), architecture theorist Cedric Price (Chaque matin je me sens différent, chaque soir je me sens le même), and architect Kjetil Thorsen (Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2007). Today, Studio Olafur Eliasson is a laboratory for spatial research that employs a team of c. 30 architects, engineers, craftsmen, and assistants who work together to conceptualize, test, engineer, and construct installations, sculptures, large-scale projects, and commissions. As professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Olafur Eliasson founded the Institute for Spatial Experiments (Institut für Raumexperimente, IfREX), which opened within his studio building in April 2009. Eliasson had his first solo show with Nicolaus Schafhausen in Cologne in 1993, before moving to Berlin in 1994. In 1996, Eliasson had his first show in the United States at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) organized Eliasson's first major survey in the United States Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson, on view from 10 September 2007 to 24 February 2008. Curated by the director of
The Other Wall (2010) in the lobby at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo.
the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Madeleine Grynsztejn (then Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at SFMOMA), in close collaboration with the artist, the major survey spanned the artist's career from 1993 and 2007. The exhibit included site-specific installations, large-scale immersive environments, freestanding sculpture, photography, and special commissions seen through a succession of interconnected rooms and corridors. The museum's skylight bridge was turned into an installation titled One-way colour tunnel. Following its San Francisco debut, the exhibit embarked on an international tour to the Museum of Modern Art, and P.S.1. Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2008; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, 2008–09; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2009; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 2009–2010. He has also had major solo exhibitions at,
Glass brick façades (2011) of The Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall home to The Icelandic Opera.
among others, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, and ZKM (Center for Art and Media), Karlsruhe (2001); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2004); Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2006); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Ishikawa (2009); and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2010). Eliasson has also appeared in numerous group exhibitions, including the São Paulo Biennial and the Istanbul Biennial (1997), Venice Biennale (1999, 2001 and 2005), and the Carnegie International (1999).
The Spiral Pavilion, conceived in 1999 for the Venice Biennial and today on display at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, brought Olafur Eliasson the Benesse Prize by the Benesse Corporation. In 2004, Eliasson won the Nykredit Architecture Prize and the Eckersberg Medal for painting. The following year he was awarded the Prince Eugen Medal for sculpture and in 2006, the Crown Prince Couple's Culture Prize. In 2007, he
Artist Olafur Eliasson
was awarded the first Joan Miró Prize by the Joan Miró Foundation. In 2010, Eliasson was the recipient of a Quadriga award; he returned his award one year later after it was revealed that Vladimir Putin would be recognized in 2011. In October 2013, he was honored with the
Goslarer Kaiserring. That same year, Eliasson and Henning Larsen Architects were recipients of the Mies van der Rohe Award for their Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2014, Eliasson was the recipient of the $100,000 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); the prize is considered an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, rather than a prize for a particular project or lifetime of achievement. The awardee becomes an artist in residence at MIT, studying and teaching for a period of time. On the occasion of a state visit to Germany in June 2013, the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, visited the Studio Eliasson in Berlin. Brazilian filmmaker Karim Ainouz's documentary piece, Domingo, shot from his encounter with Eliasson during the 17th Videobrasil Festival, had its world premiere at Rio International Film Festival in 2014, and will be released on DVD in 2015. Eliasson is married to Danish art historian Marianne Krogh Jensen, whom he met when she curated the Danish Pavilion for the 1997 São Paulo Art Biennial. They adopted both their son (in 2003) and their daughter (in 2006) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The family lives in a house designed by architect Andreas Lauritz Clemmensen in Hellerup near Copenhagen; Eliasson commutes to Berlin. Eliasson speaks Icelandic, Danish, German, and English." [Source, Source] See more select works of Olafur Eliasson after the jump.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

David Daniels To Join University Of Michigan Voice Faculty In Fall 2015

Rising Star: Daniels appeared in the pages of Vanity Fair
 magazine just three years after getting his masters
 degree at the University of Michigan.
"The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) has announced that American countertenor David Daniels will be appointed professor of music in the Department of Voice beginning fall 2015, pending U-M Regental approval. Daniels will maintain his active international performance schedule while launching his academic career in Ann Arbor. He received his master's degree from SMTD in 1992, studying with acclaimed tenor George Shirley. Hailed by The New York Times as 'the most acclaimed countertenor of the day, perhaps the best ever,' Daniels, has appeared with the world's major opera companies and on its main concert and recital stages. The Chicago Tribune described him as 'today's gold standard among countertenors,' and Gramophone magazine acknowledged his contribution to recorded excellence, as well as his expansion of the repertoire for his voice type, by naming him one of the 'Top Ten Trailblazers' in classical music today. Honored by the music world for his unique achievements, Daniels has been the recipient of two of classical music's most significant awards: Musical America's Vocalist of the Year, and the Richard Tucker Award. Highlights of Daniel's recent seasons include multiple appearances at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Handel's Giulio Cesare directed by David McVicar; in the inventive The Enchanted Island; and in the title role of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice in a new production marking Mark Morris' debut at the Met as a stage director, conducted by music director James Levine. Daniels has won admiration for his performances of extensive concert and art song repertoire, including song literature of the 19th and 20th centuries not usually associated with his voice type. An accomplished recording artist with several critically acclaimed and best-selling solo albums to his credit, his latest release was a collection of Bach's Sacred Arias and Cantatas conducted by Harry Bicket with The English Concert. Daniels joins a celebrated voice faculty at SMTD, chaired by Stephen West. Recent graduates of the program include tenor Michael Fabiano, soprano Janai Brugger, and mezzo-soprano Carla Dirlikov. " [Source]