Portrait Of A West End Flop

Les Liaisons Dangereuses was a hit in London back in the 80s. This time around though, the show closed in the West End after dismal reviews and only a few weeks. “The critics said the star delivered his lines like the speaking clock, the cast seemed to have been picked because of their more famous relatives and the theatre was half full. Looking back, it seems no surprise that Les Liaisons Dangereuses was cancelled after three weeks.”

Restoring The Grand Fenice

The restoration of Venice’s historic opera house La Fenice is completed. “In the local parlance, this house was realized com’era, dov’era–how it was, where it was. It’s as if you are walking into La Fenice for the very first time in 1837 (year after the first La Fenice, built in 1792, was burnt down and redesigned by Meduna brothers). It’s a paradox: old yet spanking new.”

Jarvi – At Home In Gothenberg

Neeme Järvi is “one of those conductors who never quite made it to the leadership of one of the world’s great orchestras but who has made an essential contribution by bolstering symphonic music on the periphery. When he arrived at Gothenberg in 1982 the orchestra was decidedly second division; now its only rival as the leading Scandinavian orchestra is the Oslo Philharmonic, and on many counts it can claim superiority.”

The War On Terrorism (and Foreign Artists?)

New U.S. customs rules put in place by the Bush administration have the potential to severely limit the ability of foreign-born artists to tour North America, and Canadian organizations are worried that their cultural trade will be directly affected by the actions of the American government. Artists who were born outside of certain pre-approved countries “can expect to be detained [at the U.S. border] under the new U.S. Homeland Security regulations for digital fingerprinting, photographing and a short interview, even if their work visas have been pre-approved by U.S. authorities.” Many performers are unwilling to risk such humiliating treatment, and are cancelling planned trips to North America.

Hughes To Run Paris Review

“Four months after the death of George Plimpton, the Paris Review announced yesterday that interim editor Brigid Hughes will permanently run the literary quarterly… Hughes, 30, takes on a role that Plimpton, who died in September at 76, assumed with tireless enthusiasm for half a century. In deference to Plimpton, his official title – editor – will not be filled. Hughes has the newly established title of executive editor.”