Homework For Playgoers: Too Much To Ask?

As Tom Stoppard’s trilogy, “The Coast of Utopia,” sends Broadway audiences skittering for the bookshelves, Lyn Gardner asks, “But how far should you have to read up in advance in order to enjoy a show? After all, you don’t have to have a degree in nuclear physics to enjoy either Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen or Greg McLaren’s How to Build a Time Machine….”

Study: Ottawa Arts Investment Pays Off

A new report says the city of Ottawa needs to invest more in its arts. The report says arts festivals bring in $13 for every dollar invested by the government. “Ottawa ranked last in provincial arts funding at $2.56 per capita, second last in Canada Council for the Arts funding at $3.95 per capita, and second in Canadian Heritage funding at $2.27 per capita.”

NYC: It’s Competitive Out There

New York City is moving to competitive funding for the arts. Arts groups will now have to compete against one another for money. “Rationalizing the system is something we’ve been looking to do for a long time. It was time to move to a different basis of funding that allows us to reward excellence and give all organizations access according to reasonable principles.”

Jazz – Defy The Data

“Is it possible that, in some way that has not yet been measured, jazz is richer than the data implies? More and more albums are self-produced, sold on the Internet or slip under the radar when they are sold in person at concerts and festivals. Then again, the same can be said about rock records.”

Juilliard Expansion Closer

Juilliard is more than two-thirds of the way toward raising $300 million to expand. “The 101-year-old school wants to complete its largest fund- raising drive by the end of 2009, Juilliard President Joseph Polisi said in an interview. The money, in gifts and pledges, will endow educational programs and fund expansion of the school’s 39-year-old Lincoln Center building.”

La Fenice Gets Inbal As Leader

Venice’s La Fenice opera house has named Eliahu Inbal to be its music director. “Inbal, 71 and a charismatic figure in the international music scene, previously served in that capacity from 1984 to 1987. This time, the appointment appears to be temporary, Inbal having signed only a two-year contract, as opposed to the usual four.”