Record Fine For Mislabeling “Educational” TV

“When Univision began broadcasting a show three years ago about the misadventures of 11-year-old identical twin girls who swapped identities after discovering they had been separated at birth, it characterized the episodes as educational programming for children. That decision is expected to cost Univision, the nation’s largest Hispanic network, $24 million” in FCC fines.

America Still Unraveling Morricone

At 78, Ennio Morricone is the reigning dean of film composers, and his command of music, sound, and silence continues to dazzle both film and music buffs worldwide. Still, “it has taken a long time for America – the spiritual setting of some of his most evocative movie scores – to reckon with the Italian maestro’s justly monumental reputation.”

Adams Does Amadeus

John Adams has a new opera ready for its U.S. premiere, and careful listeners will note a distinctly un-Adams-like influence lurking behind the score. “The libretto, which Adams crafted with his longtime collaborator Peter Sellars, is based on an American Indian folk legend. But the original impetus behind the work, Adams says, is ‘The Magic Flute,’ that miraculous blend of subtle craftsmanship and pop accessibility that Mozart wrote just months before he died.”

Met’s Simulcast Project Yielding Surprising Data

The Metropolitan Opera’s experiment with simulcasting its Saturday matinees at movie theatres across North America has so far been a rousing success, and David Patrick Stearns points out that there are some interesting bits of information trickling out of the sales numbers. “Just for fun, guess which opera had the largest single audience. The high-style Julie Taymor production of The Magic Flute? The lovely Anna Netrebko in I Puritani? No, it’s the brand new Tan Dun opera The First Emperor.”

Bringing People Together Through Opera

The Met movie theatre simulcasts have created a new, hybrid form of entertainment, says Philip Kennicott, and opera fans long since abandoned by the mass media finally have a way to recreate the days when companies like the Met used to tour across the country. “And so the scattered but substantial audience for a very old and elite art form is suddenly made manifest, to itself and to the rest of the world, by gathering in theaters designed for mass entertainment.”

Christie’s Buys A Haunch of Venison

“Christie’s auction house said yesterday it had bought a London contemporary art gallery, moving the world’s largest auctioneer onto terrain usually occupied by art dealers. Christie’s said it had acquired the Haunch of Venison gallery, based in London’s Mayfair district. The auction house did not say how much it paid for the gallery, which also has branches in Zurich and Berlin.”

“Das Boot” Author Dies

“Lothar-Günther Buchheim, a German author and art collector best known for his autobiographical novel ‘Das Boot,’ died on Thursday. He was 89… The Buchheim Museum, near Munich, houses his collection of art from the Brücke group of Expressionists, including works by Emil Nolde, Max Pechstein and Otto Mueller.”

How To Not Read Books

A Paris literature professor has published an instructional manual for intelligent folks who wish to learn how to talk about books they haven’t actually read without sounding like blithering idiots. Needless to say, it’s become a best-seller on both sides of the Atlantic.

Well, It’ll Definitely Have A Retro Sound

Two Los Angeles radio stations are trading frequencies and formats, with the result that the city will now have both a country station and a classical station, something that hasn’t been true for a while. But here’s the catch: the classical station is to switch its broadcasts to the acoustically inferior AM band, where, presumably, no one living in the age of digital audio will have the slightest interest in listening to it.