Arts and Culture

A do-it-yourself diva--and she's normal to boot!

"I'd abolish all music competitions. People should be judged on their merits, not against other people. And I'd like to dispel the myth that high art is snobbish – it just needs a bit of effort on both sides."  With sentiment like that, this diva clearly has her feet firmly rooted on the ground.
 
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Beijing's Bird's Nest saved by Puccini?

The Bird's NestThe Bird's NestDuring the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China staged eye-popping public ceremonies in the Bird's Nest, an iconic stadium built for the occasion. Last summer, singers in the Rochester Oratorio Society zipped by the Nest about two weeks before the Games began. It was thrilling to see it in person!Radio host abandons dignity to strike a poseRadio host abandons dignity to strike a pose

Now the Bird's Nest is in the news again. With seating for 90,000 spectators, the Nest has stood virtually empty since the Games ended.  But it may be saved by the arts; more specifically, by a production of Puccini's Turandot.

The fact that “Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou will restage his famous production of Puccini's "Turandot" at the stadium in October comes as a noteworthy development. Zhang's mega-production, which was originally staged at the Forbidden City in 1998, will include new and improved special effects in addition to the cast-of-thousands pageantry that marked its first outing,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

 

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Copland House now a National Historic Landmark

Copland HouseCopland House
 
You can walk in, touch, feel, and listen in the space where Aaron Copland wrote his memoirs and a number of major works.  
 
I’m a history geek, so I love the fact that Copland’s house in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., has been declared a national historic landmark by the National Park Service. It’s the only national landmark devoted to a American classical music composer. Copland House now houses a nonprofit organization that runs musical and educational programs. Check out the website. You can see pictures by clicking here.
 
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