My days in Bomarzo in 2009 did not show the town at its most industrious...or, on the contrary, perhaps it did. The end of April and the beginning of May mark holiday season in this medieval hill town of fewer than 1800 inhabitants. The third weekend of the month and the weekdays that lead up to it mark the festival of the local saint, Saint Anselm of Bomarzo, the 25th also being the national holiday of the Liberation. The following weekend embraces May Day, the international celebration of the working man and woman, which needs no explanation. A young person asked me why we don't celebrate this holiday in the United States, conjuring up old photos of the police and the National Guard in my mind.
Once upon a time Broadway theater-goers' mantra was "bring on the girls," and shows were mostly opulent costumes, engaging settings and pure, unadulterated fun. Ever since Oklahoma, ostensibly the first big hit with a thought-provoking book and integrated musical numbers, writers and directors have searched, sometimes in vain, for ways to raise the stakes and engage audiences minds as well as their hearts.
Salamone Rossi (prob. 1570 - prob. 1630) was one of several court musicians who enjoyed the patronage of Vincenzo Gonzaga (1562 - 1612), Duke of Mantua from 1587 to 1612. If Rossi and his gifted colleagues, like Wert, Baccusi, Gastoldi, Pallavicino, Striggio, Marenzio, have received their due among scholars, they are less familiar to concert audiences, even the enthusiasts who follow early music.
Let me say first of all, as editor and publisher of New York Arts, how fortunate I consider myself that I was able to spend a few minutes chatting with Jefe Anglesdottir, the renowned Danish architect, familiar to anyone who has so much as glanced through Metropolis or The New York Times's T Magazine for his malls, museum car parks, and the cutting-edge houses of worship he has designed for what he calls "oddball sects," for example the Positivist Temple in Częstochowa and the South Beach Rosicrucian Center. In recent years his restless creativity has led him into other art forms, most recently opera production. His first effort in the field is ambitious, nothing less than Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen for the Launceston Opera in Tasmania. For this interview I flew to Abu Dhabi, where I met with Mr. Anglesdottir in the Al Dar Lounge, said to be the most luxurious VIP lounge in the world.
Gustavo Dudamel, the charismatic young (he turned 33 at the end of January) music director of the LA Philharmonic returned to Boston for the first time since he and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela lit a fire under the audience at Symphony Hall in November of 2007. He was here in two capacities: conducting the LA Phil at Symphony Hall on the last stop of its seven-city North American tour (nine concerts in the US and Canada in 13 days), and leading an hour-long open rehearsal at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium with players eight to 15 years old and graduate students—about 114 of them—from the Sistema Side by Side orchestra established last fall by Cambridge’s Longy School of Music of Bard College.
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