Fear & loathing at the Met: Rene Pape as Boris Gudonov 1

Music · Reviews
Read this story on The Huffington Post. Opera goers didn’t so much descend the Metropolitan Opera House’s red staircase late Friday night as fled the house after a challenging four-hour encounter with “Boris Gudonov,” Modest Mussorgsky’s sprawling recitative-driven opera from 1869. Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky Theater conductor whose advocacy for “Boris” may have spurred the ...

Meeting NY Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert

Music
As part of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute for Classical Music & Opera, our group of 23 met yesterday with the New York Philharmonic’s talented new conductor Alan Gilbert. Joining Gilbert in the meeting was his composer-in-residence, the Finn, Magnus Lindberg. Also on the panel was Gilbert’s artistic administrator, John Magnum, formerly of the L.A. ...

Jerome Robbins’s “Glass Pieces” at NYCB

Dance
Program opener “Glass Pieces” was a standout at the final performance of New York City Ballet’s fall season Sunday afternoon. Jerome Robbins made the piece in 1983, a bit of a late comer to the music of minimalist composer Phillip Glass who had long been the darling of the downtown world. The Robbins validation was ...

Le Poisson Rouge = no red herring 1

Music
I arrived in New York last night to attend the classical music arts journalism institute run by the National Endowment for the Arts at Columbia University. The ten-day program, which includes classical music performances, talks, discussion, lectures and writing workshops, kicks off this evening with performance of Kronos Quartet. The program includes works by Clint ...

Film Foundation tribute gears up @ LACMA

Film
arts·meme guest writer Doug Cummings previews LACMA’s upcoming film series: Martin Scorsese is a valued friend of the film program at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); he’s also a friend to cinephiles everywhere through his pioneering organizations devoted to film preservation, The Film Foundation (formed in 1990) and the World Cinema Foundation (formed ...

Great Los Angeles-born ballerina Cynthia Gregory returns to West Coast 1

Dance
This Martha Swope photo of Cynthia Gregory with the Hungarian, Ivan Nagy, was published in a dance book I pored over as a teenager. The image had a huge impact on me — it was a proto-feminist portrait of a powerful, free young woman. Boy, did I ever want to be her. I enjoyed a ...

Charles Chaplin covered the waterfront — in China

Film
It’s kind of an ongoing  joke in Los Angeles that every neighborhood boasts a building or location that Charles Chaplin supposedly built, or invested in. Alternately, in that place, Chaplin lived, shot a movie, or (most probable) partied. The guy got around! He was at every social event, every film opening, each great hostess’s soiree. He was L.A.’s ...

Fred Wiseman, documentary film’s wise man

Dance · Film
Last fall, we were spared the euro:dollar exchange rate and whisked back stage at the Paris Opera Ballet via Frederick Wiseman’s glorious — and rigorous — documentary “La Danse.” Months later, I saw Wiseman’s “Meat” at REDCAT. Amazing. Mr. Wiseman will be honored with a lifetime achievement award from Loyola Marymount College’s School of Film ...

Return to ballet world for Rahm Emanuel?

Dance
arts•meme gets hits from all around the world, every single day. But Thursday September 30, we had a particularly unusual visitor. Perusing the site’s analytics (the statistical breakdown of the website’s visitors by network, geography, and other variables), my eye tripped on the following “network location.” This is a direct lift from the statistics: executive ...

Tony Curtis, forever young 1

Film
About an hour after this photo was taken in 2004, up pulled a huge stretch limousine and out popped the devilish Tony Curtis, forever young. A sidewalk full of admirers and fans immediately surrounded him. It was fun watching Curtis work the crowd. Edging in, I asked for his autograph. Only … I don’ t ...