Top athletes have long cut sponsorship deals with brands, and that model may be coming to the world of music. Daishin Kashimoto, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, has been presented with a new RX 450h from his sponsor, Lexus.
New York Times reportedly cutting arts coverage
Is the Paper of Record cutting its coverage of the arts — including classical music? Deadline Hollywood reports that the Times "quietly ended its coverage of restaurants, art galleries, theaters and other commercial and nonprofit businesses in the tri-state region, laying off dozens of longtime contributors and prompting protests from many of the institutions that will be affected." The reported move affects arts organizations in Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, and Connecticut — who have long looked to Times coverage as a means of boosting visibility and credibility.
Dubai Opera opens
The world's newest opera house, Dubai Opera, opened on Aug. 31 with performances by Placido Domingo and others.
Supergroup: The orchestra
Principals from several nationally-known orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the Met have reconvened under the baton of Gerard Schwarz to form an "All-Star Orchestra" that recently gathered at SUNY College New York to record sessions for a new season on PBS.
Romania's got talent
Romania-born opera singer Laura Bretan has made the finals of the current season of America's Got Talent. Pie Jesu earned the 14-year-old Bretan a spot to compete for the top prize against fellow finalists Grace VanderWaal (tween who sings and plays ukulele), Sal Valentinetti (crooner), Jon Dorenbos (magician who also happens to play in the NFL), and Tape Face (mime).
Remembering Eberhard Finke
German cellist Eberhard Finke has died at age 96. He played in the Berlin Philharmonic under conductors including Wilhelm Furtwängler, serving as the orchestra's principal cellist from 1950 to 1985.
Cape Town Opera's production of Cosi Fan Tutte has already seen controversy over "scenes of rape and racial abuse by Mussolini—s soldiers during Italy's 1930s subjugation of Eritrea," notes the Telegraph. Now, the production is at the center of a new controversy: over musicians' wages. When the production toured to France, South African singers found they were being paid substantially less than their French counterparts — due to a higher French wage that doesn't pertain to singer who aren't French citizens, says the company. Now, with the opera at the Edinburgh Festival, the singers are all being employed directly by the festival to avoid further conflict.
Sydney to debut silent opera
Opera Australia and the Sydney Opera House have announced wht they're calling the world's first "silent opera." The singers will perform on the Opera House steps, while the orchestra and chorus remain inside. Audience members — numbering 5,000 for each performance — will wear headphones to hear the mixed audio. Sydney Opera House — The Opera (The Eighth Wonder), written by Alan John, opens Oct. 28. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sometimes people are alright
British violinist Jane Gordon left her 300-year-old violin on a busy commuter train, and thought she might have seen it for the last time. It's now been returned, though, after a south London couple found the instrument abandoned at the end of their road and alerted authorities. "I am so happy this nightmare is over," says Gordon. "I feel very lucky."
Bostridge gets heckled
Singer Ian Bostridge faced a heckler at a recent recital, hearing a shout of "Please learn German!" after singing lieder. Bostridge's response? He invited the heckler onstage to address the audience; the heckler reportedly said a few words and then left.