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SUNDAYARTS BLOG

If you doubt the importance of YouTube in how music gets heard and performed these days, consider a recent case: the Cistercian Abbey Stift Heiligenkreuz, in Austria. This is a twelfth-century church where about 80 monks sing Gregorian chant every day; the Gothic/Romanesque/baroque church is a popular attraction that draws about 170,000 tourists a year, [...]

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There’s a lot of talk about public art these days. The term now seems to commonly refer to free projects that take over part of a city—and sometimes a large part, if you remember the CowParade that started in Chicago in 1999, invaded New York’s sidewalks in 2000, and has since traveled to cities as [...]

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So here’s a press release that jumped out at me recently about a work to be performed on June 7 by “8 synchronized Yamaha Disklavier player pianos plus an automated ensemble of 2 xylophones, 4 bass drums, tamtam, siren, 7 bells and 3 airplane propellers.” Think you know what it is? If you’re thinking this [...]

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My introduction to Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Sunday, June 8, on Thirteen) came from watching Rabbit of Seville, a 1950 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, when I was a kid. Musical director Carl Stalling slightly tweaked Rossini’s overture to back up Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd’s frantic chases, and the juxtaposition couldn’t have [...]

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In the singing biz, they talk about money notes—the notes a singer hits that make your spine tingle, the ones that often get a singer hired in the first place. Are the first “money notes” you think of high notes? They’re pretty hard to ignore—this season at the Met, Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez [...]

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Kander & Ebb may have set Cabaret in Weimar Berlin, but quoting from the show’s title song could not be more appropriate as we bid farewell to the long-running New York eatery Florent. Now, why should we mention the closing of a restaurant in this arts-focused blog? First, Florent always was a haven for creative [...]

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In the opera universe, there’s wacky and weird—and then there’s Stefan Zucker. This living “world’s highest tenor” is so strange as to defy description—the closest I can come is that his speaking voice sounds like a Mike Myers impersonation in an Austin Powers movie, and his attachment to Italian opera divas of the past is [...]

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Television commercials are probably as good an indicator of a society’s cultural health as any. And anyone looking for proof of the cachet that opera once maintained in American life would do well to consider these commercials, which Rice Krispies ran in the 1960s. To a certain generation of opera goers, these hilarious vignettes probably [...]

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Warning, this post is on the long side, but I promise it’ll be fun to anybody with a passing interest in the live arts. And if you follow opera, it’ll be doubleplusgood, with copious hissing and dissing, but also words that should bring hope to those who yearn for a democratic and provocative culture. A [...]

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I’ve watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train at least six or seven times, including when it recently aired on Reel 13. With its tight screenplay adapted from the book by Patricia Highsmith (author of the Tom Ripley books), fabulously evil villain played by Robert Walker, pivotal train scenes and tense back-and-forth between Farley Granger’s [...]

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SundayArts is made possible in part by First Republic Bank and by the Rubin Museum of Art. Funding for SundayArts is also made possible by Rosalind P. Walter, The Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation, The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Lemberg Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding provided by members of THIRTEEN.