It wasn't certain that this year's festival, now in its seventh incarnation, was going to run at all. Its former sole funding and organizational body—the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York—cut its funding months before the festival was scheduled to take place. The RCINY's former director, Corina Suteu, her deputy Oana Radu, and their long-time colleague Mihai Chirilov, are now independently running the festival. In collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, they're pulling together a showcase of the latest films from what’s become a cinematic powerhouse.
Tenor Rolando Villazón sang with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem on Oct. 23 at Carnegie Hall. Baritones Simon Keenlyside and Gerald Finley are starring, respectively, in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Each of the three is his own man, but Villazón is a stark contrast to the two baritones.
I watched scenes from thousands of films: people chatting, sitting in rooms, waiting, but perhaps more often people running to make trains, catch planes, stop bombs—action movies are privileged in the mix as they so often rely on time to create suspense, and many are returned to repeatedly, broken up by minutes and sometimes hours. The thriller Déjà Vu, where Denzel Washington must go back in time to stop a bomb from exploding, recurs a number of times (he spends most of the movie running around carrying a kitchen clock).
Tatsuya Yoshida is the drummer of the long-running Japanese noise-rock duo Ruins. For three decades, his principal band has pounded its gospel of rhythmically complex, quasi-improvised thrash across the globe. (The duo collaborated memorably with British free-improvisational guitar hero Derek Bailey in the late 90s.) But it would take the Asphalt Orchestra—the Bang On A Can house “marching band”—to commission a suite of music by Yoshida to bring into Alice Tully Hall’s Starr Theater.
New York City Opera is profitable, says George Steel, and will live at B.A.M. and City Center for three years
“It’s not another million and a half or two million dollar loss, it’s whatever it is,” he said. “But when we think it makes sense to lose a little bit more money because there’s a larger audience for a given production we’ll do it,” Steel said.
At Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts, the vagaries of time, of shifting critical reputation, the many hues of theatrical “truth,” all hover around Star Quality, the Library’s new Noël Coward exhibition. Coward’s singular theatrical world—acerbic, irreverent, and yet gossamer—is brought memorably to life.
What made Maria Callas’ voice so unusual? “Maybe it’s the heat I put into it,” Callas herself suggests in a 1969 interview for French television that will be screened at Alice Tully Hall this weekend as part of the “Callas on Film” series. That heat was scorching; her voice had extraordinary size, power, agility, and variety of color. But inseparable from the sound were the many public and theatrical Callas personas that live on in video and audio recordings of performances and interviews, and countless books, and which continue to galvanize old fans and newcomers alike.
Perhaps the best example of the best of the 40th Anniversary Dance on Camera Festival is the informative and touching 2011 documentary Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance, which will ultimately screen in 40 theaters across the country. Director Bob Hercules takes the viewer through Joffrey’s early career and his relationship and collaboration with Gerald Arpino. The film also demonstrates the complexity of running one’s own dance troupe. Many of the challenges that dogged the Joffrey after its namesake died of AIDS in 1988—financial woes, Arpino’s takeover as artistic director, a move to Chicago—would have felled a lesser group of working artists. Along the way, one rediscovers Joffrey’s immense accomplishment in making ballet truly American.
Romanian Film Festival comes to Lincoln Center, bringing with it the pleasures and pitfalls of infidelity
If Radu Muntean were a different kind of filmmaker, Tuesday After Christmas could have easily been a melodrama, but instead, it’s insistently, enthrallingly, anticlimactic, concerned with the forgettable interactions and small comforts of daily life. Which makes it all the more devastating when these are revealed as a cover for deceit.
The queen of theater lighting, Jennifer Tipton, gets a spotlight for herself in two New York performances
Two performances in the White Light festival put Tipton's 50-year career as a lighting designer and artist center stage, for audiences that may not have understood or appreciated before the role lighting can have on their experience of a performance.
For example, a performer lit with bright front lights—which black out the audience to the performer—will feel a particularly pronounced ”fourth wall”; a performer lit with back lights, on the other hand, will see an audience clearly even as he is almost fully blacked out from the audience’s view. The way a lighting cue feels to an actor or dancer can subtly shape his performance, Tipton realized, and should thus be taken into account.
“That changed the way I worked with actors, with dancers—forever, shall I say,” Tipton said.
The Manganiyars remain purely seductive: without personality and smilingly bent only on pleasing us, not on challenging us or, really, even intriguing us. It was oddly appropriate that we had to exit the Rose Theater through the Time Warner Center's mall. The kind of seduction proposed by the performance felt transactional, cloying, even commercial: completely engaging but weirdly unenlightening.(1)
Set in New Orleans in 1801, A Free Man of Color is a faux-Restoration comedy about a wealthy lothario named Jacques Cornet. But it’s also about the Louisiana Purchase, racial tensions in the Caribbean, Napoleon’s laundry, the epidemiology of yellow fever, America’s financial carelessness … Or rather, straining to be about all of these things it manages to be about none of them, really.
If it's been a dream of yours to watch the New York Philharmonic's elegant principal cellist, Carter Brey, race down from the stage at Avery Fisher Hall, dash over to the center of the audience, and hit a giant gong hanging from the ceiling, then Thursday is your night and Magnus Lindberg's Kraft, getting its New York premiere and only its second hearing in the U.S., is your piece.
You don't go to a Vienna Phil concert for new music—you go for authentic performances of the Central European classics. But last year, Berlin did Schoenberg: it's certainly not impossible to stretch the boundaries a little.Opening night this year was all-Beethoven: the seventh symphony and the first piano concerto. The second Harnoncourt concert featured Smetana's series of sumptuous tone poems, Ma vlast. But things went a bit off the rails when Dudamel planned his first concert on Saturday night.(4)