Friday, July 29, 2011

In Remembrance Of Stephen De Staebler

“Matter and Spirit: Stephen De Staebler,’’ his retrospective, is scheduled to open at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in January 2012.

Stephen majored in Religion at Princeton University, after he found Princeton's Studio Arts program and Art Department to be unsatisfactory to his artistic and educational needs as a young artist.

Stephen De Staebler

Photo credit: (c) Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Guangzhou Opera House Joins Guangzhou Library And Guangzhou Museum

[Click on images for enlargements.]

Photo credits: (c) 2011. Copyright controlled.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

In Memorium, American Late Modernist Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly used mythology and words, graffiti, and letters in his paintings and works on paper.

In 2010, he painted a ceiling of the Louvre museum, the first artist given the honor since Georges Braque in the 1950s.

Photo credit: (c) Christophe Ena and the Associated Press 2010. Copyright controlled.

Keeping Our Frequent Flyer Miles Dry... For The Time Being

"On July 1, Olivier Messiaen's Saint François d’Assise was premièred at the Nationaltheater – bringing one of the most important music-theatre works of the past decades to Munich audiences for the first time. The musical direction was in the hands of [General Music Director] Kent Nagano, one of the most profoundly familiar interpreters of Messiaen’s works, and performance artist Hermann Nitsch devised the production concept."

"In the 1970’s, the Director of the Paris Opéra, Rolf Liebermann, beguiled the sixty-year old Olivier Messiaen to compose his first and only stage work. The deeply pious composer, who with his entire œuvre invites the listener to experience and share the mystery of religious faith, wrote an opera lasting over four hours about a 13th century saint: Saint François d’Assise.

The “scenes franciscaines”, first performed at the Paris Opéra in 1983 are neither hagiographic nor are they a drama about the historical founder of a religious order, who was beatified in 1228. The man Francis, who surmounted his self involved fear of life through his fear of death and his repugnance at the spectacle of ugliness, makes room in his inner being for an illumination that shatters the borders of the individual and thus experiences the existence of God.

The saint’s story, his pathway through anxiety and inner darkness to a condition of perfect grace, told in eight stations as in a mediæval miniature or a church window, was Messiaen’s point of departure for a musical meditation on the spirituality of modern mankind."

Text © Bavarian State Opera 2011.

[I enjoyed tremendously the Berlin State Opera production of the work, staged by Daniel Libeskind.)

[I also recommend the new DVD of Aribert Reimann's 2010 Vienna State Opera commissioned staging of "Medea". It won a major German opera of the year award for 2010.]

Photo credits: © Bavarian State Opera 2011. Olivier Messiaen's Saint François d’Assise. Co-production of the Bavarian State Theater, Munich and the Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

Friday, July 01, 2011

New American National Opera Edition: Nolan Gasser's 'The Secret Garden' To Permiere At The San Francisco Opera in 2013

Nikitsky Botanical Garden, Yalta, Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine) - the oldest botanical garden in eastern Europe; founded in 1812 by the Russian Czar.

Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Ukraine - the oldest university in eastern Europe; founded in 1615 by the Metropolitan of Kyiv Petro Mohyla.

Photo credit: Via Asta and Wikipedia. With thanks.

Modern And Pre-Post Modern Baroque Humanism Now On Display At The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Pilica II, 1973

The title of the work derives from synagogues that were systematically destroyed during the Nazi occupation of Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine in World War II (1936–1945).

Acquired by the Phillips Collection in 1974. Currently on display as part of the Collection's 90th Anniversary Celebration.

Image credit: © Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.