The word “Wagnerian” as a synonym for operatic bombast may have fallen out of favor in recent years, as has the reputation of German composer Richard Wagner. He has been regarded as “the most repugnant of musical nationalists,” writes David P.[...]
Creative Commons image by Steve Parker
It can seem like a cruel irony that some of the most celebrated people of our day didn’t receive the same acclaim during their sometimes troubled lives.
It comes as no surprise that many American children’s first, and often only exposure to opera comes compliments of Bugs Bunny. One of the rascally rabbit’s most enduring turns is as Brünnhilde opposite Elmer Fudd’s Siegfried in “What’s Opera, Doc?,” a 1957 cartoon spoofing Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.[...]
Image by Pete Wesch, via Wikimedia Commons
Philip K. Dick died in 1982. His distinctive, some say visionary brand of psychological sci-fi literature, however, has lived on, proving its endurance in part by taking new forms.
As a story, The Shining certainly passes the test of adaptability: we’ve featured not just the annotated copy of Stephen King’s original novel that Stanley Kubrick used to make his well-known film adaptation, but its Simpsons parody, its reimagined feel-good Hollywood trailer, its remake in miniature as a long-form Aesop Rock music video[...]
When my son first started playing the piano, I lost several evenings chasing the holy grail of free online sheet music. Sadly, most of what we were interested in downloading wasn’t really free… just the first page.[...]
“Histrionic” is not a word we often hear used as a compliment, describing as it does overwrought, theatrical, melodramatic behavior we tend to frown on in everyday life. In the opera world, however, one can rightly praise a diva like the late Maria Callas for her “histrionic power.[...]
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that certain entertainers did not arrive fully formed with their famous look already part of the act. It’s still weird to me, for example, to see very early George Carlin, looking like a nephew to the button-down comedy of Bob Newhart.[...]
Stop me if you’ve heard this one:
When the star is unable to perform, a talented underdog is plucked from the chorus and thrown into the spotlight with just minutes to prepare…
It’s a crowd pleasing plot, one that occasionally plays out in real life, as it did at the 1998 Grammy Awards, above.
Should we have any doubt about the malleability of George Orwell’s dystopian 1948 novel 1984, we need look no further than its most recent, very loose incarnation in a coming film titled Equals, which Variety’s Peter Debruge writes “should resonate most with the arthouse-going segment of the ‘Twilight’ fanbase.[...]