Friday, May 1, 2009

The Drama Drop -

* The LA Philharmonic is said to be announcing a new conducting fellowship. The fellowship was proposed by Gustavo Dudamel, the 28-year-old Venezuelan conducting superstar and new Music Director. Although Dudamel is a sensation, he's never forgotten that he got his start through El Sistema, the musician training program famed for transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in Venezuela. According to the LA Times Culture Monster Dudamel said: "I am very lucky to have been given so many amazing opportunities throughout my career. I now hope to provide opportunities for young conductors by inviting them to be part of the artistic and education programs at the Philharmonic." Bravo!

* Opera will again fill Baltimore's Lyric Opera House, former home of Baltimore Opera. It's the "former home" of Baltimore Opera Company because, as you'll remember, the current economy forced the company to file for bankruptcy - Chapter 7 liquidation, to be exact. Now, Washington Opera is swooping in with a concert version of it's staged Turandot featuring dramatic sopranos Maria Guleghina and Sylvie Valayre sharing the role of Turandot - we're not quite sure which will be singing the concert. Grants from the City of Baltimore and the National Endowment for the Arts, totaling about $40,000, provided what the Baltimore Sun called "the seed money" for the June presentation. Ed Brody, chairman of the Lyric Foundation Board and a former president of Baltimore Opera, said "In addition to the grants, we had an anonymous donor, and even the stagehands offered concessions."

So, none of these things were available to help keep BOC open, but now they're available for a WNO concert? Hmmmmmm.

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