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Classical 101

Critics 'Tut Tut' Soprano for...Smiling

Reaction to Ovation Breaks Character-Ruins the Moment, Critics Say

Soprano Anna Netrebko was singing the incredibly difficult title role in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. The final scene begins with the aria “Al dolce guidami,â€? its final note slowly diminishing to nothing. The audience exploded in cheers that went on far longer than is usual at the Met these days. Ms. Netrebko, who had ended the aria gazing upward, suddenly gave a wide smile, driving the audience to even greater applause. According to a New York Observer report, critics were not amused.  Others are saying, lighten up.  What do you think?  Should a performer acknowledge a particularly rousing or unusual ovation?  What if it happens between movements of a symphony or concerto? Read Grin and Bear It: A short history of breaking character on stage (New York Observer) See how Netrebko came to be cast in this role http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNZl4vPxF0o&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PLFF93B5508B481D4B

James Rhodes Has None of the Typical Traits of a Concert Pianist...Except for Prodigious Skills

If you were to see James Rhodes walking down the street, you might think he's in an indie band, what with the long, free-flowing hair, tattoos, and ubiquitous cigarette...and you'd be right, to a point.  He definitely does things his own way.  It's no surprise, then, that someone he finds particularly fascinating is Glenn Gould, also known for marching to the beat of a drummer only he could hear. All Rhodes really seems to want is to shove pretentiousness, stuffiness, and the "classical aura' out of the way and get down to playing music.  He says "I think it's appropriate, important even, to dispel the myth of the autistic/fragile/shrouded-in-his-own-genius/tux-wearing/idiot savant as pianist." Read James Rhodes' profile (jamesrhodes.tv) Watch Rhodes play Bach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXdSl15IHv0&

Bankruptcy Judge Helping Philadelphia Orchestra and Musicians Hammer Out a New Contract

Philadelphia Orchestra musicians returned from vacation Tuesday to news that a contract agreement may be imminent.  While the judge in Philadelphia  Orchestra's bankruptcy proceedings does not have the authority to dictate new contract terms, he impressed upon both sides that, without an agreement, "a long stretch of expensive and unpleasant litigation lay ahead." Read Contract Could Be Near in Orchestra Bankruptcy (Philadelphia Inquirer)