ARKADY.COM   Home  Log  Horror Stories & Related Links  Contact

See the original NY Times article here, or here it is...

The New York Times

Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

August 14, 2006

Arts, Briefly


Baggage Rules Trouble Musicians

Bolshoi Theater musicians, fearing harm to their instruments under strict new British airport security regulations, will probably have to leave England by rail and fly home to Russia from Paris when their engagement at the Royal Opera House in London ends on Saturday, the BBC reported. Alexander Vedernikov, the chief conductor, said the musicians were under contract to keep their instruments with them and could not check them as luggage. Russian news media noted that musicians of the Bolshoi, based in Moscow, borrow their instruments from Russia’s state collection and have no right to part with them under any circumstances. Mr. Vedernikov spoke in Moscow a day after a terror plot froze traffic at Heathrow Airport in London and led to a ban on cabin baggage. He said his remark was prompted by noticing instruments checked as cargo on his flight to Moscow as he flew home ahead of the rest of the group. “I saw two violins being checked in as luggage, which is unacceptable,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.

Festival Gets Fan’s Millions

Every year for a decade, Lean Scully of Dublin attended the Edinburgh International Festival, enjoying the classical concerts and donating $85 a year to support its annual presentation of music, theater, opera and dance. Ms. Scully died last year at 72. On Saturday, the day before the start of this year’s event, running through Sept. 3, the festival announced that Ms. Scully had kept her promise to “see them right” when she was gone, the BBC reported. She had bequeathed it $7 million, the largest single gift in the festival’s 60-year history. The legacy came from the sale of two adjacent houses in Dublin owned by Ms. Scully, who worked in agricultural public relations. As she intended, the money will be invested in a trust that will yield $283,000 a year in interest to foster the careers of young artists. “This is the type of bequest arts organizations dream about,” said Sir Brian McMaster, director of the festival.

Hermitage Locks the Barn Door

The director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, said on Friday that a sophisticated new storage vault had been constructed on the outskirts of the city and that another was in the planning stage, Agence France-Presse reported. The disclosure by the director, Mikhail Piotrovsky, came in an interview with Echo, a Moscow radio station, in the aftermath of an announcement last month that 221 works valued at nearly $5 million had been stolen from the museum. Mr. Piotrovsky called for stricter monitoring of curators, a full-time staff to safeguard the museum’s priceless collections and higher salaries for museum workers. The Russian authorities have said that many museums, particularly in outlying areas, were in “critical” condition and that employees with small salaries were involved in many thefts.

Günter Grass Under Fire

The Nobel Prize-winning German author Günter Grass, 78, has come under attack from writers, literary critics, historians and politicians after confessing that at 17 he joined the Waffen SS, the Nazi Party fighting force, Reuters reported. The admission came in a newspaper interview in advance of the publication next month of his autobiography, “Peeling Onions.” “Grass’s confession right before the publication of his autobiography leaves behind a bad taste of book promotion,” wrote the columnist Helmut Böger in the newspaper Bild am Sonntag. “Even after his admission, Grass remains Germany’s most important living author. But he has lost his standing as a moral authority.” Mr. Grass “cannot be castigated for being a member of the SS,” Mr. Böger wrote, “but he can be for lying about it for 60 years.” For decades Mr. Grass, who won the Nobel Prize in 1999 and is perhaps best known for his 1959 novel, “The Tin Drum,” had demanded that Germans come to terms with their Nazi past by owning up to it. Joachim Fest, a leading historian, told the magazine Der Spiegel: “After 60 years, this confession comes a bit too late. I can’t understand how someone who for decades set himself up as a moral authority, a rather smug one, could pull this off.”

Disney Stands By Gibson Film

The new Mel Gibson movie, “Apocalypto,” will be distributed by the Walt Disney Company, a studio spokeswoman has confirmed, Reuters reported. The statement by the spokeswoman, Heidi Trotta, on Friday contradicts reports that Disney was seeking to sell the distribution rights to distance itself from the anti-Semitic remarks made by Mr. Gibson when he was arrested last month in Malibu, Calif., on suspicion of drunken driving.

Andrew Davis Ailing

Sir Andrew Davis, the music director and principal conductor of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, will miss the opening of its 52nd season on Sept. 16 because of artery bypass surgery on his leg this week, The Associated Press reported. He will be replaced by Bruno Bartoletti, his predecessor and now the Lyric’s artistic director emeritus, in conducting six performances of Puccini’s “Turandot,” designed by David Hockney. Sir Andrew, who will be out for more than a month, will also miss five concerts this month in Greece, Ireland, Wales and London. He will be replaced by Leonard Slatkin, the orchestra said. Sir Andrew, 62, has had pain in his left leg for some time, and Magda Krance, a Lyric spokeswoman, said the femoral popliteal artery bypass was intended to “increase his comfort and mobility.”

China Restricts Mickey and Homer

When Sept. 1 rolls around, China will banish Homer Simpson, Mickey Mouse and Pokemon from prime time, The Associated Press reported. Chinese news media said yesterday that regulators had barred foreign cartoons, hugely popular, from television from 5 to 8 p.m. to protect the country’s struggling animation studios. Although the ban has not been formally announced, newspapers criticized it yesterday as the wrong way to solve problems in China’s cartoon industry.

Dance Theater of Harlem Has Its Way

The corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 152nd Street, where the Dance Theater of Harlem has its headquarters, officially became Dance Theater of Harlem Way on Saturday afternoon when politicians, entertainers and neighbors gathered to pay tribute to Arthur Mitchell and the ballet troupe he founded in 1969 with his teacher, Karel Shook. Proclamations were read by representatives of Councilman Robert Jackson, a Manhattan Democrat who arranged for the renaming of the street, and of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Bebe Neuwirth spoke on behalf of Broadway dancers, many of whom, she said, had studied at the company school and learned not just about dance but also about “being a human being.” And Scott Stringer, Manhattan borough president, announced a grant of $200,000 to Dance Theater. The company has been on hiatus since 2004, when it faced financial setbacks including the loss of federal and state arts funding. Performing at the ceremony were Dance Theater students and the Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble, a junior touring troupe whose members are drawn from the school’s professional training program. The ensemble will dance in November in the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim Museum. JENNIFER DUNNING