News, deep thoughts, audience perspectives and the threat of a strike in SoCal

Arts Catch-Up:  News through 11/2/16

It’s National Opera Week!  Have you entertained enough deep thoughts about opera this week?  Do you feel that you’ve pondered your art form sufficiently? Anybody know a good joke or two?  Here are a few stories to help get the conversation started:

Classical business

Pacific Symphony musicians threaten to strike” — Orange County Register, 10/28/16
Could SoCal be entering the union conversation soon?

A subsidised critic is the thin end of the wedge” — The Guardian, 11/1/16
The Boston Globe’s initiative to fund a classical music critic by nonprofit groups raises troubling questions for arts critics on both sides of the Atlantic.

Today’s classical music is compressed in every way” — On An Overgrown Path, 11/2/16
“Today’s classical music is compressed in every way – sound, repertoire and worldview. But things are changing outside the mainstream.”  Are past visionaries like Stokowski a better model than the rapid-fire producers in today’s fast-paced tech environment?

The Audience

Does opera exclude you, or do you exclude opera?” — BBC Music Magazine, 10/25/16
The public need to take the lead in exploring opera, says director of Opera Holland Park.

Millennials don’t want to call themselves philanthropists” — ArtsHub, 10/26/16
Engaging donors means understanding their motivations and many of the new generation do not want to see themselves simply as wealthy benefactors.

Arts People

The unforgettable Mahalia Jackson
The unforgettable Mahalia Jackson

Remembering Mahalia Jackson” — National Endowment for the Arts, 10/26/16
On the 105th anniversary of her birth, the NEA takes note of this indelible artist.

Exclusive: Churchman accuses Kathleen Battle of using slave labor” — Slipped Disc, 10/27/16
In an open letter shared directly with Mr. Lebrecht, Kathleen Battle is called to the carpet for virtually reversing history at her upcoming Underground Railroad concert at the Met.

#WomanCrushWednesday, Opera Edition” — National Endowment for the Arts, 11/2/16
More and more, women are cutting a wide swath across the opera landscape. In celebration of National Opera Week, the NEA blogger chats with five remarkable women in opera:  Martina Arroyo, Unsuk Chin, Jessye Norman, Libby Larsen and Francesca Zambello.

Skills and Psyche

Some people really are wired better for learning languages” — Aeon, 10/28/16
As we understand more about the way language is learned, we’ll be able to translate that knowledge into techniques that play into each individual’s strengths.

Can Music Make You Sick? — Help Musicians UK, 11/1/16
New survey results reveal that nearly 2/3 of musicians polls (across multiple genres) reports facing depression.  How the results are interpreted could vary widely, however (as evidenced by the title), but if the numbers hold, it would mean that musicians could be three times more likely to struggle with depression than the general public.  That’s a lotta blues.

About “Arts Catch-up”

This is a new sorta-weekly feature, designed to keep our readers informed and knowledgable about the arts sector, including a few of our best newsy tweets.  If you have an article to submit, please Contact us with the link.

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