“The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space” PART 2

Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and SpaceWelcome to Prague.  The seven-member international Jury for PQ11 has been working since the evening of June 14 to determine the nine Gold Awards to be presented tomorrow evening at the PQ 2011 Awards Ceremony in the National Theatre.
 

The jury, chaired by director and scenographer Brett Bailey from South Africa (Gold medalist PQ 2007) includes the distinguished American theatre academic, Prof. Marvin Carlson from New York University, Lighting Designer Felice Ross (best known for her work with directors Krzystof Warlikowski and Mariusz Trelinski); Viliam Docolomanský (Director and Artistic Director of the innovative ‘Farm in the Cave’ theatre company), Carmen Romero (Director of the Festival de Teatro Santiago a Mil, Chile), Latvian Scenographer and Costume Designer, Monika Pormale – and myself.
 

Over 10,000 m2 of expositions are currently exhibiting the best of world performance, sound, lighting, and costume design within three competitive Sections: focusing on national curation of Countries and Regions, a Student Section and an Architecture Section.  The work presented includes designs from Ruhr Triennale, Bregenzer Festspiele, and the SITI Theatre Company, as well as the work of theatre and visual artists such as Verdensteatret, Thierry Mugler, and Viacheslav and Anna Koleichuk amongst hundreds of others.  Many of these expositions are simply amazing.
 

Unique to the12th Prague Quadrennial is Continue Reading →

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“The Dramatists Guild Conference” June 9 – 11 Fairfax, VA

blog7 picAfter spending a few days back in New York last week for meetings, I travelled down to Washington D.C. on the Acela to find my way out to Fairfax, Virginia, to attend the inaugural Dramatists Guild Conference (www.dramatistguild.com).

DG promotes the idea that it is the only professional association that advances the interests of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists writing for the living stage.  In fairness, I think Opera America (www.operaamerica.org/) also does this: both organizations providing an invaluable service to theatre practitioners, albeit with different foci and priorities.

Particularly interesting was the session, ‘Collaborations in Musical Theatre’ with Continue Reading →

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“The Mapmaker’s Opera (A New Musical)”

MapMakersOpera_Cue_25_Screen_ShotIt is with both relief and subdued excitement that we can announce the new Kazan/Purcell Musical, The Mapmaker’s Opera; based on the novel of the same name by Canadian author, Béa Gonzalez, is finally underway. mapmakersopera.com

For those of you who do not know this novel, go buy it and read!

I know this has been on the backburner for far too long, and too many followers and fans of Rebecca-The Musical had given up all hope that I would ever start this piece, but the good news is that music and demos are forthcoming. The MMO web site needs some serious updating which we’ll be doing in the near future and lots of new content will be added.

So, what are the main issues to have caused the unprecedented delay in moving this project forward? In a word – FLAMENCO! Continue Reading →

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“The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space” PART 1

Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and SpaceI am absolutely thrilled to be part of the nine-person international jury for the forthcoming Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space – affectionately referred to as ‘PQ11’ www.pq.cz/en/

Centred around a competitive world exhibition of theatre design (sound, sets, lights, projection and new technologies) with 62 countries represented, the upcoming edition of the Prague Quadrennial (the 12th) will also showcase designs from Continue Reading →

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“The Curse of Opera and the Magic of Musical Theatre”

Kevin Purcell with Kristin Chenoweth at New York City Opera Gala, 21 April 2011

Kevin Purcell with Kristin Chenoweth at New York City Opera Gala, 21 April 2011

I have never been one for writing a Letter-to-the-Editor at a newspaper to complain (is it ever for any other purpose than to express outraged indignation, I wonder?) about asinine and ignorant comments proffered by a music or theatre critic.  Why?  I’ve never believed that people who actually read concert or theatre reviews care, or believe, what a critic really thinks: eschewing any tendencies to vicariousness – just as we do with weather forecasts by analogy now that I think about it – therein avoiding any possibility of self-recrimination in the certainty that the opposite must be true.

Alas, this perception was reinforced this week in a remarkably torpid review in The New York Times. Continue Reading →

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“The Marvellous Mr. Muti”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra onstage at Carnegie Hall (17 April 2011)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra onstage at Carnegie Hall (17 April 2011)

The Chicago Symphony has been in town for about a week. We grabbed tickets to see their Sunday afternoon concert at Carnegie Hall performing Les Preludes by Liszt and the incomparable Symphony No. 5 by that Russian enigma: Dmitri Shostakovich. The concert was simply marvellous, not only for the sublime wind and brass playing from the orchestra, but the sanguine, meticulous conducting of the Symphony’s new Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Continue Reading →

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