Sunday, September 6, 2015

Lear on TV and other upcoming cultural events

I thought I had better post this tout de suite.*

CBC is showing the Stratford production of Lear at 3 pm today.

I thought this was a solid production (aside from Cordelia not being particularly memorable), and I imagine if I had the better view that the impact would have been amazing.  At any rate, I won't be able to watch the whole thing, but I will have it on PVR, for when I do have more time.

Sept. 20 they will be doing Anthony and Cleopatra (which I'll probably skip, but maybe I'll come around).

Sept. 27, they will be putting on King John, and this one does intrigue me.

If I am exceptionally lucky, then they'll put on a few others next year, especially The Alchemist, though I suspect it is more likely that they would lead with Hamlet and The Taming of the Shrew (both of which I saw in person).

On a very different note, I was poking around on the Cleveland and Detroit orchestra pages.  Both are rust belt cities in decline (though Cleveland seems to be rebounding a bit faster).  It is not a surprise that it is difficult to convince governments to support the arts when everything else is in deficit, though there are often donors who are willing to lend support now and then to the arts, which then leads to griping from others about the priorities of the rich and whether there should be more or less government support for the arts and/or more redistribution of wealth.  (Almost anything can become a lightening rod for controversy if pushed far enough.)

At any rate, given the operational expenses, it is somewhat harder to keep support going for orchestras (or large theatre organizations) compared to museums which have relatively lower staff costs.  Both orchestras have fewer concerts than before, but Cleveland seems to be making up for this in part by touring Europe, whereas the Detroit Symphony is going a more populist route, trying to engage the community more and trying to lower the ticket cost for the average Detroit resident to attend.  They also are live-streaming quite a number of their performances.  You can see those dates on the calendar here.

I'm definitely going to try to tune in on Oct. 16 to see Beethoven's 7th Symphony.  It's been quite a while** since I have seen this live.  I've decided that I will go ahead and get a ticket to see Beethoven's 3rd Symphony towards the end of the TSO's season (June 2016, I believe) and I already have a ticket for Beethoven's 5th Symphony on June 25th (when my book give-away ends, incidentally).

Back to Detroit, on Nov. 14 they have an interesting concert anchored by Debussy's La Mer.  I actually hope to be in Detroit that weekend and make the concert, though that is by no means guaranteed.  I should be able to stream the concert if I can't make the trip, however.

Nov. 21 is Dvorak's Cello Concerto and the world premiere of Tod Machover's Symphony in D (where the D stands for Detroit).

So assuming this works pretty well (and there is not too much delay and/or buffering), I will certainly be checking out a few of these webcasts down the road.

* I believe Don Marquis's Mehitabel would say "Toot Sweet."  It just occurred to me that I don't see my copy of The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel.

While I don't feel like tearing through a bunch of boxes today (it's very hot out), this will have to be corrected at a moderate (not all deliberate) amount of speed

** I totally dropped the ball on the classical concerts at Casa Loma this summer and didn't go at all.  Now many of these concerts were basically just pop concerts, but July 14 they did Beethoven's 7th and Mendelssohn's Octet.  Even though this symphony is only semi-professional, I think this would have been a lot of fun.  However, that was an extremely busy week as we were getting ready to send my wife and kids off to Chicago.  Still, I will try to do a better job of following these concerts next summer.

Actually there was an opportunity to see the TSO do Beethoven's 7th last season, but it was paired with a number of things I really didn't want to see (vocal music mostly).  I probably still should have gone.  I think the real issue (aside from being quite busy) was that it had originally been announced as being paired with a violin concerto and then they switched it to a program that left me really uninspired, Beethoven aside.  I'm sure there will be more opportunities in the next few years...

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