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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 19, 1996
LONDON -- In London's Theatre Museum, the expression, "Give me a hand," is taken literally. Well, almost.Among the exhibits at this distinctive museum is a corridor of autographed, multicolored handprints made by such members of Britain's theatrical elite as Ian McKellen and Diana Rigg. (Timothy Dalton's was dirty and smudged from visitors fitting their hands over it.)This British re-interpretation of the cement prints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in California is just one of the unusual displays at a museum that proves not all London theater takes place on stage.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | December 1, 2002
In a borrowed flat on a mid-autumn London night, Nicholas Maw is savoring the experience he had a few hours earlier: Singers and orchestra rehearsing his latest score together for the first time. Back in the early 1990s, the British-born composer decided to create an opera based on Sophie's Choice, the acclaimed novel by William Styron about one woman's unbearable experiences in the Holocaust. The wait for its realization has been long, but worth it. "It's really astonishing hearing the music in totality," Maw says by phone, in between sips of a freshly stirred martini.
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NEWS
September 21, 1992
Sir Geraint Evans, the Welsh coal miner's son who became one of the world's leading baritones, died yesterday. He was 70. Sir Geraint died at Bronglais Hospital, in Aberystwyth, Wales, where he was admitted eight days earlier after a heart attack at his home in North Wales, the hospital said. He served as principal baritone at Covent Garden for 36 years, from his debut in 1948 until his emotional final performance in Donizetti's "L'Elisir D'Amore" June 4, 1984. He was best known for his portrayal of Verdi's Falstaff, which he first performed in 1957 at the Glyndebourne music festival in England.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 30, 2002
When an ailing Luciano Pavarotti failed to deliver what was widely assumed to be his swan song at the Metropolitan Opera on May 11, the unmistakable sound of an era ending could be heard. It didn't matter that Pavarotti would sing again, somewhere. (He just announced he'll retire in 2005 upon turning 70.) So much was - perhaps unjustifiably - riding on that gala Met performance that his no-show sparked a lot of carrying on about his vocal obsolescence. Maybe the real message of that whole, sorry incident is that it's time for the next generation of opera stars to take center stage.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 1, 1993
The circus meets the ballet in some of the 20th century's greatest music is the way the Washington Opera's current production of Janacek's "The Cunning Little Vixen" can best be described. There is superb choreography, there are enchanting costumes, there is a high-trapeze act, there are flying machines and there are sets that feature gyring clocks and machine parts. But the most wonderful thing about this production, which was created for London's Covent Garden in 1990 and which has now opened at the Kennedy Center, is that it does not overwhelm Janacek's tender animal fable about human yearning and resignation.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 9, 2000
For legions of musical theater fans, Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" is the fairest of them all. Written in 1956, this musical based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion" is a witty exploration of altering class distinctions by acquiring proper speech. In the production running through April 23, the cast delivers all that is required, and more, to make "My Fair Lady" one of the best shows ever at Chesapeake Music Hall. The play opens outside Covent Garden, where Professor Henry Higgins takes notes on cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle's speech patterns.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,London Bureau of The Sun | August 12, 1994
London -- The secrets of Freemasonry used to be exposed in little blue books published by obsessive authors writing from obscure corners of Kansas.The brethren once guarded the mysteries so closely that the penalty for revealing a secret was to have one's tongue "torn out by the root and buried in the sand of the sea at low water mark." Whether any tongues ever vanished beneath the surf is problematic, but the secrets prevailed.The Freemasons here are more relaxed these days. They invite you into the inner chamber of their Grand Lodge, where they're likely to show you the worn brocade work on the arms of the throne of Grand and Worshipful Masters.
NEWS
By Michele Nevard | February 22, 1995
LONDON -- I OWE a debt of gratitude to George Peabody, the 19th-century Baltimore and London banker-philanthropist. In fact he's the reason I have a roof over my head.My building was erected at the turn of the century after Lord Shaftesbury, one of Britain's leading social reformers, persuaded Peabody that housing for the working class was an excellent use for his philanthropy.Sometimes I don't know whether to bless him or curse him when I'm struggling up five flights of stone steps to my apartment, lugging heavy shopping bags.
FEATURES
By Bill Glauber and Bill Glauber,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | November 6, 1997
LONDON -- This week, Britain's new Labor government ignited an artistic brawl on an operatic scale.Labor unveiled plans to wedge into one building London's two proud, prestigious and financially ailing opera companies.The government also wants to squeeze a ballet company into the venue, the celebrated Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, which is closed until 1999 while undergoing a $300 million redevelopment.If British culture, media and sport secretary Chris Smith get their way, they'll even sandblast the words "Royal Opera House" off the refurbished venue's facade, renaming it the Covent Garden Theater.
FEATURES
By Bill Glauber and Bill Glauber,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | January 20, 1996
LONDON -- The best opera in town features a diva who loses her voice, a ticket manager who is fired, and two bartenders who work side by side but who haven't spoken to one another for decades.And that's just the behind-the-scenes stuff.Britain's performing-arts world is in a panic with the unveiling of a six-part British Broadcasting Corp. documentary on a year in the life of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.The fly-on-the-wall show, "The House," was supposed to provide a warts-and-all look at one of Britain's more hallowed cultural institutions.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 9, 2000
For legions of musical theater fans, Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" is the fairest of them all. Written in 1956, this musical based on George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion" is a witty exploration of altering class distinctions by acquiring proper speech. In the production running through April 23, the cast delivers all that is required, and more, to make "My Fair Lady" one of the best shows ever at Chesapeake Music Hall. The play opens outside Covent Garden, where Professor Henry Higgins takes notes on cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle's speech patterns.
FEATURES
By Bill Glauber and Bill Glauber,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | November 6, 1997
LONDON -- This week, Britain's new Labor government ignited an artistic brawl on an operatic scale.Labor unveiled plans to wedge into one building London's two proud, prestigious and financially ailing opera companies.The government also wants to squeeze a ballet company into the venue, the celebrated Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, which is closed until 1999 while undergoing a $300 million redevelopment.If British culture, media and sport secretary Chris Smith get their way, they'll even sandblast the words "Royal Opera House" off the refurbished venue's facade, renaming it the Covent Garden Theater.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | February 19, 1996
LONDON -- In London's Theatre Museum, the expression, "Give me a hand," is taken literally. Well, almost.Among the exhibits at this distinctive museum is a corridor of autographed, multicolored handprints made by such members of Britain's theatrical elite as Ian McKellen and Diana Rigg. (Timothy Dalton's was dirty and smudged from visitors fitting their hands over it.)This British re-interpretation of the cement prints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in California is just one of the unusual displays at a museum that proves not all London theater takes place on stage.
FEATURES
By Bill Glauber and Bill Glauber,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | January 20, 1996
LONDON -- The best opera in town features a diva who loses her voice, a ticket manager who is fired, and two bartenders who work side by side but who haven't spoken to one another for decades.And that's just the behind-the-scenes stuff.Britain's performing-arts world is in a panic with the unveiling of a six-part British Broadcasting Corp. documentary on a year in the life of the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.The fly-on-the-wall show, "The House," was supposed to provide a warts-and-all look at one of Britain's more hallowed cultural institutions.
NEWS
By Michele Nevard | February 22, 1995
LONDON -- I OWE a debt of gratitude to George Peabody, the 19th-century Baltimore and London banker-philanthropist. In fact he's the reason I have a roof over my head.My building was erected at the turn of the century after Lord Shaftesbury, one of Britain's leading social reformers, persuaded Peabody that housing for the working class was an excellent use for his philanthropy.Sometimes I don't know whether to bless him or curse him when I'm struggling up five flights of stone steps to my apartment, lugging heavy shopping bags.
FEATURES
By Carl Schoettler and Carl Schoettler,London Bureau of The Sun | August 12, 1994
London -- The secrets of Freemasonry used to be exposed in little blue books published by obsessive authors writing from obscure corners of Kansas.The brethren once guarded the mysteries so closely that the penalty for revealing a secret was to have one's tongue "torn out by the root and buried in the sand of the sea at low water mark." Whether any tongues ever vanished beneath the surf is problematic, but the secrets prevailed.The Freemasons here are more relaxed these days. They invite you into the inner chamber of their Grand Lodge, where they're likely to show you the worn brocade work on the arms of the throne of Grand and Worshipful Masters.
NEWS
By Roger Dettmer | August 23, 1992
THE MAESTRO MYTH.Norman Lebrecht.Birch Lane Press.379 pages. $22.50.Books about musical conductors -- not counting how-to manuals -- tend either to kowtow or to muckrake. (The late Elliott Galkin's voluminous "History," published in 1989, managed to do all three, but even it suffered from errata.) "The Maestro Myth" muckrakes, with a vengeance and no little bravado. But the author, a British journalist of middle years, may have seen too many Hollywood westerns.In a showdown with alleged rustlers, hustlers, robbers and varmints belonging to a worldwide podium cartel, Norman Lebrecht is quick to draw but has a lousy aim. He shoots off so many of his own toes that outrage is maimed; he falls time and again on his face, sparing the enemy any need to load, much less to return his fire.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | December 1, 2002
In a borrowed flat on a mid-autumn London night, Nicholas Maw is savoring the experience he had a few hours earlier: Singers and orchestra rehearsing his latest score together for the first time. Back in the early 1990s, the British-born composer decided to create an opera based on Sophie's Choice, the acclaimed novel by William Styron about one woman's unbearable experiences in the Holocaust. The wait for its realization has been long, but worth it. "It's really astonishing hearing the music in totality," Maw says by phone, in between sips of a freshly stirred martini.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Music Critic | March 1, 1993
The circus meets the ballet in some of the 20th century's greatest music is the way the Washington Opera's current production of Janacek's "The Cunning Little Vixen" can best be described. There is superb choreography, there are enchanting costumes, there is a high-trapeze act, there are flying machines and there are sets that feature gyring clocks and machine parts. But the most wonderful thing about this production, which was created for London's Covent Garden in 1990 and which has now opened at the Kennedy Center, is that it does not overwhelm Janacek's tender animal fable about human yearning and resignation.
NEWS
September 21, 1992
Sir Geraint Evans, the Welsh coal miner's son who became one of the world's leading baritones, died yesterday. He was 70. Sir Geraint died at Bronglais Hospital, in Aberystwyth, Wales, where he was admitted eight days earlier after a heart attack at his home in North Wales, the hospital said. He served as principal baritone at Covent Garden for 36 years, from his debut in 1948 until his emotional final performance in Donizetti's "L'Elisir D'Amore" June 4, 1984. He was best known for his portrayal of Verdi's Falstaff, which he first performed in 1957 at the Glyndebourne music festival in England.
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