The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Operatic Moves - Glyndebourne Opera House in East Sussex is planning to present live opera outdoors in August, seven weeks on from cancelling its entire summer season. Mesdames de la Halle (1858), Jacques Offenbach's one-act opera about vegetable sellers in Paris, will be staged with 12 singers but no chorus. Props and costumes will come from past operas, while the number of musicians will be reduced from 40 to 13. The audience will be limited to 200 people, with tickets costing £100 each.
Audience members will be seated outside in accordance with social distancing guidelines, while performances will be cancelled on the event of bad weather. "Experiencing live music and theatre, together, in an inspiring environment is what Glyndebourne is all about," said artistic director Stephen Langridge. "We are fortunate in having plenty of outside space available to us, and with a little imagination, we saw exciting musical and theatrical opportunities for performance in the gardens."
With coronavirus lockdown measures being gradually scaled back nationwide, some UK opera and theatre companies are tentatively contemplating a return to live performance. Last month the organisers of the BBC Proms said they hoped musicians could perform at the Royal Albert Hall for the last two weeks of the two-month classical music festival.
Cease and Desist - The family of late singer Tom Petty has issued Donald Trump with a cease and desist notice after he played one of his songs at a rally. The family said the president was not authorised to use the singer's music, and that Petty "would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate". The 1989 rock song I Won't Back Down was reportedly played at President Trump's comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.
Criticising Mr Trump's re-election campaign, the family said he "leaves too many Americans and common sense behind". The one-page statement went on: "Both the late Tom Petty and his family firmly stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together."
In The Saleroom - A guitar played by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain in a rare acoustic concert has sold for a record $6m (£4.9m). Cobain played the retro acoustic-electric 1959 Martin D-18E during a legendary MTV Unplugged performance in 1993, just five months before he died. At $6.01m after fees, the guitar is the most expensive ever sold at auction, Julien's Auctions said. Bidding in Los Angeles opened at $1m and was won by Rode Microphones founder Peter Freedman who said he planned to take the guitar on a worldwide tour, with proceeds to go to supporting the performing arts.
(Jim Evans)
23 June 2020

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