The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 28 February 2023
Eurovision Funding - The Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Liverpool in May, will get £10m from the UK government, it has been announced. It will be spent on operational costs like security and visas, as well as making sure the event "showcases Ukrainian culture". Local authorities in Liverpool have already pledged £4m in funding. About 3,000 tickets to the song contest will also be made available for Ukrainians living in the UK.
Liverpool is staging the event at its M&S Bank Arena on behalf of Ukraine. It will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in the UK for 25 years. The government funding is intended to "support security, visa arrangements and other operational aspects of the contest", the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.
The money will also support Liverpool City Council as well as host broadcaster the BBC's partnerships with Ukrainian acts "to ensure a collaborative show celebrating music and how it unites people", it said in a statement. It is the first time the government has confirmed its financial contribution.
Last year the Italian government did not directly pledge any money towards the annual event, the BBC has learned. Instead, the host city of Turin spent roughly £10m on the song contest - with officials claiming it made the money back "seven times" over through tourism.
Crown Works - Plans for a new UK film studio complex touted as one of the largest in Europe have been unveiled. Crown Works Studios has been proposed as a new production hub on the banks of the River Wear in Sunderland. Construction is projected to begin this year and end in 2027 but the scheme is dependent on government support and subject to planning processes. "It is a clear show of confidence in the region and its people," Sunderland Central MP, Julie Elliot said. Proposals suggest 1.68m sq ft (156,077 sq m) studio space including up to 20 sound stages, along with production buildings and workshops, could be built at Pallion.
The companies behind the scheme, Fulwell 73 and Cain International, claim it could create more than 8,000 jobs across the North East. Partners said the studio would "put the region on the map as a global production destination", adding, "We are unified in our belief that there is a unique opportunity to bring further high end production to the UK through this ambitious Sunderland-based studio.”
Lift Me Up - Rihanna is scheduled to perform Lift Me Up during the biggest night in Hollywood - the Oscars. The song, created with Tems, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson, was featured on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. It has been nominated for best original song, marking Rihanna's first Oscar nod. The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast on 12 March and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
King’s Theatre - The long-planned refurbishment of Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre will go ahead after funding was secured to plug a £8.9 million gap in the project’s budget. In January, Capital Theatres, the charity that runs the King’s Theatre, revealed that the cost of refurbishing the 117-year-old venue had risen from £26.7m to £35.6m due to inflation, and that it faced permanent closure if the resulting funding gap could not be closed within 35 days.
The Scottish government and the City of Edinburgh Council have now stepped in with additional investment, meaning Capital Theatres can proceed with the refurbishment.
Welsh Music - Opera star Bryn Terfel has partnered with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to launch a foundation to support artists training at the institution. The foundation, which is called Cronfa Syr Bryn Terfel, will provide scholarships and bursaries for students who face financial barriers. It will also fund a new international biennial song prize from 2024, with competitors required to include at least one song in Welsh and one in their own language. Winners of the competition, which is open to students at the college and from other UK and international conservatoires, will receive £5,000.
"At the start of their careers young artists dream of achieving great things, just as young sportsmen and women do," Terfel said.
State Memorial - Thousands of people have paid their respects to the late Australian actress and singer Olivia Newton-John at a state memorial in her home city of Melbourne. The 73-year-old died in August in the United States following a long battle with breast cancer. Newton-John was best known for her role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease and for musical hits such as Physical.
Her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, said, "I stand here before you so desperately wanting to feel strong and confident and speak eloquently but the truth is, I feel like a little girl lost without her mother," said Ms Lattanzi while fighting back tears at the service. "She was my safe space, my guide, my biggest fan and the earth beneath my feet."
(Jim Evans)
28 February 2023

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends