The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Valley Aid - Manic Street Preachers frontman James Dean Bradfield will join Grammy award winner Amy Wadge in a fundraising event for flood victims hit by Storm Denis in the Welsh valleys. Bradfield will play at a two-day Valley Aid concert in March. Thousands were affected in Wales by widespread flooding and flood warnings and alerts are in place across Wales. Crowdfunding pages have already raised thousands for flood-hit communities. Now Welsh musicians are rallying to help raise funds for the valleys in a two-day festival at the Pop Factory in Porth on 13 and 14 March.
Mobile Menace - A conductor twice stopped an opera in Cardiff after mobile phones rang in the audience. Carlo Rizzi was conducting Welsh National Opera's new production of Verdi's Les Vêpres Sicilienes, at Donald Gordon Theatre at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday night. Audience members said Rizzi twice stopped and spoke to the audience about the distraction it caused.
Backstage Careers - A new research project is to take a workshop into schools that aims to introduce students to careers in backstage roles. The project will also investigate young people’s attitudes towards a career in theatre in a bid to improve backstage diversity. The Backstage Absences project is being led by associate lecturer at Bedford FE College and former costume supervisor, Isolde Walker, and former stage manager and freelance technician, Bex Foskett.
Walker and Foskett have developed a workshop which they will take into local secondary schools to introduce 14 to 16-year-olds to backstage roles. They will gather data on the participants’ opinions towards a career in theatre and the workshop. This is a pilot study, with funding from Bedford FE College, which Walker and Foskett hope to expand in the future to gather more data. Walker said: “Where we want this project to go, is to create an educational foundation that is about getting [young people from a range of backgrounds] into theatre, but we can’t do that until we know why they’re not coming and what theatre means to them.”
Chile Protests - Violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters overshadowed the opening night of Latin America's biggest music festival in the Chilean resort of Viña del Mar. Masked demonstrators attacked shops and the O'Higgins Hotel, where many of the artists are staying. The local governor denounced their actions as "vandalism".
The clashes are the latest show of discontent after four months of protests against economic inequality. The event finally started with a short delay and with presenter Martín Cárcomo saying, "We dream of a better future, of a just, diverse and inclusive Chile with more and better opportunities for all.” Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin opened the show and told Chileans he was "with you Chile, never silent, always with love and peace".
Young Pretender - Justin Bieber's seventh album, Changes, has debuted at the top of the US Billboard chart - beating a record set by Elvis Presley 59 years ago. The Canadian singer is now the youngest solo artist to achieve seven number one albums, at the age of 25 years. Elvis was 26 when he scored his seventh chart-topper, with Blue Hawaii in 1961. Changes, which is Bieber's first album in four years also topped the UK chart last week.
(Jim Evans)
25 February 2020

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