The Week in Light & Sound
Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Acoustic Shock - The Royal Opera House has lost an appeal against a viola player who was awarded damages in 2018 for hearing loss he suffered during rehearsals for Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Christopher Goldscheider is a former viola player in the orchestra at Covent Garden, who said he was no longer able to work as a musician due to “acoustic shock” he suffered during a weekend rehearsal in 2012.
Goldscheider said the noise he was exposed to was unacceptable, and a judge ruled in his favour in March. However, in October the ROH, which is being represented by law firm BLM, was granted permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal has now upheld Goldscheider’s case, although on narrower grounds. Specifically, it overturned the High Court finding that Control of Noise at Work Regulations meant employers were required to enforce the wearing of hearing protection for all players at all times during the course of a rehearsal or performance over a certain volume.
The ROH as well as the Association of British Orchestras, UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre had argued that this would impose impossible restrictions on almost any live music situation.
Earth Song - An all-star animated environmental music video featuring the voices of Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande has gone viral on social media. The song In Earth, by comedian and rapper Lil Dicky, also has cameos from Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg and Miley Cyrus. Speaking to Time, Dicky - aka David Burd - said: "What started as a silly joke of an idea along the way became the most important thing I'll ever do."
A share of proceeds will go to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. DiCaprio, who campaigns on environmental issues, also makes an animated appearance towards the end of the seven-minute long video. In Earth has had more than 2.5m views on YouTube since going live early on Friday.
Oliviers Revamped - Next year’s Olivier Awards are to be revamped, in a move that will see the removal of a standalone comedy prize and usher in a new award for a family show. The Society of London Theatre’s board has agreed on several changes to the voting procedures and categories that will come into effect when the awards return in 2020.
The best new comedy and best entertainment and family categories will cease to exist and will instead be reshuffled into two new categories – best entertainment or comedy play, and best family show. The family show award will be judged by a newly created panel comprising five pairs of people, each made up of one adult and one child, for example their son, daughter or grandchild. Three of the pairs will include adults from a professional theatre background and two will be from the general public.
On The Fringe - Pet Shop Boys have created a new cabaret musical that will premiere at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, starring Frances Barber. Written with playwright Jonathan Harvey, Musik will include four new songs by Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, as well as six other songs by the band.
It is the second theatre collaboration between Harvey and Pet Shop Boys, and follows 2001’s Closer to Heaven.
(Jim Evans)
23 April 2019

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