sábado, 31 de julio de 2021



By Marion Mirande

Philippe Jordan, Music Director of the Paris Opera since 2009, has just left his post after guiding the institution's Orchestra and Chorus to musical summits and maintaining them there for twelve years. A highly fruitful collaboration, characterized by musical and human exchanges, as testified by musicians and chorus members. 



The new opera, which anchored the Aix-en-Provence Festival, is a monumental cry against gun violence.

By Alex Ross

Kaija Saariaho’s opera “Innocence,” which had its première at the Aix-en-Provence Festival on July 3rd, contains one of the most unnerving scenes I’ve witnessed at a theatre. About forty minutes into the piece, in a scene marked “IT,” the chorus chants the phrase “When it happened” in staggered rhythm, with low piano and double-basses punching up each syllable. A frame drum raps out sixteenth notes in rapid-fire bursts, and two trumpets let loose a series of “rips”—quick, shrieking upward glissandos. Then the orchestral mayhem cuts off abruptly; sopranos oscillate queasily between the notes A-flat and G; and the brutal rhythm resumes in the percussion. The terror is made explicit onstage, as a high-school student stumbles through a door, his arms covered in blood. A shooter, a fellow-student, is laying siege to a Finnish international school. Opera, which has been making art from death for more than four centuries, is recording a new kind of horror.

The shock of the moment is redoubled by the fact that the audience is only just discovering what the opera is really about. At the beginning, a strangely cheerless wedding reception is in progress, at a restaurant in Finland. The groom’s brother was involved in an unnamed tragedy ten years in the past; the bride, an immigrant from Romania, knows nothing of that history. A waitress is sickened upon learning which family has hired her for a wedding: her daughter died in the tragedy in question. Evasive locutions of politeness and shame conceal the specifics of what happened until performers begin enacting the memories of the survivors.

The libretto is by the Finnish-Estonian novelist Sofi Oksanen, who knows how to play on our expectations and then short-circuit them. The title is ironic: the characters refuse to arrange themselves into a simplistic array of heroes and villains. The killer is never heard from, though there are glimpses of him as a bullied kid. The aftermath is chaotic: media sensationalism and political doublespeak have done their work. The groom confesses that he rejoices at the news of new shootings, because they confirm that “monsters are bred in other families, too.” A teacher subjects her students’ papers to paranoid analysis, searching for signs of mental instability: “I reported any weird syntax in their essays, any change in their handwriting, until I understood I wasn’t fit for teaching anymore.”

The psychological-thriller components of “Innocence” mark a change for Saariaho, who rose to fame by employing modernist and avant-garde techniques to summon otherworldly, dreamlike spheres. Her best-known score is the opera “L’Amour de Loin,” which premièred in Salzburg in 2000 and arrived at the Met in 2016; it gorgeously evokes the rarefied longings of the twelfth-century troubadour Jaufré Rudel. Saariaho’s second opera, “Adriana Mater” (2006), made a turn toward contemporary reality, telling of a woman raped in time of war, but its approach was more meditative and abstract. “Innocence,” which Saariaho completed in 2018, has a seething rawness. It’s as if the turmoil of recent years had prompted her to abandon aesthetic distance and enter the melee of the real.

Saariaho has said in an interview that she modelled “Innocence” on two great Expressionist shockers of the early twentieth century, “Elektra” and “Wozzeck.” Like those operas, “Innocence” lasts less than two hours, its five acts and twenty-five scenes unfolding without interruption. The orchestral prologue introduces familiar elements of Saariaho’s sound world: solo woodwind and brass lines that twirl about or trill in place; eerie clockwork ostinatos on celesta and harp; grandly groaning textures for full ensemble. Sharper-edged, more propulsive patterns soon break in, but they seldom establish a steady forward motion. The atmosphere is at once sensual and unsettled—dread in vivid colors.

Generational and demographic divides in the opera’s community are evident in a controlled squabble of vocal styles. The members of the wedding party—labelled Bride, Groom, Mother-in-Law, Father-in-Law, Priest, and Waitress—are conventional singing parts. Five survivors of the shooting are portrayed by actors or singing actors, who speak, variously, in Swedish, French, Spanish, German, and Greek. An English teacher chants her lines in Sprechstimme—the half-spoken, half-sung manner associated with Schoenberg’s vocal works. Markéta, the shooting victim mourned by her waitress mother, makes ghostly visitations, her folkish, singsong melodies slicing through the prevailing density of Saariaho’s harmonic textures.

The début production in Aix, directed by Simon Stone, was hypernaturalist in style, pitting the ordinary against the unthinkable. The set designer Chloe Lamford, in collaboration with the lighting designer James Farncombe, assembled a handsomely drab array of dining rooms, kitchens, classrooms, bathrooms, and stairwells. The year could have been any since 1950, but Mel Page’s costumes narrowed the time frame to the early two-thousands. The entire set rested on a turntable in constant motion; in the later stages of the opera, as trauma resurfaced, the school spaces replaced the wedding venue, with splashes of blood appearing on smudged white walls. (Nimble stagehands pulled off rapid set changes.) The cinematic fluidity of the spectacle proved just as effective on a video stream, which I watched a week after the première.

At the head of the cast was the Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená, who embodied the part of the Waitress with unremitting expressive force. Sandrine Piau and Lilian Farahani gave nuanced portraits of the Mother-in-Law and the Bride; Tuomas Pursio and Markus Nykänen occasionally struggled with the acting demands of, respectively, the Father-in-Law and the Groom. Lucy Shelton was wrenching as the Teacher, who conveys the opera’s battered moral core. Among the actor-singers, Vilma Jää exuded an almost demonic purity as Markéta, and Julie Hega made a mesmerizing, husky-voiced enigma of the student Iris, who unexpectedly dominates the final scenes. Susanna Mälkki, conducting the London Symphony and the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, brought to bear her customary precision and authority.

“Innocence” will travel widely: both the Met and the San Francisco Opera are set to present the work in future seasons. I wonder how American audiences will cope with its unsparing approach to a subject that, for several decades, has been locked in accelerating cycles of national insanity. No false tone of healing or hope is sounded at the end; instead, the circles of complicity keep widening. What rescues the opera from utter bleakness is the inherent beauty of Saariaho’s writing. In the concluding bars, a darkly glowing harmony emerges, somewhere in the vicinity of B major, though a dissonant C in the double-basses prevents full resolution. Ominously or not, it is the same note on which the opera begins.

An easing of pandemic restrictions allowed Aix to muster a full schedule this summer, with eight operatic productions. Aside from “Innocence,” the most elaborate offering was “Tristan und Isolde,” with Simon Rattle conducting the London Symphony. Stone was again the director, and, as is his habit, he brought with him marvellously detailed realist sets: the first act takes place in a deluxe high-rise Paris apartment, the second in an architect’s office, the third in the Métro. The concept is, however, a tired one: Isolde as an haute-bourgeoise who escapes an unhappy marriage by daydreaming about her life in mythic terms. For the most part, the conceit fails to cohere with Wagner’s drama, though the subway sequences attain a surreal poetry. The leads, Nina Stemme and Stuart Skelton, were the same as when Rattle conducted “Tristan” at the Met, in 2016. On the second night of the run, Stemme fell short of her usual standard, but Skelton was in total command, singing with superhuman intensity through the tenor slaughterhouse of Act III.

On another night, I took a bus to Arles for the première of Samir Odeh-Tamimi’s music-theatre piece “L’Apocalypse Arabe,” based on a poetic cycle by the Lebanese American author and artist Etel Adnan. The performance took place in the Grande Halle of the Luma Arles arts complex, in the asymmetrical shadow of Frank Gehry’s newly inaugurated Luma tower. Adnan’s text conjures up the long nightmare of the Lebanese Civil War; Odeh-Tamimi, an Israeli-Palestinian composer who has long resided in Germany, responds with a molten score, mixing jagged instrumental textures with rumbling electronica. The poems are variously sung and recited by a five-member female chorus and by a male observer known as the Witness. The staging, by Pierre Audi, Aix’s general director, dwelled on tableaux of figures silhouetted against a desert sun. After an arresting start, the work failed to take flight as drama, its imagery oblique and repetitive. Still, the baritone Thomas Oliemans thrashed about compellingly in the lead role, and Ilan Volkov elicited potent playing from the Ensemble Modern.

A few hours before seeing “Innocence,” I attended a theatricalized Baroque program titled “Combattimento: The Black Swan Theory.” The staging concept, by Silvia Costa, was largely unintelligible, but the music-making was so superb that the random appearance of cribs and mushroom clouds could be safely ignored. The Ensemble Correspondances, under the direction of Sébastien Daucé, led a sumptuous grand tour of seventeenth-century Italian vocalism, placing Monteverdi’s madrigal-cantata “Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda” alongside excerpts from operas and oratorios by Francesco Cavalli, Luigi Rossi, and Giacomo Carissimi. Amid a formidable lineup of younger singers, the mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot stood out for her lustrous rendition of “Alle ruine del mio regno,” Hecuba’s apocalyptic aria from Cavalli’s “Didone.” In the wake of Saariaho’s monumental cry against violence, I thought back to the deposed Queen of Troy and her search for a “way to lament, beyond tears.” That way is music, then as now.



 Beauty remains an uncomfortable territory for many contemporary artists, which makes the boldness of Sarah Ann Weber’s aesthetics all the more compelling.

by Daniel Gerwin

Sarah Ann Weber, "A dreamful ease (2021), oil and colored pencil on panel, 72 x 96 inches (all images courtesy the artist and Anat Ebgi, photos by Matthew Kroening)

LOS ANGELES — I was recently on the East Coast for the first time in years, and I was stunned by the emerald landscape. Everywhere I looked, verdant trees towered, the likes of which simply do not exist where I live in Southern California. What Los Angeles has is the exoticism of desert plants, which defy imagination with their varied hues and surprising adaptations. Strong Blossoming Thing Forever, Sarah Ann Weber’s current exhibition at Anat Ebgi in Culver City, is a profusion of flora that evokes a coral reef on land, conjured in a color palette rich and tender, never blasting out its notes. The show includes works in paint and colored pencil, on either panel or paper. Female figures appear among the vegetation, featureless nudes whose empty forms are either blank or filled with leaves, vines, and flowers.

Weber’s floral landscape work emerged for the first time in 2017, at the now-closed Club Pro. At the time I was arrested by the energy in her packed, jungle-like overgrowths, more phantasmagoric than real. While you will not find any of Weber’s flowers in a field guide, she tells me they are inspired by frequent hikes around Los Angeles. Growing up in Chicago, she developed a love for the landscape by visiting the Fullersburg Woods with her family, where they would ride bicycles or hike in the summer and cross-country ski in the winter. The turning point was a trip to France that Weber took in 2016, where she did a lot of plein air sketching in parks. After returning to California, she brought those drawings to the studio and worked them over in color pencil, arriving at the visual language she continues to explore today.

Weber deftly uses her hallucinatory plant forms to orchestrate scintillating color relationships. In “A dreamful ease” (all works 2021), radiating gray vines descend from the central top border, shifting to a subtle blue at their edges, glowing against the sunset hues of the oil paint wash underneath. On the right side of this composition, a large bush formed by purple brushstrokes is festooned with lemon-yellow flowers, green leaves, pale blue water droplets, and pink and red dotted flower or leaf shapes. She fills her pictures with these fantasies, building up a rambunctious and captivating landscape.

Weber’s art has a confectionary quality, which turns out to have a delightful backstory. Her parents own a bakery in Chicago, a family business started by her grandfather in 1930 (her parents met at the bakery, in fact). Weber’s earliest aesthetic experiences are rooted in cake decorating, with its bright palette, rainbow spray, and sugar flowers. The first time I visited her studio, some five years ago, she was making work in fondant on glass, a literal response to her youth at the bakery. “Petals from blown roses” showcases her penchant for abundant profusions of flowers, in this case divided roughly into quadrants by hue: red and pink in the upper right, light and dark purples in the upper left, a range of blues in the bottom left, and greens dominating the bottom right.

Given her liberal use of pastels and floral imagery, it’s possible to imagine Weber’s work being dismissed as saccharine, but I suspect that what such a critique really means is too feminine, in the stereotypical sense of femininity: delicate and beautiful. Back in 1993, critic Dave Hickey wrote The Invisible Dragon, a series of essays attacking what he identified as a reigning taboo against beauty in the late 20th century. Hickey needn’t have worried. Nearly three decades later, visual pleasure has not been choked off by the theoretical focus of conceptualism, nor by the postmodern dematerialization of the object. Nevertheless, beauty remains an uncomfortable territory for many contemporary artists, which makes the boldness of Weber’s aesthetics all the more compelling.

While the beauty taboo Hickey railed against is surely linked to America’s puritanical inclinations, it may really have been just another attempt to shut women out of fine art. In his 2017 book The Wild Children of William Blake, art critic John Yau (an editor of Hyperallergic Weekend) observed that the death of painting was conveniently declared in the 1980s, just as women were increasingly making themselves known as painters. Women were leaders in the contemporaneous Pattern and Decoration movement, which embraced beauty, using floral imagery to make a point about claiming for art all things considered feminine.

The DNA of Pattern and Decoration is evident in Weber’s paintings and drawings, as is her interest in tapestry, another category historically associated with women. “Return no more” shows the influence of tapestry in her work, its shallow space receding as the eye ascends from the bottom to the top.

The feminist underpinnings of Weber’s work go further. Female figures alone populate these oneiric gardens, and their poses are not naturalistic but rigidly classical. Weber explained to me that she sources her figures (and sometimes her compositions) from canonical paintings such as Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus,” as well as art nouveau fairy tale illustration. The figures embody such cliches as the damsel in distress and the succubus, stereotypes that Weber says she’s had to deal with throughout her life and now seeks to reclaim. Through her paintings and drawings, she wrestles with the twin inheritances of art history and sexism.

To my eye, the figures are stiffly rendered and look pasted in, injecting an awkward note of frozen rationality into an otherwise unadulterated flow of psychic wilderness. Yet Weber has put them there for a reason, hinted at by the titles of the works, all mashups of lines from 19th-century poet Alfred Tennyson’s “The Lotos-Eaters” (1832). Tennyson’s poem retells a passage from Homer’s Odyssey, in which sailors are trapped on an island by its magical flowers and fruit; they become passive and helpless in a deadly paradise. Weber’s Edenic worlds are fatal to men just as the pitcher plant kills through seduction: her paintings assert the strength and power in conventional notions of femininity.

In most of the works, the female figures appear on the shore of a pond, lake, or stream. Looking at them I imagine myself as Actaeon stumbling upon the graceful Artemis bathing among her attendants. I will be turned into a stag, prey to my own hounds.


viernes, 30 de julio de 2021


Esta exposición, disponible desde el 29 de julio en march.es, explora la relación del pintor holandés con la música

La Fundación Juan March publicó el jueves 29 de julio en su renovada página web una nueva exposición digital que, con el título Mondrian y la música, profundiza en la música que escuchaba el artista holandés Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), en la de sus amigos músicos, en la de los compositores en quienes influyó, y en su teoría musical.

Esta exposición, comisariada por José Luis Maire, bibliotecario de música de la Fundación Juan March, por Inés Vallejo, jefa de proyecto expositivo, y por Manuel Fontán del Junco, director de Exposiciones y Museos, es la tercera que dedica la institución al pintor holandés. La primera fue Mondrian. Óleos, acuarelas y dibujos, la primera monográfica celebrada en España, en 1982. La segunda y primera digital de la institución, El caso Mondrian, rescató del archivo de la institución las voces de artistas que le conocieron como Max Bill o Harry Holtzman, y exploró su interés por otras artes, su relación con España, su influencia en otros creadores y cómo su radical pureza artística ha sido engullida por el consumo de masas. Esta tercera exposición, Mondrian y la música, disponible en march.es durante un año, invita a adentrarse en su pasión por la música, un interés fundamental tanto para su vida personal como para su creación artística, pero apenas atendido hasta el momento.

Mondrian era un entusiasta del jazz, y la mayor parte de su colección de discos estaba dedicada a este género y a los bailes modernos. Afincado primero en París y luego en Nueva York, el gramófono sonaba constantemente en su estudio, donde pintaba acompañado de la música de Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbecke o Paul Whiteman.

En los años veinte, Mondrian se apuntó a clases de bailes de salón, y solía acudir a los cafés parisinos, donde se le podía encontrar bailando con un estilo muy particular, que producía un extraño contraste con su aspecto austero. A su llegada a Estados Unidos quiso conocer los estilos musicales en boga en el momento y se interesó especialmente por el boogie-woogie, que escuchó por primera vez por sugerencia de su amigo Harry Holtzman en su primera o segunda noche en Nueva York. La estructura musical de este género le sirvió de modelo directo para su pintura, como muestra su famosa Broadway Boogie-woogie. De todo ello da cuenta la primera parte de la muestra, “En el estudio de Piet Mondrian: músicas escuchadas y bailadas”.

La segunda sección, “Al oído de Mondrian: teósofos, ruidistas italianos y amigos, compositores e intérpretes” relata la adhesión de Mondrian a la Sociedad Teosófica en 1909 y su relación con compositores como el teósofo Jakob van Domselaer o el holandés Daniël Ruyneman, que influyeron notablemente en su teoría estética y en su concepción del ritmo visual. Aborda también su amistad con una de las principales pianistas del dadaísmo, Nelly van Moorsel, a la que conoció en París en los años veinte.

A lo largo del siglo xx, el pintor influyó igualmente en otros muchos compositores, como Thelonious Monk, que comparaba su búsqueda de la precisión en cada pulsación con la del pintor al disponer las líneas y colores sobre el lienzo. También en Morton Feldman, Louis Andriessen, Iannis Xenakis o Karel Goeyvaerts, y, más recientemente, en algunos artistas como Sándor Vály que han realizado piezas estrechamente ligadas a su pintura. En esas influencias se centra la tercera sección de la exposición, “Piet Mondrian resuena en…”

Además, el pintor desarrolló su propia teoría musical, como demuestra la colección de citas de la última sección de la exposición, “Mondrian: sobre el sonido, la música y los músicos”, que contiene referencias bibliográficas y discográficas para el investigador...........




Online dal 2 agosto 2021

Il 2021 è un anno speciale per tutti gli appassionati di canto, e in particolare di “tenorismo” all’italiana, perché si ricordano i cento anni dalla scomparsa di Enrico Caruso e dalla nascita di Franco Corelli e Giuseppe Di Stefano, due tenori molto scaligeri che hanno simbolicamente raccolto l’eredità del cantante più famoso che sia mai esistito (per intenderci, il primo ad aver venduto più di un milione di dischi).

Il prossimo 2 agosto, esattamente un secolo dopo la morte di Caruso, sarà lanciata online la prima mostra della Scala pensata interamente per il digitale, dal titolo “Caruso, Corelli, Di Stefano – Miti del canto italiano”. La mostra, curata dal critico musicale Mattia Palma, sarà un percorso immaginifico sviluppato da Punto Rec Studio, Factory Multimediale per la cultura, l’arte e la musica, con un allestimento virtuale all’interno del Teatro con video, ascolti, fotografie e perfino un concerto “impossibile” ricreato sul palcoscenico della Scala e tante altre sorprese da scoprire su questi magnifici artisti.

La mostra è un’iniziativa del Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale, diffusa in tutto il mondo negli Istituti Italiani di Cultura. L’accesso totalmente gratuito sarà disponibile dal sito della Scala, teatroallascala.org, sul sito del Museo e su quello del MAECI, Italiana.esteri.it.

Seguiteci anche su Facebook e Instagram @museoscala.



Il Premio Maria Callas 2021 va al basso Michele Pertusi

Il basso Michele Pertusi
Il basso Michele Pertusi

Nel settimo anno di vita del Premio internazionale Maria Callas, ideato e diretto dal 2 dicembre 2013 dal maestro Nicola Guerini nell'anno del 90° anniversario della nascita del grande soprano greco, il prestigioso riconoscimento che ogni volta omaggia una stella della lirica, va quest'anno al basso Michele Pertusi che sarà festeggiato il 2 agosto alle ore 17,30 all'Hotel Due Torri nell'affrescata sala Casarini.

L'evento é stato presentato oggi in Municipio dove Guerini ha illustrato lo svolgimento della manifestazione che prevede per motivi di sicurezza Covid la presenza di settanta spettatori, con mascherina e distanziati. Nel 2014 il regista Franco Zeffirelli é stato insignito del titolo di Presidente onorario del Festival, quindi gli artisti che hanno ricevuto la preziosa statuetta bronzea raffigurante la Divina realizzata in esclusiva dallo scultore veronese Albano Poli, é andata al soprano Maria Chiara, nel 2016 al baritono Rolando Panerai, nel 2017 al tenore Gianfranco Cecchele, nel 2018 al baritono Renato Bruson, nel 2019 al soprano Raina Kabaivanska.

Nello storico luogo che ospitò Mozart, Goethe, Wagner, Proust e Russki, l'Oscar scaligero al bel canto va dunque a Michele Pertusi, di cui Massimo Coserini, conduttore dell'incontro, traccerà insieme all'artista i momenti salienti della sua carriera costellata di tanti successi nei più prestigiosi teatri d'opera del mondo.



Nato a Parma Michele Pertusi é vincitore del Grammy Award, nel 2006, per l’incisione del Falstaff con la London Symphony Orchestra diretta da Colin Davis (LSO Live) e ha collaborato con direttori di fama internazionale quali Daniel Barenboim, Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Colin Davis, Daniele Gatti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Vladimir Jurowski, James Levine, Zubin Metha, Riccardo Muti, Antonio Pappano e Georg Solti, calcando i palcoscenici dei più importanti teatri al mondo, fra i quali l’Opéra Bastille, la Wiener Staa- tsoper, il Covent Garden, il Teatro alla Scala, il Metropolitan di New York, il Teatro Real di Madrid, il ROF Pesaro, la Bayerische Staatsoper, la Deutsche Oper di Berlino, la Monnaie di Bruxelles, l’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia e il Barbican Centre di Londra.

Ha inaugurato la stagione 2011-12 interpretando la Messa di Santa Cecilia di Gounod alla Salle Pleyel di Parigi, in seguito ha interpretato Faust al Liceu in Barcelona, al Covent Garden di Londra, Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio al Théâtre des Champs Elysées de Paris, L’elisir d’amore all’Opernhaus di Zurigo e Il viaggio a Reims al Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Fra i suoi prossimi impegni annovera Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio al Teatro alla Scala, Guillaume Tell all’Opernhaus di Zurigo, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Nabucco, La Cenerentola e Simon Boccanegra alla Wiener Staatsoper, La Damnation de Faust alla De Vlaamse Opera di Antwerp, I Puritani all’Opéra National de Paris, Attila all’Opéra Royal de Wallonie de Liége, La Sonnambula e I Puritani al Metropolitan Opera di New yORK.

L'evento Premio internazionale Maria Callas si svolge in collaborazione con Fondazione Giorgio Zanotto, con il patrocinio della Fondazione Arena di Verona, il patrocinio e sostegno del Comune di Verona e del Comune di Fiuggi Acqua & Terme Fiuggi S.p.a.

Michela Pezzani

jueves, 29 de julio de 2021



A veces hay que dejar hablar a los interesados, en este caso a una artista traumatizada, que encontró en el psicoanálisis y en Sigmund Freud, la respuesta para intentar curar muchas de sus heridas fundacionales, y finalmente llegó a sublimarlas en un corpus artístico impresionante. 

Por eso la ha escogido para esta muestra el Museo Judío de Nueva York, no por compartir religión, ya que Louise no era judía, aunque su marido y uno de sus hijos sí, sino por el parentesco emocional e ideológico que la unió al universo del creador del psicoanálisis y sus geografías.

“Ustedes se preguntarán cómo es que dentro de una familia de clase se considerara a una amante como un elemento más del mobiliario; pues bien, la razón es que mi madre toleraba esta situación, y ahí es donde radica el misterio. ¿Por qué lo hacía? ¿Y cuál era mi papel en este juego? Yo era un peón. Se suponía que Sadie (la niñera) estaba ahí para ser mi maestra, cuando en realidad, madre, tú me utilizabas para saber los pasos de tu marido. A eso se le llama abuso infantil.

” Estas palabras de la escultora se complementan muy bien con las que siguen a continuación: “Una hija constituye una decepción. Cuando se traía una hija a este mundo, tenía que ser perdonada. Así, por ejemplo se perdonó a mi madre gracias a que yo era la viva imagen de mi padre. Ese fue mi primer golpe de suerte. Quizás esa fuera la razón por la cual él siempre me trató como al hijo que siempre había deseado tener. Además, yo estaba suficientemente dotada como para satisfacer a mi padre y ésta sería la segunda condición afortunada de mi infancia.”

Tras esta presentación especial, mi invitación para que dibujen y redondeen cada uno su propia Louise Bourgeois, un territorio inabarcable. Y ahora un secreto a voces: con la presencia omnipotente y vigilante de los padres se vive regular. Sin ella seguramente peor. Es el modelo, un cierto canibalismo ritual mutuo.  

Alicia Perris


A dual biography of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger and exploration through their eyes of Rome around the time of the eruption of Vesuvius.

Above the Bay of Naples, Vesuvius is spewing thick ash into the sky. The inhabitants of nearby villages stand in their doorways, eyes cast on the unknown. Pliny the Elder, a historian, admiral of the fleet, and author of an extraordinary encyclopaedia of Natural History, dares to draw closer to the phenomenon. He perishes beneath the volcano. His 17-year-old nephew, Pliny the Younger, survives.

The elder Pliny left behind an enormous compendium of knowledge, his Natural History offering observations on everything, from the moon, to elephants, to the efficacy of ground millipedes in healing ulcers. Adopted as his late uncle’s son, Pliny the Younger inherited his notebooks – his pearls of wisdom – and endeavoured to keep his memory alive. But what became of the young man after the disaster?

The book resurrects the `father and son’ to explore their beliefs about life, death and the natural world in the first century AD. It is about both the elder Pliny, who perished in the disaster, and the younger Pliny, who grew up to become a lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, curator of drains, and personal representative of the emperor overseas. Counting the historian Tacitus, biographer Suetonius, and poet Martial among his close friends, Pliny the Younger chronicled his experiences from the catastrophic eruption through the dark days of terror under Emperor Domitian to the gentler times of Emperor Trajan.

Interweaving the younger Pliny’s Letters with ideas and extracts from Pliny the Elder’s Natural History, Daisy Dunn brings their world back to life. Working from the original sources, she celebrates two of the greatest minds from antiquity and their influence on the world that came after them.



 BBC PROMS, 2021

Dalia Stasevska leads a First Night featuring Vaughan Williams’s ravishing Serenade to Music – written to celebrate Proms founder-conductor Henry Wood’s 50 years on the podium and premiered by him at his jubilee concert in the Royal Albert Hall in 1938. Sir James MacMillan offers a new companion piece to the Serenade and Poulenc’s Organ Concerto is a piquant foil, showcasing the instrument in a vivid play of light and shade.

Image: Dalia Stasevska © Sanna Lehto

First half on BBC Two at 8pm, second half on BBC Four at 9.05pm



Elba “isola musicale” alla 25° edizione, dal 26 agosto al 12 settembre i concerti per celebrare Dante e Napoleone

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Il festival Elba isola musicale d’Europa, che si svolgerà dal 26 agosto al 12 settembre, taglia quest’anno il traguardo delle 25 edizioni. Tanti gli artisti italiani e stranieri che si esibiranno sull’Isola.

Dal celebre violinista lettone Gidon Kremer che aprirà il festival con la Kremerata Baltica e un omaggio ad Astor Piazzolla al violista russo Yuri Bashmet che nell’ormai lontano 1997 fu tra i fondatori dello stesso festival, dal violoncellista Mario Brunello con il Coro del Friuli Venezia Giulia all’attore Massimo Popolizio impegnato in un progetto dantesco insieme all’Orchestra Leonore diretta da Daniele Giorgi, fino al trombettista jazz Fabrizio Bosso ed a molti altri artisti, la 25esima edizione del festival elbano, diretta anche quest’anno da quel George Edelman che l’ha ideato e creato, sarà impreziosita dall’esecuzione dei quartetti di Haydn nei luoghi napoleonici dell’isola ed anche da un omaggio a Dante Alighieri, dati i 200 anni dalla scomparsa di Napoleone Bonaparte che all’Elba legò il suo nome ed i 700 anni da quella di Dante.

«E’ un festival importante che quest’anno, oltre a celebrare il 25esimo anniversario, trova il modo di onorare il 200esimo anniversario della morte di Napoleone e il 700esimo della scomparsa di Dante – commenta il presidente della Regione Toscana, Eugenio Giani – E’ una rassegna che dà lustro all’intera Toscana e che pone al centro della scena musicale internazionale l’isola che proprio Napoleone elevò a Stato sovrano».

Il festival Elba isola musicale d’Europa è stato pensato, fin dall’inizio, per inserirsi nel contesto ambientale e storico dell’isola. Oggi l’impegno degli organizzatori è a favore della sostenibilità ambientale e in armonia con il territorio. I concerti sono programmati nel tardo pomeriggio e in luoghi suggestivi, tra cui le ville romane di Portoferraio, la Linguella e quella delle Grotte, e il Santuario della Madonna del Monte a Marciana. Il festival non intende valorizzare solo la musica, ma anche la natura e l’arte, nella prospettiva di coinvolgere l’intero territorio. Quest’anno, inoltre, il festival tornerà sull’isola di Pianosa e per la prima volta ci sarà un concerto nel carcere di Porto Azzurro.

Il festival Elba isola musicale d’Europa viene realizzato con il sostegno della Regione Toscana, delle Amministrazioni comunali di Portoferraio, Marciana, Marciana Marina, e Rio, del Parco nazionale dell’Arcipelago Toscano e di Visit Elba.


 Du 13 mai au 19 septembre 2021, le musée de la romanité de Nîmes, en collaboration avec le musée du Louvre, organise une exposition inédite sur le culte impérial, thème majeur de l’histoire romaine pourtant méconnu du grand public.

De la République à l’Empire : la création du statut d’empereur.

L’exposition se lie étroitement au règne d’Octavien, petit-neveu de Jules César, plus connu sous le nom d’Auguste. Devenu maître de Rome en 31 av. J.-C. à l’issue d’une guerre civile, il impose habilement une nouvelle forme de gouvernement respectueuse en apparence des institutions républicaines : le Principat. Il accapare progressivement la puissance de la plupart des magistratures traditionnelles, concentrant le pouvoir politique entre ses mains et celle de son entourage. Le culte de ses qualités, vertus et actions est progressivement intégré dans la religion publique sans créer de rupture avec le cadre religieux traditionnel. Il ne sera ainsi jamais assimilé à un dieu ni destinataire d’un culte direct de son vivant en Occident. Tout au long de son règne, Auguste s’attache à donner de sa personne, de sa famille, de son projet politique, une image propre à légitimer son pouvoir et son action. L’idéologie du nouveau régime s’exprime à travers différents « médias » : littérature, numismatique, sculpture, arts précieux, mais aussi à travers l’architecture et le portrait de l’empereur partout dans l’espace public. À la mort d’Auguste, le Sénat vote les honores caelestes, « honneurs célestes », ouvrant la voie à la divination de la plupart des empereurs romains après leur mort.

Sur les traces des empereurs à Nîmes

Le patrimoine antique de la Ville de Nîmes compte deux fondations religieuses étroitement liées à la promotion de la dynastie impériale julio-claudienne : la « Maison Carré », temple dédié aux petits-fils et héritiers d’Auguste, Gaius et Lucius Caesar et l’ « Augusteum » du site de la Fontaine dont subsistent le « temple de Diane » et un angle de fronton du propylée qui occupe aujourd’hui une place centrale dans le parcours muséographique du musée de la Romanité. L’exposition souhaite replacer ces monuments dans leur contexte historique en explorant le thème, riche et complexe, de l’expression religieuse du pouvoir politique dans la société romaine.

L’empereur : intermédiaire privilégié entre les hommes et les dieux

Le concept assez réducteur de « culte impérial », récurrent dans les publications spécialisées, recouvre une grande diversité d’hommages autour de la personne de l’empereur, qui incarne l’Etat et garantit sa prospérité. Divinisé après sa mort, l’empereur apparaît comme un intermédiaire privilégié entre les hommes et les dieux.

Rassemblant des sculptures, monnaies et inscriptions, l’exposition tente de montrer comment l’association, parfois ambigüe, des références divines et de la fonction impériale s’est traduite dans l’iconographie mais aussi dans les programmes architecturaux et décoratifs des lieux dédies à la célébration de l’activité impériale. Elle abordera également les modalités et l’organisation des cultes impériaux en Narbonnaise. Parmi les 149 œuvres exposées, 30 ont été prêtées par le département des Antiquités grecques, étrusques et romaines du musée du Louvre. 


Manuella Lambert, conservateur du patrimoine au musée de la Romanité à Nîmes, assistée de Cécile Carrier, chargée d’études.