Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Under construction

The Sun -- whose front page today bore this striking photo -- has an article on the work at Lincoln Center, but this post is really a warning about the blog: the sidebar here may look funny over the next few days as I try to adapt the Blog List widget's code to my stylesheet setup. Please bear with me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Met tech news

First, it seems the Sirius-XM merger will happen.

Second, recent Met moviecasts will appear on EMI DVD. This is going technologically backwards: anyone with a HD DVR could already capture (and, with a bit of know-how, burn) a (somewhat compressed-for-broadcast-feed) 1080i HD version of these presentations. To sell just the non-HD 480p version (that is, DVD) without a simultaneous HD offering (that is, Blu-Ray) is at best uninspiring.

Sometimes the house recognizes it has a tech-forward audience, and sometimes it doesn't.

UPDATE (7/30): A commenter indicates that Blu-Ray versions of the moviecasts may arrive in September as well. Budget for that Playstation now...

Monday, July 21, 2008

The unquietest months

My plan to post more varied, less event-focused commentary this New York offseason has, I'm afraid, to this point run aground on a perhaps-not-foreseeable thing: the relative dearth of silence. Between extended daylight hours, air conditioners, the school break, and increased liveliness by all, city summer's din all-too-often blunts both music and discursive thoughts thereon.

More important, though, is the absent silence of the opera house itself, which despite frequent complaints is a remarkable thing. Indeed, it's occurred to me that this blog may simply have collected the alternate forms that appear in my head before such pregnant moments turn again into the sound that's written.

Maybe not. In any case, more posts will follow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The facelift

Friday's New York Sun explained the construction now consuming Lincoln Center:
The so-called 65th Street Project includes [...] streetscape elements such as new lighting and signage (including LEDs and plasma screens) and a transformation of the North Plaza, which will include a restaurant roofed with a sloping lawn, a new grove of trees, and a restored reflecting pool.

The Promenade Project includes a renovation of Josie Robertson Plaza and of the entrance to Lincoln Center from Columbus Avenue. The service road will be dropped below ground so that, instead of dodging cars, visitors will enter Lincoln Center by ascending a new, 171-foot-wide staircase.
The latter project looks like an expensive solution to a problem that doesn't exist, but perhaps the restaurant portion of the former could make Maury's wish for a post-opera bar spot happen?

The Sun article also includes a rundown of more particular Lincoln Center renovations in the works. Not included are the major (and necessary) Met Opera overhauls -- most notably to the stage turntable -- whose importance inspired then-GM Joe Volpe to nix the big Lincoln Center plan's original iteration. (Are these dead? Are they going on under some other budget?) Included and promising is a projected re-do of the Harmony Atrium, a space across the avenue from Lincoln Center that's now left to bums and rock climbers.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Coming to a train station near you

New York area readers who admired young tenor Michael Fabiano at last year's Met Council Finals can see him over the next three weekends as Alfredo in Opera New Jersey's production of La Traviata. The venue is a stone's throw from the Dinky stop via NJ Transit.

Although the company (formerly New Jersey Opera Theater) is still doing its shows in the tiny (er, intimate) new Berlind Theatre portion of McCarter, casting standards seem pretty impressive for all this summer season's programs.