Antony Sher dies

Antony Sher dies

Sir Antony Sher, perhaps the finest actor of his generation, has died aged 72, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced today.

TAITMAIL   Behind the battlements

TAITMAIL Behind the battlements

Nottingham Castle Museum was doing well, for a museum without much real history left to talk about, and it was getting a healthy 150,000 visitors a year - about half what Stonehenge gets - before it closed for its £30m refurb which it was hoped would double the numbers. 

Shebeen culture wins Turner Prize

Shebeen culture wins Turner Prize

Array Collective, the Belfast co-operative of 11 artists whose nominated work, The Druithaib’s Ball, is an installation centred on an illicit Irish drinking den described as “a place to gather outside the sectarian divides”, has won the 2021 Turner Prize.

ACE’s £38.3m for local culture

ACE’s £38.3m for local culture

Arts Council England has today announced grants worth £38.3m for the programme that makes partners of cultural organisations and communities.

Bird to quit SOLT and UK Theatre

Bird to quit SOLT and UK Theatre

Julian Bird is to stand down as CEO of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre after more than 11 years. 

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

London’s East End, June, 1957, by Frank Pocklington

Alan Sparrow talks to Frank Pocklington about his favourite Picture Post photograph

Sacha Craddock stands down at New Contemporaries

Sacha Craddock stands down at New Contemporaries

Sacha Craddock is stepping down as chair of New Contemporaries, the organisation set up more than 70 years ago to support emerging visual artists with touring exhibitions of their work.

Eilish McGuinness takes over at NHLF

Eilish McGuinness takes over at NHLF

Eilish McGuinness is to take over from Ros Kerslake as CEO of the National Heritage Lottery Fund at the end of the year.

Lewisham’s year of diverse culture

Lewisham’s year of diverse culture

Lewisham is to be London’s next Borough of Culture for 2022, focusing on diversity, activism and the climate emergency in a programme that was announced at the Rivoli Ballroom today.

Emmie Kell is ACE's new museums chief

Emmie Kell is ACE's new museums chief

Emmie Kell, CEO of the Cornwall Museums Partnership, is to be Arts Council England’s new director of museums and cultural property.

Merger creates Creative UK

Merger creates Creative UK

The Creative Industries Federation and Creative England have merged today to become Creative UK, bringing together the advocacy work of one body and the investment expertise and practical support of the other.

Kathryn Jacob to chair HOME

Kathryn Jacob to chair HOME

Kathryn Jacob, CEO of the cinema advertising agency Pearl & Dean, is to be the new chair of the Manchester arts centre HOME.

33% of musicians still earning nothing from music

33% of musicians still earning nothing from music

A third of our professional musicians are earning nothing from music and 87% are earning less than £1,000 a month, according to new figures today from the charity Help Musicians.

£1m hunt for young museumgoers as ‘perfect storm’ looms

£1m hunt for young museumgoers as ‘perfect storm’ looms

The Art Fund has launched a £1m fundraising campaign to help museums attract under 24-year-olds.

Another £107m for arts recovery

Another £107m for arts recovery

Almost 1,000 arts organisations are to benefit from a new round of £107m worth of grants from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

£5m for community jubilee parties

£5m for community jubilee parties

A new Arts Council fund is offering £5m to help voluntary and community organisations celebrate the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year.

Curators share £300k development funding

Curators share £300k development funding

The Art Fund has named the 11 museum professionals that will share the Headley Fellowship’s grants this year worth £302,500 to extend their collections knowledge.

THE WORD   Under-estimating the power of the tweet

THE WORD Under-estimating the power of the tweet

Social media have become essential to arts organisations, says a new report, and often rely on underpaid and under-resourced operators. Alice Kent of the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre asks what can professional networks, industry, funders and policy-makers do to ensure that digital workers are better supported

Birthday royal sculptures for Albert Hall

Birthday royal sculptures for Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall has commissioned sculptures of the Queen, Prince Philip, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert from four young artists to mark its 150th anniversary.

Ten Manchester music creatives offered £1k development packages

Ten Manchester music creatives offered £1k development packages

Manchester International Festival is offering £1,000 each to ten local musicians to help them create new work as part of its MIF Sounds initiative, launched last year at the height of the pandemic.

Florence Nightingale joins Lord Mayor’s parade

Florence Nightingale joins Lord Mayor’s parade

Marking the completion of her 200th birthday celebrations., Florence Nightingale joined the Lord Mayor of London’s Show at the weekend.

Giant print plant plays host to classical experiment

Giant print plant plays host to classical experiment

A printing plant that once one of the largest in Europe has been the venue for a pioneering immersive concert.

Mariam Zulfiqar to lead Artangel

Mariam Zulfiqar to lead Artangel

Mariam Zulfiqar, Forestry England’s contemporary art programme manager since March this year, is to be the new director or of the public art producer Artangel.

Barbican takes action after damning discrimination report

Barbican takes action after damning discrimination report

The Barbican has vowed to take decisive action “to build a culture where staff feel confident, valued and respected” following a damning report by an independent investigation team.

Helios Collective: Formations Masterclasses

Following the successes of Formations 2015 where three new operas were worked on over a two-week period by Kasper Holten (Director of Opera, Royal Opera House), Robert Saxton (composer), Stephen Unwin (Dean of BADA), Stephen Barlow (Artistic Director, Buxton Festival), Bettina Bartz (dramaturg) and David Parry (conductor), Helios Collective return with their Formations Masterclass series this November.  

 

The 2016 masterclasses feature the likes of Mark Wigglesworth, Janis Kelly, Judith Weir, David Pountney, James Clutton, Stephen Medcalf, Jonathan Moore and Brian Dickie. The Formations series allow participants to engage with the development of three new operas with the aid of leading industry professionals.

 

The Formations series will conclude with a final performance and feedback session at Lilian Baylis House on Friday 25th November.

 

Helios Collective Artistic Director, Ella Marchment comments, Formations Masterclasses grew out of my desire to create opera while, at the same time, generating opportunities for artists to gain access to practical development.  I wanted to create ways for these artists to access leading industry professionals and to form the educational environment that I longed for when I first pursued a directing career. Through Formations we are not only able to simultaneously further the education of artists, but also further the development of the operatic genre for a contemporary audience.  Opera is the ultimate art form in the way that it combines all other art forms and it is my personal mission to see this genre survive and thrive. 

 

The three pieces selected for this year’s masterclasses are:

 

Dead Equal: In 2016, a barrage of criticism met the introduction of British Servicewomen into army combat roles. But in 1916, one British woman was already there, embedded in the Allied frontline. Flora Sandes was a public heroine. This November, her successors go operational.  Through the stories of three women, real and imagined, Dead Equal celebrates the courage and sacrifice of women in theatres of war, probing the cost and meaning of service; the force of class in shaping opportunity, and the disruptive power of a female identity forged in blood and sweat.

 

FOR the LOVE of THORSTEIN SHIVERFOR the LOVE of THORSTEIN SHIVER is the Albran breakfast cereal of fecal epiphanies. It is loosely based on the medieval Iclandic þættir “The Tale of Thorstein Shiver”. The convulsing bowls of its libretto have also squeezed through other eupeptic survivors including Gilgamesh, Genesis, Joyce, Solomon, skaldic-verse, gnostic-prose, Whitman and those little bits of sweetcorn that always get there somehow. 

 

Yellow Wallpaper: The Yellow Wallpaper is a short, chamber opera based on the story of the same name by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). The story is based on a nameless young woman’s descent into psychosis as her mental health issues are left misunderstood. The woman and her physician husband, John, move into a spacious and airy mansion, which he believes will help her health to improve by undergoing the rest cure; a common treatment developed in the late 1800s for the handling of hysteria and other nervous illnesses.  With nothing to stimulate her mind, the woman becomes growingly obsessed with the yellow, distressed wallpaper that covers the room and her imagination begins to run wild as she starts to believe it is moving and coming alive. As her fascination with the wallpaper spirals out of control, so does her quest to break free.

 

This project is supported by Arts Council England, the International Opera Awards, English National Opera, the Hinrischen Foundation and The Fenton Trust. 

 

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