June 20, 2012 |
This spring, opera in Los Angeles has been winning praise for its daring and diversity. A boldly abstract version of "Don Giovanni" staged by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. An edgy multimedia opera, "Crescent City," presented by The Industry. Coming up: Benjamin Britten's "Curlew River," by the innovative music group Jacaranda, and a new chamber opera, "The Face," by two USC scholars. This operatic blossoming has been good for local audiences, but it has raised awkward questions and touched a sensitive nerve in the city's arts community.
June 17, 2012 |
Of the many pieces performed at the overstuffed Ojai Music Festival recently, one song continued to run through my head the following week: a shockingly hard-hitting pop-rock-Minimalist treatment of Schumann's "Ich Grolle Nicht. " Saturday night, there it was again, this time courtesy of Long Beach Opera. The song happens to be the centerpiece of Michael Nyman's neurology opera, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," which is ending the company's 2012 season. Let Dr. Oliver Sacks explain that one. This important but neglected 1986 opera takes its impetus from the bestselling neurologist's poignant study of a singer suffering from visual agnosia, making him unable to interpret visual stimuli in the typical fashion.
June 8, 2012 |
It's startling to consider that the state of Israel as we know it might not exist without the more than century-old kibbutz movement. That assertion, along with the historical highlights of both modern Israel and its kibbutzim, are efficiently examined in the absorbing documentary "Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment. " The film lays out how the movement began in 1909 as an attempt by Eastern European émigrés to establish a utopian community - one based on sharing and equality - in what was then Palestine.
June 6, 2012 |
There is Black Friday for bargain hunters, Cyber Monday for tech lovers and Fashion's Night Out for fashionistas. It was only a matter of time before retailers invented a shopping holiday for kids. Enter Teen Vogue magazine, which has officially anointed Aug. 11 as Back-to-School Saturday, an event designed for students and their harried parents. Back-to-School Saturday will mimic other big national shopping days with dozens of retailers -- including H&M, Express and American Eagle Outfitters -- signed on as advertisers who will also offer sales and promotions as enticement, the New York Times reported.
June 4, 2012 |
Xeni Jardin would like to have a word with the New York Times. “Men invented the Internet,” the paper's David Streitfeld wrote in a Saturday story about sexism in Silicon Valley. The article, at its core, was about the “group of 21st-century men who may be hard at work building the 22nd century but, when it comes to dealing with women in the workplace, are stuck firmly in the caveman era - or at least in the 1950s.” Jardin, the iconoclastic co-editor of the blogging hive known as Boing Boing, took issue with Streitfeld's opening assertion.
May 18, 2012 |
While waiting for the Dodgers to come back to Earth, this very strange thing keeps happening. They keep winning. Not always in the most aesthetic way, but they keep finding ways to win. The latest test to their standing as the team with baseball's best record came Friday in the form of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals. And somehow, once again, they found a way to win, edging the Cardinals, 6-5, when reliever Fernando Salas walked A.J. Ellis with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning before an announced crowd of 40,906 that pushed their record to 26-13.
May 18, 2012 |
PHILADELPHIA - Saturday the Barnes Foundation opens its new museum here on the busy Benjamin Franklin Parkway. With hundreds of Renoirs, Cézannes, Matisses and Picassos, it's just up the street from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, whose officials were instrumental in pulling strings to make it happen. Anticipation has been running high. Eight years ago a local judge granted permission for the incomparable art installation to relocate from its unique home out on the Main Line, available to anyone who wished to visit.
May 6, 2012 |
A polite comedy about a potentially rude subject,"Hysteria"takes its title from the medical condition diagnosed to women in Victorian England for any number of unrelated symptoms. As a treatment, doctors would stimulate a woman to orgasm, referred to as "manual massage to paroxysm," leading one beleaguered physician, essentially as a labor-saving device, to invent the vibrator. In the film, which opens in Los Angeles on May 18, the progressive young doctor Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy)
April 24, 2012 |
Gideon Sundback -- the man who did not invent the zipper but did perfect it -- is the recipient today of a giant, interactive Google Doodle zipper. It's a doodle to add zip to your day, honoring the birthday of the man who helped introduce the fastening device into everyday clothing. Look around -- there's a good chance you'll see Sundback's handiwork in nearly every item of clothing you own, save shirts and blouses. Even sneakers sport zippers these days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2012 |
Dr. Paul H. Crandall, a UCLA neurosurgeon who pioneered now widely used techniques for diagnosing the source of epileptic seizures in the brain and removing the offending cells, died March 15 from complications of pneumonia at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. He was 89. Crandall, who founded the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery, "was the father of UCLA's epilepsy program," Dr. Neil Martin, the current chairman of neurosurgery at UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine, said in a statement.