The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an especially tough blow for Cuba, whose feeble state-run economy has been propped up for more than a decade with Venezuelan oil shipments and other subsidies.
The Castro government has declared three days of mourning, calling Chavez "a son" of Cuba, but privately Cubans are quietly fretting about the potential loss of billions in trade and the threat of a new economic crisis.
Although Robert Spano has conducted Golijov's Passion before — and has made a recording — he says he still feels "totally intimidated" by the diversity of the score. "It was learning a new musical vocabulary," he said.
Soprano Jessica Rivera, left, Deraldo Ferreira, center, and Renaldo Gonzalez-Fernandez received enthusiastic applause after performing in Osvaldo Golijov's Passion according to St. Mark, with Orquesta La Pasion and conductor Robert Spano at Carnegie Hall, March 10, 2013.
With his St. Mark Passion, composer Osvaldo Golijov turns the traditional Passion (like those of J.S. Bach) on its head and gives it a spin or two. Here, Javier Silva performs in front of the Forest Hills High School Concert Choir, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts Concert Choir and Songs of Solomon at Carnegie Hall.
Conductor Robert Spano led a cast of some 195 musicians, including several choirs. Golijov's updated Passion, from 2000, seamlessly combines elements of western choral music, western orchestral instruments and deep folkloric Latin American rhythms, instruments and dances.
Home-brewing will become legal in Mississippi in July, if the governor signs a newly approved bill. Mississippi and Alabama are the last two states in which brewing beer at home is illegal or in a gray area.
Mississippi is poised to make home brewing legal, after its Legislature approved a beer-brewing measure Wednesday. The bill now heads to Gov. Phil Bryant, who last year approved a move to raise the state's maximum alcohol limits on beer — something the current bill's supporters point to with optimism. The governor's office has not indicated whether he intends to sign the bill.
In his profile of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this week's issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin writes: "Ginsburg has suggested that she would like to serve as long as Louis Brandeis, her judicial hero, who retired at eighty-two." Ginsburg turns 80 this month and is marking her 20th year on the court. She has had cancer — colon and pancreatic — and her tiny, frail-looking stature leads many people to wonder if she'll be retiring soon.
Every year, the South By Southwest music, film and interactive festival gets larger, and navigating the blur of panels, parties and shows gets more daunting. The girth of it all is enough to keep many SXSW old-timers away from Austin this year.
Man awakens to find out he has turned into an insect. And the Double Jeopardy question is, "What is Kafka's The Metamorphosis?" Well, what other response could there possibly be? Kafka all but cornered the market on that verminous plot in 1915; although, after nearly 100 years, the exclusivity clause may be about to expire. It takes a gutsy writer to pad in Gregor Samsa's sticky steps, but, by now, Rebecca Miller is clearly used to coping with the anxiety of influence and staying true to her own vision.
In a way, singer Julianna Barwick's ethereal voice and seemingly shapeless songs are a form of abstract art: colorful and curious, with lines that drift and flow in unexpected but beautiful directions. For her latest video, and a new song called "Offing," Barwick finds commonality in architect Philip Johnson's Glass House and a strange sculpture from artist Ken Price. Barwick performs alongside the sculpture for a live audience, filling the Glass House with layers of her sublime voice.
A coffin holding the body of Hugo Chávez moved through the streets of Caracas, today.
The 58-year-old leader died yesterday after a battle with cancer. The flag-draped casket was moved from the military hospital where Chávez died to a military academy, where he will lie in state. The whole way there, his casket was flanked by thousands of adoring supporters dressed in red and waving the tri-colored Venezuelan flag.