A hot batch of Friday links, off the griddle

Ron Chan's drawing of Portland Opera's "Candide"

The weekend is upon us, and it’s promising to be a relative sizzler, and not just because Imago is opening a weird, erotic thriller by Yukio Mishima, either. Oh no. There’s that little matter of “Candide” at the opera, too, a delightful bit of satire and musical razzmatazz (which Ron Chan captured above during a Tweeter/comic book artist event). And lots more, including the grill I’ll be standing over on Mother’s Day!

We’ll start with some happy news: Brian Tierney, the opera singer who was shot on Interstate 205 a month and a half ago, has recovered enough to speak publicly for the first time, and Maxine Bernstein of OregonLive was on the scene.

“I don’t take things for granted like I used to,” Tierney said. His right arm remains in a sling, a scar visible from his right eye to his ear.

His wife, Katie Tierney, said his doctors knew he was a singer and worked to avoid damage to his vocal chords.

“I hope to be back singing soon,” he said. “I look forward to a long, long career.”

A fund has been established to help the Tierney family with medical expenses. Brett Campbell wrote about the moving tribute concert to Tierney arranged by the Portland music community.

We are always citing one study or another to demonstrate the salutary consequences of working the arts into the daily lives of children. It seems so obvious. But we really hadn’t considered babies. A Canadian study has determined that starting age-appropriate musical instruction with children at six months produces a range of jolly effects—from more smiling and less distress to new stimuli to better communication skills. (OK, the sample size is pretty small and Canadian!)

Federico Garcia Lorca

If we MUST be taken into the hills and shot by Franco fascists as Federico Garcia Lorca was, we’d like the same company: two anarchist bullfighters and a teacher. A box of mementos from Lorca’s last lover, young art critic Juan Ramírez de Lucas, has surfaced bearing a previously unknown poem, letters and an orange blossom from Granada, all of which indicate that Lorca’s last sonnets were addressed to Ramírez de Lucas.

Lady Gaga (who appears on ArtsWatch far too infrequently) packs an undeniable social and political punch. And she can really dance! But we hadn’t considered her singing itself to be anything special. But Placido Domingo, tenor extraordinaire begs to differ, according to Jenny Johnston in the Daily Mail:

“I love Celine Dion very much. And Mariah Carey. And Madonna. And Whitney Houston had a wonderful voice.”
His mournful eyes look desperately sad at the mention of Whitney.

But then he smiles: “And I think Lady Gaga has a very good voice. Absolutely. She has a wonderful voice. I know she’s very wild in her performance, and clever, and she does all these things to please the youth. But when you listen to her, the voice is good.”

Is he just being kind? Somehow, I don’t think so.

The new museum housing the Barnes collection in Philadelphia/Barnes Foundation

The Problem of the Barnes Collection is about as convoluted as it can be, here on the verge of the opening of its new facility in downtown Philadelphia. The reviews of the building and the move from the suburbs of one of the great collections of post-Impressionist/early Modern art are coming in. We like Christopher Hawthorne at the LA Times, so we’ll link his way. Mostly, he criticized the attempt to recreate the experience of the Old Barnes in the new one:

In a tour of the building with the architects last month, the president and executive director of the Barnes, Derek Gillman, told me that the central goal of the gallery design was to “simplify and intensify” the experience of looking at this heart-stopping collection of paintings. And to a degree, thanks to the improved lighting in particular, Williams and Tsien have done that.

But the galleries are still replicas in style and substance, in execution as well as concept. The windows and doors are in the same spots as in the original rooms. (If a window faced south in Merion, it faces south in Philadelphia.) The paintings are arranged on the walls exactly as they were, precisely the same number of inches above or below their neighboring canvases.

Of course here in Portland, we’d take “heart-stopping collection” in any package…

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