An Opera Under Fire

October 19, 2014

When the arts play with contemporary history, they play with fire. The Metropolitan Opera has learned this lesson anew in the furious protests that have raged in advance of the company premiere, on Monday, of John Adams’s ruminative, unsettled, unsettling 1991 operatic masterpiece, “The Death of Klinghoffer.”



Paul McCartney says it brings him to tears. Tom Petty compares it to Beethoven. Bob Dylan, summing up the superhuman talents that allowed Brian Wilson to make Pet Sounds, probably said it best: “Jesus, that ear. He should donate it to The Smithsonian.”

…. Thankfully, Google designer Alexander Chen has given us a new way of appreciating Wilson’s genius. He’s visualized it.


For its latest bit of street theater, “prank collective” Improv Everywhere has participants following the silly prompts of an omnipotent voice delivering commands via MP3 file.


Save the Movie!

July 22, 2013

The 2005 screenwriting book that’s taken over Hollywood—and made every movie feel the same.