An Inflatable Concert Hall Inspired By Giant Plums? Designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who teamed with British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor, the Ark Nova is touted as the world’s first inflatable concert hall. Kapoor is no stranger to inflatable structures, having created the Leviathan in Paris back in 2011. But that structure was designed to stay put inside the city’s Grand Palais, whereas the Ark Nova is designed to travel around Japan for the Lucerne Music Festival , visiting parts of the country still recovering from the tsunami. Looking something like a gigantic plum-colored pregnant belly, the Ark Nova takes about two hours to completely inflate, and is capacious enough to hold an audience of about 500. And instead of theater seating, a series of wooden benches crafted from tsunami-damaged cedar trees provide an easily transportable place for people to sit. The concert hall’s unique design not only makes it easy to setup and haul, it presumably provides better acoustics than your traditional tent. And its almost donut-like design results in a built-in support column on the inside, ensuring that it can withstand inclement weather and high winds. Organizers just need to make sure they don’t sell souvenir hat pins or letter openers, and the Ark should survive its tour. [ Lucerne Festival Ark Nova via Spoon & Tamago ] S
PBS Sets Elton John Concert Telecast
Plug, plug, plug. The official word: PBS today announced the world television premiere of ELTON JOHN IN CONCERT, a new special featuring the legendary musician in an exclusive and intimate performance taped in the beautiful surroundings of the BBC’s famous Radio Theatre in the heart of West London. The concert special showcases the multi-Grammy Award-winning superstar performing songs from his new album, The Diving Board, mixed with classic songs from his extensive repertoire of hits. Originally broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, the UK’s most listened to station, ELTON JOHN IN CONCERT premieres Saturday, October 5, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET / 7:00-8:00 p.m. CT (check local listings) on PBS. “We are thrilled to bring PBS viewers this fantastic concert special from one of the world’s great entertainers,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “Elton John’s songs are iconic and timeless, and his enormous appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds is a tribute to his singular genius.” Produced by T-Bone Burnett, The Diving Board is Elton John’s first solo studio album in seven years, and features 12 new songs written with longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as three piano interludes composed by John. “It’s the simplest and most piano-driven record I’ve ever made,” John told BBC Radio 2 in an interview on September 11, 2013, the day of the concert. Taped before an audience of 300 fans selected to win tickets from over 79,000 hopefuls, ELTON JOHN IN CONCERT includes these and other performances: “Bennie and the Jets”
British expat beaten with brick, robbed after concert at New York club
Soprano Kate Egan, mezzo-soprano Nancy Caudill and pianist Juliana Osinchuk, all of Anchorage, will celebrate the 200th birthdays of Verdi and Wagner in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna. Theres been a lot of focus this year throughout the musical world because of their birthdays, and whats very interesting is that both of these composers were giants in the 19th century, they were giants in the opera literature, theyre very different musically and also extremely different as people totally, totally different characters. But I guess thats what makes the world go around variety, said Osinchuk. Through his operas, often skewering rulers abuses of power, Verdi was an important voice in the 19th century movement to unify the feuding regions of then-disparate Italy. His music was a soundtrack of revolution. As such he faced censorship by the powers that be, but also received such wide acclaim and respect that his career flourished. His operatic style was grand, producing spectacles for the eyes as well as ears. He wrote his rich, soaring melodies in the bel canto style meaning beautiful singing. Photo provided. Nancy Caudill, mezzo-soprano. Wagner, a German, has a rougher history, with a reputation for being an anti-Semite, womanizer and often in debt.
Singing celebration — Concert offers tribute to Verdi, Wagner
RELATED: HEARTLESS THUG MUGS WOMAN, 71, IN BROOKLYN TO STEAL HER PURSE, PUTS HER IN HOSPITAL The suspect, who is thought to be a homeless man, is described as black or Hispanic with a moustache. Following the concert, the couple was walking on W. 58th St. between 10th and 11th Aves. at 10:45 p.m. when a violent goon emerged from the shadows, a police source said. The mugger, believed to be a homeless man, came up behind Billington and bashed him in the back of the head with what his girlfriend told police appeared to be a brick wrapped in a cloth, the source said. Billington fell to the ground and the assailant hit him again in the face with the brick before searching his pockets for money, the source said. The robber, dressed in a hoodie or jacket and wearing a baseball cap, fled empty-handed, leaving Billington bloodied and his girlfriend, whose name was not released, screaming for help. Cops are still trying to identify the attacker, hoping security cameras in the area filmed the robbery, a throwback to the bad days of New York City. RELATED: THUG WHO MUGGED WOMAN WITH EIGHT KIDS IN BROOKLYN BUSTED Marcus Santos// New York Daily New New York music club Terminal 5, where Andrew Billington and his girlfriend attended a concert before he was attacked with a brick. A 1997 graduate of Newcastle University in England, Billington moved to New York City in 2009, according to a post on Big Apple Brits, a social networking group for British expats. A spokesman for Thomson Reuters would only confirm that Billington worked at the global media company. On his LinkedIn page, Billington describes himself as an accountant at Thomson Reuters in charge of strategic customers and finance solutions.