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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Swed’

LA Times Critic Enjoys New Anna Nicole Opera

Mark Swed was lucky enough to have a seat at London’s Royal Opera House for Thursday’s world premiere of Anna Nicole. The idea of an opera about the LA icon debuting overseas seems oddly in sync with the late glam girl’s globe-trotting ways.

The program book, writes Swed, includes the essay “Two Millennia of Tragic Bimbos,” by a university English professor, and another treatise by a breast pathologist! Once the lights go down, the show runs with that boob-focused slant:

The opera is full of wisecracks, sexual references and four-letter words… Four under-developed women sing a lament for the breastless masses. Poor old-man [J. Howard] Marshall, who seems to live for Anna’s oral sex, bemoans that one day, tomorrow never comes. When he goes, he goes in a gold lamé track suit.

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Gustavo Dudamel Simulcast Gets Mixed Reviews

Yesterday, enough people showed up at the AMC Century City for the $23-a-ticket LA Philharmonic North American live movie theater broadcast to necessitate the use of two screens. Overall, LA Times reviewer Mark Swed gives the first of three planned 2011 such events a marginal thumbs up, having gone so far as to measure the decibel level at Disney Concert Hall last Thursday on his cell phone in order to be able to compare.

Swed makes an interesting observation about the way movie screen visuals have the power to alter an audience’s perception of the music being played:

Many factors affect how one hears. With the musicians so big on the screen, they sound bigger. With the camera in constant motion, the ear tends to follow the eye. That proved effective when, at the beginning of “Slonimsky’s Earbox,” you could follow the musical line around the orchestra.

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LAT In 90 Seconds

29953437.jpgThe King of the High C’s Hits His Final Note: Luciano Pavarotti died at the age of 71. Mark Swed has the story.

iphone.jpegiSpoke Too Soon? After every gadget freak told us the iPhone was the Second Coming (or first, or whatever), Apple slashes prices by $200 without raising the sales forecast, leading Michelle Quinn to write this lede: “Is the iPhone at risk of becoming an iFlop?”

32340801.jpgFamily F@#%ing Hour: A new report says sex and violence during the early prime-time TV slot have increased significantly during the last six years. We totally need to start watching more TV.

LA Times Pulitzer DIY Nominees: Swed, Knight


Two finalists from the LA Times for the Pulitzer Prize in the critical writing category–art critic Christopher Knight and classical music critic Mark Swednominated themselves. The LAT submitted music critic Ann Powers, architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, and media writer Tim Rutten but they weren’t selected as finalists.

So, what does this say about the LA Times? That the editors don’t know good writing when they read it? That nominating writers is cheaper than giving them a raise? Or that writers who can afford their own submission fee are paid too much?