Category Archives: Events


White Light Festival

Theater Advisory


Tenth Anniversary of Festival

Includes Two U.S. Theater Production Premieres


The premiere of Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

from celebrated artist Hiroshi Sugimoto in a bold, contemporary reinterpretation of the classic Japanese play incorporating bunraku puppet theater, original music, and video

The premiere of DruidShakespeare: Richard III from Ireland’s Druid theater company and Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes, starring Aaron Monaghan


For its tenth anniversary season, the 2019 White Light Festival will feature events presented in eight venues across the city, including U.S. and New York premieres and the return of festival favorites, from October 19 through November 24.


“The resonance of the White Light Festival has only deepened during its first decade, as we have moved into far more challenging times here and around the world,” said Jane Moss, Ehrenkranz Artistic Director of Lincoln Center. “The Festival’s central theme, namely the singular capacity of artistic expression to illuminate what is inside ourselves and connect us to others, is more relevant than ever. This 10th anniversary edition spanning disparate countries, cultures, disciplines, and genres emphasizes that the elevation of the spirit the arts inspires uniquely unites us and expands who we are.”


The 2019 White Light Festival opens on Saturday, October 19 with Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki told through Japanese bunraku puppet theater in a contemporary interpretation directed by renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. Incorporating music by Seiji Tsurusawa (designated by Japan as a Living National Treasure) and video by Tabaimo and Sugimoto, this U.S. production premiere is a bold staging of Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s classic 18th-century drama. Based upon actual events, the piece is a rare opportunity to experience bunraku in New York City.


The darker side of human nature is on display in DruidShakespeare: Richard III, a chilling story of power and ambition in a wickedly comic production from Ireland’s Druid theater company and director Garry Hynes, opening on November 9. The production stars Aaron Monaghan, who appeared as Estragon in Druid’s acclaimed Waiting for Godot in the 2018 White Light Festival.


As in prior years, the 2019 White Light Festival will offer opportunities for audiences to delve further into the themes of the festival with pre- and post-performance artist talks, as well as a special panel discussion moderated by John Schaefer. White Light Lounges follow many performances: these receptions are exclusive to White Light Festival ticketholders and provide opportunities to mingle with artists and fellow audience members while enjoying a complimentary glass of wine or sparkling water.


Tickets for the 2019 White Light Festival are available online at, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the David Geffen or Alice Tully Hall Box Office (Broadway and 65th Street).


The White Light Festival is one of many programs offered by Lincoln Center that annually activates the campus’s indoor and outdoor spaces across a wide range of the performing arts. Additional presentations include the Mostly Mozart Festival, Great Performers, American Songbook, Midsummer Night Swing, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, ongoing free performances at the David Rubenstein Atrium, and Live From Lincoln Center broadcasts that reach beyond the iconic campus. Lincoln Center also presents a myriad of education programs and presentations for families throughout the year.


Please click here to download high-resolution images and artist biographies.

Please click here for the 2019 White Light Festival press release.


Theater Programs listed in chronological order

Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

(U.S. production premiere)

Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm                                                                                                

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Monday, October 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall


Original text by Chikamatsu Monzaemon
Hiroshi Sugimoto, artistic director
Seiji Tsurusawa, composer and director

Tomogoro Yamamura, choreography
Tabaimo and Hiroshi Sugimoto, video

Cast: Rodayu Toyotake, Seiji Tsurusawa, Tamasuke Yoshida, and others

Performed in Japanese with English supertitles


Performance length: Two hours and 30 minutes, including intermission


At the turn of 18th-century Japan, a clerk and a courtesan committed suicide in the forest of Tenjin. The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, a tragic play based upon these actual events, was banned after its 1703 premiere for more than two centuries. For this U.S. production premiere, renowned artist Hiroshi Sugimoto presents a bold, contemporary interpretation of the classic drama using bunraku puppet theater with music by Seiji Tsurusawa, who has been designated by Japan as a Living National Treasure, and video by Tabaimo and Sugimoto. The puppets, imbued with life, captivate audiences with their lively movements rivaling the eloquence of actual human beings.


Presented in association with The Japan Foundation and Odawara Art Foundation. Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki is part of Japan 2019, a series of events highlighting Japanese arts and culture in the United States throughout 2019.


In cooperation with National Bunraku Theatre, BUNRAKU KYOKAI and Setagaya Arts Foundation/Setagaya Public Theatre.


Corporate support is provided by Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, J.C.C. Fund, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal U.S.A., Inc.

Additional support is made possible in part by The Jim Henson Foundation.

DruidShakespeare: Richard III (U.S. production premiere)

Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm (preview performance)

Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00 pm (preview performance)

Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 2:00 and 7:00 pm

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3:00 pm

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Friday, November 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College


Directed by Garry Hynes

Produced by Druid

Starring Aaron Monaghan as Richard III

Francis O’Connor, set and costume design

James F. Ingalls, lighting design

Gregory Clarke, sound design

Conor Linehan, music             

David Bolger, movement and fight choreography

Doreen McKenna, co-costume design


Performance length: Three hours, including intermission


Shakespeare depicts one of the world’s greatest villains in Richard III, a chilling and darkly comic story of power and ambition. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, portrayed by Aaron Monaghan, sets about bending the world to his own desires, vanquishing his better angels in pursuit of the crown. The Bard’s ruthless monarch resonates through the ages in this award-winning production from Ireland’s Druid theater company and Tony Award-winning director Garry Hynes. A continuation of the company’s exploration of Shakespeare’s kings, the production reunites the creative team and members of the Druid ensemble behind the celebrated DruidShakespeare: Richard II, Henry IV (Pts. 1 & 2) and Henry V, which played Lincoln Center in 2015. Druid’s acclaimed run of Waiting for Godot, also directed by Hynes and starring Monaghan as Estragon, was featured in the 2018 White Light Festival.


There will be a pre-performance discussion with Garry Hynes and Robert Marx on Sunday, November 10 at 1:45 pm in the John Jay College Lecture Hall.





Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA)serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of thousands of free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist Program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award-winningLive From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. 


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, contact Accessibility at Lincoln Center at or 212.875.5375. 




The White Light Festival 2019 is made possible by The Shubert Foundation, The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, The Joelson Foundation, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, J.C.C. Fund, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York, Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council and Friends of Lincoln Center.


Endowment support is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance.


Public support is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature


NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center

Press: Michelle Tabnick

Photos–Love Suicides : Hajime Watanabe; Richard III: Robbie Jack


(Laura Collins-Hughes’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/3; via Pam Green.)

George Bernard Shaw gets sensitively streamlined in a briskly entertaining production with winning performers at its center.

At first glance, Cleopatra seems every inch an ordinary teenager. In a ponytail and sneakers, her white pants rolled up below her knees, she’s hiding from Caesar’s approaching army. A stranger appears, and she urges him to save himself.

“Climb up here,” she says, “or the Romans’ll come and eat you.”

She has no inkling that the mild man before her is Caesar himself. In George Bernard Shaw’s “Caesar & Cleopatra,” adapted and directed by David Staller in a briskly entertaining, winningly down-to-earth revival for Gingold Theatrical Group, the young queen of Egypt is charming in her naïveté.

Of course she is, right? Much like Eliza Doolittle in Shaw’s later play “Pygmalion,” she’s raw female material, ready for molding by an expert male hand. Shaw liked that dynamic. But he also genuinely liked women as human beings, intellectual sparring partners and actors. The parts he wrote for them have real substance.

Teresa Avia Lim digs into this role with a vengeance, delivering a smartly calibrated comic performance. A blustering, artless kid as the play begins, Cleopatra is amused by her new mystery acquaintance, who stays mum about his identity as she mulls how to get the upper hand with the Romans.

(Read more)

Photo credit: Carol Rosegg


(via Gwendolyn Quinn)

(New York, NY – October 7, 2019) – The family of international opera star Jessye Norman announces today through the family spokesperson, Gwendolyn Quinn, the Homegoing Service, and the weeklong services and celebrations. The funeral is set for Saturday, October 12, 2019, at the William B. Bell Auditorium712 Telfair Street, Augusta, GA, doors open and seating begins at 12:00 p.m. (there will be a private interment). The four-day, weeklong events start on Thursday, October 10, and runs through Sunday, October 13, 2019, in Augusta, GA. (see full schedule below). In November 2019, there will be a celebration of life event, scheduled in New York City.

The lineup of distinguished performers and speakers will include longtime friend and civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, Michael Eric Dyson, and Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes, and Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr., and Augusta’s natives Laurence Fishburne and Wycliffe Gordon, with musical tributes by six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonaldHarolyn Blackwell, and Lawrence Brownlee, and other confirmations expected this week. Musical direction by Damien Sneed, a longtime friend and Augusta native.   

Elder Raymond Sturkey will deliver the eulogy, and Reverend Dr. Clyde Hill, Sr. of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church will officiate the homegoing service, which will include family, friends, dignitaries and special guests, nd seating will be available to the public.

There are two public viewings scheduled for Norman on Thursday, October 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Friday, October 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 1260 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, GA 30901. 

On Friday, October 11, the City of Augusta will present the Honorary Street Naming Ceremony to Norman’s family, which is scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, 739 Green Street, Augusta, GA 30901.

The weeklong celebration will conclude on Sunday, October 13. The Jessye Norman School of the Arts will present its Annual Benefit Concert: “An Evening with Audra McDonald” at the Miller Theater, 708 Broad Street, Augusta, GA, at 4:00 p.m.

Ms. Norman, 74, passed away Monday, September 30, 2019, at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York, NY, surrounded by loved ones.

Jessye Norman’s Homecoming Service, Public Viewing and Celebration Services


Thursday, October 10, 2019


10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Jessye Norman’s Public Viewing


Mt. Calvary Baptist Church

1260 Wrightsboro Road

Augusta, GA 30901



Friday, October 11, 2019


9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Jessye Norman’s Public Viewing


Mt. Calvary Baptist Church

1260 Wrightsboro Road,

Augusta, GA 30901



Friday, October 11, 2019


4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Honorary Street Naming Ceremony to Jessye Norman Boulevard


Jessye Norman School of the Arts (JNSA)

739 Green Street

Augusta, GA 30901

*Followed by a reception in the Ann and Ellis Johnson Gallery of Art (at JNSA)



Saturday, October 12, 2019


1:00 p.m.


Jessye Norman’s Homecoming Service


The William B. Bell Auditorium

712 Telfair Street

Augusta, GA 30901

*Doors open and seating will begin at 12:00 p.m.



Sunday, October 13, 2019


4:00 p.m.


The Jessye Norman School of the Arts’ Annual Benefit Concert: “An Evening with Audra McDonald”


Miller Theater

708 Broad Street (Downtown Augusta)

Augusta, GA 30901


Norman Funeral Service

c/o Williams Funeral Home

2945 Old Tobacco Road

Hephzibah, GA 30815

*Please direct resolutions and/or proclamations, cards, and condolences to the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, 739 Green Street, Augusta, GA 30901 to be read at the service and/or provided to the family.

*In lieu of flowers, foundation endowment gifts in honor of Jessye Norman can be made at

*Donations may be sent to the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, 739 Green Street, Augusta, GA 30901.




The Mother by Bertolt Brecht with original musical score by Hanns Eisler.
Translated by Mark Ravenhill, from a literal translation by Marc Funda, with song lyrics translated by Steve Trafford.

When Pelagea Vlassova’s son Pavel becomes involved in political activity her radical action to protect him from imprisonment transforms her into the figurehead for a revolutionary movement. Brecht and Eisler’s iconic drama set in pre-revolutionary Russia.

Vlassova…..Maxine Peake
Pavel…..Andy Coxon
Anton and Sigorski…..Esh Alladi
Ivan…..Nico Mirallegro
Mascha…..Elen Rhys
Andrei and Luschin…..Rupert Hill
Nikolai and Inspector…..William Ash
Vassil and Smilgin…..Kevin Harvey
Karpov and the Landlady…..Christine Bottomley
The Niece…..Nadia Emam

All other parts were played by the company.

Songs by the Chorus of Revolutionary Workers were performed by Kantos Chamber Choir

Directed by Nadia Molinari
Conducted by HK Gruber

A Radio Drama North Production in association with BBC Philharmonic.

Recorded in front of an audience at Middleton Hall in Hull as part of BBC Contains Strong Language Festival.




 New York, New York — Ruth Stage is thrilled to present a chilling new take on Tennessee Williams’ seminal play, THE GLASS MENAGERIE, directed by Austin Pendleton and Peter Bloch. THE GLASS MENAGERIE begins performances on Thursday, October 3 for a limited engagement through Sunday, October 20. Press Opening is Wednesday, October  9 at 7pm. The performance schedule is Monday, Wednesday & Thursday at 7pm; Friday at 8pm; Saturday and Sunday at 2pm & 8pm. Please note: there is no evening performance on Sun 10/20. Performances are at The Wild Project (195 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B). Tickets are $35. For tickets and more information, call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006 or visit

After two critically acclaimed runs in 2018 of Wars of the Roses, directors Austin Pendleton and Peter Bloch reunite with actor Matt de Rogatis to take on the American classic, The Glass Menagerie. In this disquieting production, the tormented Tom (de Rogatis) relives the story of his time in the Wingfield’s St Louis apartment, circa 1939, as if he were remembering it through the lens of a spooky dream.

The cast, led by Ginger Grace as the iconic Amanda Wingfield, consists of Matt de Rogatis as her son Tom Wingfield, Alexandra Rose as Laura Wingfield, and Spencer Scott as The Gentlemen Caller.

Set designer Jessie Bonaventure, who was the assistant Set designer on the Broadway musical Hadestown, which garnered four Tony Awards, including Best Scenic Design, collaborates with lighting designer Steven Wolf to create a version of this Tennessee Williams masterpiece that orders on horror.

Dimly lit and surrealistic, the set itself will consist of props made of glass and the actors will live in a chilling, dreamlike world. Taking inspiration from the The Exorcist soundtrack, Sean Haggerty writes the score for this “Wes Craven meets Tennessee Williams” production. Jesse Meckl designs the sound for the Wingfield house of horrors.


Austin Pendleton (co-director) is an actor, director, playwright, and, at HB Studio in New York, a teacher of acting. His Broadway appearances include Choir Boy (this past season), The Diary of Anne Frank (with Natalie Portman), Doubles, and the original production of Fiddler on the Roof, in which he was the first “Motel”, the Tailor and played opposite Zero Mostel. He has also appeared extensively off-Broadway (winning an Obie for The Last Sweet Days of Isaac, and currently appearing in Life Sucks) and off-off-Broadway, in which he has played roles like “Hamlet,” “Richard the Third,” “Shylock,” and originated roles in many new plays. He has appeared in about 300 movies, including What’s Up DocMy Cousin VinnyCatch-22, and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, and had recurring roles on TV in Homicide and Oz. On Broadway he has directed The Little Foxes, with Elizabeth Taylor, for which he won a Tony nomination, Spoils of War, with Kate Nelligan (who won a Tony nomination for it), Shelter (a musical by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford, which won several Tony nominations), and The Runner Stumbles. Off-Broadway he directed three Chekhov plays (Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters and Ivanov), in productions which included Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Gylenhall and Ethan Hawke, and Hamlet, with Mr. Sarsgaard. The plays he has written are Orson’s Shadow (which ran off-Broadway for about a year, and has been produced since all over the country and in London) and Uncle Bob (which has been done off-Broadway twice and played around the country and in Paris, translated by Jean-Marie Besset), and Booth, which played in New York starring Frank Langella, and since been done in many productions in the United States. He also wrote the libretto for the musical A Minister’s Wife, which played at Lincoln Center in 2011 and has since been done around the United States. He is a member of the Ensemble at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. He has acted there, directed there, and his plays have been produced there. He trained (and subsequently worked for many years) at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, under the guidance of its founder, Nikos Psacharopoulos. He was born and raised in Warren, Ohio. 

Peter Bloch (co-director) last co-directed Wars of the Roses with Austin Pendleton. Off Broadway: The Contrast for the Mirror Rep, H6R3 at the Promenade Theatre, Divine Fallacy by Tina Howe (World Premiere) for Hunter Playwrights. For the National Arts Club: Vieux CarreSuddenly Last SummerThe Lion In Winter, and The Potting Shed

Matt de Rogatis (Tom Wingfield) New York theater credits include “Ken” in Red (Jim Kempner Fine Art Gallery), “Frederick Clegg” in the United States premiere of The Collector (59E59 Theaters), “Roy” in Lone Star (Wild Project/The Triad/13th Street Rep) and “Richard III” in Austin Pendleton’s Shakespearean mashup, Wars of the Roses: Henry VI & Richard III, also directed by Pendleton and Peter Bloch (124 Bank Street Theater). Other favorite NYC and regional credits include the title role in Hamlet, “Stanley Kowalski” in A Streetcar Named Desire and “The Elephant Man” in The Exhibition.

Ginger Grace (Amanda Wingfield) National Tour: The Presidents (opposite Rich Little). Off-Broadway:  The Saintliness of Margery Kempe (Perry Street Theatricals); Miss Julie (The Pearl); Elektraand Faust (CSC). NY Theater: New Perspectives Theatre, Mother of Invention, Mississippi Mud. Regional: The First Ladies Coalition (written by Ms. Grace; directed by Austin Pendleton); Inside Emily Dickinson: Her Poetry & Her Life (written by Ms. Grace); The Belle of AmherstEleanor Roosevelt: Her Secret Journey, and The Color of Light (Schoolhouse Theater); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Penobscot Theater); Doubt (WSCC).  New plays in New York: Jason Jung’s PANIC!, Jenny Lyn Bader’s In Flight, Fengar Gael’s Devil Dog Six, Deborah Savadge’s The Favor.  Film:  Wedding March (Winner: Hollywood International Moving Pictures Festival), 6-minute MomFrat Star, SHEER.   

Alexandra Rose (Laura Wingfield) makes her professional theater debut with this production of The Glass Menagerie. Previously, she has worked professionally as an actress in both film and commercials in New York and LA. She has trained in the drama department at Vassar College as well as the T. Schrieber School under Pamela Scott and HB Studios, in New York, under Austin Pendleton.

Spencer Scott (Jim O’Connor) is a proud member of The Greenhouse Ensemble. Recently he starred as “Romeo” in Romeo & Juliet. Some other credits include, “Anthony” in The House of Yes, “Demetrius” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and “Barry” in The Boys Next Door.


Press: Karen Greco


(Margalit Fox’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/4; via Pam Green.)

Diahann Carroll, who more than half a century ago transcended racial barriers as the star of “Julia,” the first American television series to chronicle the life of a black professional woman, died on Friday at her home in West Hollywood, Calif. She was 84.

Her publicist, Jeffrey Lane, said the cause was complications of breast cancer. Ms. Carroll had survived the cancer in the 1990s and become a public advocate for screening and treatment.

A situation comedy broadcast on NBC from 1968 to 1971, “Julia” starred Ms. Carroll as Julia Baker, a widowed nurse with a young son. The show featured Marc Copage as Julia’s son, and Lloyd Nolan as the curmudgeonly but broad-minded doctor for whom she worked. (“Have you always been a Negro or are you just trying to be fashionable?” he asks Julia in an audacious, widely quoted line from the first episode.)

(Read more)



(Laura Collins-Hughes’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/26; via Pam Green.)

An easily legible production of the ancient Greek tragedy borrows from the tradition of Noh theater at the Park Avenue Armory.

They make the gentlest rippling sound, these candlelit figures gliding ever so slowly through the water, perambulating around a spare scattering of boulders. In a vast, shallow pool, beneath the high-arched ceiling of the Park Avenue Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall, the hems of their filmy white kimonos trail along the surface.

The tableau is so tranquil that you might not even notice, as you take your seat, that you’re already being drawn into the ethereal, meditative otherworld where Satoshi Miyagi’s spellbinding “Antigone” will unfold.

An ancient Greek tragedy by way of Japan, it is visually and aurally splendrous — a large-cast spectacle, with hypnotically paced choreography borrowed from the tradition of Noh theater. Most of the principals here are played by two actors: one, kneeling in the water, to speak the dialogue; the other, on a nearby rock, to perform the movements.

(Read more)



(via Gwendolyn Quinn)

(New York, NY — September 30, 2019) — It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing of international opera star Jessye Norman, in a statement issued by Norman’s family through the family’s spokesperson, Gwendolyn Quinn.

Norman, 74 years old, passed away today, Monday, September 30, 2019, at 7:54 a.m. ET at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York, NY, where she was surrounded by loved ones. The official cause of death was septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015.

Norman was the eldest of two remaining siblings, James Norman and Elaine Sturkey, from a total of five children. “We are so proud of Jessye’s musical achievements and the inspiration that she provided to audiences around the world that will continue to be a source of joy. We are equally proud of her humanitarian endeavors addressing matters such as hunger, homelessness, youth development, and arts and culture education.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.


(Michael Cooper’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/24; via Pam Green.)

The star singer, accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, dropped out of Verdi’s “Macbeth” and indicated he would not return to the Met.

In an 11th-hour reversal, the superstar singer Plácido Domingo withdrew on Tuesday from the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Macbeth” and indicated he would not return to the Met, amid rising tensions over the company’s response to allegations that he had sexually harassed multiple women.

Mr. Domingo’s withdrawal on the eve of the performance — opening night is Wednesday — came as a growing number of people who work at the Met expressed concern about his upcoming performances. Other American cultural institutions, including the Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Opera, had already canceled Mr. Domingo’s upcoming appearances, citing the need to provide a safe workplace.

The backstage unease at the Met boiled over in recent days, including at a heated, sometimes emotional meeting that Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, held with orchestra and chorus members after the “Macbeth” dress rehearsal on Saturday afternoon. Some of those at the meeting questioned what Mr. Domingo’s return said about the Met’s commitment to protecting women and rooting out sexual harassment.

(Read more)

Photo: The New York Times


(Boyd Tonkin’s article appeared in the Spectator, 9/26.)

The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood, Youth, Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen reviewed

Pick up a Penguin Classic from a cult Danish author who ‘struggled with alcohol and drug abuse’ and took her own life aged 58, and you may have one or two prior expectations. They will probably not include a flirtatious dinner with an enthralled Evelyn Waugh (‘so attentive and kind’) in a Copenhagen restaurant so quiet that ‘we could hear the thumping of ships’ motors far out on the water’. Tove Ditlevsen and the ‘vibrant, youthful’ Waugh have their evening spoiled when her third husband — a crazy, drug-pushing medic — turns up in his motorcycle leathers to drag Tove away for her bedtime injection, plus a bout of rougher than usual sex that leaves her spaced-out, ‘limp and blissful’.

The author of Vile Bodies himself might have composed this scene from the late 1940s, when Ditlevsen (born 1917) had already published several acclaimed volumes of poetry and fiction. Both fêted as a literary prodigy in Denmark and derided as a circus freak, the slum-girl superstar had become hopelessly addicted to pethidine and methadone. For all her celebrity, she felt for years that ‘no price was too high to be able to keep away intolerable real life.’

Wrenching sadness and pitch-dark comedy regularly partner her swift progress from a cramped Copenhagen tenement to literary fame. Ditlevsen published these three compact memoirs between 1967 and 1971. They capture the naivety, terror and rapture of her early life across a fast-changing palette of prose colors. The tones darken from her quizzical interrogation of adult follies in Childhood through the satirical larkiness of Youth to the junkie melo-drama of Dependency. Tiina Nunnally’s graceful, witty English versions of the first two volumes date from the mid 1980s; Michael Favala Goldman has now translated the more sombre and introspective third.

Little Tove feels herself ‘a foreigner in this world’, a gangly oddball accidentally dropped with her gruff socialist dad (a stoker, often unemployed), her inscrutable maidservant mother, ‘full of secret thoughts I would never know’, and cheerfully hapless brother Edvin. With her penniless family barely surviving the interwar decades on the fringe of the Copenhagen working class, Tove must hope for nothing better than marriage to a ‘stable skilled worker’ who doesn’t booze too much. Instead, she reads and writes, thinks and observes, gathering enamel-bright memories of childhood into a ‘library of the soul’ she will browse over a creative lifetime.

(Read more)

Photo: The Spectator