This week we said goodbye to a long-time colleague and a student who gave us a hand for two months. *sigh* Life goes on... But time certainly doesn't fly. In fact, if it went by any slower, I'm sure it'd come to a halt. I mean, can we throw that end-of-season party already? One more week to go... To help you kill time and waste it wisely until then, here are our best catches from the web.
* A breakthrough in the "Coughing at the concert" mystery: "Die Menschen husteten zur Musik, nie zum Text," Axel Hacke found out. He suggests concert halls hire "cool-downers", i.e. people who would tell you when to clap, when to cry and of course, when to cough. "Ein Art Cool-Downer stellt sich aufs Podium. Erläutert die Bedeutung der Stille in Mahlers 9. Sinfonie. Macht den Leuten ihre Rolle klar. Schließt einen Pakt mit ihnen: Wenn ihr nicht hustet, wird euer Erlebnis größer sein." At least Michael Tilson Thomas would stop throwing cough sweets at people's faces.
* The English Touring Opera spent a few days at the Philharmonie this week, performing "Rumbled" in partnership with the EME Foundation. The ETO recently published the result of a study they did into audiences for opera broadcasts in cinemas. Their General Director James Conway, as an opera-lover and cinema-enthusiast, shares his thoughts about the results and about their implications, not just for the ETO but for any opera company.
* Richard Reed Parry of Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire released his debut classical album, Music For Heart And Breath, earlier this month. This record got The Telegraph's Adam Sweeting thinking: "Are the barriers between pop and 'serious music' finally crumbling? Or were they meaningless all along?" Here's Parry talking about his compositional debut record.
* Sometimes, looking for posts that might make it here takes me to websites I never thought I'd visit. Like, I never imagined landing on the Christian Science Monitor website... But when they asked "How well do you know opera?", I thought "I don't know." So they said "Take the quiz!" and I did. Will you?
Have a nice weekend, everyone! And don't forget to listen to music! (Which won't be much of a problem for those of you going to Rock-a-Field.)