Senior Arts & Entertainment Correspondent
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Dec 6, 2012

What the devil? Royal Opera stages Meyerbeer rarity

LONDON (Reuters) – The audience at London’s Royal Opera House is in for a big surprise on Thursday night.

They will witness German composer Giacomo Meyerbeer’s 1831 grand opera “Robert le Diable” (Robert the Devil), a work so rarely performed that virtually no one has seen it, let alone sung it or played it.

Dec 5, 2012

Rare Raphael drawing raises record $48 million

LONDON (Reuters) – One of the greatest drawings by Renaissance master Raphael still in private hands sold for 29.7 million pounds ($47.9 million) on Wednesday, an auction record for the artist in sterling terms and double pre-sale expectations.

Sotheby’s auctioneers had high hopes for the 16th century “Head of an Apostle”, a study for Raphael’s last painting “Transfiguration” which is on display at the Vatican Museum in Rome.

Dec 5, 2012

Palin rejects “seventh Python” claim in court case

LONDON (Reuters) – Michael Palin was deadly serious, Terry Jones yawned and Eric Idle looked like he was half asleep.

At London’s High Court on Wednesday, proceedings in a case over royalties from the hit musical “Spamalot” were distinctly humorless, despite the presence of three out of six members of the surreal comedy troupe Monty Python.

Dec 4, 2012

Royal Baby: Hysteria, humor and “Kate Expectations”

LONDON (Reuters) – At least Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine have fewer things to worry about now they have announced they are expecting their first child.

A day after breaking the news, the couple popularly known as “Wills and Kate” received advice from the world’s media and public on what to call the offspring, what he/she/they will look like, what to wear during pregnancy and even what the child was thinking inside the womb.

Dec 3, 2012

“Craziness everywhere” at UK Turner Prize for art

LONDON (Reuters) – One of contemporary art’s most prestigious awards is announced later on Monday, and members of the Turner Prize jury must decide between the first performance artist to be nominated, two filmmakers and the creator of obsessively detailed drawings.

The British award, which helped establish the careers of top artists like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, has pushed contemporary art into the public domain, although opinion over the quality of works on display has always been sharply divided.

Nov 30, 2012
via FaithWorld

London show sheds light on Handel’s hidden “Messiah” helper


(Part of a portrait of George Frederic Handel by Thomas Hudson, 1749/Hamburger Stadtbibliothek)

Anyone dusting off their copy of George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” in the run-up to Christmas this year might spare a thought for the unsung hero of the piece.

Nov 30, 2012

London plan to sell Henry Moore work hits legal snag

LONDON (Reuters) – Plans by a cash-strapped London borough to sell a Henry Moore sculpture worth up to 20 million pounds ($32 million) to help pay the bills has hit a snag after the Art Fund charity launched a legal challenge over who owns “Draped Seated Woman”.

Tower Hamlets in the east of the capital, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, is struggling to make austerity savings of 100 million pounds over the next two years, and proposed the sale of the Moore as a partial solution.

Nov 29, 2012

Show sheds light on Handel’s hidden “Messiah” helper

LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Anyone dusting off their copy of
George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” in the run-up to Christmas
this year might spare a thought for the unsung hero of the

Without Charles Jennens, experts argue that the 18th century
oratorio would never have been created, robbing Western choral
music of one of its greatest works.

Nov 28, 2012

Russian region pays $2.4 million for Tarkovsky archive

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s Ivanovo region on Wednesday paid 1.5 million pounds ($2.4 million), or 15 times the estimate, for an archive of thousands of letters, photographs and recordings once belonging to leading film director Andrei Tarkovsky.

Tarkovsky, who was born in the region in 1932, is considered one of Russia’s greatest film makers, directing acclaimed movies including “Andrei Rublyev”, “Solaris” and “The Mirror”.

Nov 28, 2012

Sculptor Gormley wants us to get inside his head

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s foremost living sculptor Antony Gormley wants us to get inside his head with his latest work “Model”, a 100-tonne steel maze of cubes and squares, dark corners and splashes of light on show at the White Cube gallery in London.

The giant grey-black work, based on a human form lying down, is entered via the right “foot”, and combines the fun of an adventure playground with the unnerving quality of a labyrinth often plunged into darkness.

    • About Mike

      "I cover arts and entertainment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, ranging from film festivals like Cannes and awards shows like the BRITs and from books and theatre to art, opera and industry stories. My previous postings include Moscow, senior correspondent in Central Asia and deputy bureau chief in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
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