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Spanish widow who botched fresco makeover inspires opera

MADRID: When an elderly widow in a tiny Spanish town decided to restore a church fresco of Christ, the result was so disastrous that it went viral and she became a global laughing stock. Fast-forward a few years, and the tables have turned considerably for Cecilia Gimenez, now 85, whose “restoration” in Borja resembles a…

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August 19, 2016


Sofia Coppola teams up with Batman designer for ‘La Traviata’

ROME: US director Sofia Coppola is teaming up with the British designer behind the Batman trilogy for a new production of the Italian opera “La Traviata”, with costumes by fashion king Valentino. Coppola, who won an Academy award for “Lost in Translation”, is putting on her first opera with Giuseppe Verdi’s romantic tragedy at the…

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February 10, 2016


Soap opera shines positive light on Egypt's Jews

CAIRO: With scenes of religious coexistence and vintage elegance in a more cosmopolitan era, an Egyptian soap opera aims to dispel prejudice towards the country's long-vilified and nearly extinct Jewish community. “The Jewish Quarter” shows life inside Cairo's Haret al-Yahud district during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, depicting an almost idyllic portrait of a society where…

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June 26, 2015


Charlie Parker, jazz legend, returns as opera hero

NEW YORK: Opera has not been generous in its portrayal of people of color, with few identifiably non-white leading roles in the classical repertoire. So when prominent tenor Lawrence Brownlee was offered the opportunity to play jazz legend Charlie Parker, he seized on it. The opera, “Yardbird,” which opens Friday at Opera Philadelphia, offers a…

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June 6, 2015


For war-weary Syrians, Damascus Opera brings welcome respite

DAMASCUS: After years of war forced it into near silence, Damascus' once-thriving Opera House is slowly coming back to life, bringing respite and a little culture to residents of Syria's capital. Recent weeks have seen a sharp increase in the number of performances at the Opera House, as residents look to revive some of the…

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January 13, 2015


Mortar fire kills two at Damascus Opera House

DAMASCUS: A mortar attack on the Damascus Opera House killed two people on Sunday, state media reported, as regime forces pressed a campaign against rebels on the Syrian capital's outskirts. “Two people were killed and five others wounded by a mortar round that hit the Damascus Opera House” near key government and military buildings on…

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April 6, 2014


Honoring opera to 'Star Wars,' Obama awards arts medals to 24

WASHINGTON: Citing the power of artists and academics to open minds, President Barack Obama on Wednesday awarded 24 medals to people including “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and writer Joan Didion who he said touched his life and the lives of Americans.”They challenge us to think and to question and to discover, to seek that…

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July 10, 2013


Turkish PM fumes over steamy Ottoman soap opera

ISTANBUL: A hit TV show about the Ottoman Empire's longest-reigning Sultan has raised a political storm in Turkey, with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan urging legal action ver historical inaccuracies and the opposition accusing him of artistic tyranny.Erdogan tore into the weekly soap opera “Magnificent Century”, which attracts an audience of up to 150 million people…

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November 27, 2012


The soap opera life of Mexico's next first lady

MEXICO CITY: Angelica Rivera is known as “La Gaviota” or The Seagull, the woman she portrayed in a hit telenovela, but Mexicans will soon have to get accustomed to addressing the former soap star as First Lady. When Rivera, 41, married Mexico's next president Enrique Pena Nieto in November 2010 she was more famous than…

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July 13, 2012


Facebook could pay over $1 bln for Opera – analysts

OSLO: Opera Software(OPERA.OL) shares soared over 20 percent on Tuesday on talk Facebook Inc.(FB.O) was in discussion to buy the firm, while analysts said competition from Google(GOOG.O) and others could push the price tag of any deal over $1 billion.Shares of Oslo-listed Opera, coveted for its advanced mobile phone software technology, jumped as much as…

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May 29, 2012


Abraham Lincoln's opera glasses up for auction

LOS ANGELES: The opera glasses Abraham Lincoln held when he was fatally shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington on April 14, 1865 are on the auction block.Lincoln carried the opera glasses to a showing of the play “Our American Cousin” when John Wilkes Booth burst into the president's theater box and shot him in the…

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April 25, 2012


Sydney Opera House in the dark over Earth Hour

SYDNEY: Sydney's iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House went dark on Saturday as Australians switched off lights around the country for an hour as part of a global effort to shine a spotlight on climate change.Hundreds of landmarks around the world including Washington's National Cathedral, London's Clock Tower, the Great Wall of China and Tokyo…

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March 31, 2012


Dubai to build opera house, museum near Burj Khalifa

DUBAI: Debt-laden Dubai will build an opera house and an modern art museum, the government said Wednesday, in the first such project since the Gulf emirate was hit by the global economic downturn in 2008.The Dubai Modern Art Museum & Opera House District “aims to further strengthen UAE's emerging role as the cultural hub of…

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March 22, 2012


Culture and glamour at Vienna Opera ball

VIENNA: The 56th Vienna Opera ball opened late Thursday with a heady mix of culture, glamour and politics, the Austrian capital shaken not stirred as a James Bond mingled with the celebrity guests. French maestro Georges Pretre, 87, and Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu provided the artistic openers at this year's Opera Ball, the highlight of…

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February 17, 2012


'Forever Enthralled' tells story of Bejing opera star at Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN: Chinese director Chen Kaige pays tribute to the power of an “ordinary person” in his latest work — a film about a cross-dressing falsetto singer who became a hero in China for defying the Japanese in World War Two. 'Forever Enthralled' is Chen's homage to Mei Lanfang, one of the country's most celebrated exponents…

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February 12, 2009


Street culture meets high art at new Argentine opera

BUENOS AIRES: The rhythms of Buenos Aires' poor quarters are infiltrating the city's comfortable class with a satirical opera set to the infectious beat of cumbia villera. Born in the massive slums encircling Buenos Aires' relatively wealthy core, Argentina's cumbia mashes tropical rhythms with hip hop-esque lyrics honing in on the harsh realities of life…

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February 11, 2009