Sky to become broadcast partner of Glyndebourne
14 April 2009, Glyndebourne, UK
Glyndebourne Opera and Sky Arts today announced a new partnership, which will see Sky Arts become the official UK broadcast partner of Glyndebourne for 2009. The collaboration will centre on a live, high-definition broadcast from Glyndebourne of L’elisir d’amore on Sky Arts on Saturday 15 August. This broadcast will be the culmination of a month of Saturday night programming of Glyndebourne operas on Sky Arts 2 and Sky Arts 2 HD. Highlights of the Glyndebourne opera series include the award-winning Giulio Cesare and Hänsel und Gretel.
The partnership will last for the whole of Glyndebourne’s 75th anniversary season this year, with broadcasting and relay initiatives planned for Glyndebourne on Tour, Glyndebourne on Screen and environmental projects.
Flanders Opera denies accusations of anti-Israeli sentiments
8 April 2009, Antwerp, Belgium
Flanders Opera, based in the Belgian cities of Antwerp and Ghent, has issued a statement in response to a series of articles published in the Joods Actueel, a Jewish monthly magazine which has accused the opera company of planning scenes that contain anti-Israeli sentiment in its forthcoming new production of Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila, due to open on 28 April. In its most recent issue, Joods Actueel has published two opinion pieces which accuse Flanders Opera of planning a politically-motivated denigration of Israel. In a television report, the magazine suggested that Flanders Opera intends 'to burn the Israeli national flag on stage'.
General Director of Flanders Opera, Aviel Cahn, gave a firm rebuttal of what he termed as 'harsh' allegations: 'It is the duty of art to take a critical view of our times, tendencies and societies. Only in this way will it have social relevance. With this production of Samson et Dalila, directed by the Israeli-Palestinian team of Omri Nitzan and Amir Nizar Zuabi, we are challenged to cast a critical eye on a situation where the extremely complex relationship between oppressors and the oppressed will result in a violent explosion.'
The Flanders Opera statement continues as follows: 'The production is unique in bringing together an Israeli and a Palestinian artist who will try to analyse the suffering that has haunted the middle east for more than three millennia. A critical view of today's reality through the lens of history is not automatically an anti-Israeli act. Flanders Opera's production will give the opportunity to deepen our understanding of what is happening in this region of the world, and will be an occasion to bring together important artists from both sides of the argument. The involvement in this project of Israeli personalities such as Meir Shalev, Eran Riklis and Tom Segev, and the patronage of the European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, speaks for itself. Israeli Opera is even considering inviting this production to its theatre in Tel Aviv. For Flanders Opera, this sort of dialogue is important and we want to make sure it continues in a cultured and philosophical manner. We would be happy to see the Joods Actueel present at our performances and discussions, and then hear their judgment.'
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