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04/19/2007


‘Brokeback Mountain’ Opera to Open This Week in Madrid

Brokeback mountain

A modern opera adaption of Brokeback Mountain is set to open in Madrid later this week, AFP reports:

The Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch [right] as the hesitant Ennis and American tenor Tom Randle [left] as his devoted Jack play out their tale of secret love in homophobic 1960s Wyoming against a photographic backdrop of brooding mountains

At a dress rehearsal ahead of Tuesday night's world premiere, their voices soared over New York composer Charles Wuorinen's score, the orchestra sounding ominous and frenetic by turns as the doomed romance moved to its climax.

"The whole opera is about a typical kind of impossible situation, a tragic situation," said Wuorinen, who called on the writer Annie Proulx, author of the novella on which the film was based, to write the libretto.

"In this case, it's two people who in some way want to have a relationship which in their time is forbidden by society," Wuorinen told AFP.

"That's a very traditional operatic problem to deal with."

The English-language production will be premiering at Madrid’s Teatro Real.


Looking: Art Installation In Madrid Calls Attention To Issues Of Surveillance

Ispycameras

A street artist in Madrid has taken over one narrow block in an effort to raise awareness about surveillance and the technology used to perform it. The artist, named SpY, who incidentally began his career as a graffiti artist, has installed over 100 CCTV cameras on a wall overlooking the tiny street. The cameras are all aimed in the same direction and at the same angle, giving the overwhelming impression that anyone on the receiving end of their gaze is being closely watched and scrutinized. Though they are not in fact recording passers by, their mere presence gives off an air of suspicion and danger.

The Verge reports:

"The piece invites reflection about our present and daily interaction with technology and who is behind [it]," SpY writes in an email to The Verge. "The cameras are a symbol that represents it, however it is clear that we are surrounded by devices that act as tools of surveillance."

...SpY says that he's seen a variety of reactions; some people wonder whether the cameras are on, while others assume that they are and interact with them as though they're being recorded.

"I like to generate some type of reaction with my work," SpY says. "I try to awake and create a more lucid conscience with my interventions. Irony and humor are a way to make the receiver an accomplice, create a dialog, and make one think that the work communicates something with which one identifies."

..."As a side note regarding its location, all the cameras point to the house of a well-known drug dealer," SpY says. "Well known even by local police."

Check out more beautiful photos of the art installation at The Verge.


Organizers: City Trying to Kill Gay Pride in Madrid

Madrid

Organizers of Madrid's Gay Pride festivalsay the city is trying to financially "strangle" the event by imposing excessive fines that will shut it down if they continue, the Guardian reports:

"You can't levy such barbaric fines on an event that's so important to the city," said Boti Rodrigo, president of the Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales. "These fines put the survival of Madrid Pride in serious jeopardy."

This is the fourth successive year the festival has been fined for noise violations. Past fines ranged from €35,000-€50,000, against which organisers successfully appealed and had reduced or waived. The courts have so far reduced one of the fines to €600, but have yet to rule on the other two. This year's edition of Madrid Pride, held in July, earned 15 fines totalling €159,809. Organisers have appealed against the fines, but said it could take more than a year before they find out if their appeal is successful.

"We've never seen city hall so short-sighted, with such little political will towards us," said Rodrigo. The celebration of gay pride, started in 1979, attracts an estimated 1.5 million people each year and offers the city a chance to "show that Madrid is an open, multicultural and tolerant city".

The root of the problem appears to be in Madrid's mayor Ana Botella:

"She's putting up permanent barriers to our success," said Rodrigo. "What's clear is that the ideology of a person, when that person is the mayor of Madrid, shouldn't interfere at all in her political responsibilities."

In 2011, when Botella was Madrid's councillor for the environment, she introduced stringent noise limits in residential areas. The restrictions forced Madrid Pride to resort to silent concerts, where participants danced to music streaming through their headphones.


Facebook Removes Gay Kiss Photo, Ironically an Advertisement for a Cultural Project Against Homophobia

Hidalgo

An image of two men kissing by well-known Spanish photographer Juan Hidalgo, utilized by Madrid-based Visible Culture group for its 'Gay Art Looks For A Home' initiative and documentary, was removed by Facebook for breaching a decency code barring images of a "political, sexual or other sensitive" nature. The project has put in its place a "censored" version of the image, above.

Facebook is investigating why the photo was removed.

"The documentary, shot in Madrid, brings together a thousand works of gay and lesbian donated by over four hundred artists from thirty countries," according to El Pais.

Said the director of the program Pablo Peinado: "The documentary aims to build a dialogue about rights and the fight against homophobia through the culture and identity of the gay community. However, the ultimate goal of this documentary is to find a place to exhibit the work and build a museum of gay culture."

UPDATE: A Facebook spokesman contacted Towleroad and said that the photo has been put back.

"Upon investigation, we concluded the advertisement does not violate our guidelines and was removed in error. The ad is now running and we apologize for the inconvenience."


Watch: Madrid's High Heel Race

High 

It takes place every year during Madrid's gay pride celebrations. The winner gets to take home $400 euros. And some I'm sure some exceptionally smarting feet.

(via Joe.My.God.)

Continue reading "Watch: Madrid's High Heel Race" »


News: Judy Shepard, HIV, Hilary Rosen, Madrid, Jersey Shore

 road National Organization for Marriage (NOM) loses appeal in Maine.

Shepard  roadJudy Shepard memoir nixed from university reading program for being homophobic?

 roadTom Cruise gushes on David Beckham: "I really admire David Beckham as a person, father, husband and athlete. He's absolutely fantastic. He's got a great competitive spirit and he's a tireless worker with a clear mind and a solid body." Especially a solid body.

 roadMassive flow of bullshit continues to flow from BP headquarters. "Though no one knows exactly how much of the dangerous bullshit is currently gushing from BP headquarters, estimates put the number at somewhere between 25,000 and 70,000 words a day."

 roadAIDS Drug Assistance Program threatened by specter of Tea Party challengers.

 roadWATCH: The first 13 minutes of Jersey Shore season 2.

 roadGay rights poised to become wedge issue in Georgia gubernatorial race.

 roadLady Gaga makes a fashion statement at her sister's graduation.

 roadMadrid Pride cancels invitation to Israeli officials over flotilla incident: "The Israeli delegation, made up of members of the LGBT association and the Foreign Ministry, was scheduled to run an Israeli 'bus' in the parade, for the first time since its establishment. But the delegation has recently received hints from Spain that their arrival may cause anger among local pro-Palestinian groups, which may require excess security and, more importantly, cause a lot of embarrassment."

Rosen   roadHuffington Post cuts ties with Hilary Rosen for taking consulting job with BP. "Hilary is no longer our Washington Editor at Large, a mutual decision we recently reached given her involvement with BP. However, we still have a great personal relationship. And, of course, Hilary’s work with BP has had zero effect on our coverage of the company or the disaster in the gulf. Comprehensive and hard-hitting, our coverage speaks for itself."

 roadRyan Gosling eats pizza, looks fine while doing so.

 roadRobbie Williams and Gary Barlow to release duet single: "The single, titled Shame, has been written by the pair and will be released on 4 October."

 roadSF Appeal looks at the problem of gay hook-up violence...

 roadLittle Britain's Matt Lucas scores role on Glee.

 roadAs does John Stamos — who will be cleaning teeth!

 roadApple under investigation for weird questions during sales of iPads to Asians.

Pronger  roadChicago Tribune ridicules Flyers hockey player Chris Pronger by putting him in a women's skirt.

 roadGay men attacked in Windsor, Ontario.

 roadGrand Rapids Community College trustee opposes funds for theatre group because it once performed Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi about gay Jesus Christ.

 roadSun floats Taliban HIV-bomb story.

 roadJudge drops bioterrorism charge in HIV-infected Detroit man's defense case: "'People didn't take the time to investigate properly and understand what HIV is,' Allen told reporters. 'It's not a death sentence. I'm not dying. I'm living. People need to stop hating people with HIV. This disease can happen to anyone.' Allen is accused of biting his neighbor, Winfred Fernandis Jr., on the lip during an altercation over a football in Allen's driveway. Prosecutors say Allen was the lone attacker. But Allen's attorney, James L. Galen Jr., said Allen was the victim, and was attacked by Fernandis and members of Fernandis' family because he's gay."


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