In 2012, Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Einstein on the Beach is to receive its first full revival since 1992, in a tour that will begin in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in January, and will go on to the Opéra et Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon (March), the Barbican in London (May), Luminato in Toronto (June), BAM in Brooklyn (September), Cal Performances in Berkeley (October), and the Netherlands Opera (January 2013). Glass will be celebrating his seventy-fifth birthday; many other events, including major premieres, are in the works. Fun fact: the New York Philharmonic has never performed a note of Glass.
Why have so many people become resistant to the idea of paying for music, even as they unthinkingly drop bundles of money on overpriced coffee drinks? This grimly funny little video, perpetrated by the Kansas City vocal ensemble Octarium, doesn't supply an answer, but it certainly captures the daily frustration of those who work in the non-profit arts.
The Yale Baroque Opera Project, under the scholarly leadership of Ellen Rosand, is once again addressing the work of Francesco Cavalli. (I wrote about their Giasone last year.) A production of Scipione affricano, from 1664, plays on Dec. 10 and 11.... Next week, Puccini's ever-underrated La fanciulla del Westopens at the Met, with Deborah Voigt in the title role. The Dec. 10 performance falls on the one-hundredth anniversary of the opera's world premiere. Read all about it at Deborah Burton's absorbing Fanciulla 100 site. Included are film and audio snippets of Puccini in New York.... The Cage Against the Machine project in the UK has again brought 4'33" into the news. On Dec. 9, Kyle Gann lectures on Cage's silences as part of the Unsound Lounge at the Goethe Institut in NYC.... Marion Lignana Rosenberg has a head start on the Verdi bicentennial with her Verdi Duecento site.... Who could resist home movies of Sibelius? (Via David Nice, Jessica Duchen.) ... Worth noting: a Music Mondays presentation of Ligeti works for one to five performers, with the Sospiro Winds, Miranda Cuckson, Jacob Greenberg, and others. It's on Dec. 13, at Advent Lutheran Church uptown, and it's free.... TheSteve Reich seventy-fifth anniversary season is now upon us: AXIOM present Music for 18 and the Triple Quartet at Tully on Dec. 9. Also, the fierce youth of the Yale Percussion Group play Reich's Sextet on Dec. 12 at Zankel. Music for 18 will be heard again on Feb. 18 at the Armory, as part of Eighth Blackbird's Tune-In Festival; Georg Friedrich Haas's in vain is on the same bill.
Friends in London have alerted me to the fact that the popular UK singing competition The X Factor recently featured a contestant named Wagner—a Brazilian-born karate teacher whose name is pronounced Vahg-ner, just like you-know-who. An Internet jokester created the video above, incorporating footage from the documentary Stephen Fry on Wagner. Mr. Fry has taken the silliness in stride, noticing that obtuse YouTube comments make the whole thing even funnier. For example: "Amazing that Fry likes Wagner. I thought he'd be really stuffy and only like classical stuff."