Arts

The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Metropolitan Opera To Drop Use Of Blackface-Style Makeup In 'Otello'

Tenor Placido Domingo performs the title role in a 1994 performance of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Johan Elbers The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:08 pm

The Metropolitan Opera is poised to make a big change.

When the fall production of Verdi's Otello opens next month, its lead character will not be wearing the traditional blackface-style makeup.

The Met tells NPR by email that its upcoming production of Otello will be the first without dark makeup since the company first produced the opera in 1891.

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The Salt
3:43 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

How Percy Shelley Stirred His Politics Into His Teacup

Joseph Severn's portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The radical 19th century poet practiced the politics of the plate. For Shelley and other liberals of his day, keeping sugar out of tea was a political statement against slavery.
Joseph Severn Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 9:27 pm

Born 223 years ago on Aug. 4, the great Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley is celebrated for such works as his sublime odes to the skylark and West Wind. But he was also a radical thinker — and his revolutionary politics stormed in his teacup.

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Book Reviews
3:06 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

'Dragonfish' Offers A Noir Vision Of An 'American Dream Gone Rancid'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

A just-published literary noir called "Dragonfish" puts a new spin on the old formula. Our book critic Maureen Corrigan has fallen hard for this tale of gamblers, dark alleys and dangerous dames. Here's her review.

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Monkey See
2:10 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

A Pig, A Frog And Two Producers: 'The Muppets' Talk About Returning To Prime Time

Kermit the Frog and Gonzo return to television in ABC's The Muppets.
Eric McCandless ABC

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 2:24 pm

Most of the panel discussions that happen at the Television Critics Association press tour currently underway in Beverly Hills have something critical in common: the panelists are humans. (Please hold your jokes about Hollywood. The critics in attendance have made them all.)

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Arts
11:25 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Your Official Musikfest 2015 Preview on LV Arts Salon

Patrick Brogan

Host Charles James talks with ArtsQuest's Senior Vice President of Programming, Patrick Brogan, and Senior Director of Communications, Mark Demko, for a preview of Musikfest 2015.

(Original air-date: 08/03/15)

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Book Reviews
10:03 am
Tue August 4, 2015

'Fifth Season' Embraces The Scale And Complexity Of Fantasy

Courtesy of Orbit Books

There are two ways to look at the kind of fantasy novels that come with big glossaries at the end. Negatively, they're self-indulgent exercises in building fictional worlds, with the author fixating on the sheer quantity of settings and characters to the exclusion of all else. Positively, fantasy-novel glossaries help the reader keep track of an intricate clockwork of imaginary peoples, places, and things — and that intricacy actually pays off.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue August 4, 2015

Complex, Generational Music In Lyrical 'Daughters'

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:52 pm

From childhood, The Daughters' Lulu has been a creature of music, able to discern the notes of her surroundings on whim and command: The B-minor of a knife striking a glass, the pitch of different car horns, the musical composition of a waiter's dropped tray. As an adult, she is an opera singer in high demand, a soprano of rare talent who "[prefers] to sing the songs of witches."

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Fine Art
5:51 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Sultan 'Ali 'Adil Shah II Slays a Tiger (ca. 1660) is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's critically acclaimed Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700 Opulence and Fantasy exhibition.
The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Lent by Howard Hodgkin. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Originally published on Mon August 10, 2015 4:44 pm

This is an introduction to NPR's Muslim Artists, Now series, which will highlight contemporary Muslim musicians, writers, painters and filmmakers, among others.

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Author Interviews
2:49 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Reflecting On Football And Addiction As 'Friday Night Lights' Turns 25

Da Capo Press

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 4:44 pm

Twenty-seven years ago, journalist Buzz Bissinger decided that he wanted to write about the big-time stakes of small-town high school football — he just needed to find the right town. At the suggestion of a college recruiter, he visited Odessa, a west Texas town with a high school football stadium capable of seating 19,000 — and a population of approximately 90,000.

"Odessa is just kind of a dusty, gritty place," Bissinger tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "And I see that stadium ... and it's like a rocket ship on the desert."

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Mon August 3, 2015

'Spies' Is A Cinematic Account Of Americans In War-Torn Paris

BERLINER VERLAG/ARCHIV DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon August 3, 2015 1:41 pm

It's the least surprising thing in the world to discover that historian Alex Kershaw's latest book, Avenue of Spies, has already been optioned for development with Sony Pictures TV. Its circumstances — an American family in Paris aiding the French resistance from an apartment only a few doors down from the Paris headquarters of the SS — are too cinematic to ignore. And if that sounds like a coincidence so precarious only fiction can support it ... it sounded that way to the Jacksons, too.

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