10,000 Rare Recordings for Free Download – The Library of Congress has launched National Jukebox, a website with free access to over 10,000 recordings from 1901 thru 1925. Coming from the Columbia and RCA Victor vaults now owned by Sony Music, they range from Caruso and Melba to Al Jolson, from Rachmaninov to Gershwin playing his Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman. Opera fans can also follow the full text of the operas since the site has digitized the entire 1919 Victrola Book of the Opera. There is also a spoken-word setion, with political speeches by Teddy Roosevolt and Wm. Taft, Bible readings, and early sound effect recordings. All the material is being provided free of charge to the Library by Sony Music.
Met Opera Japan Tour Marred by Health Problems – Conductor James Levine withdrew last week from the Met’s tour of Japan due to health reasons, which will also keep him from participating in Tanglewood this summer. Jonas Kaufmann, who had the lead role in Don Carlo, has withdrawn, and another singer, Olga Borodina, has been ordered by her physicians to take a two-month vocal rest.
Berlioz’ The Damnation of Faust Staged by Terry Gilliam – The noted film director is staging a new production of The Damnation of Faust for the English National Opera. Though the composer himself said it was never meant to be staged, it has been done frequently – in fact last season by the Met. Gilliam has created a sort of Holocaust Berlioz by drawing parallels with Germany’s history from late-19th century to mid-20th century. Marguerite becomes an abused Jewess sent to the camps.
InfoComm 2011 in Orlando June 15-17 – The largest and most comprehensive pro-AV event worldwide, InfoComm 2011, will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Audio, projection, integrated display, conferencing, lighting, staging, digital signage and communications systems will be some of the areas covered. With over 950 exhibitors, InfoComm 2011 will be visited by more than 32,000 commercial AV professionals, technology managers and procurement personnel from 90 countries. More than 300 education sessions will offer the essential training that AV professionals rely on to stay current with a constantly changing industry. Special exhibits will feature invisible AV technologies, 3D, audio demo rooms, and production cameras for live events. The professional AV industry globally is now a $68 billion business.
XPAND Continues as 3D Technical Partner for Cannes Film Festival – XPAND continues its commitment to the global cinema market with new product developments and support for 3D cinema. It provides the required equipment and training of personnel for all 3D films presented at Cannes. The new XPAND Infinity complete 3D system provides the best viewing experience in any size cinema environment. It has multi-directional synchronization and the highest 3D contrast ratio delivered. Virtually any screen size, shape and surface is available, using XPAND Infinity or Infinity Deluxe eyeware, and any number of Infinity systems can be linked together to operate as a large-scale system. The system was deployed for the world premiere of the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. 90% of the 3D cinema market share in Japan and more than 50% in mainland Europe use XPAND 3D systems.