Classical Music News – Soprano Karitaq Mattila, who was scheduled to sing Strauss’s Four Last Songs April 12, refused to perform with Valery Gergiev because of his friendship with Putin. The music critic of the Telegraph has refused to amend his criticism of Tarra Erraught’s body in his review of her in the new Glydebourne production of Der Rosenkavalier. He argues that opera is a visual as well as an aural experience, and says the young Irish mezzo is dumpy of stature and her costuming makes her resemble something between Heidi and Just William. Top singer Anna Netrebko is ill with laryngotracheitis and has been on vocal rest until today. She pulled out of Gounod’s Faust and cancelled a concert tour. A gathering of record companies, artists, composers, agents and administrators just took place in Vienna. Singer Thomas Hampson gave the opening speech at Classical: NEXT, saying “There can be no argument that the very heartbeat of the life of our educational systems across the world requires[s] the pacemaker of music to revive its vital signs.”
Sharp Greatly Reduces Prices on Aquos & UHD TVs – Applying its unilateral pricing policy program to a number of models, Sharp has reduced the price of one of their 70-inch models from $3,600 to $2,900, one of their 60-inch models from $2,400 to $1,999, and another from $1,700 to $1,400.
Screen Innovations Enlarges Selection of Ambient-Light-Rejecting Screens – SI says it Black Diamond screens are the world’s only vertical and horizontal ambient-light-rejecting screens. They use a multi-layer optic that reflects only the light from the projector and results in a 900% contrast boost. Light scatter is also reduced by more than 75%, to achieve the richest and sharpest blacks available from a screen. Prices start at $2199.
Integra Adds HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 to AVRs – Integra’s first two AV receivers with HDMI 2.0 ports and HDCP 2.2 copy protection are the DTR-30.6 and DTR-40.6. Both are 7.2 channel with seven HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs HDCP 2.2 copy protections protects the UHD content expected to be delivered via streaming services, future terrestrial and satellite serves, and future physical media. The two AVRs are priced at $1000 and $1300 respectively.
More UltraViolet Users Watching TV Content – Over 16 million registered UltraViolet users in the U.S. are viewing their content on TV screens according to a new study. 61% of them watched a movie from their Cloud-based library. The largest gains were made viewing on Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray decks, with streaming-media players and gaming consoles also showing growth. An UltraViolet user can stream or download purchased movies and shows via the Cloud to a TV or connected device.