Archive for februari, 2014

How long is a piece of string?

The discussion on cultural industries tends to go high and low, distinctions and definitions feel somewhat homemade, and sometimes it all seems quite confusing.

High voices are raised in Sweden with pros and cons on the CCI – but few have checked any facts or bothered to do analytical distinctions before continuing an agitated talk.

Now the Region of Västra Götaland has published a small booklet written by David Karlsson at Nätverkstan with answers and questions on CCI in a try to sort things out a bit. The intriguing title is: How long is a piece of string?

In Swedish, but an English version is perhaps on it’s way. Download here: Hur långt är ett snöre.pdf.

26 februari, 2014

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High quality opera in small format

During some winter months Nätverkstan, together with Sture Carlsson who is former CEO of the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Performing Arts and more, have dug deep into the situation of Wermland Opera.

On Monday the results were presented for the principals Region Värmland and Karlstad Municipality, and yesterday for the staff and press.

Opera is probably the most expensive art form and operas around Europe are facing the same problem: increasing costs and lowered or stagnant public funding.

In many countries in Europe the tradition is to put a high degree of public funding into opera and concert halls. Today the situation is changing and for Italian opera houses – the cradle of the art form – the situation is acute. The accumulated deficit for Italian opera houses is enormous 300 million euro.

Wermland Opera, a small opera house situated in Karlstad in Region Värmland, is no exception. Although already getting a relatively large amount of the regional cultural budget (72%), the reality is that they have had to cut in expenses (mainly staff and productions).

Wermland Opera has showed impressive artistic results in its productions. In 2011 they put up the full Wagner Ring trilogy – something even large opera houses find challenging – a production that caused ripples far outside of Värmland with Wagner fans from all over the world traveling to the city and the national press praising the effort.

The opera house has managed to show high artistic quality opera in a small format, something that perhaps can be described as a new model of working for small opera houses with relatively limited budgets in Europe.

But they also face challenges. They can’t cut more in the economy without endangering the artistic quality. At the same time, getting such a high amount of the regional cultural budget as they do, leaving crumbles for other cultural initiatives, they also have a large responsibility. They need to open up for cooperations and to a larger degree see themselves a regional cultural resource.

Read articles in Swedish Television Värmlandsnytt, Swedish radio P4 Värmland or download the following articles here: Articles_WO.pdf. Read also the article ”The End of Italian Opera: Will They Wait for the Fat Lady to Sing?” in Newsweek. Read related post here

19 februari, 2014

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Life out of balance

Göteborg International Film Festival has taken over the city and people are rushing through snow and sleet to see films; join events, seminars, price ceremonies; or just do celebrity spotting.

On Saturday evening large crowds went to the big arena in the city to see the documentary from 1982, Koyaanisqatsi. The documentary was directed by Godfrey Reggio, photography by Ron Fricke, and music composed by Philip Glass, and quickly became a cult movie.

In a unique cooperation between the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra and the International Film Festival, this film was shown on 20 meter large screen with live music played by the Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra Choir, Philip Glass, and the Philip Glass Ensemble.

The film with a title meaning ”Life out of balance” in the Hopi Indian language, shows exactly that – a life out of balance – as actual today as thirty years ago. Or even more so today.

For those who saw David Guggenheim’s documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to educate people on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, might find similarities. Both try to show a disastrous development for humanity and nature that just can’t go on.

But Koyaanisqatsi is more than a documentary. The film photo, the silent ongoing fast pace, and the live orchestra music in combination goes beyond any simple messages.

 

2 februari, 2014

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Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

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