Saturday, October 15, 2016

Keighley News talks about the musical Wasted which will open in Leeds next week:
A new rock musical aims to tell the tale of the Brontë siblings as never before.
Wasted is being staged as a ‘work in progress’ this month at the West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of the Leeds theatre’s Brontë Season.
Writers Christopher Ash and Carl Miller have set out to capture the angst and unrest of four misfit kids from a Yorkshire village who yearned to be heard, found fame beyond their wildest hopes and died tragically young.
The show is set in the 1830s but reflects the contemporary resonances of the Brontë children’s struggles to find love and creative success in the face of illness, addiction and misfortune.
Carl said: "Anne, Branwell, Charlotte and Emily Brontë went from obscurity to celebrity to premature death on a classic rock band trajectory.
“This is a show for people who love the Brontës and their work, as well as those who had no idea what an amazing bunch of rebellious geniuses they were: gritty not genteel, passionate not polite.” (...)
A spokesman said: “Poor, unemployed, ignored and patronised - the Brontë siblings didn’t have much going for them as they struggled to find their way in the world.
“They were nobodies from nowhere - an angry, difficult, contradictory and often self-destructive bunch who nevertheless believed they deserved to be heard.
“Two centuries later people all over the world are inspired by words they wrote in one room in a miserable slum town with no prospect of publication.”
Wasted includes strong language and sexual/drug references. (David Knights)
Also on Keighley News there is a complete account of the next events and activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Top Children's writer Jacqueline Wilson will be the star guest during a week of family treats hosted by the Brontë Society.
The Tracy Beaker creator will speak about her work during a half-term full of activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum and ending with a Halloween special.
The appearance by multi-award-winning writer Jacqueline, one of the nation’s favourite authors, has already sold out.
But there are plenty of other activities to keep visitors occupied throughout the school holidays, including short guided walks, museum trails and hands-on history sessions.
Museums At Night, a national celebration, will return to the museum at the end of the half-term holidays with two events.
Friday, October 28 will see the latest Parsonage Unwrapped night, which each month allows Brontë enthusiasts to see behind-the-scenes after-hours.
The latest event, part of the 200th anniversary celebrations for Charlotte Brontë’s birth, focuses on the Jane Eyre writer as an artist.
Charlotte was an accomplished artist and considered a career in art before she turned to writing.
Jane Sellars, curator of Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery and co-author of The Art Of The Brontës, will speak on the subject from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £17.50 for adults, £15 for concessions, and include a glass of wine.
Spooky Storytelling is the title of a Museums At Night special on Saturday October 29 from 6.30pm to 8pm, which will allow visitors to explore the Parsonage’s atmospheric rooms by candlelight.
The spokesman said: “Listen to the grandfather clock strike the hour and hear the creaks and sounds made by the historic house after dark.
“Residents of the Parsonage will share ghost stories and village superstitions – make sure you bring a grown-up to hold your hand!”
This event is free to all visitors providing proof of residence in the BD22, BD21 and BD20 postcode areas and also to those living in Thornton, birthplace of the Brontës. Usual admission prices apply to all other visitors, and pre-booking is not needed.
The Brontë Parsonage Museum will continue its special events to mark the Charlotte bicentennial with a 2pm talk on November 1 entitled Early Responses To Charlotte’s Published Writing. (David Knights)
Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) reviews the Brontë-inspired novel Blåst! by Eva-Marie Liffner:
Syskonen Brontë möter Tolkien – och reser i tiden
Gondal var namnet på den dramatiska värld som Emily och Anne Brontë skapade i sin barndom, där verklighet, sagofigurer och deras egna fantasifoster kunder mötas. Eva-Marie Liffners nya roman följer i systrarnas fotspår – och slänger dessutom in en ung Tolkien i mixen. (...)
Sammanlagt rör sig Liffners roman i inte mindre än fyra tidsrymder, vars romanfigurer både samtalar, drömmer och forskar om varandra. Dödens definitiva kraft kontrasteras av möjligheterna i sagan; den stora fantasin. Gondal var namnet på den dramatiska värld som Emily och Anne Brontë skapade i sin barndom, men som aldrig blev till roman. Idag betraktas dock de kvarvarande Gondal-skildringarna, vilka hämtar personer och miljöer både från fiktionen och ur Brontë-syskonens vardagsliv, som tidig fan fiction – eller science fiction. Vad Liffner bland annat gör är att kasta ut tanken att Gondal gav Tolkien fröet till ”Sagan om ringen”.
Blåst!” är en julkalender för en pigg Tolkien-entusiast att dechiffrera. Eller ett fullständigt överlastat sagoskepp. Själv trivs jag bra i syskonen Brontës hätskt lekfulla sällskap, där språk och struktur är just lekande, prövande oförutsägbart.  I övrigt får jag stora problem med en självmedvetet underfundig berättarton, och romanpersoner som har för vana att analysera och förklara varandras förehavanden för mig, som om jag inte redan förstått. Således är jag fortfarande i garderoben. Konstruktionen är för tydlig, jag kommer ingenvart. (Ida Säll) (Translation)
The Elena Ferrante affair is discussed in The Yorkshire Post:
There is a history of women writers choosing to remain anonymous or writing under pseudonyms – we need look no further than the Brontë sisters who famously first published their novels under the names of Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell in order to be taken seriously. (...)Hmmm. Sound familiar? When the Brontës were still safely behind their male pseudonyms critics were ‘denouncing’ them as women writers, while simultaneously using the subject matter of their work – sexual passion, alcoholism, domestic abuse – to prove they must be men. Funny how some things don’t change. (Yvette Huddleston)
In the same newspaper an article about the upcoming BBC documentary The Books That Made Britain: The Yorkshire Coast:
Presented by John Wedgwood Clarke, it delves into the works of everyone from the Brontës to Philip Larkin to reveal how the Yorkshire coastline has influenced the literature we know and love. (...)
“This happens because the coast is different,” he says. “It can be wild. The tide comes in and sweeps the beach clean, every time you walk across it it’s like no one’s ever been there before. These are things that come up again in all the books we look at, the strangeness of the sea, the sea frets in Dracula, and in Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey there’s a wonderful early morning scene where Agnes Grey walks across Scarborough South Bay and then meets her lover, her husband to be.” (...)
“It’s the same with Scarborough. One of the things the producer was very keen on was not necessarily going to the places with which we usually associate these writers. He didn’t want to go to Haworth, he wanted to look at the Brontës by the coast. The Brontës loved Scarborough, some of the key scenes in Agnes Grey are set there and one of their dreams was to open a school in Scarborough. They didn’t realise that because they died before they were able to make it happen “So I think for Charlotte in particular, it’s again a place of freedom, excitement and renewal. It was always a place for which they had very happy memories.” Giving a more contemporary insight into the inspiration of the coast and its towns is Yorkshire author Val Wood, while Clarke meets a group of people who swim in the sea. He says the reasons why they swim in the sea are the same reasons that attracted the Brontës, a desire to get a fresh perspective on things. (Grant Woodwark)
Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Today interviews Kenneth Woods, the principal conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra. In a couple of the weeks he will conduct the premiere of John Joubert's Jane Eyre opera:
James Douglas:          Would you describe Joubert’s Jane Eyre as faithful to the original, or is his a story that stands on its own? Or both?
KW:        Very much both. When adapting a literary work to the operatic stage, one always has to make tough choices about what stays and what goes. The novel, at 400 pages, has enough text in it for 50 operas. The librettist, Kenneth Birkin, and John have managed a very artful synthesis. They’ve been absolutely faithful to Bronte’s original, while also focusing the drama and figuring out how to tell the story in a completely different medium. One has to think very carefully about how to give it a shape that works musically. For instance, John has created a musical structure in which the scene in which Rochester and Jane first confess their love, and the recognition scene when she returns after he has been blinded, are musical mirrors of each other. That meant that Birkin had to adapt the text so that the language was similar enough that it would work rhythmically and thematically in the two scenes. Also, the novel is in the first person, so in the process of developing the libretto, Birkin had to think about whom to adapt the dialogue, so that it would tell the essential bits of the story that Jane narrates. Then John uses the musical language to bring to life the inner emotional worlds of not only Jane, but all the characters. Jane no longer tells us how she felt; instead, John lets us experience her emotions through the music.
The Arts Desk reviews the recent release of yet another Brontë opera, Carlisle Floyd's Wuthering Heights first recording by the Florentine Opera Company:
Odd to think that the two operas based on Wuthering Heights were written by American composers. Bernard Herrmann’s was written in 1951 and has been recorded twice. This one, by the prolific Carlisle Floyd, grew out of a concert aria commissioned by the soprano Phyllis Curtin. Floyd chose to set an iconic extract taken from Emily Brontë’s novel which prompted opera companies to ask whether the rest of the piece was as good. A full-length work was promptly commissioned and premiered in 1958, Curtin’s concert aria smartly recycled at the close of Act 2. Taking as its model William Wyler’s heavily abridged 1939 film version, Floyd suggests that the opera’s relative unpopularity is due to his being associated with more traditionally American subjects. Much of the eclectic score is echt Americana, all wide open spaces and epic brass writing, though the darker corners suggest early Britten. We’re certainly not in West Yorkshire. But Cathy’s ghostly offstage voice in the Prologue soon had me hooked, Heathcliff’s passionate, florid response utterly in keeping with the novel’s spirit.
Georgia Jarman and Kelly Markgraf as the doomed couple are terrific, Markgraf’s testosterone-rich baritone a stark contrast to Vale Rideout’s insipid Edgar Linton. Chad Shelton’s Hindley is suitably brutish. Diction is clear, the English accents pretty decent. Repeated listenings reveal a myriad of instrumental details, like the rude trombone glissandi during Joseph’s tedious sermonising. The opera’s tragic denouement has the orchestra turned up to eleven. Joseph Mechavich’s Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra are outstanding; this doesn’t sound like an easy score to perform. An enterprising release: credit due to Wisconsin’s Florentine Opera for staging the work, and to Reference Recordings for taping it. Live performances on record rarely sound this good; stage noise is minimal and there’s a thrilling sense of immediacy. (Graham Rickson)
Bustle lists creepy book character that you secretly love:
There are some book characters who are easy to love — like Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre and Anne Shirley, all of whom possess an inner strength and passionate demeanor that endears them to readers from page one.  But sometimes, readers find themselves falling in love with the creepy book characters — the villains, the anti-heroes, the misunderstood. This list is dedicated to those characters. (...)
3. Heathcliff From Wuthering Heights
If you look up literary heartthrobs, you'll probably see Heathcliff on the list. After all, he and Catherine have a passionate romance, right? Except that Heathcliff is a manipulative creeper who literally kills a dog. He's actually horrible, but for some reason, I still like him?? (Julia Seales)
Monterey County Now begins a local review like this:
Good things come in threes: comedy writing, the Brontë sisters, the evolution of the human species and quite frankly this show.
The premiere of the new film of Andrea Arnold, American Honey, has triggered some name-calling to Wuthering Heights 2011: 'grubby reinvention' (The Economist), 'bold retelling' (The Globe and Mail), 'artful adaptation' (The Yorkshire Post), 'much-misunderstood' (The Guardian), 'naturalistic take'' (The Herald), 'boldly revisionist' (Knoxville News Sentinel), 'gritty' (Montreal Gazette), 'oppressive' (Now Toronto), 'wild, buttered, unkempt' (The Irish Times), 'bleak-even-for-Brontë' (Grazia), 'sensous adaptation' (Sight & Sound), 'vivid retelling' (Another Magazine),  'heterodoxa versión que no resolvió bien' (Cubaencuentro, Translation)...

Film de Culte reviews the film Une Vie by Stéphane Brizé:
C'est d'ailleurs aux sœurs Brontë que l'on pense devant l'un des plans les plus fulgurants du film: en pleine nuit, deux silhouettes fantômes hurlant à la mort dans la campagne déserte. (Gregory Coutaut) (Translation)
Cinenews (Belgium) reviews Mal de Pierres by Nicole Garcia:
La jeune femme lit Les Hauts de hurlevent, comme si elle voulait que sa vie ressemble à un roman. (Stéphanie Lannoy) (Translation)
Brecha (Uruguay) interviews the writer Mariana Enríquez about her novel Las Cosas que Perdimos en el Fuego:
El epígrafe de Emily Brontë define muy bien estos cuentos. (Mateo Vidal)
—Sí, porque al menos enOccidente las mujeres ya no están encerradas. O en la mayoría de los casos tienen todas las herramientas para no estarlo. (Translation)
Today BBC Two screens Wuthering Heights 1939 and The Guardian says:
A wild romance concocted from Emily Brontë’s classic novel. Having finally stopped sulking over not getting Vivian Leigh as co-star, Laurence Olivier makes a tormented but heroic Heathcliff, and Merle Oberon is a touching Cathy. The real star is Gregg Toland, who won an Oscar for his atmospheric, gloomy-Yorkshire photography. (Paul Howlett)
Mage Menagerie reviews the original Emily Brontë novel.


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