Children's Opera at Boston Conservatory

Yesterday I took my daughters to a children's opera put on by students of Boston Conservatory. This is the second one we've been to - they put on this free program twice a year - and again it was a lot of fun. The show was "The Bremen Town Musicians," a new opera by John Davies based on a Grim Brothers tale and (humorously) set to well-known music by Rossini, Offenbach, Donizetti, Verdi, and Sullivan.

The students really put their all into the performance, and director Kirsten Z. Cairns knows how to present the program to make it enjoyable to adults and children alike. Thanks for the great time!

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A New Model for Online Media Distribution

Last night at Filmmakers Workshop (the salon I co-organize for Boston’s independent mediamakers), two visitors spoke about online distribution for independent film work. It was fascinating to hear from Brian Newman, Executive Director of Renew Media in New York, about their very ambitious REFRAME project to digitize and make accessible vast quantities of media arts from independent filmmakers, artists, distributors, archives and other sources of independent and alternative media.

REFRAME is funded largely by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and has the refreshing non-commercial goal of furthering “the dissemination of important media arts and the preservation and accessibility of our visual heritage.” Contracts with artists, archives, distributors, and other partners will be non-exclusive, include free or low-cost digitization, and allow media partners to set their own purchase and rental prices. According to Newman this will all be delivered via a polished website with robust searching and browsing features. Launch is scheduled for the coming months, and it will be very exciting to see what happens! You can read more at their website or on David Tamés’s Kino-Eye blog.

Joe Zina, Executive Director of the Coolidge Corner Theater, also spoke about the Coolidge Internet Theater – an exciting new section of their website where conversations begun in the theater can continue, students and young filmmakers can gain exposure, and independent mediamakers can fundraise or get the word out about their work. It’s an interesting way to use the power of the Internet to build local community. Congratulations, Coolidge!