“Cherish every whole or broken thing in your life.”

Legendary theater director Peter Sellars delivers the 2015 School of Visual Arts commencement address, echoing the wise and wonderful Parker Palmer, who wrote in contemplating the art of inner wholeness“Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.”

Complement with timeless wisdom from the greatest commencement addresses of all time.

(Photograph by Debbie Millman)


Just announced: The Berliner Philharmoniker returns to New York for a special residency, presented by Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Park Avenue Armory in October 2014. Lincoln Center and the Park Avenue Armory will co-present two performances of Peter Sellar’s “ritualization” of Bach’s St. Matthew Passionled by Sir Simon Rattle and featuring Mark Padmore, Simon Halsey, Eric Owens, Magdalena Kožená, Christian Gerhaher, Camilla Tilling, Topi Lehtipuu, and the famous Berlin Radio Chorus (Runfunkchor Berlin). For these extraordinary performances, a stage and seating installation modeled on the configuration of the Berlin Philharmonie concert hall will be constructed inside the Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The Orchestra’s concerts at Carnegie Hall include works by Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Schumann, and a US premiere by Georg Friedrich Haas. Learn more about this special New York Residency here.

(Pictured: scenes from the Berliner Philharmoniker production of St. Matthew Passion, courtesy Berliner Philharmoniker)


Theodora, HWV 68


Dawn Upshaw, David Daniels, Lorraine Hunt
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
William Christie

dir. Peter Sellars

Mkay. You really have to see this, though.

“I don’t have a whole lot of Strats. I’ve got a sunburst one, one that Eric gave me quite a few years ago. There was one that was stripped to the wood that I gave to Spike Milligan. He was at my house one day with Peter Sellers – Peter was playing the drums, Spike was playing the piano, and I was playing guitar. Then Spike got off the piano and wanted to play the guitar, so I plugged him in to this Strat through a little Champ amplifier. He said, ‘Oh, I haven’t played for 30 years’, but he just picked it up and it sounded like Django Reinhardt or something. And I thought, well, that’s good. So when he left I put it in the case, and put it and the Champ in Peter Sellers’ boot and told him, 'When you drop Spike off give him this.’ So he uses it in his show now. It’s the Strat from the Concert for Bangladesh.” - George HarrisonThe Story of the Fender Stratocaster


Oppressed voices ring out in Morrison’s ‘Othello’
By JENNY BARCHFIELD, Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — She’s but a throwaway mention in Shakespeare’s “Othello,” a one-line reference buried in Act IV of the dense and dark tale of passion and betrayal.

But Barbary — the African nurse who raised Othello’s ill-fated wife Desdemona — is at the very center, the beating heart, of Toni Morrison’s bold re-imagining of the tragedy.

With “Desdemona,” a play that opened earlier this week at the Theatre Nanterre-Amandiers in a Paris suburb before traveling to San Francisco and New York, the Nobel laureate probes the hidden suffering and obscured oppression woven into Shakespeare’s tale.

Directed by California-born Peter Sellars, “Desdemona” is a dialogue between the title character and Barbary, played by striking Malian musician Rokia Traore, who sings her responses in her native Bambara language.

Read more:

This Monday, Lincoln Center presents a free live stream panel featuring director Peter Sellars and Rundfunkchor Berlin’s chief conductor Simon Halsey, as they discuss Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” and their presentation of it with the Berliner Philharmoniker at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival.

Watch here at 6:30pm ET:


Still one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

An excerpt from Peter Sellars’ Giulio Cesare (Handel)

Drew Minter as Tolomeo, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson as Sesto, and I’m sorry but I don’t know the baritone.

“I just love this photo of George and Eric Idle along with Derek Taylor’s wife and kids and Richard Diello at Disneyland in 1977! I guess Derek Taylor took the photo since it is from a book I want but will never own, Fifty Years Adrift. From what I understand, George, Peter Sellers, Ravi Shankar and Eric all went to Disneyland. What a sight that must have been! They are in Fantasyland near the carousel.”

- Sara, MeetTheBeatlesForReal


Inside Opera: Hercules