Tag Archives: Attila


“For the vision of the stage design, which we developed with Miuccia Prada (Pierre de Meuron and myself), we decided very early on to be, actually, quite close to Verdi’s description of … Verdi’s vision, which is basically based on two images. On one hand is the rubble, is the destruction, is the destroyed world, that we took very literally, even more literally than Verdi probably did. And there is nature. Nature represented by wild nature. Very strong, powerful nature. So one doesn’t go without the other. And it is a forest that you know from images rather than from your won experience because it should be much more real, almost hyper realistic. Like the forest in fairy tales. In Hansel and Gretel, for instance. was a forest which is both real, scary, symbolic, mystical. We also used the light for the forest, and for the rubble, not as light which is inspired by our individual taste whatsoever, but it should be the light we know from our own memory, like the light that you know from hospitals, from explosions, or the light, the green light military lights. And those lights are being used to enhance this moment of danger, of this kind of steamy, gloomy, jungle type of forest where the light always has this specific character. It’s always very artificial light. So the forest doesn’t have this romantic moment that you find sometimes in art, in paintings, where the light, or the wood, is used as wild energy or, at the same time, as something that promises hope.”Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de Meuron Architects

The Excellent lighting of Attila: Ildar Abdrazakov, top, in the title role, and, from left: Violeta Urmana as Odabella, Ramón Vargas as Foresto, Russell Thomas as Uldino and Samuel Ramey as Leone, at the Metropolitan Opera. Image by Sara Krulwich for The New York Times via nytimes.com.

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Presenting, by category, the 2009 Excellent People Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Excellency.

Image courtesy the Excellent Thomas Ludacer.

1. Architecture: Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron for their Excellent sets for the Metropolitan Opera‘s upcoming production of Verdi‘s rarely heard Attila.

2. Art: Former dealer Jeffrey Deitch for his Excellently controversial, and much deserved,  recent appointment as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

3. Beauty: Her Excellency Pat McGrath, Outstanding makeup artist, for CoverGirl Cosmetics.

4. Cinema: Tie: His Excellency Colin Firth for his Outstandingly Excellent performance in A Single Man; Mo’ Nique for her heartbreakingly Excellent performance in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.

5. Communications: Messieurs Jean-Luc Dupont and Wade H. Grimbly of Système D press office in Paris. Global fashion PR at its most Excellent. Excellent need-to-know clients: Petar Petrov, Odyn Vovk, and Georgy Baratashvili, among many Excellent others.

6. NOT APPLICABLE. Winner removed. Please see number 7. Hey, that life in all it’s Excellency.

7. Disillusionment: The old friends lost vs. the new acquaintances gained during 2009. Goodbye. Hello. And best wishes for an Excellent 2010 to all.

8. Excellency:  The Excellent People.

9. Expectation: The extreme Excellency of The Excellent People: A Memoir, begun in Fall 2009, to be published in Fall 2011.

10. Fashion: Her Excellency Robin Givhan, of The Washington Post, also winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize,  for her continued Excellent reporting and writing about the wildly wonderful world of style.

11. Hope: His Excellency Barack Hussein Obama, the first light-skinned Black African American President of the United States sans Negro dialect, yo.

12. Icon: Her Excellency Sandra Bernhard. Enduringly Excellent. Perennially Outstanding.

13. Literature: Alice Munro for Too Much Happiness: Stories, also winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize.

14. Loyalty: Please see number #7.

15. Lust: South African actor Sharlto Copley. Outstandingly Excellent.

16. Luxury: The 2009 International Herald Tribune Sustainable Luxury conference held in New Delhi, India.

17. Media: Harvey Levin, the Excellent founder of TMZ.com, Excellent internet chronicle of Hollywood life.

18. Music: His Excellency Jason Bentley, program director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic, at KCRW Radio in Los Angeles, for his Exquisitely Excellent musical tastes.

19. Nostalgia: His Excellency Edmund White for his memoir City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and 1970s.

20. Photography: Dean Sameshima for his Excellent work on view here.

21. Society: Derek Blasberg for his consistently Excellent, glittering café society reports for Style.com and other fashionable publications.

22. Style: Lady Gaga for her dubious and gaggingly overrated and hysterical influence on fashion and music.

23. Technology: The Excellent Nick Knight for his ShowStudio.com, Excellently forcing the fashion world to acknowledge the 21st Century.

24. The Look: Tights under shorts for men. Excellency for your consideration.

25. Theater: Cate Blanchett for her Outstandingly Excellent performance as Blanche DuBois in The Sydney Theater Company’s production of Tennessee Williams‘s A Streetcar Named Desire, presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

26. Thought: What is Excellence?

27. Travel: The City of Angles for its upcoming status as the capital of the art world.

28. Visuals: The Excellent staffs and artists of Peres Projects, Los Angeles and Berlin, for their Outstandingly Excellent program and exhibitions.

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