Thursday, April 24, 2014

Somewhere over the rainbow is Qatar

At the Last Night of the 2013 BBC Proms soprano Joyce DiDonato dedicated Somewhere Over the Rainbow to gay victims worldwide as a protest against Russia's hardline stance towards homosexuals. On Sept 7, 2014 the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra appear at the Proms for the first time. The orchestra was founded in 2007 by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned, one of the wives of the ruler of Qatar. As was pointed out here recently , and I quote verbatim from the UK government foreign travel website: "Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Qatar". Why are some gay causes more fashionable than others?

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5 comments:

Pliable said...

Regular readers will know I am fascinated by the world of management agents. So it is worth pointing out that Harrison Parrott, who coincidentally manage the new chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra Sakari Oramo, manage both the Qatar Philharmonic and its music director Han-Na Chang who conducts the orchestra at its Proms debut -http://www.harrisonparrott.com/toursprojects/qatar-philharmonic-orchestra

Also worth noting the irony of a Tchaikovsky symphony being the main work in the Qatar orchestra's Prom programme.

Pliable said...

Also worth noting that the BBC Symphony Orchestra made its debut in Qatar recently - http://www.qataruk2013.com/event/bbc-symphony-orchestra-concert

Another irony is that in the 2014 Proms season is the premiere of the BBC commissioned Pet Shop Boys homage to Alan Turing, who played a crucial role in breaking the German Enigma code during the Second World War, but tragically committed suicide after he was prosecuted for his homosexuality - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-27141789

billoo said...

Pli, I've been to Qatar 3 or 4 times. Surreal! If you've seen the Truman show you'll know what I mean.
All that bollocks about muslim "brother" doesn't count for much if you're a Pakistani/Bangladeshi labourer. Ain't no Arab spring in the Gulf, just blinding summer!

Pliable said...

Billoo, thanks for that. I really should write a piece exploring why the Qatar Philharmonic is appearing at the Proms alongside orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic; a quick scan of reviews suggests it may not be entirely due to the orchestra's artistic merit.

But, sadly, there is little appetite for that kind of investigative writing these days. People seem to be more interested in what colour bow tie the chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra was wearing for the Proms PR photo shoot.

billoo said...

Yes, I wonder how they got the world cup as well!

On bow ties...fully sympathize with you. It seems like much of the political " analysis" is also about personal characteristics and not the issues.

Journalism and probably the internet too probably play their role in this trivialization.