Could this be the same Alan Borg who told the recent Museums and Galleries Commission conference: "Every survey shows that most museum visitors come from the ABC1 social categories. Free admission subsidises the well-off and tourists."
Apparently it is the same chap. But only apparently. Other museum directors I asked claimed they could only vaguely remember Dr Borg uttering those words and assured me they had to be "contextualised". Why the apparent change in philosophy and communal amnesia?
The violinist formerly known as Nigel was introduced simply as Kennedy when he played the Elgar concerto at the Virgin Megastore in London. Actually Kennedy has never been a great one for first names. When I first met him, he called me Monster throughout our chat, something I still worry about in the small hours. His change of name is suspiciously well timed, publicity- wise, for his new recording. It's just a pity he couldn't persuade the conductor on the recording, Sir Simon Rattle, to join him in ditching first names and titles. Rattle And Kennedy. It does have a certain musical machismo. Simon and Nigel, on the other hand, is rather less butch.
More revealing is the fact that K - to give Nige a more Kafkaesque title, and one he might consider adopting for his next CD - chose to perform Elgar at the Virgin Megastore, with a full 80-piece band squeezed into the basement of the Oxford street shop. But there's method in K's mould- breaking. The 500-strong audience were surrounded by shelves of discs and plenty of willing salespeople. Some 200 CDs were sold as the concert ended. That's over 10 per cent of the total needed to break into the classical Top 10, all in a few minutes. This was, I suspect, the first of many record- store concertos.
Culture secretary Chris Smith's proposal that the ENO leave the London Coliseum and share Covent Garden is highlighting the genuine affection people feel for the company. At the end of one of this week's performances of Verdi's Falstaff, a magical production by Matthew Warchus, music director Paul Daniel worked out that 15 out of the 17 performances ENO had played since Smith made his announcement had attracted audiences too large to fit into any other London theatre. Sometimes statistics can provide the most eloquent argument of all.Reuse content