Sad Song

Another major opera talent sings "so long" to the University of Washington. Plus: Western Bridge, Amazon news.


The University of Washington voice department loses another marquee name from its faculty, as tenor Vinson Cole takes a post, starting June 15, at Boston's New England Conservatory. (In January, Carol Vaness left her one-third-time position at UW for a full-time position at the University of Indiana.) We hope this won't affect Cole's relationship with Seattle Opera, where he's been the favorite tenor (in non-Wagnerian repertory) for nearly two decades. His next SO appearance will be a bit of luxury casting: a three-minute cameo as the Italian Singer in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier—in which, incidentally, he'll be reunited with Vaness, singing her first Marschallin. GAVIN BORCHERT


Following reports of an imminent move into digital music sales, is said to be in talks with three major film studios about movie and TV-show downloads. The Seattle Internet retailer's plan, reported last week by The New York Times, would allow purchases to be burned onto DVDs—a leap forward in digital-video sales. Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. are involved in the discussions. While other companies are examining similar services, Amazon is seen as having a leg up thanks to the Internet Movie Database. The most visited movie-related site on the Web, was bought by Amazon shortly before it entered video sales in 1998. RICKEY WRIGHT


Few Seattle galleries are generating more excitement these days than the edgy art space Western Bridge, in SoDo. It follows its critically favored show "Crash. Pause. Rewind." with "Boys and Flowers," which opens Thursday, March 30, and will feature an enticing array of international and local, award-winning and commissioned work. WB director Eric Fredericksen says the title came from Chicago artist Kirsten Stoltman's video installation about skateboarding adolescents, which will be in the show, but the concept grew from there. Local artist Jeffry Mitchell will create a mural installation that involves "spurting elephants and the line from Prince's 'Alphabet Street' [song] that shows up in several of Jeff's pieces, 'ABCDEFGH I love U,'" says Fredericksen by way of explanation. Look for an interesting commission from the local architects of Universal Nonlinear Design (UND), which proposes reconstructing part of Denny Hill; a botanically inspired mural by London artist Paul Morrison; and The Four Seasons of Veronica Read, a four-screen video installation that pays homage to ordinary obsessions, here an English woman's love for planting hippeastrum bulbs, by award- winning Turkish-born British artist Kutlug Ataman. SUE PETERS

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