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    Дудина Светлана Владимировна

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    Дудина С.В.

    English Newspapers

    Part II

    British Home life

    УЧЕБНО-МЕТОДИЧЕСКОЕ ПОСОБИЕ

    Topical Area: British Home Life / Music

    Newspaper Backup: The Times Saturday August 25 1990, London

    Text Tilted and stilted revival

    By John Higgins

    Pre-reading

    1. What do you think of highbrow music?
    2. Why do most teenagers show little interest in intellectual things, especially art, music, literature?

    Tilted and stilted revival

    PUCCINI's Tosca, first performed op January 14, 1900, just manages to squeeze into English National Opera's new season, which is called "Twenty Plus" and. devoted mainly to the music of this century. Would that Jonathan Miller's production, first performed at the Florence Maggio, had managed to squeeze into the Coliseum.      

    The set, one of the least distinguished by the normally excellent Stefanos Lazaridis, sprawls out over the sides of the stager It is so cumbersome to erect that it forces the late start of 8pm. And it is noisy. The wooden scaffolding creaks as Cavardossi tells us about the eyes of ladies preoccupying him at the moment; the tilted-metallic floor clankingly announces each new approach. Acres of text in the programme do nothing to justify Miller's decision to update the action to the last days of Mussolini. Nor have those in charge of revivals — this one is in the hands of Nicoletie Molnar-been able to cover up the basic faults of the staging. The chief of these is a refusal to acknowledge the Roman Catholic piety which suffuses the opera, and in particular the character of Fiona Tosca herself.

    The Te Deum at the end of Act I, instead of being a grand affair, is like a routine Church of England evensong. At the end of Act II, another major Puccini; finale muffed, Tosca finds neither crucifix nor candle for the dead Scarpia but instead tosses a few scraps of paper over him.          '

    So shut your eyes to the production devised in Miller-perverse style and dressed in Miller-drab, and listen to the music. David Kendall sings his first Cavaradossi and performs it as though it had been in his repertoire for years. It is a most distinguished performance, with a bold lyrical sweep for the Act I aria and luscious head tone for Act III. Earlier last season at .Covent,. Garden he sounded in indifferent voice,, but all those vocal doubts have now been dispelled.

    Jane Eaglen in her first British Tosca has yet to reach that level of assurance. She is not helped by being made to totter on in the first act looking, more like a barmaid than a diva; Cavaradossi's cry of "Enchantress" carries little conviction. But as the emotional pressure mounts, so does the quality of the performance, with, an impressive "Vissi d'arte" and plenty of dramatic reserve for the close. Neil Howlett, the surviving principal from the days when the staging was new, was a muted Scarpia drawing his effects from understatement including the distasteful look at Cavaradossi's outburst of  “Vittoria” as though an impolite word  had been uttered in very polite society.

    The  young Italian conductor, Marco Guidarini, heard at Wexford a couple of years back, achieved crisp orchestral playing a bit lacking in emotional tension. But who cart achieve much; with the Act III dawn prelude when there is a soldier wandering around  the stage with a  fag  dripping out of his mouth.

    Skim and scan

    Which of the following reasons does the author give as criticizing English Opera's new season?         (I) poor staging

    (II) David Kendall's vocal doubts

    (III) crisp orchestral playing

    Text organisation

    Match the statements of content listed below to the paragraph in the text to which each statement refers

    Statement

    Paragraph number

    Mentions the name of the London Opera House

    Justifies the conductor

    Points out vocal achievements  

    Criticizes vocal performance

    Sneers at the production

                                                                               

    Vocabulary

    Match the words in the left-hand column which are taken from the text with words in the right-hand column.

    clank          

    rich and sweet  in  taste  or  smell, attractive

    crisp          

    heavy and awkward  to carry

    cumbersome

    Dull, uninteresting

    drab        

    Quick, precise and decided  (of a style)

    fag            

    stiff and unnatural, too  formal

    luscious  

    In a sloping position

    muff            

    (make a) dull metallic sound

    mute

    cigarette

    squeeze

    force Into or through a narrow passage

    stilted

    spread slowly over the surface

    suffuse  

    go majestically

    sweep      

    Move restlessly from side to side or up and down

    tilted      

    fail  to catch; miss

    toss            

    make no sound; deaden the  sound

    Comprehension

    Form complete sentences by using   the parts  of sentences  In (a), (b), (c). Each sentence needs one  part  from each (a), (b), (c). Then reorder these comnlete sentences  logically according  to  the article.

    (a)                1) Cavaradossi’s cry of “Enchantress”

    2) The Te Deum at the end of Act I

    3) The young  Italian  conductor

    4) Puccini's Tosca

    5) Jane Eaglen

    6) Neil Howlett  

    (b)                1) has vet  to  reach

    2) was a muted    

    3) carries

    4) Is   like a  routine  

    5) achieved

    6) manages to squeeze

    (c)                 1) crisp orchestral  playing

    2) Little conviction

    3) That level of assurance

    4) Church of England evensong

    5) Scarpia

    6) into  English National Opera's  new season

    Viewpoint                                                                                               

    1.  Comment on the style of the article and account for the headline.

    2.  Take Imaginary Interviews with David Redall, Jane Eagen, Jonathan Miller and Marco Guidarini.

    3.  Write a musical review to contribute to the discussion of the topic "Life and Music".


    Topical   Area: British Home  Life  / Banking   &  Finance

    Newspaper  Backup: Business  Saturday September  5   1998

    Text Savings  scheme  doubts  grow

    By Richard Miles  and  Caroline Merrell

    Pre-reading

    1. Do you think it necessary to encourage the nubile to save and place the money with financial services companies?
    2. Can the low-paid participate in the drive?
    3. Where does the Government come in?

    Savings  scheme  doubts  grow

    PRESSURE is mounting on the Government to delay the April launch of its Individual Savings Account (Isa) be cause the financial services industry has not been given enough time or information to prepare.

    The Treasury has still not finalised the terms of the Isa, the tax-free savings scheme unveiled in December by Geoffrey Robinson, the Paymaster General,   even   though   the planned launch is less than seven months away.

    Financial services companies have complained that the existing timetable is so right that they will be unable to offer Isas on the official introduction date, threatening to undermine the Government's drive to encourage more of the public to save.

    If the launch were delayed and the Treasury was adamant last night that it had no plans to defer the introduction — then Isa's tax-free predecessors, personal equity plans (Peps) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (Tessas), might be given up to a year's reprieve.

    Whitehall and industry sources said yesterday that publication of the final Isa rules had been set back by July's Cabinet reshuffle which saw Helen Liddell, former Economic Secretary to the Treasury with responsibility for the implementation of the scheme, moved to the Scottish Office.

    Ms  Liddell's  replacement, Patricia Hewitt will shortly have to examine the Isa proposals in detail before they are finalised, and resolve disagreements over the Cat-standard benchmark. This could take several months.

    Roger Cornick, director of Perpetual, the fund manager, said: "A combination of a Cabinet reshuffle and disagreements over the Cat-standard all point to delays."

    His views were echoed by Alan Burton, chief executive of Standard Life Unit Trust Management, who said: "It will be increasingly difficult to offer the Isa within the timetable."

    In addition, banks, insurers and fund managers claim they face a series of practical obstacles, not least the development of computer systems to support the sale and administration of Isas. They say they will need a minimum of six months from the publication of the final rules to build adequate systems to cope with the   scheme's complexity.

    Investment managers also face a legislative hurdle. A change in the law is required to enable them to offer a cash-element within the Isa. This is likely to be one of the most attractive features, given that the Isa is targeted at the low-paid.

    One senior banker, who applauded the Isa's concept but deplored the complexity of the proposals, said the Government would seek to lay the blame at the foot of the industry if the launch were postponed. A respite would be welcome to most financial institutions, which are deeply embroiled in preparations for the    millennium and the euro.

    However, Rowan Gormley, chief executive of Virgin Direct, Richard Branson's financial   services   business,   was keen to defend the Isa. He said: 'The reason for delay has been the change of minister. The industry has been keen to rubbish the Isa since launch because it means that costs will have to be cut."

    The Isa has been mired in controversy virtually from the day of its announcement when Mr. Robinson disclosed that the scheme would have a life-rime limit of £50.000, even though many existing Peps hold far more.

    Last month, Tesco and Sainsbury's said they were reluctant to offer Isas under the proposed Government terms.

    Skim and  scan

    1. What savings  schemes  are mentioned  in the  article? Name  them.

    2. From  the  list below point out the   financial   setbacks   in  the planned

    launch  according  to   the  text:           (l)   Peps

    (2)   Tessas

    (3)   the Cat-standard

    (4)   a cash-element within  the  Isa

    (5)   a  life-time   limit  of £50,000

    Text organisation

    Match  the  statements  of  content  listed below  to  the paragraph  In  the text to  which each statement refers.

    Statement

    Paragraph number

    Criticizes Whitehall

    Describes a conflicting situation

    Shows financial disadvantage of the scheme

    Backs up the introductory paragraph

    Summarizes the reasons for delay

    Points out consequences of delay

    Echoes the Idea of the preceding paragraph

    Introduces the Idea of the next paragraph

    Mentions a legislative difficulty

    Points out the need for time or information  

    Adds to a series of practical obstacles

    Comprehension

    Say whether the statements below are true or false according to the text.

    (I) The Treasury is encouraged by the public to save.

    (II) Financial services companies are more interested in Peps and Tessas than Isas.

    (III) The Treasury has to examine the Isa proposals In detail before they are finalised.

    (IV) Whitehall has to resolve disagreements over the Cat-standard benchmark.

    (V) Computer systems have been developed to support the sale and administration of  Isas.

    (VI) The Isa is targeted at the low-paid.

    (VII) Most of the financial services companies are reluctant to offer Isas under the proposed Government terms.

    Vocabulary

    1.  Delete the word wh.lch doesn't match with the other words In Its meaning:

    (l) delay, (ll) reshuffle, (lll) respite, (lV)reprieve.

    2.  Find words in the text with the following meanings. These meanings are in the same order as the words appear in the text. Identify the paragraphs where the words appear.

    Meaning

    Word In the text

    (I) show publicly for the first time

    (II) organized effort or campaign

    (lll) setting campaign

    (lV) unyielding, firm in purpose

    (V) yield, give way

    (Vl) delay of punishment

    (Vll) difficulty to be overcome

    (Vlll) time of relief or rest

    (lX)  mixed up in smth

    (X)   future time of great happiness for everyone

    (Xl) unwilling, offering resistance

    (Xll) being In difficulties

    3. In the text a number of financial terms are used. Try to match the terms below with their correct definitions.

    Term

    Definition

    Account

    establishment for keeping money and valuables safely, the money being paid out by means of cheques

    bank

    An organisation which collects and pools money from many small investors and Invests it In securities for them

    banker

    department of State controlling public revenue

    executive

    person or group in a business or commercial organisation with administrative or managerial powers

    Insurer

    officer at the head of a division in the department of State controlling public revenue

    current account

    person or company undertaking to make payment in case of loss, etc

    Paymaster General

    person who owns, is a partner in, or is a governor or director of, an establishment for keeping money and valuables safely

    saving account

    statement of money(to be) paid or received (for goods, services, etc)

    Treasury

    one from which money may be drawn without previous notice

    unit trust

    one on which interest is paid

    equity

    ordinary stocks and shares not bearing fixed interest

    Viewpoint

    1. Now that you have read the article try to answer the questions below

    a) Are banks, insurers and fund managers interested in cutting costs?

    b) Why are financial institutions deeply embroiled in preparations for the euro?

    c) What do you think about units trusts and insurance companies?


    Topical Area: British Home Life / Music

    Newspaper Backup: The Times Saturday, August 25, 1990 London

    Text Composer hits the high notes again

    Pre-reading

    1. How do you account for the fact that composers of merit may suffer long and cruel neglect?
    2. Do they usually get the attention they deserve in the long run?

    Composer hits the high notes again

    After years of neglect, George Lloyd's music is getting the attention it deserves.

    Last night's Three Choirs Festival premiere of George Lloyd's Twelfth Symphony marks the renaissance of a gifted composer who has suffered long and cruel neglect for the sin of tonality, Edward Pearce writes.

    The works of this musician have in effect been excluded from performance for more than 25 years by a musical establishment including the BBC Music Department, which notoriously operated, for some years in the late Fifties and the Sixties, a blacklist of contemporary composers whom it styled "reactionary" or "enjoyable".

    Sir Thomas Beecham called the BBC a "monopolistic piece of lunacy". The composer Robert Simpson, himself a highly experienced BBC administrator, described the concentration of power exercised over the Proms as "a coup" in which "the military junta had not even promised free and democratic elections." Lloyd fought back, with help from John Ogden, Charles Groves and the scholarly American entrepreneur Peter Kermani.

    Lloyd's start in music had been impressive. Born in Cornwall in 1913 into a   family which had some money and a great deal of music and literature, he studied the violin with Albert Sammons and composition with Harry Farjeon.

    His first symphony, written at 19, was taken up by Dan Godfrey and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1932. It became available on disc only a month ago, coupled with the handsome new Twelfth Symphony (Albany Records, UK: TROY 032-2). "When you've been recorded they treat you differently," he says. "Quite respectfully."

    In those early days Lloyd was played with decent frequency. His Cornish opera, Iernin, was performed in Penzance; luckily the critic of The Times, Frank Howes, holidaying locally, wrote a delighted review. A second opera, The Serf, made it to Covent Garden under the baton of Albert Coates. At 25 he had made magnificent progress.

    But calamity fell during Lloyd's naval service. "We were bandsmen doubling as gunners on Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union." A faulty torpedo did a U-turn in the sea. "Most of the gunners drowned in oil: not very nice. Me, I was rescued." There was massive shell shock, but the care and love of his Swiss wife, Nancy, resurrected Lloyd from his first pit.

    The second awaited, but not before a flood of creation: the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies and John Socman, an opera  about  a

    Wiltshire soldier at Agincourt, commissioned for the Festival of j Britain.

    Then came the BBC difficulty in I the Fifties and Sixties. He insists on naming no names, but recalls learning years afterwards that there had been a directive that no work submitted by him should even be looked at — just returned. Like other tonal composers of merit. Lloyd had become an unperson. Fortunately the BBC Music Department of today is no longer a practitioner of j atonal despotism.

    Still in frail health in 1952, Lloyd withdrew to market gardening in Dorset, where he grew carnations, then mushrooms. He would rise at 4.30 am and put in three hours' composition before the working day — but for the music, unlike the mushrooms, there was no outlet.      

    "I did get a letter from the BBC Music Department, saying that something had been accepted: the Eighth Symphony. That was in 1969. It was finally done     in 1977."                  

    In the Eighties he had a break: from Gavin Henderson, the manager of the Philharmonia. "One of those few people in music," says Lloyd, "whose instinct is to say 'Yes' rather than 'No'." Three symphonies were recorded by Lyrita Records in 1981.

    The real breakthrough came thanks to Peter Kermani and the Albany Symphony Orchestra, from New York State. "Americans are remarkable," Lloyd says. "We settled everything, Kermani's representative and I — where, when, dates, terms and bucketfuls of cash — in two hours, where the British would have taken six months." In Kermani, Lloyd had an enlightened, expert fan. Half Scottish, half Iranian, head of a rug dealing business, Kermani would rise early for business but devote the second half of the day to music. Lloyd was high on his list of enthusiasms, and new recordings of his Tenth and Twelfth Symphonies followed.

    With his work at last enjoying a little oxygen, the question arises: if Lloyd is an accessible, tonal composer, what is his exact tradition?

    "My first love was for the Italians: Verdi. Puccini, Donizetti. Bellini." he says. The one English composer he cares for is Elgar. Never tempted by what he sees as the blind alley of the 12-tone scale, he looks instead "for the long melodic line". The opening of his Twelfth has. I think, a very beautiful one.

    At 77, Lloyd is humorous, sharp-minded and mild-mannered, and has lived lo second-guess the experts who knew there was no call for that sort of thing.  

    Skim and scan

    1) Which of the following dates refer to George Lloyd's musical career: 1913, 1932, 1938, 1952, 1969, 1977, 1981?

    2) Sir Thomas Beecham called the BBC a "monopolistic piece of lunacy" because Its Music Department:         a) served the interests of monopolies;

    b) exercised the power of a military junta;         

    c) practiced atonal despotism..

    Comprehension

    Complete  the  following  statements under  A), B), C), D)  according  to the  text and  find  the best answer  to  the  assertion:

    George Lloyd withdrew to market gardening   because:

    A)   his start had been  impressive.

    B)   he had made magnificent progress.

    C)    there had been a directive.

    D)   he was in frail health.

    Vocabulary

    1.   Complete  the  sentences:

    A  up, in, with, back, at.

    1) Lloyd fought _____.with help from John Ogden. Charles Groves and the scholarly American entrepreneur Peter I Kermani.                                                                                                                    

    2)  He studied the violin _____ Albert Sammons and composition_____ Harry Farjeon.                                                                      

    3) His   first symphony was taken _____ by Dan Godfrey

    4) He would rise at 4.30 am and put _____ 3 hours’ composition before the working day,

    B decent, delighted, magnificent, massive, frail.

    5) In those days Lloyd was played with _________ frequency.

    6) The critic of the Times, Frank Howes, wrote a____________ review.

    7) At 25 he had made __________    progress.

    8) Still in________ health  In  1952, Lloyd withdrew to market  gardening.  

    C flood, break, baton, call, breakthrough.

    9) A second opera, "The Serf", made It to Covent Garden under the ______Albert Coates.                                  

    10) The second awaited, but not before a _____________of creation.                                                                                                                  

    11) In the Eighties he had a _____: from Gavin Henderson, the manager of the Philharmonia.                            

    12) The real _________________came thanks to Peter Kermani.      

    2. Define the stylistic devices and give the Russian equivalents of the English excerpts: a "monopolistic piece of lunacy", "a coup" In which "the military junta had not even promised free and democratic elections", enjoying a little oxygen, the blind alley of the I2-tone scale, composer hits the high notes again.

    Viewpoint

    1. Write an imaginary interview with George Lloyd and stage it in class.

    2.  Write a précis of the article.

    3.  Participate in the discussion under the headline "A talent for music In contemporary society".


    Topical Area:              British home Life

    Newspaper Backup:    The Times Saturday August 25, 1990 London

    Text The spirit that must survive

    Pre-reading

    1. Do you agree that any multinational community faces the problems of misunderstanding discrimination and nubile disorder?
    2. How can comradeship be achieved?
    3. Do you support the Idea of encouraging business sponsorship and initiating commerce into traditional culture?
    4. Does this benefit the community at large?

    The spirit that must survive

    In 1958, Claudia Jones helped to launch the Notting Hill carnival to unite publicly the area's Caribbean community. Jan Shinebourne says the ideal changed as the event became the biggest street festival in Europe.

    For a brief period this weekend, the Notting Hill carnival will present the black community in Britain as being rather exotic: black people become members of a dionysian race. But if violence mars the carnival, as it often has, then we become a monstrous threat to law and order. These are two conflicting and distorted images of the Caribbean community in Britain, rife with racial overtones. The images themselves have a potential for violence, because they subject black people to misunderstanding and discrimination.

    The carnival will inevitably attract the uneven illumination of the media spotlight. Every year from mid-August the carnival and the culture it represents become subjects on the news schedules.

    The culture of a community is at the heart of the Notting Hill carnival, and the British imagination is the more impoverished for not being more aware of it. It is difficult to appreciate the social and political complexities, to know the personalities, to understand the comedy and the tragedy, the poignancy and the values of this festival, when information comes in a torrent for a week or so and then dries up for the rest of the year.

    Perhaps it is inevitable that coverage by newspapers and television should concentrate on the potential of the carnival to produce trouble: the allegations of mismanagement, suggestions of misuse of funds, disagreement with the police over tactics and, of course, the fear that there will be violence before the two days are over.

    These problems are real enough, but I do not believe they are insurmountable. If there was a better relationship between the police and the organisers throughout the planning stages of the carnival, it might filter through to the streets on the day itself. When this happens, the negative aspects of carnival will recede.

    In a sense, the more obvious difficulties that are attached to running such a spectacular event as the Notting Hill carnival have obscured a problem that threatens to be far more damaging than having smashed shop windows or police equipped for a riot. The traditional free-flowing street celebrations have been squeezed into a more clearly designated and patrolled area, and under its present leadership the carnival is being structured so that it can show a financial profit.

    Last year's event was criticized by the press, public and carnival bands for insensitive policing and over-commercialization, which between them arc the main threats to the true spirit of carnival.

    The policing issue is complex. Critics of the new-style carnival say that violence is provoked by the police approach to the event, which treats it as a public order problem. This, the critics say, is bound to alienate the police from the participants, particularly those around the bands and the sound systems. Last year the bands and their followers complained that the police were so disruptive that they were prevented from participating properly in the carnival.

    Some bands were so disillusioned last year that they have formed two breakaway associations, the Notting Hill International Carnival Committee and the Association for a People's Carnival, to campaign against the changes instituted by the new Carnival Enterprise Committee under Claire Holder, its chairman.

    There is universal agreement that the police do have a role to play at the carnival. The event is bound to attract unruly elements. Traffic offences, vandalism, pickpocketing and other petty crimes need to be controlled. None of the carnival committees, past or present, has quarrelled with the police about this. The complaints have come when the police are perceived to overreach themselves, never more so than last year.

    This year the police are spending £4 million on policing and they have hired a surveillance airship. Is this expenditure justified? Charles Rideout, the assistant commissioner who is in charge of police operations for the carnival, says he needs thousands of officers on duty, and adds: "The airship is an innovation. At a seminar we held with the Carnival Enterprise Committee it was agreed that we should use it instead of helicopters, which were disruptive last year. We have signed a notice of agreement with the CEC for a close-down time of 8pm. We do not approach carnival as a public order problem. We do want people to come and have a good time. It is the biggest street festival in Europe; one million people attend it and they have to be made safe. We approach it from a public safety point of view, so public order comes into it only when people are made unsafe and have to be moved out of the area."

    Even Ms Holder cannot guarantee that the policing of this year's carnival will not again be disruptive. Last year's notice of agreement with the police applies again. Does this mean that nothing has changed? She says: "One thing we do know about the police is that once they have written something down they tend to interpret it in a way which isn't necessarily in the community's best interests. What happened last year was a manifestation of what was in the notice of agreement, but with an interpretation which did not take into consideration the community and the way in which that community would react on carnival day."

    Ms Holder says that the police did not take into consideration the festival atmosphere, the fact that it is summer, and "that people expect to stay out late. The police instituted the closedown to the letter. The crowd doesn't respond in that way. Carnival has to be phased out. The police weren't being flexible, they didn't stop to assess, they didn't look at people, and that caused the conflict."

    It is bad enough when senior figures connected with the carnival cannot agree on how to interpret the rules. What is worse is the effect all this has on the carnival spirit. It is essential that the joyful character of the event is maintained by allowing its traditional form to be freely expressed. The deep roots of the carnival are not in Britain but in the Caribbean, from where many of the older generation of black people in Britain came after the war. The first organisers of the carnival were familiar with Caribbean traditions. They were still close to the struggles against racism and disadvantage and close enough to a sense of "home" in the Caribbean to be able to transfer their artistic, creative and political traditions of Trinidad carnival to the streets of Notting Hill.

    Claudia Jones, a Trinidadian by birth, was one of the chief thinkers behind the first Notting Hill carnival. She is credited with having started it but I think she would disown this accolade and see the origins of the carnival in the creative energies of the community itself.

    Her vision of the carnival was shaped by a passionate love for working people, particularly those from the Caribbean, and a desire to do everything to improve their standing in Britain. She was a child of migration. Her parents went to the United States to look for work and she bore witness to their hardworking lives and the discrimination they suffered. It shaped her consciousness so profoundly that she devoted her life to activism and campaigns in the United States and in Britain.

    Officially, this year is seen as marking 25 years of outdoor carnival, but it was in 1958 that Ms Jones organised the first indoor carnival. This was the year of the Notting Hill riots, which were fuelled by white resentment at the growing numbers of blacks. It was in this climate that Ms Jones and others organised the first carnival. Although its inspiration was the Trinidad carnival, they intended it to be a festival that would unite people from the different islands and countries of the Caribbean. Its aim was to unify and strengthen the community in the face of racial attacks and give them the opportunity to affirm their cultures publicly through their musical, visual and theatrical arts.

    This vision of carnival was born of a concern with the community's lack of political power in Britain. It was a vision that mirrored accurately the concern of Caribbean people with their living conditions here, and so they infused their songs, music, costumes, and whole practice of the art of carnival, with both overt and covert, explicit and implicit, political messages, which have always been there for the public to read. This is in keeping, with the artistic traditions of black culture in the United States, in the Caribbean and in Latin America. Ms Jones and others launched the first

    Notting Hill carnival after the riots left the community in no doubt about its political vulnerability, and woke them up to their need to demonstrate their strength as one people.

    The carnival is culturally complex in itself, but other aspects of its political history have added a different, sort of complexity. There have always been battles to control the carnival that are separate from the inevitable internal rivalries which inhabit any community's attempt to organise anything. From the start there has been a struggle to control the carnival, which has drawn in the police, Kensington & Chelsea council, the Home Office and public funding bodies. In 1958, local government funding was provided to prompt the growth of voluntary organisations which would provide various services to the Caribbean community. This was intended somehow to help to defuse racial tensions, as if the source of racial tension lay entirely within the Caribbean community.

    This year the battle for the survival of the art of carnival has never been fiercer. Ms Holder, a barrister, took over as chairman of the Carnival Enterprise Committee, which last year, amid controversy, replaced the 150-strong committee of the Carnival Arts Committee. Many groups and individuals who had been involved in organising the carnival for many years found themselves ousted from the new committee. Her first act was to commission a report by Coopers & Lybrand, the management consultants. They recommended professional management and profit making. Since then she has displayed a determined management style, espousing an open market policy. The new committee aims to make the carnival self-financing by next year. Last year, stallholders' fees increased from £55 to £100. Sponsorship from soft drink, television and leisure companies was encouraged for the first time. A private security company provided 300 stewards, financed by funds raised from the stalls.

    Last year, for the first time, BBC television gave the carnival extensive coverage on bank holiday Monday. Perhaps this was because the presence of several thousand police officers and the involvement of business sponsors guaranteed a cleaner image? Obviously, BBC coverage helps the status of the carnival by making it a television spectacle. This increased audience is bound to attract and keep business sponsorship.

    In spite of ail this, last year's Notting Hill carnival ended with some strong criticisms. The new organisers have to be careful to distinguish between remedying the carnival's problems and applying tactics which might not only kill the true spirit of the carnival, but which could change it so radically that it would become a meaningless weekend for selling trinkets and tat.

    This year's organisers and the police are, in a sense, on trial.

    When Ms Holder speaks of carnival, she speaks in two voices, that of a tough manager and, in contrast, with a genuine love of and sense of belonging to the Notting Hill community. She came from Trinidad to live in Britain when she was 11. She has lived in Notting Hill for 23 years. She attended a nearby grammar school, and then went to a college of law and qualified at the Bar. She never lost contact with Notting Hill. She gave free legal advice at the Black People's Information Centre and helped to set up a hostel with child care facilities and training programmes for young people. She considers herself in the tradition of strong black women who take on the role of organising the community. The strong woman emerges when she answers her critics: "Here I am, a black person, having been in the culture since birth and identifying with it, being accused of selling out the culture, when the ones who make the criticism are the ones who initiated commerce into carnival, but who did not exploit it in a way that benefited the culture or the community at large. What's the point of creating commerce if it is not going to benefit culture and the community?"

    Claire Holder the chairman of the Carnival Enterprise Committee, claims that the police did not take into consideration the festival atmosphere of the event when they brought proceedings to a close. This year, she hopes a more "flexible" approach will prevent the carnival ending in violence.

    In the rival camp, Michael La Rose is chairman of the Association for a People's Carnival. He has called for "policing by consent" and wants more freedom of movement for the participants, with fewer barriers and police cordons. He thinks the carnival should be allowed to continue until 11pm, to give it the same opening span as public houses.

    As this year's carnival begins, there are questions against its outcome. Can the clashes between youths and the police be avoided? Will the streets of Notting Hill be the setting for an event which young people can attend in expectation of happiness and not danger? Can the carnival find the space it needs to express itself? Will that expression owe more to traditional culture than contemporary commerce? Can we relax and enjoy ourselves?

    It may be too much to hope that the answer will be an unqualified yes this year, but the mood of carnival must be seen to be changing. I am not asking for the clock to be put back, I am asking for the old values of community and comradeship to be brought forward.  

    Jan Shinebourne is a Caribbean author and winner of I he 1987 Guyana prize for fiction for Timepiece (Peepal Tree Press).

    Skim and scan

    1.  How many problems are brought up in the article? List them.

    2.  How many approaches are given? Cite the names of the persons sticking to different opinions.

    Vocabulary and reading comprehension

    Part I

    1. Transcribe the following words and read them carefully:  

    Caribbean, carnival, dionysian, necessarily, poignancy, policing, Trinidad.

    2. Match the words with the definitions:                                          

    A accolade  

    1prolonged argument

    B policing

    2 giving one's support

    C standing

    3 praise; approval

    D surveillance

    4 lack of protection against attack

    E controversy

    5 keeping order in; control

    F espousing

    6 close watch

    G vulnerability

    7 distress to the feelings

    H poignancy

    8 position or reputation

    3. In points 1 to 7 each sentence has an underlined word or phrase. Below each sentence are four other words marked (A), C), (C), (D). You are to choose the one word or phrase that best keeps the meaning of the original sentence If It is substituted for the under-lined word or phrase.

    1)  These are two conflicting and distorted images of the Caribbean community In Britain, rife with racial overtones.

    (A) ripe for

    (B) prepared for

    (C) full of    

    (D) stricken with

    2) Perhaps It is inevitable that coverage by newspapers and television should concentrate on the allegations of mismanagement suggestions of misuse of funds, disagreement with the police over tactics.

    (A)  accusations

    (B)  announcements

    (C)  declarations

    (D) statements without proof

    3) Its aim was to unify and strengthen the community In the face of racial attacks and give them the opportunity to affirm their cultures publicly, through their musical, visual and theatrical arts.  

    (A) declare positively

    (B)  make firmer and stronger

    (C)  protect

    (D) defend

    4) Last year, stallholders' fees increased from £55 to 100 pounds.

    (A) traders

    (B)  participants

    (C)  stewards

    (D)  spectators

    5) A private security company provided 300 stewards, financed by funds raised from the stalls.

    (A) theatre seats

    (B) open-fronted shops

    (C)  church seats

    (D)  playground

    6) … It would become a meaningless weekend for selling trinkets and tat.

    (A)  trash

    (B)  rubbish

    (C)  refuse

    (D) smal1 fancy articles

    7) She helped to set up a hostel with child care facilities and training programmes for young people.

    A) hotel

    (B)  board and lodging

    (C)  hospital

    (D) centre

    4. Extend the phrases with the words used in the text:

    filter through, move out, stay out, phase out, keep with, draw in, take over, set up, take on.

    5. Pick out words or phrases used metaphorically and comment on their meanings: e.g. a dionysian race; fuelled by white resentment.

    6. Trace the meanings of the word "free" in the expressions:

    The traditional free-flowing street celebrations, free legal advice.

    7. Explain the meaning of the expressions: the assistant commissioner, commission a report by Coopers R Lybrand.

    Part B

    1. Match the views below with the person in the text who expressed then:

    Charles Rideout

    The carnival should he given the sane opening

    Ms. Holder

    We approach it from a public safety point of view.

    Michael La Rose

    Traffic offences, vandalism, pickpocketing and                                                         other petty crimes need to be controlled.

    Jan Shinebourne  

    Carnival has to be phased out.

    2. Who asks the following questions?

    1) What's the point of creating commerce if it, is not going to benefit culture and the community?

    2) Can the clashes between youths and the police be avoided? 

    3) Is this expenditure justified?

    4) Can we relax and enjoy ourselves?

    3. Various numbers are mentioned in the text. Say what they refer to:

    £55 to £100; £4 million; 1958; 25; 8pm; 11pm.

    4. When was the first outdoor carnival held?

    (A)  1956;      (B)  1958;   (C)   1965;   (D)  1967.

    Viewpoint

    1. Write your précis of the article.

    2. Take Interviews with the people mentioned in the article.

    3.  Arrange an imaginary talk-show with Jan Shinebourne and the others.

    4.  Write imaginary coverage of a public event:         a) outdoor festival;

    b) riot.

    5.  Write your essay and participate in the discussion under the headline: "I am not asking for the clock to be put back, I am asking for the old values of community and comradeship to be brought forward."


    Topical Area: Home life in GB and USA / Theatre

    Newspaper Backup: The Times Saturday August 25 1990, London

    Text Talent is more than skin deep

    By Benedict Nightingale

    Pre-reading

    1. Does ethnic assertiveness or the recognition of national minority rights promote social and cultural equality of all community members?
    2. What do you know about American Equity's council?

    Talent is more than skin deep

    Roles should never be cast according to colour, argues Benedict Nightingale.

    A person may accidentally shoot himself in the foot. It is quite another matter conscientiously to machine-gun it off. Jet that is what American Equity has done in what continues to gain notoriety as the "Miss Saigon case". In challenging Cameron Mackintosh's right to cast a white British actor, Jonathan Pryce, as a French-Vietnamese pimp the union has threatened to deny 34 minority performers the chance to appear with him on Broadway. It is also doing serious damage to the cause of colour-blind casting.

    For a moment this week, it seemed the quarrel was settled. Under pressure from its membership, American Equity's council reversed a decision it never had a mandate to make anyway. It no longer demanded that an Asian-American be cast as the Engineer. The union acknowledged that its own rules allowed Pryce to take the part He had won a Tony award in 1976 for his performance in Comedians (as a comic, incidentally, with a principled hatred of racist jokes) and thus he had the "star quality" that gives a Briton the right to crash the club called Broadway.

    Mackintosh was expected promptly to withdraw his threat to cancel a production that had, after all, already taken $25 million in ticket sales. But Equity miscalculated their man. He was unimpressed by a climb down that the union's own statements suggested was wholly reluctant, and refused to reschedule Miss Saigon unless Equity agreed to work positively to ensure that the show was as effectively cast and performed as possible.

    There the matter precariously rests, awaiting the answer of a union whose president, the actress Colleen Dewhurst, has dismissed the existing Miss Saigon as "a minstrel show". Indeed, the rhetoric remains shrill. Mackintosh has variously been called callous, arrogant, childish and, of course, racist The current issue of Variety contains a full-page advertisement lambasting him for "perpetuating the gross injustices Asian-specific than skin deep actors have always faced". If Miss Saigon were to open tomorrow in New York, Pryce might well find demonstrators waiting for him.

    It is no use Mackintosh replying that he searched for an Asian-American Engineer without finding an actor with the skill and charisma he thinks vital for the role. Indeed, it is little use his appealing to logic or even sanity. If someone pushes an alarm button called "racism" in America these days, with or without good cause, the bells automatically activated in some people's minds drown all argument

    At the American university where I taught, someone told a racist joke on the campus radio. Soon, black students were conducting sit-ins and presenting the authorities with a list of demands that varied from every black instructor instantly being given life tenure to the word "black" itself being spelt with a capital B in college literature. They had widespread support among liberal whites, too. It is hard for Britons to understand how sensitive an issue race has become in America.

    There are, of course, good historical reasons for this. In theatrical terms, ethnic assertiveness has begun to have benign results, too. Black work proliferates on and off Broadway. At New York's Public Theatre there are regular seasons of Hispanic drama. The excellent Pan-Asian Repertory Company gives similar opportunities to actors with Eastern roots. Minority performers are increasingly breaking into the mainstream, and not just in the roles for which their colour obviously equips them. Shakespeare in Central Park is a major summer event; this year, black actors have played the lead in both The Taming of the Shrew and Richard III.

    Indeed, colour-blind casting is something that audiences on both sides of the Atlantic have come to accept Most spectators would agree it takes only a little extra suspension of disbelief to appreciate the black Edmund now on show in the National's King Lear or the black King of France in the same play at Stratford. Hugh Quarshie, a black player of enormous talent was a thrilling Tybalt in an RSC Romeo and Juliet a few years back. Josette Simon, another, is currently in Arthur Miller's After the Fall at the Cottesloe, playing a character based on Marilyn Monroe with wonderful finesse.

    This is not "positive discrimination". These performers have earned the right to cross the conventional colour barriers because they have the skill and power to fill their roles. In other words, they pass the identical test that Mackintosh has insisted be applied to anyone aspiring to play the Engineer in Miss Saigon. The conclusion is evident If New York can accept Morgan Freeman as Petruchio, an Italian, why cannot Jonathan Pryce pass as a Eurasian? Is not Equity succumbing to the very racism it so ferociously condemns by resisting such casting?

    Its stand has been hypocritical and dangerous. If Laurence Olivier should not have played Othello, which is the obvious inference, is it not equally illogical to cast a black actor in any white role? Should not only Jews be permitted to play Shylock, disabled performers to tackle Richard III, and, as the chief music critic of the New York Times has sarcastically suggested, animals to sing The Cunning Little Vixen? In its own best interest as well as that of the theatre, American Equity should capitulate without reservation.

    Skim and scan

    Which of the following sentences best summarizes the article?

    1.  If someone pushes an alarm button called "racism" in America these days, with or without good cause, the bells automatically activated in some people's minds drown all argument.
    2.  It is hard for Britains to understand how sensitive an issue race has become In America.
    3.  Indeed, colour-blind casting is something that audiences on both sides of the Atlantic have come to accept.
    4.  These performers have earned the right to cross the conventional colour barriers because they have the skill and power to fill their rules.

    Vocabulary and reading comprehension

    1. In points 1 to 9 each sentence has an underlined word. Below each sentence are four other words marked (A), (B), (C), (D). You are to choose the one word that best keeps the meaning of the original sentence if it is substituted for the underlined word.

    1) Under pressure from its membership, American Equity's council reversed a decision it never had a mandate to make anyway.

    (A)  Invoked

    (B)  revoked

    (C)  repeated

    (D)  rehearsed

    2) There the matter precariously rests, awaiting the answer of a union whose president, the actress Colleen Dewhurst has dismissed the existing "Miss Saigon" as "a minstrel show".

    (A)  uncertainly

    (B)  certainly

    (C)  officially

    (D)  officiously

    3)  Mackintosh has variously been called callous, arrogant, childish and, of course, racist.

    (A)  scrupulous

    (B)  unscrupulous

    (C)  coarse

    (D)  indifferent

    4) In theatrical terms, ethnic assertiveness has begun to have benign results, too.

    (A)  benighted

    (B)  besmirched

    (C)  favourable

    (D)  unfruitful

    5) Most spectators would agree it takes only a little extra suspension of disbelief to appreciate the black Edmund now on show in the National’s "King Lear” or the

    black King of France in the same play at Stratford.

    (A)   delay

    (B)   suspicion

    (C)   sustenance

    (D)   survival

    6) In other words, they pass the identical test that Mackintosh has insisted be applied to anyone aspiring to play the Engineer in "Miss Saigon".                                          

    (A)  Inspiring

    (B)  ambitious

    (C)  designing

    (D)  desirable

    7) The current issue of "Variety" contains a full-page advertisement lambasting him for "perpetuating the gross injustices Asian-specific actors have always faced".

    (A)  slapping

    (B)  lamenting

    (C)  scolding'

    (D)  slandering

    8) Is not Equity succumbing to the very racism it so ferociously, condemns by resisting such casting?

    (A)  yielding

    (B)  succeeding

    (C)  subverting

    (D)  sustaining

    2. Are the following statements True or False according to the text?

    a)  In challenging Mackintosh’s right to cast a white British actor Jonathan Pryce, American Equity's council succumbs to the very racism it so ferociously condemns.

    b) The union acknowledged that its rules didn't allow Pryce to take the part of an Asian-American Engineer.

    c) Mackintosh searched for a white actor with the skill and charisma he thought vital for the role.

    d) Black work proliferates on and off Broadway.

    e) The excellent Pan-Asian Repertory Company gives similar opportunities to actors with Eastern roots.

    Viewpoint

    1. Write a précis of the article.

    2. Take imaginary interviews with Cameron Mackintosh, Jonathan Pryce, Colleen Dewhurst and practice them in class.

    3. Arrange Imaginary talk-show with all the people concerned.


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