Tuesday’s Art Notes

BY Molly Finnegan  March 30, 2010 at 10:21 AM EST

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Singers perform during ‘Treemonisha’, the opera from African-American ragtime composer Scott Joplin, and directed by Spanish dancer and choreographer Blanca Li at the Chatelet theatre in Paris. The opera is performed from March 31 to April 9. Photo by Joel Saget/ AFP/ Getty Images

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The battle for superhero dominance continues. On Monday, a copy of the first comic in the Superman series was sold for a record-breaking $1.5 million, which beat the previous record set by Superman the month before for $1 million, and by auction-block rival Batman for $1,075,000.

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Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater is set to re-open in October 2011, three years behind schedule, after undergoing significant conservation and renovation. The Bolshoi is home to both revered ballet and opera companies.

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According to the Art Newspaper, the artist commissioned to create a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI met with his subject to make some sketches in early March, ahead of an exhibit that opens in the middle of next month in Germany. Michael Triegel confesses he is an atheist, but nevertheless, the pontiff was very pleased with what he saw, exclaiming, Oh, you are my Raphael!

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June Havoc, the Broadway actress whose early life was dramatically depicted in the musical “Gypsy,” which was based on a memoir by her sister Gypsy Rose Lee, has died at age 97. A child star on the vaudeville circuit, Havoc found modest fame as an adult in shows like “Pal Joey” and “Annie” (as the evil orphanage director Miss Hannigan) and later went on to become a Tony-nominated director.