Reflector Entertainment Unveils Details Of Madonna’s Highly Anticipated, Groundbreaking Augmented Reality Performance At Billboard Music Awards (press release)

LOS ANGELESMay 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — It was revealed today that Madonna’s performance of her new song “Medellín” at the Billboard Music Awards on Thursday night, which transfixed audiences with groundbreaking augmented reality incorporated into the performance, was the result of Madonna’s artistic vision alongside her manager Guy Oseary in collaboration with Madonna’s Creative Director Jamie King and Reflector Entertainment. Founded by Alexandre Amancio and Cirque Du Soleil Creator Guy Laliberté, Reflector Entertainment is a cross-platform storytelling studio based in Montreal, Canada. This marked Madonna’s first live performance since 2015.

In a first-of–its-kind performance, Reflector and King teamed up on the overall artistic direction, producing four separate personas of Madonna alongside the live performance of the iconic “Material Girl” herself. At Dimension Studios in London, Reflector used volumetric capturing, a technique which fully scans and reproduces a complete performance in three dimensions, to capture all augmented reality models several weeks before the live performance. During this time, they worked with Madonna to create and record four of her personas, which included a musician, cha-cha instructor, secret agent, and a bride.

All of the volumetrically captured models and effects were ultimately processed and played back live through Reflector’s custom built volumetric capture player, offering unprecedented performance and high-quality playback within Epic’s Unreal Engine 4. The resulting augmented reality performance, which was visible exclusively for TV viewers of the telecast, was presented alongside live components, including Latin singer Maluma, and over a dozen live dancers. Television viewers were also treated to exclusive special effects such as clouds, rain, and butterflies, each integrated seamlessly within the live performance.

The overall challenge with the performance was bringing together all of the different technologies, such as volumetric capture, real-time rendering, and live camera tracking to create an unprecedented experience. The creative team proved that, when used correctly, volumetric capture is an extremely profound storytelling tool with unlimited possibilities. 

“Madonna’s vision is never hindered by the limitations of technology, allowing her to create iconic performances that will be talked about for years, and this is no exception,” said Reflector founder and CEO Alexandre Amancio. “We jumped at the opportunity to be part of the first broadcast to fully utilize augmented reality and special effects to this degree in a live performance.  I’m proud of what the Reflector new media team, led by Simon Tremblay and Jean-Normand Bucci, has achieved in such a short period of time”.

Alexandre Amancio heads Reflector through his singular vision of cross-platform storytelling, spearheading the creation of its original IP portfolio. Previously a Creative Director at Ubisoft, Amancio was one of the visionary talents behind the international success of Assassin’s Creed. His work on the franchise has earned him two distinct WGA nominations.

About Reflector Entertainment

Headquartered in Montreal, Reflector is a new breed of studio creating high-quality, compelling content for global audiences.  By employing a true cross-platform approach, where content is built outwards from fully fleshed “Storyworlds”, the company is able to tell richer, deeper stories that connect with fans everywhere. Reflector collaborates with top industry talent to innovate and revolutionize entertainment experiences.https://www.reflectorentertainment.com/

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Madonna reportedly barred entry to Eurovision venue over unsigned show contract

Pop superstar Madonna was said to have been briefly prevented from entering the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest Thursday morning, where she was to rehearse her planned performance during the weekend final, because she has yet to sign the contract for her appearance.

Eurovision’s executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand initially ordered that the singer not be granted access due to the unsigned paperwork, Channel 12 television news reported.

However, an understanding was later reached with the European Broadcasting Union, which runs the contest, and Madonna was granted entry to the Expo Tel Aviv venue, the report said.

On Wednesday, Sand had similarly instructed that Madonna not be granted access  to the Eurovision site in Tel Aviv but relented after the singer’s team threatened that she would cancel her performance, the report said. The singer eventually spent two hours rehearsing her act, which is expected to feature three songs.

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Madonna landed in Tel Aviv Tuesday night, defying calls by pro-Palestinian activists for her to boycott the international song competition hosted by Israel. In a statement ahead of her trip, Madonna said she was determined to perform at the Eurovision finals despite the boycott calls.

“I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be,” the singer said in the statement carried by US media.

Madonna’s participation unleashed a storm of protests from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has for years been pushing for investors and artists to shun Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

Tel Aviv was designated the host city after Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won in Portugal last year.

The semifinals of the contest kicked off on Tuesday, with more qualifiers scheduled for Thursday this week and the Grand Finale on Saturday.

More at The Times of Israel

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Madame X Tour at Le Grand Rex Paris – register now!

LE GRAND REX CONCERT DATES IN PARIS CONFIRMED
18, 19, 20, 22 & 23 FEB. 2020

MADAME X TICKETS IN PARIS AVAILABLE VIA VERIFIED FAN 
REGISTRATION OPEN THROUGH NOW UNTIL 20 MAY (11:59 PM CEST) AT www.ticketmaster.fr

Citi® is the official credit card of the Madame X Tour

(Click here for French version – Cliquez ici pour la version française)

Thursday, 16-May, 2019 – Paris, FR. Following last week’s heralded announcement that Madonna will perform a series of rare and intimate performances exclusively in theatres, Madonna, Live Nation and Maverick today unveiled the dates for her appearances at historic Le Grand Rex Feb. 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23, 2020.

The Madame X Tour will kick off September 12th at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in New York and will feature multiple nights of shows in each city including performances at the Chicago Theatre, The Wiltern in Los Angeles, the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the Boch Center Wang Theatre in Boston, The Met Philadelphia and at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in 2019. The Madame X Tour will then resume in early 2020 with performances at the Coliseum in Lisbon, The London Palladium and at Le Grand Rex in Paris. Here is a link to a video from Madonna about the Tour: https://madonna.lnk.to/TourVid.

Madonna is the best-selling female solo touring artist of all time and has the highest-grossing concert tour ever by a female artist with her Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008-2009) at $408 million.

Influenced creatively by living in Lisbon, Portugal over the past several years, Madame X is a collection of 15 new songs that celebrate Madonna’s career-long affair with Latin music and culture as well as other global influences. Madonna is releasing 5 songs before her highly-anticipated new studio album Madame X debuts globally on June 14th. Following Friday’s release of the infectious pop gem “Crave” featuring Swae Lee and produced by Mike Dean, the empowering ballad “I Rise” and the critically-acclaimed “Medellín,” additional songs to be shared with fans include the Jamaican dancehall vibes of “Future” featuring Quavo on May 17, as well as the sonically innovative “Dark Ballet” on June 7.

Madonna’s long-time promoter Arthur Fogel, President – Global Touring and Chairman – Global Music, Live Nation said: “The chance for fans to see Madonna at these venues is incredibly special. We are proud and excited to be able to deliver this ultimate opportunity for her fans.”

To ensure fans have the best access, Verified Fan is in effect for Madonna’s Madame X tickets at the Grand Rex in Paris. Fans may register starting today through Monday, 20 May (11:59pm CEST) at www.ticketmaster.fr for their chance to access tickets to these very special events. Verified Fan does not guarantee a ticket but does enable all fans an equal chance to access on a first come, first-served basis when they become available to Verified Fans on Monday, 27 May at 10am CEST. Tickets will be limited to 4 tickets per person.

ICON is Madonna’s official fan club. Lifetime Legacy members of ICON may also register starting today through Monday 20-May (11:59pm CEST) to become a Verified Fan and receive first access to tickets when they become available to Verified ICON members on Thursday, 23 May at 10AM CEST. Icon presale runs through Friday, 24 May (5PM CEST). Complete details at: https://www.madonna.com/tour.

Citi is the official presale credit card of the Madame X tour. As such, Citi credit and debit cardholders can take advantage of a special Citi Presale powered by Verified Fan opportunity for tour dates in France. Citi cardholders can register now through Monday, 20 May to unlock access to tickets and use their Citi card to complete the ticket purchase if verified. The Citi Presale begins Friday, 24 May at 10AM and will continue through Saturday, 25 May at 5PM.

Tickets for these very special Madame X performances are available at €84.00 – €386.50 (plus applicable service fees). Madame X VIP & Hotel Packages will be available for all Verified Fans. VIP packages may include great seat locations, exclusive backstage tour, photo opportunity on stage, VIP pre-show reception, limited edition Madonna gift item, photo opportunity at the VIP red carpet and more! Additionally, fans can access Ticket & Hotel packages which include great ticket locations, exclusive merchandise, hotel accommodations and more.  All fans wishing to access VIP & Hotel Packages may register now through Monday, 20-May (11:59PM CEST). Full details at www.ticketmaster.fr

The tour is presented by Live Nation Global Touring.

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Maluma 11:11 (including ‘Soltera’) bol.com pre-order link available

Released on Friday and includes ‘Soltera’ the third collaboration between Madonna and Maluma, order through bol.com here

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Maluma Talks Madonna Collaborations and ‘Soltera’ On Apple Music’s Beats 1

Maluma was already at the forefront of the Latin wave sweeping the world, but his presence on Madonna’s “Medellín” increased his profile exponentially. The Colombian superstar spoke about the collaboration during his interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1. “I still can’t believe it,” he said of the sultry duet. “After I went to London, after I went to LA to finish the song, after I shot the video and everything, after I did the Billboard’s performance, I still can’t believe that that happened to me.”

“I come from this little town in Colombia, Medellín, and I always dreamed about it,” Maluma continued. “I always wanted it to happen but I didn’t know that for real, like after eight years of being working, that huge [moment] was going to happen in my life.” As for working with the Queen of Pop, he only had nice things to say. “I feel grateful with Madonna to give me the chance to be part of her project.” He also mentioned their second collaboration, “Soltera,” which features on his upcoming album, 11:11 (out May 17).

“A big thing that is happening again in this album is another collaboration with Madonna,” the 25-year-old explained. “A different kind of vibe than ‘Medellín.’ It’s called ‘Soltera’… she’s a single woman. And this is big for me, I also have a few features with Latin artists. Like the hottest Latin artists right now in the industry. And I think [it’s] a very powerful and colorful album, I would say. It’s full of hits.” You can listen to the full interview below.

More at Idolator

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Maluma 11:11 including collab with M ‘Soltera’ pre-order

This Friday will be quite the treat for us Madonna fans, not only will we get a brand new track (Future with Quavo) but Maluma will release his brand new album 11:11.

Besides ‘Medellin’ and ‘Bitch I’m loca’ the duo recorded ‘Soltera’ together which will be included on 11:11.

If you want a physical copy, you can pre-order at most online stores such as Amazon. Direct links here

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Madonna vows to sing at Eurovision, despite calls for boycott

Jerusalem (CNN) Madonna intends to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest final in Tel Aviv, Israel, this weekend, despite calls by activists for her to boycott the event, the singer said Tuesday.

Nearly 200 million people are expected to tune-in on Saturday to the competition, which pits singers and bands from different countries against each other in a live final with public voting.
 
But politics and controversy, as well as security concerns, have threatened to overshadow the competition, especially after a flare up of violence between militants in Gaza and the Israeli Army last week.
 
Four people in Israel and more than 20 people in Gaza were killed in two days of fighting, before mediators managed to restore a ceasefire, even as rehearsals for the competition were getting underway.
 
News that Madonna had been booked as a guest performer had provoked opponents of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories to demand she re-think her commitment.
 
But in a statement to CNN, the singer said, “I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be.”
 
“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace,” the statement continued.
 
There remains some confusion over whether Madonna will actually take the stage.
 
The European Broadcast Union (EBU), which has overall responsibility for the annual event, said it has not yet completed the paperwork necessary for Madonna to perform.
 
“The EBU can confirm that no final decisions have been made, or agreements signed, regarding a performance by Madonna at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019,” a Eurovision spokesperson told CNN.
 
But Josh Hantman, a spokesperson for Sylvan Adams, the Israeli-Canadian entrepreneur who is footing the bill for Madonna’s performance, said the financial part of the contract had been settled.
 
Hantman also said that Madonna was already “on her way” to Israel to take part in Saturday’s show.
More at CNN
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Madonna confirms Eurovision, says she won’t bow ‘to suit someone’s political agenda’

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pop superstar Madonna on Tuesday explained her decision to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel this week, saying that she will always speak up to defend human rights and hopes to see “a new path toward peace.”

Madonna will make a guest appearance on Saturday during the Eurovision finals in Tel Aviv. The venue has prompted calls for a boycott by pro-Palestinian activists who want companies, performers and governments to disengage from Israel.

The popular Eurovision competition features musicians from more than 40 nations and was watched last year by some 189 million viewers in around 50 European countries.

In her first comment on her decision to sing at the event, Madonna said she was a supporter of all human rights.

“I’ll never stop playing music to suit someone’s political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be,” the singer said in a statement to Reuters.

“My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict. I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this terrible cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace,” she added.

Israel is hosting the Eurovision contest after local singer Netta Barzilai won last year. The winning country customarily hosts the following year.

Madonna, 60, is expected to perform two songs in Tel Aviv, one from her upcoming “Madame X” album to be released in June. She had taken her world tours to Israel in 2009 and 2012, and is a follower of the mystical form of Judaism called Kabbalah.

The singer’s Ray of Light foundation, which promotes social justice and women’s empowerment worldwide, supports a number of Palestinian projects.

They include funding teachers’ salaries at schools in the Gaza Strip through the United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency UNRWA and micro loans to female farmers through the Palestine Fair Trade Association. The foundation also supports Americans for Peace Now, which campaigns for a diplomatic solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel has launched a PR campaign to counter calls for a boycott of the Eurovision contest by the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. Security has been tight in Tel Aviv amid fears that activists may seek to disrupt the competition.

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Madonna set to arrive for Eurovision, but gig still in air

Equipment is already here and pop star to fly in with huge entourage on Wednesday, but negotiations still ongoing over broadcast rights

Pop superstar Madonna will land in Israel on Wednesday morning, accompanied by an entourage of 135 people, ahead of her planned performance during the Eurovision finals on Saturday night.

But on Monday, Eurovision executive producer Jon Ola Sand said her performance was not yet confirmed, since the European Broadcasting Union does not have a signed contract with her team.

Disagreements apparently remained regarding the EBU’s broadcasting rights for the performance, as the union is demanding all member networks be granted full rights to the materials.

“If we don’t have a signed contract, she can’t perform on that stage,” Sand said at a Monday night press conference at the Tel Aviv Expo. “We’re negotiating that now.”

Earlier Monday, the public relations team for Sylvan Adams, the Canadian-Israeli philanthropist, who is reportedly funding a large portion of Madonna’s $1.3 million fee and bringing her to Israel on his private jet, stated that preparations for Madonna’s performance were already taking place.

Daniel Benaim, the CEO of the Comtec Group, an Israeli events producer that is handling the singer’s production in Israel, stated in a press release that her performance was a complicated one with demands and standards similar to those of other international performers.

A portion of Madonna’s stage set arrived in Israel on Monday, on a cargo plane loaded with 30 tons of equipment, including 70 stairs and and an elevator that will be part of the Eurovision stage. Other preparations include a backstage tent complex for Madonna’s team and four full rehearsals.

Madonna’s entourage includes rapper KoVu, a choir of 40 people, 25 dancers and dozens of choreographers, staging, lighting, and video art personnel for her performance.

Adams, who has lived in Israel since 2015, and has funded several major projects, including the Giro d’Italia Big Start bike race that took place in the Jerusalem area last year, said it was an honor to host Madonna for Eurovision.

“The Eurovision being hosted in Tel Aviv brings the biggest music competition in the world and I’m excited that Madonna will be the face of Eurovision and will add more ratings, interest and excitement to what I hope will be the most successful Eurovision ever,” stated Adams. “The Eurovision brings countries together, as well as cultures, tolerance, and friendship through music, and Israel is the perfect home for hosting the competition and for advancing those values — I believe that all of Israel joins me in my wishes and in welcoming Madonna.”

According to local promoter Live Nation, the $1.3 million price tag for a 15-minute Madonna performance will be paid for by Adams.

Madonna has performed in Israel three times: in 1993, 2009, and during the summer of 2012.

A longtime Kabbalah enthusiast, she has made pilgrimages to Israel on several occasions as well.

More at The Times of Israel

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