Saturday, February 21, 2009
On this Academy Awards day, Lewis (Spirit of St. Lewis) informed me that DesignerBlog had gotten one of UrSpo's coveted blog awards, specifically THE award: “Best Blog” for 2008!
Of course, just being nominated along with so many distinguished blogs was award enough. I feel very humble. Thank you! (If only I'd known, I would have sprung for the Dolce & Gabbana tux!)
Follow this link to an inspired piece of lunacy from The Onion, just in case you’re feeling really good about things these days.
This is the second time recently that I’ve gone almost a week between posts. It isn’t for either lack of interest or for lack of life experience. But my attention has been taken by a lot of chores and an upcoming production week--getting a coherent block of time to put out a decent entry has been an elusive goal.
After what we thought was a false start—you may remember the pornographic mushroom shot—the Shiitake kit really took off, producing some big, meaty mushrooms that have gone into omelets and a couple that are going to accompany a London Broil tonight. It looks as if we’ll be putting the block into its “rest” mode for the prescribed ten days after harvesting the last of these and we’ll then hope for a successful start to another growing cycle.
Opera Boston put out its subscription announcement for next season on the Boston Globe’s website late Friday night, prior to it’s appearance in the Saturday print edition. OB has been “the little company that could” since its start in a very savvy merger of the Boston Academy of Music’s opera wing and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project a number of years ago. OB has in some ways violated all the rules by steadfastly refusing to depend on continual repetition of the tried and true, particularly in a troubled economy when many in the audience have to consider carefully where their arts dollars are going to go.
Consistently, those dollars are going to OB—and there certainly are a number of other companies competing in the area. Here’s next season’s line-up, edited slightly from the press release: a premiere and two rarely encountered but top notch operas, with two very major female stars headlining them:
Opera Boston will open its 2009-10 season on Oct. 23 in Cutler Majestic Theatre with a production of Rossini's rarely heard melodrama "Tancredi," with the noted Polish contralto Ewa Podles in the title role. "Tancredi" will be directed by Kristine McIntyre and its cast will also feature soprano Amanda Forsythe and tenor Yeghishe Manucharyan.
In February and March 2010, the company will present the premiere of its newly commissioned opera "Madame White Snake," by the Chinese-American composer Zhou Long. Its libretto, by Brookline-based Cerise Lim Jacobs, adapts the story of a Chinese legend. It will be staged by Robert Woodruff, former artistic director of the American Repertory Theatre, working with Opera Boston for the first time. The cast will be headed by soprano Ying Huang and male soprano Michael Maniaci.
The third and final production of the season will be Offenbach's seldom performed operetta "La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein," with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe making her Boston stage debut in the title role. Music director Gil Rose will conduct the performances of all three operas.
We’re putting together some travel plans for the spring. In April we’ll set out in the Jeep for about a week to visit members of both our families in central New Jersey, Takoma Park just outside Washington D.C., Virginia, and North Carolina. In June, Fritz has a teaching gig in Keystone, up in the mountains west of Denver, and I’m going along. When it’s over, we’ll have a day and a half to see some things in Denver before flying back. If anyone has any recommendations about interesting sites to visit there, all suggestions will be gratefully received. We’ve already heard of one gay bar that looks like it might be interesting.
We may go somewhere in the fall as well, but that’s up in the air as of the moment. Wherever it is, it’s not going to be out of the country this year.