Puccini

Lucca

Thank you for following this journal.  The WXXI Travel Club has arrived in Tuscany, and my thoughts are spinning in a thousand directions.  We’ve been on a medieval whirlwind: a few hours in Sienna, a day in Florence, a rush into the Tuscan hill town San Gimignano.  My feelings trace an involuntary path that might make for more interesting reading for you than a laundry list of s

Come to Italy with me!

A few years ago, my colleague Laura Garrison formed a club for WXXI listeners who are passionate about travel.  She and former morning host Simon Pontin led a trip to Austria in 2008. Last year, a small group went to Costa Rica with WRUR’s Scott Regan. When Laura asked me to co-host a trip to northern Italy in 2011, I was thrilled.

Classical music goes X-TREEM!

OK, so we all know how cool the MET Opera at the movies is.  And that Sabres game they played outside in the snow was super-sweet.  The San Francisco Opera jumped on these two ideas, and decided to simulcast opera performances in the Giants' baseball stadium.  This all got me thinking about other ways we could supersize classical music...
 
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Beijing's Bird's Nest saved by Puccini?

The Bird's NestThe Bird's NestDuring the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China staged eye-popping public ceremonies in the Bird's Nest, an iconic stadium built for the occasion. Last summer, singers in the Rochester Oratorio Society zipped by the Nest about two weeks before the Games began. It was thrilling to see it in person!Radio host abandons dignity to strike a poseRadio host abandons dignity to strike a pose

Now the Bird's Nest is in the news again. With seating for 90,000 spectators, the Nest has stood virtually empty since the Games ended.  But it may be saved by the arts; more specifically, by a production of Puccini's Turandot.

The fact that “Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou will restage his famous production of Puccini's "Turandot" at the stadium in October comes as a noteworthy development. Zhang's mega-production, which was originally staged at the Forbidden City in 1998, will include new and improved special effects in addition to the cast-of-thousands pageantry that marked its first outing,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

 

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Met at the Movies

On Saturday I went to see the Met at the Movies, a live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera projected in high-definition in an Upstate New York movie theater. It was my first time watching opera in my jeans and sneakers, and I was extremely curious to see Franco Zeffirelli’s famous production of Puccini’s La Boheme.

Earlier in the week, when I’d gotten two tickets, I couldn’t find a date. Everyone was busy, and the one dyed-in-the-wool opera fan in my family, my dad, had to work. I tried to convince one of my kids to go.

“You mean,” echoed my nine-year old son in faint disbelief, “they sing the WHOLE TIME?!”

I went alone.

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