About Me

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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Aeros News, Opera Talks....

Oh, my world, as my elderly Minnesota friend exclaims at the games, when things get exciting.
Yes, the news about NHL Minnesota Wild and its farmteam, the AHL Aeros are arriving at ever faster pace.
We already knew that Kevin Constantine and staff will continue on as coaches.
Now a new GM was named, JIM MILL, who has been heavily involved at the AHL in scheduling and so much more. Yes, apparently HE was THE one responsible for the draining schedule for the Aeros, among other AHL teams' road games. So, now that he is in charge of Aeros, we sincerely hope that he wields some influence and assures a more reasonable road schedule... after all, he would want to have an effective, not worn out, team moving towards the 2009/2010 Calder Cup Play Offs huh? For more details please visit The Third Intermission and Ms. Conduct's excellent report.

On the arts scene..

Reviews about Opera Theater of St. Louis productions are in and generally good. As you may know, that company presents opera in English, not the original languages, in the more intimate venue of The Loretto Hilton Theater at Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. Most artists are housed privately at the homes of dedicated volunteers, artists appreciate the warm welcome given, but also value the privacy granted them by their 'gentle' hosts, as Met soprano Ying Huang told me, last time we met.

July and August will see wonderful performances in Santa Fe, NM.
OVI, Opera Volunteers International, will hold its annual conference there. A good venue to exchange thoughts, meet new and old opera volunteer friends and enjoy the unusual 'house' - build in the hills outside of Santa Fe with fabulous views, the 'house' only has roof and back, the sides are open to the elements-Mother Nature helps with set and lighting designs. I remember with awe a Peter Grimes (Britten) when thunderstorms rumbled atop the opera house, rain slashed into the orchestra seats, soaking the audience, the temperature dropped 20 degrees and the wind whipped any covers around, all that in 'tune' with Britten's musical score of a gale at sea. TRULY an unforgettable experience.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Death comes early...

Too many obituaries in the news lately:
McMahon, Fawcett, Jackson (50) and now Mays (50)...coincidence? Sad news for many.
Those are big names in the limelight.

On the personal front, I lost a friend to the big C, just the other day. She did have a full life, traveled extensively, certainly most adventurously. Kept up with education, literature, the arts (as a SUPER volunteer), and inspired countless others to emulate (including yours truly) . Sharp and coherent to the last..she went too soon, even at 87. Not a FAMOUS name, but she made an impact on all who knew her, students, adults, casual and close friends and family.
I'll miss you, SK.
And yes, I shall venture to do things as long as possible...every day filled with excitement and challenge is a special gift!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Auction - ahem Draft - in full bloom

Two days into the NHL draft!

It's nothing less than an auction of 'boys'

You take some quite young and juicy talents.

Then you test, exam, prod and poke them, have them blow into tubes, put them thru their paces, then clean them up, dress them in 'adult wear' and display them on the block for bidding.Only difference to slaves being auctioned off, they volunteer for it! Naturally for the highest possible price which makes them happy, their parents very happy and, for sure, their agents, if any, quite happy.

Fans are happy since there is much to grouse about the selections made."Puckbunnies'"of both gender start drooling over the juicy choices displayed in photos galore on blogs, websites, media! Owners see $$$ in their eyes and their purses, arenas sell tickets, concessions rake it in - everyone is happy!

Until next year!

All Photos from various Hockey blog/media sources.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's HOT? Off and On Ice and Stage

The hottest days in June in years! Gasp!
To be cool - gotta move to Alaska or Northern Canada ;-)

Hot debates raging over the NHL coming drafts.
Minnesota Wild's fans hotly debated subject : Will Gaborik sign again, or will he go to Vancouver (and not only for the Olympics) or to LA Kings, or? Who will stay and who will be traded off?
Aeros to continue under the able guidance of Coach Constantine and staff. And so we wait for the new complete roster of 'boyz on ice'. KC does seem to have the touch to mold raw, though enthusiastic, players into a viable, albeit 'unpredictable' team...who'd have thought the 08/09 Aeros would reach Semi Finals? And there may have been an even better outcome with a more favorable game schedule and a bit (just a bit) more rest in between. But, man proposes, the AHL/NHL disposes.
Will the Phoenix Coyotes stay or not? Will the current owner of the Dallas and Austin Stars really be able to meet teams' salaries?

Not so hot news regarding the future of New York City Opera, seems Gerard Mortier's 'NON-employment' ;) caused severe financial problems, the company dipping into its endowment fund to continue. Several other
Opera and Arts companies have already folded or severely cut back productions.
To name a few: Opera Pacific, Baltimore Opera, Orlando Opera, etal.
HGO and The OH! here in Houston are alive for the time being, and mostly well and thriving.
Coming Houston opera season promises some surprises, to name a few...
At HGO: Britten's 'The Turning of the Screw' (An unparalled psycho-drama .. go, you'll have a time unravelling or connecting all the threads!) At The OH!: The unusual pairing of 'Pagliaccci' and 'Il Tabarro' - both 'dark' themed operas. University of Houston's and Shepherd School of Music's opera listings aren't yet published to round out the opera offerings in the 09/10 season.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More trouble in hockey paradise?

The blogospheres are humming with rumors about another team in trouble due to mismanagement, or so it seems! The Tampa Bay Lightening's owners are split on how to run it. Koules wants to keep expenses to a reasonable limit by letting BIG earners go, his partner disagrees. Seems to me, Koules' idea in these troubled financial times has some merit. The well may run dry if too many hands dip into it!
So, OK, fans all over want their teams to stay put, though ticket sales do not even remotely cover expenses. Icehockey is a For Profit venture and must earn to exist. But prices need to stay reasonable for all classes of fans to be able to attend without 'mortgaging' their wages.

Already, the WSJ reports several small banks, which benefitted from TARP, are unable to make payments.
And the stock market plunges again.
How is this government to pay for all that? Print more paper $ ?
And some recent travellers to Europe report that businesses over there refuse to take US issued credit cards and demand cash, and it had better not be in 100$ bills, they do not like those.
What does this tell us - the, once so mighty, US Dollar is loosing ground.
OK, OK, - shut up already, Cassandra!