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!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

A no BUG day.....this and that

and that IS a good thing!  A boring thing, but a good thing...
No words needed
stripes ARE in :-)

Revolution of the Viaduct
Reality imitating art?

 Unnetted Goal Pipes

MO, this assortment of bare hockey goal pipes seems rather reminiscent of this painting by Paul Klee:  Revolution of the Viaduct

On the other hand a bit o' levity does no harm
just be careful of the effects of computers on older people.. LOL.

and herewith my selection of  music for this day

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Now we know the WILD of it...

after the 5th loss in preseason, after they cleared waivers, the Wild have re-assigned old favorites Robbie Earl, Petr Kalus, Warren Peters and Jon DiSalvatore to Houston.

While Justin Falk is having some good game(s):

So, we shall have pretty much the same team on ice down here, as last year.

Definitely NOT here will be: Irmen, Smith, Hilbert, Testwuide, Milroy, Lanon, Gunderson and Brust.

With Rodgers, Sifers and Zingoni, plus several NEW faces, etc. still on the camp list,
the battle for spots on this season's Aeros roster will be intense.
Thursday at 10 AM is one more training session at Slice,
 and  Friday at 7 PM is the 1. pre- season game vs Rampage
(now boasting the 2 Matts (:-) as in Beaudoin and Climie).
Been  told a few, a very few seats still available - NEW this year are assigned seating & parking passes.

When it comes to Anton Khudobin there seems to be no rush for a decision, since Backstrom, not Khudobin, played in the third against the Columbus Blue Jackets, widely conceived as "C" team.
So, AK warmed the bench again, and we all know from past experiences THAT a 'benched
 Anton is a 'rusty' Anton, alas. He is still slated to go to Finland BUT...what happens after that?

Something really bugs me about this, not that I am a died-in-the-wool baseball fan, but...

During a  recent game the attendance in the stands was about 12,500 while a  tweet posted during, or just after, the game, by Rays' Pitcher was followed by almost that same number, 12,100, .. a sign of the times?  Why bother to build arenas - with taxpayers money no less - when they stand mostly empty? Just have VIRTUAL games via the net.... LOL.
T'is will be the seasons for couch potatoes!

And more in that vein: California university slashes funding for sports, or so I hear! Eliminated are Baseball, women's LaCrosse, women's and men's gymnastics, men's rugby becomes strictly a varsity sport... this measure is thought to SAVE 4 Million.
But that's not all, academic funds are slashed as well.
California once more leading the pack in 'innovations'... will the rest of the states follow soon?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sound bites...

For Hockey fans.... especially those who like watching on tiny screens LOL:

4 Horsemen of Hockey Apocalypse
"Fox Sports Net, which holds the rights to 13 teams, including the Carolina Hurricanes, is the one closest to agreeing on a deal allowing in-market live streaming to broadband and mobile devices, sources said. Comcast SportsNet, which holds the rights to four teams, also is talking to the league.
FSN holds the rights to five teams that are streaming preseason games live this year: the Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators. Comcast holds the rights to one team that plans to stream a preseason game: the San Jose Sharks.
Broadband and wireless broadcasts wouldn’t cost the team a lot of extra money because video broadcasts for the games are already being produced. During this preseason, the Hurricanes have used their in-house video feed combined with audio from the radio broadcast to produce a broadband broadcast. And during the regular season, FSN already is slated to produce 65 television broadcasts of Hurricanes games".

Per Russo's early morning rant:
Wellman  Matt Kassian, Justin Falk, Marco Scandella and Drew Bagnall noved up!

Robbie Earl, has to "get back on the saddle and start from ground zero," aand what better place than Texas where cowboys are still ridfing the range.
Confirmed Aeros for the season are: Cody Almond, Colton Gillies, Carson McMillan and Chad Rau,  Prosser, Tyler Cuma, Maxim Noreau and Jared Spurgeon and goalie Matt Hackett.
"Earl, Petr Kalus, Warren Peters and Jon DiSalvatore were placed on waivers and will be demoted Tuesday if unclaimed. Defenseman Jamie Fraser cleared waivers Monday".
Anton Khudobin's future still hangs in balance, but indications point to a new hire to replace Harding!

For Opera fans:  the biggest news is that the 'seemingly indestructible' Placido Domingo steps down as Director for National Opera in Washington
while re-signing in Los Angeles for two more years! Plus let's not forget his continuing singing and conducting activities ;-)!
As Simon Boccanegra

Conductor Domingo
And for las Aficion here is one of the latest clips of Rejoneador Diego Ventura,  and his well-trained beautiful horses. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

A sweet little earful....free only too Oct. 5th.. hurry and listen

Just for tenor lovers here is a free - ONLY UNTIL OCTOBER 5th - preview of the complete CD "THE ITALIAN TENOR" (a bit presumptuous, as if there never were Italian Tenors before this one ;-) - which will be in stores for sale on Oct 5)  VITTORIO GRIGOLO, who sang opposite Domingo in Rigoletto, life streamed by RAI some days ago...as posted on this blog.. go check it out again!
He has been touted as the new Pavarotti.
Sounds OK to my ears, so what do you think, dear Readers?
Feel free to vent anything on the Tenor!
I do so love a discussion on the merits or lack thereof when it comes to singers...
of course all listening IS so subjective.
Anyone who says otherwise either has to be an automaton with lead ears :-),
or gifted with such ears of which only a select few can boast.
The rest of us all just LOVE this voice or that one, right?
And love it more at one time (when the moon is full, perhaps) than another!

 So sit back, listen and enjoy

In Praise of black, of brown...

Of  Coffee!
What would I do without this friend of early mornings and long days?
Nothing better than waking up to the fragrance of coffee.
Nothing better to stay alert with hot strong coffee.

Black, brown, with milk, or cream, with Grand Marnier,  Irish Whiskey, or Cognac, with whipped cream, or icecream, with cinnamon (that should really be SINnamon.. no?) and other additions....coffee, coffee. coffee!

In 1663, over issues in Transylvania, fighting broke out between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire. The Turkish threat, which included a prolonged but unsuccessful siege of Vienna in 1683, prompted Poland, Venice, and Russia to join the Habsburg Empire in repelling the Turks.
Graf Starhemberg
Malaysian Troops crossing Danube
Graf Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, 1638-1701 - married to a Malayasian woman he brought
Malaysian troops to the fight! He served against the Ottomans in under Montecucculi in Hungary and was made (1680) Vienna's military commander.

Kara Mustapha
From July to Sept., 1683, he held Vienna with a small garrison against a large Ottoman army under the grand vizier Kara Mustafa . Vienna was about to succumb to the siege, which had reduced it to starvation, when it was relieved by an army under John III of Poland and Charles V of Lorraine. As a reward for his heroic role Starhemberg was made a field marshal and minister of state. In 1691 he became president of the war council. His cousin Guidobald, Graf von Starhemberg , 1657-1737, also took part in the defense of Vienna. He was made field marshal and served with distinction in the War of the Spanish Succession. . In 1686 Habsburg forces moved into central Hungary and captured Buda. By 1687 the Ottoman Empire had been eliminated as a power in central Hungary.

Thank YOU, Turks, for besieging Vienna and leaving the beans behind!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Wagnerian sized spectacle is looming

according to this

the proportions of the set for RHEINGOLD at the MET will outweigh just about anything done so far.
And not only in pounds. The singers all will be of hefty voice!
Set, costumes and direction come with a sort of Circe Du Soleil feel and airiness (however illusionary).
And Wagner fans and phobes will be tuned in and ready to pounce with their Pros and Cons...
more after the Simulcast on October 9 at certain local cinemas.
And I can assure you that this

will not start the simulcast, wait..on the other hand - become a sponsor?
Naw, too pedestrian, but....Germans like their beer and so do Americans.
Leacing you with a clip from the "controversially" LA version of "Das Rheingold" by Wagner
as directed by Achim Freyer.

Earlier I had some fun watching two German Hockey teams Adler Mannheim v Kreefeld Pinguine (that's German for penguins)! Adler Mannheim lost.
Did I hear someone say, the Europeans are less agressive players ?
This  below (from last year's first game between the Kreefeld and Augsburg) seems to countermand that idea, dont'cha all think so.

I do find the all over "advertising" jerseys a bit confusing...name of player on the rear bottom. 
And the one above is relatively a 'empty' lay out, LOL. Others simply crowd on the logos and decals.

45 again...

but this time it's the number of soccer games played today which  can be watched at a certain site IF one does not get enough with 15 NFL and, college football games slated for today, 12 minor league hockey games, plus racing, tennis and who knows what else only visible locally!

WILD/AEROS news are not too good, as anyone following the hometeam and its parent will know already.
Just want to say "Good luck Anton, you CAN do it!" Step up and BE the Nr.2 goalie for the Wild.
Too bad, this chance comes at the cost to another-by all accounts- good guy who looked to have a good year ahead.
Goalies anyone? Going shopping for goalies?
If so that will need to be done soonest!
The question remains will there be enough in the kitty to sign Jose Theodore, at 34, a seasoned goalie:
his stats  

and then there is Pete Mannino (we have seen him vs Aeros right here at the TC)  at 24, younger - stats

Or would they call on Endras which might make him a rather unhappy goalie, since he counts on staying put in Germany?
Off course it's all speculation at this time, but hey - 
the new season IS full of that already in any case and fans wouldn't have it any other way...keeps anticipation high! 
Are you ready for it?
Happy Sunday..only 5 days to hockey at Slice!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Take 49 add 25 add 26 subtract 45..update as of 10/8.

and what you get is Coyote 45.. AS RAMPAGE he carries NR. 26!!!
the new number for Beaudoin as a Coyote.
Reading between the lines he luxuriates having private planes to get to out of town games. 
The Coyotes won pre-season game vs LA Kings and cher Mathieu got to skate a full 9 minutes as Nr. 45! The next game will be against the Sharks and we will try to update Beaudoin fans right here!
Once upon a time

He wore 49, much later 25, just  last year 26 and now 45....
the ups and downs in the life of a hockey player ....

NEW: BEAUDOIN back to Number 26 as a Rampage and it already shows :
2 goals in his first game vs Chicago. Bravo!  26 looks to be HIS lucky number!                                                            


Tales -- well told

or rather sung at The OH! tonight. Ruby Cast with Tenor Rodgers/Hoffmann and Soprano Roberts/4 female roles, all other singers are the same in both casts.
Les contes d'Hoffmann, an opera by Jacques Offenbach to a libretto by Jules and Pierre Barbier, based on the same name play Jules Barbier and Michel Carre, was sung in French to sold out house.

Conductor  Brian Runnels (photo at left by tedviens), who lead the orchestra with elan and a sure touch. A solo violin (could not see who the musician was) played sweetly and airily during the Antonia scene, as if played by Dr. Miracle on a black violin as Antonia sings herself, ultimately, to her death.
Director Ben Spierman.
This is a tale of love, jealousy, addiction, greed, dissolution and intrigue - all set to glorious music with recognizable memorable tunes...and 4 more Performances Sat. 25, 30 and 10/1 and 2...alternate cast.

Tedviens photo
Hoffmann is sung by Tenor John Rodger with steely fortitude and volume,  giving himself to the role with such intensity that once or twice his voice almost gave out.
Rodgers, a consummate actor, managed to recover rather well and ended the opera to acclaim. 

Gwen Juarez Turner

Soprano Elizabeth Andrews Roberts takes on the roles of all 4 females.
In the photo the singer as the mechanical doll Olympia, tossing off some high notes as the doll, and charmingly fading as the mechanism runs out of steam only to resume after being re-wound.
Antonia, the ill and frail singer, whose passion for singing is unquenchable and causes her death. This role has several lovely lyrical airs which Roberts did justice;
Courtesan Giulietta, a ravishing beauty whose greedy love for baubles overcomes any scruples she may have had, despite her professed love for Hoffmann, singing the famous barcarolle with panache and beauty of sound; 
and at the end, the opera singer Stella, who only has a line or two, while Hoffmann in drunken despair lies unconscious, solaced by his Muse.

Gwen Juarez Turner
Baritone Ben LeClair, essayed all 4 villains of the Tales. He was evilly dignified as contender of Stella's favors, Lindorf;
frighteningly resentful as Coppelius who 'killed' Olympia as revenge;
snakely insinuating as Dr Miracle abetting Antonio in her fervor to sing by playing the violin and conjuring up her dead mother; as in this clip (Terfel, Swenson, Gubish)
and lastly the malevolent, charismatic, Dr Dappertutto, who lures Giulietta to demand Hoffmann's face by glittering jewels. His voice, huge, slippery when needed, evilly rough, mesmerisingly soft and suggestive, was all one would want to hear in the villains, plus an impressive towering physique and the crowd went wild in a standing ovation..well deserved!

Secondary roles with some heft were filled by 

tedviens photo: Nicklausse/Hoffmann
1) Heather Scanio,
mezzo as Nicklausse, voice of Antonia's mother, and at the end Muse, always near Hoffmann, always trying to save him from himself. Scanio's Mezzo is lush and full of deep shadings. In the Barcarolle duet with Roberts their voices flowed smoothly together.

2) Daymon Passmore,
bass, as Luther, the Innkeeper and Crespel, Antonia's anguished father,has added considerable acting talent to his huge low bass. He did rather better as Crespel.

photo of Passmore as Crespel by Gwen Juarez Turner

3) George Williams, a local favorite, took on  four roles of various servants and sang them lyrically in his bright tenor with a real feel for comedy

                                                                                                    photo of Williams as Franz by Gwen Juarez Turner

Other local singers performed various cameo parts adequately and the chorus showed once more their secure knowledge of the music - Michael Moses' baritone stood out pleasantly at times. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Positively last post

for today, that is -You celebrated too early - really it is not that bad a blog?
The Aeros Camp Roster is out and several OLD friends are on it. If they will receive an offer? Whho knows. There are  the few, the very few from last season:
Brandon Rogers, Pete Zingoni, Jamie Fraser
All others, except Daoust, Broda, Kaip, Palmer and Tordjman who have been signed, are new faces, although not unknown to fans from opposing teams last season. For the complete roster go
and get excited.

This, that and more of it!

Employers do not distinguish...the young from the old when it comes to hiring workers!
Yeah, that's what you may think, but reading about how many over 45, or older, workers with extensive education and experience have been out of work for year is scary. They tried it all: sent 1000s resumes. Went to many interviews. Added more education. Piled on retraining courses - and still are not being hired. 
Equally scary is the thought, that $ will be running out for retires. Of course, the government mint can print more paper money but ?

And in France, they strike because the early retirement age is being increased to 62 from 60, wow, really.
les pauvres Francaises! Vive les pensionaires!

Now that I've got that off my chest, let's return to what I like better, much better!
Muse, Read, Think, Talk and blog about Opera, the arts, los toros (in the arts) and - well - you guessed it  - hockey.
1) so let's start with hockey, since the season is underway..
one likes to follow one's favorites, right?
Thus here the pre-season game Coyotes
(with still - later that may change - two ex Aeros: Beaudoin/Climie) vs LA Kings (3-1):

and here Ex Aeros Corey (now Nr. 37) Locke's new team the Ottawa Senators
(however that, too may change for him) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (5-0)-
What crowds of enthusiastic, starved for hockey, fans these are!

2) Many Opera performances are made in heaven, yes?
Do you really believe that?
If so, there is that bridge I can sell you!
On the other hand too many are straight from hell or not?  
Here are "The birds, the bees" -wait it's an opera?
3) What is art?
Is this art?
An installation, so called?
Or the newest trend in shoes?

Kinda Lady Gaga-ish, to go with her Meat Dress! Don't you think so?
Which, or so I hear, is now supposed to be made into Jerky!!!
How do like that news bite (pun intended)...
Not that I have much against Lady Gaga, as I have posted previously.
I rather like her music, less so her get-ups! But, then she has to be outstanding - one way or another, right!  That's what being a DIVA is all about.
And that coif.. is a set of antennas, to better hear her with :-)?

She, most certainly stacks up well against another 'brilliantly  sparkling' performer, way ahead of his time.. can you guess?
Yep, Liberace!

The museum in Las Vegas dedicated to him is shuttering its doors ..... sad, isn't it?
He was not only a great showman, but had genuine musical talent.

Barcelona in Catalonia voted against this long time Spanish custom:
And that's all, folks.
Do voice your esteemed opinions on any of the above..like or dislike.
All are welcome, clean ones will be posted, lol!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

9 days - only 9 days...

It's official, more or less, that Brandon Buck ( our 'Bucky' ) -  won't he be happy about that, staying put and not being shuttled back and forth like last season, Jarod Palmer & Joel Broda (two new faces), Jean-Michel Daoust ('The Scrapper' - happy to have him back, but I fear he'd rather have stayed up North) and Josh Tordjman (we know him from the Rampage days - so can expect sturdy and reliable netminding) will be here. Darcy ('Vader') Kuemper is heading back to the WHL (having a bit of a soft sport for this youngster, I'd like to see him back between the posts but not to the extend of wishing injuries on any goalie).
New prospects, officially signed, Josh Caron and Colton Jobke are also going back to WHL for more seasoning, but might see some action IF!  As is Jared Spurgeon (might HE come here?) 
All three have entry-level deals.
Dimples and Ironman, the 2009/10 All Stars
Noreau ('Ironman') seems to be still under consideration in Minnesota (wishing him all the best-he's earned a chance to prove he can do it), and not much is known yet about Khudobin (whatever, he still IS "Dimples" to me)..just hope he will not be a bench warmer, that always seem to get him off balance.

The future of last season's Aeros's such as Almond ('Joy'), DiSalvatore ('Speedy'), Gillies ('Frisky'), Kalus ('the Avalanche'), Kassian ( 'The Kassassinator'), McMillan ('MacAttack') seems hanging in the balance. As well as Rau ('WOW'), Jamie Fraser ('Sunny'), Scandella  will they keep them or ship them?
And Earl ('The Pearl') seems to have made an impression so might join Stoner in the line up for this Season's Wild. And other NEW players may or may not stay up North.

Aeros camp starts next week, followed by pre-season games vs the San Antonio Rampage and the new kid on the block the Oklahoma City Barons and starting the official season with 2 away games, also at Oklahoma, finally on October 16 at the TC vs Peoria (minus Love who's now with the Mississippi Mudbugs!) and then it's hockey in earnest, here, San Antonio, Austin for the Texas Face Off -will Aeros prevail this time?
The Stars have been 'plundered' of their best players, some of whom may end up skating with the Rampage(unless kept in Phoenix!)-so it IS hard to predict. The 2010/11 Aeros have a large number of 3 in 3 games and that is always a bit of a concern...although the team's average age is a bit younger and - dare I call it that - hardier?
But some player, as yet unsigned, may just be the joker in the deck that turns up trump!
Too bad, Better Half and I will miss the SLICE pre-season and getting a first peek at the 'new Hockey-in-your-face' Aeros. Will there be another 'Scrapper'? Another Rau-'Wow'?
Or another 'Love' type..an extrovert entertainer with a fan following?

 We will just have to read 'The Sages' of the Third Intermission to catch up with evaluation and critiques of the guys until 10/16!                 
Meanwhile some 'old' - in manner of speaking - friends

2009/10 Aeros on Defense-Jerina
And for us that means at least 15 games at the TC, several away (Aeros and others), plus some NHL games in Florida and at least one ECHL game. Perhaps even more during March/April in Boston ? Naturally combined with opera performances. It will be fun posting on all that with pics, where possible!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Now you see them, now you don't..the miracle of the virtual

After reading this
as well as the article
on THE METs ventures into satellite transmissions, sirius radio, downloadable (is that a new word?) opera onto itunes, computers, etc. one Has to get that sinking feeling that we need NEVER step outside our 'cozy caves' to experience and enjoy anything?
No need to TALK to people where there is, Facebook, Twitter, work from home, email. Could it maybe mean that over generations tongues will atrophy, legs too, fingers lengthen so touching the screen " virtual keyboard"becomes easier from a reclining position...one must be comfortable when watching, opera, plays, movies, games :-).
Robots will scurry round with drinks and food , because that maggoty thing on a couch that just reaches out to 'touch something' will have little need for moving about.
So how about that?
Robotic Hockey, or Soccer or Theater and Opera in front of virtual fans?
Horrors! Nightmares! Omens!
Back to the future?
 :)  or better yet :(

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are we having FUN yet?

I quote an exerpt from a recently read newspaper article, because it hit home showcasing experiences I had in Austria and Germany while shopping (in the neighborhood grocery store-not a touristy shop' ;-)!)
"When Wal-Mart tried to impose alien rules on its German staff—such as compulsory smiling" ...the resulting rebellion ended with it pulling out of Germany in 2006.
Now THAT does NOT surprise me.
A smiling face at the supermarket, the Konsum, the store, the Boutique in Europe... that truly is such a rarity.. one feels like bursting into song -'We are the Champions', perhaps.

We seem to have lost a time and place "where bosses did not think that 'fun' was a management tool and where employees could happily quaff Scotch at noon".

                                                                 And I drink to THAT

Monday, September 20, 2010

Aus Liebe zum Lied.

Trotz der Passion fuer Oper, hoere ich gerne auch Lieder, und hier sind gleich drei  Saenger-innen meiner Wahl:

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Bariton, der Hugo Wolf's Feuereiter singt, zu einer Montage von aeusserst fantastischen Grafiken.
Und wie er das singt, drohend, aufwuehlend, grausame Klaenge - und doch... einmalig - aber hoert es Euch selber an:

Lorraine Liebersohn Hunt, hier mit einer Cantata von Bach, gesungen mit Seele:

Und am Ende Lucia Popp : mit einem Lied von Faure's Requiem, traurig, aber doch beruhigend "man ueberlasse alles Gottes Willen".

Gute Nacht fuer Heute!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lazy Mornings with sniffles

Searching for some distractions-sniffles, stiff neck... no fun!

Hockey Friends,
did you know that former Aeros
John Lammers now skates in Pilsen?
John skates as Number 10.

Photo by Milan Podpera

A few pictures and videos... to keep you smiling!
Hot outside-Cold  inside.. only in Dubai!
A glimpse of the desert life style of the oil rich?
With Valentino sightings?
Memorable Movie Quotes: good for a laugh or a cry?

Deborah Voigt and Nathan  Gunn
in the Met's Annie Get Your Gun ;-)!

Westbrook as Anna in "ANNA NICOLE SMITH"

Opera in the RAW at ENO in "Salome" by Strauss
Salome with Jokanaan's severed head

Some *hot* stuff  - Yes Virginia, opera is NOT stuffy at all!