About Me

My photo
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!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bagnall Fight on Jan 29,2011 and trial videos...

Enjoy these little clips

Just an addendum to LUCIA at HGO

Urging any lovers of Bel Canto singing - go see/hear this LUCIA. Really!
IMHO Albina Shagimuratova,the Lucia, outdid herself this afternoon. 
She was simply....stunning!
And I happen to overhear the legendary Frederica von Stade say pretty much the same thing to Ms. Shagimuratova backstage! Except moree effusively!


Dimitri Pittas produced the same powerful image of Edgardo, as expected.

And the rest BRAVO-BRAVA all!

Willis Sorenson
I do apologize to Ms. Rachel Willis Sorenson, calling her a Mezzo, she IS a soprano,
albeit with a solid Wagnerian sounds, and an impressive lower range - maybe that's what made me call her Mezzo!
Here is an excerpt:

She does have an impressive lower range, doesn't she?
Flights of coloratura are not quite her forte.
But the rest is very impressive! Very!


The marathon - IMO, best seen from the comfort of my home, warm, dry and .. ah well, you get the idea.
Not that I don't admire, profoundly, such idealistic runners to want to win  
(for charity that is - not for their own pockets).
One does have to give credit.

They train and train
run through pain
today in the rain.

 Break the ribbon at the end. 
Get satisfaction that they DID it!

And so I applaud these hardy souls.

May they run as long as possible!
Achieve personal goals.
Feel good.
Do good!
Have fun. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I was NOT wearing my Aeros Jersey tonight

and again the Aeros won, after a long and wild  battle, that's true.
But a win is a win! 4-3 in a shootout!
And I have been experimenting with my camera's video capability.
Now I've just gotta teach myself how to edit these things...and post them here sometime!
Puck Watch

Daoust Goal

One of the many fights

OOPS missed that one

                                                            THE PETERS SEQUENCE
First: Peters in a Nelson

Second : Peters disentangles himself

Third: Peters Pushed back.

Enough said, technical details can be found elsewhere ;-)

Just this:
Probably THE most brawling and hard hitting game I've seen in a long time.
 Not just fast paced aggresivley played.
Not just lots of body checkings.
BUT a really wild and out of control game!
Natch,. the fans liked it..until...
Heat's Nr. 3 Josh Meyers went down heavily injured.
Hope he will recover without lasting consequences.
Anyone missing "Bucky" (Brandon Back) on the ice?
 He was playing sidekick to Joe O'Donnell! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Don Carlo at The OH!

There are several versions of this Verdi Masterpiece.
The original French version of 5 acts is called Don Carlos.
Over 20 years various 'abridged' versions were tried, finally culminating in that Italian language version as seen at The OH! Thursday (with Emerald Cast).  There was no ballet scene as in the French version.

So here is a sample of what maybe missed by some ballet/opera lovers :-)

ONLY 3 1/2 hours including 2 short intermissions.
All are based on the Schiller Play.

BTW the Auto De Fe scene was cut as well.  The only hint of the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition were two cowed, cowled extras who stood with bowed heads and were shortly thereafter escorted off stage.

Having cut the Woods of Fountainebleu scene, makes it perhaps a bit confusing at first.
That act explains that Elisabetta, originally affianced to Don Carlo, was given in marriage by her father to Don Carlo's Father, King Phillip, which makes what follows more understandable.

Under Maestro Enrico Carreon Robledo the OH Orchestra produced lavish sounds, especially the string section, despite the diminished size as is the case in the intimate house of The OH!
Whereas in a bigger house  many more instruments are to be heard, here several of the players had solos and managed them quite well.
Staging, again due to the size of the house, was simple and mostly well lit.
Costumes were period style - quite suitable for a Spanish Court.

OH - Don Carlo by gwenturnerjuarez
by gwenturnerjuarez
 Elisabetta was sung with regal grace and a bright expressive soprano by Emily Newton, a native Texan.
Rodrigo/Lickteig and Don Carlo/Darling
by kinjotx

Don Carlo, Tenor Neil Darling, sang with fervor. His voice blended well with the burnished, quite powerful baritone of  Daniel Lickteig as his friend Rodrigo, Marquis de Posa. Especially touching in the final scene when Rodrigo entreats Don Carlo to go on and rule well.

Jennifer Kosharski's strong Mezzo with touches of contralto, acted and sang with steely prowess the role of Princess Eboli. Her 'O don fatale', was greeted with applause.

King Phillip, Bass Alexander Scopino, was touching in his solo of the anguished husband and ruler, who bows to the dictat of the Grand Inquisitor, who was sung with a powerful, rich bass by Erik Kroncke.
The Grand Inquisitor by gwenturnerjuarez
 Grand Inquisitor/Kroncke
 by gwenturnerjuarez

OH - Don Carlo by gwenturnerjuarez
King Phillip/Scopino and Elisabetta/ Newton
by gwenturnerjuarez

The Heavenly Voice, heard from on high, was sung by Soprano Traci Davis with soft beauty.

Eboli/Kosharsi and Tebaldo/Ross
by gwenturnerjuarez

The Cameo roles of  Page Tebaldo, A royal herald , Count Lerma and Flemish Deputy/Monk were filled ably by soprano Rachel Ross in the trouser role of boy page, Tenor George Williams, Tenor Scott Travis, and Bass Daymon Passmore, all familiar to OH Audiences.

I did notice that both Newton and Lickteig seemed a bit under the weather.
If that is how they sounded then, they'd be truly stunnung to hear when hale and hearty!

The house was packed, the audience enthusiastic and applauded vigorously.
Soprano Emily Newton getting a standing ovation
Five more performances, tonight, 1/29 and  Feb 3,4,5.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This n that..snippets of wisdom

A lazy day and a mishmashof of wisdom for my chers readers on the line of
That's not an owl-it's a chair from Yoruba!
  • Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some ale' and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and,thus we have the term 'gossip.'

    Aztec banquet-Gossip time!
  • The problem is that goaltenders have two specific career differences from forwards and defencemen. The majority, not all, players tend to hit their peak playing time from about 26 to 32. They are all still affective after the age of 32 but this tends to be where their production slows and leadership skills start to show. Goaltenders need a couple extra years of development and therefore have a peak of 29 to 35. The problem is that the goaltending position places strain on the lower body and causes early retirement or inability to reach peak potential for a sustained period.

     Panthers' goalies collects
  • Mandelbrot emphasized the use of fractals as realistic and useful models of many "rough" phenomena in the real world. Natural fractals include the shapes of mountains, coastlines and river basins; the structures of plants, blood vessels and lungs; the clustering of galaxies; and Brownian motion. Fractals are found in human pursuits, such as music, painting, architecture, and stock market prices. Mandelbrot believed that fractals, far from being unnatural, were in many ways more intuitive and natural than the artificially smooth objects of traditional Euclidean geomety: Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.
  • Sinus of Danube
  • In music class tt was often difficult to hear the music for the buzzing of the snores! So teacher asked his classes why it puts them to sleep and the general response was that the music was “okay” (Beethoven late quartets, e.g.), but the big caveat was it had no BEAT!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

News from Syracuse and more

Aeros win in OT ..4-3. vs Syracuse Crunch and
Rampage win over Abbotsford 4-2.
Aeros -50 games played- and
Rampage -48 games played - are tied with 58 points.

Montoya & Beaudoin (Jerina Photo)
 Beaudoin added to AHL All Star Roster( he'll skate in West with Noreau versus Locke in East - FYI :-)

"The American Hockey League (AHL) today announced that San Antonio Rampage right wing Mathieu Beaudoin has been added to the roster to represent the Western Conference Team at the 2011 AHL All-Star Classic.  Beaudoin will replace Rampage defenseman Garrett Stafford, who is unable to attend due to an injury.
Beaudoin, 26, has notched 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 30 games for San Antonio this season, including a team-best four game-winning goals.
This is Beaudoin’s first All-Star selection as he joins teammate Brett MacLean to represent the Rampage.
It is the fifth time in franchise history that a replacement has been named to represent the Rampage at the mid-season classic.
AHL All-Star Skills Competition is on Sunday, Jan. 20 (2 p.m. CDT) and the AHL All-Star Game on Monday, Jan. 31 (6 p.m. CDT). The All-Star Game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest."

Bel Canto Purissimo

YES, indeed.

Pure Beautiful Singing!
Nothing to distract from it. 
No cluttered stage and scenery.
No glaringly colored costumes. No 'busy, busy' hyper activity.

Instead you get a stage in grey on grey with grey.
A set of guillotine like triangles suspended in grey cloud shades in the first act.
Evocative of looming castles of grey granite, misty lands and stark forbidding lochs, perhaps? Add a few chairs.
And a refectory banquet table albeit covered in large white cloth, 
which becomes a major part of the scene in Act 3 and you have the settings!

Almost forgot, occasionally a 'wall' descends like a ponderous curtain, naturally in grey with grey, from the rafters. And on such 'walls' , thanks to well placed lightning (by Jane Cox),  shadows of the soloists are cast like dooming portends, borrowing from Balinese Shadow Puppet plays, perhaps? Direction by the Scot John Doyle.

Costumes are dark grey, highlighted in black, dark navy blue.
Customes and set by Liz Ashcroft.
Chorus women with Gibson Girl hairdos, in dresses seemingly from the 1900's marching slowly across and in between.The occasional baroque patterned vests for the principal male singers, as may have been worn in the 1700's with  Mozartean ponytails. In burnt orange to brown, highlighted by a dash of white. 
Lucia's dress in muted reds in the first act and her wedding gown and night gown in bright beiges with white. Not to forget the spatters of blood on the latter.

BUT THE singing!
AND THE singing!
A glorious feast for the ears-Ohrenschmaus par excellence.
A return to what opera used to be and, perhaps, be again?
Glorious singing by beautiful and expressive voices - I like, I like

Provided by Albina Shagimuratova(*) as Lucia, tossing off high notes with utter ease,
spinning out phrases so long we are beginning to think she has NO need to breathe.
What a duet with the flute during her mad scene! Shimmering notes taking flight, softly at times, forcefully at others, always with great beauty.
A spellbound audience sits mesmerized in utter silence.
One could have heard the proverbial pin drop...if there had been one!

Just a soupcon for your listening pleasure - Shagimuratova tosses off The Queen of Night's aria with consumate ease!
Let's hope she will soon be heard on CD/DVD .. her voice IS so good!

Dimitri Pittas as Edgardo delivers. And how he delivers!
His dramatic talent shines as he gives fresh meaning to the lover betrayed, with his brightly ringing and, yet,warm tenor. 
here a bit from his MET appearance as MacDuff!

Scott Hendrick's(*) Enrico, as the overbearing brother uses his baritone and histrionic talents to good avail.
And he casts a threatening shadow, too.. see above description ;-)!

 Here a sip for you: he is Silvio in Pagliacci (with Futral as Nedda)

(In an aside: the pairing of Hendricks and Shagimuratova is a repeat casting-they were, in a previous incarnation, the fool Rigoletto and his daughter Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto-when chairs also played a large role in the staging of the father/daughter scene).

Beau Gibson (*) (did that inspire the ladies' hairdo-:-)?), is a sneaky, sly-boots Normanno, the instigator of doom, a "Iago of Lammermoor"  (so to speak but this time a tenor, the Iago of Otello is a baritone) who prowled the stage endlessly, insinuating, observing, tattletaleing!

Bass Oren Gradus (*) lends his deep booming voice to Raimondo, the priest, who persuades Lucia to obey her brother, then, IMO, becomes turncoat and accuses Enrico as the cause of Lucia's madness and death.

The cameo role of Arturo, the rich suitor and projected savior of the Lammermoors,is sung with lyrical beauty by Tenor Nathaniel Peake, who also looks rather dishy in his attire, the brightest colors on stage.

Rachel Willis-Sorenson is a rather youthful Alisa. attendant to Lucia, but well cast with her sure sounding Mezzo.
Maestro Antonino Folgiani, after an inital slow paced start, conducted with fervor and verve. Singing right along the principals!

Now if you only are awed by overpowering stage sets and super active direction..
well, do sit back, close your eyes tightly, open your ears wide and let the beautiful sounds in.  Your soul will be stirred and transported. Just have an ambulance standing by as happened last night!  (Was someone so overcome by the emotions of the Bel Canto to have fainted ?)

The male chorus and supers carrying poles (not a spear in sight here)  in cutaway like suits, grey and black, moves to and fro, ebbing and surging, weaving and webbing.
All in a stately manner as befittting dour Scots copying a Greek Chorus of doom.
It IS a gloomy, tragic opera, thus the gloom and doom of set and costumes is only too fitting.
BTW all singers, except Pittas are HGOpera Studio artists, curent or alumni (*)

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to rate a Hottie?

Dead or Alive?

I refer chers readers to
which can help you find JUST the right rating.

The blogger offers to pie-chart anyone.
Just turn in the name of YOUR Hottie -
alive or dead,
boy or gal!
What the fees may be, I have no clue! 

But hey, who cares, if you truly want get that data!
Just the kinda thing to do on wet day!

Ocean Goddess-surrealistic art

"Man on Fire" by lius Jimenez

No words necessary...

more complaints about  'stinky' officiating in hockey - graphically...watch this -
(thanks to "Blades Blog" who posted it first)!
It's simply too precious not to repeat-especially in light of the recent Earl penalty called in Toronto.

Officials running off in shame - duh!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Return to 1070

Martinu as a child playing the violin
after having watched a filmed version of Bohuslav Martinu's (1890-1959) Opera "Greek Passion"
(Recke pasije-the original Czech title) which is based on the Nikos Kazantzakis novel 'Christ Re-Crucified"(on DVD)-sung in English.
Which I liked,  truly liked!
I felt, Martinu captured the underlying passions, thoughts, feelings - good and evil -  well musically.
It is a story eternal with humankind.
Love, hate, envy, illicit passion, betrayal, discrimination, compassion.
Humans being torn by faith in Christian values and  utter selfishness.
The music was very lyrical  and expressive, never overpowering.
The singing was well done by soloists from Welsh National Opera.
Among them, IMHO,  John Mitchison as Manolios. John Tomlinson as Grigoris, the Village Priest and Geoffrey Moses as Fotis, the Priest gave great performances.  Artur Davies as Yannakos and Helen Field as Katerina  produced some inspired sounds

Here's a sample of the Kyrie Eleison from it.

Filmed in an actual landscape - desert like with sparse vegetation - lent great verisimilitude to the story. Greek Passion, indeed.
Here is the original Greek Orthodox chant which must have inspired the composer and librettist Martinu:

The subject of 'Christ recrucified' may not be to all's taste, but we all can relate to human weakness, even  if we don't believe in redemption.

What did you say to us, Earl?

Then I tuned into 1070 and heard to my surprise that the Marlies bested the Aeros  in the last period's final minutes plus adding an empty netter to make it 4-2.
I can almost hear the fans "The guys were tired out, the Refs were against the Aeros...etc."
I did not see the game, so I am only stunned to hear that Earl got a 20 minute penalty
for various infractions..a bit severe methinks.

Having two refs doubled the chances of doubled penalties? 
  :-)   :-(

Aeros "firing with" all Goalies

After another monstrous win over the Lake Erie Monsters, in front of their home crowd of 11,000 plus,
Aeros are now tied in first with Admirals! See numbers below.
Congrats Aeros!

Although Aeros and Wolves have played the most games already.

Who'd a thunk that last October?
I am sure, I did not. I admit it!
And so did many others, even those on press row!

And don't be fooled by their protestations "I predicted a successful reason" - NOW!
But hey, what's past is past and the future does looks  rosy, indeed!

Earl with Daoust and Falk, and Peters with the Di Salvatore-O'Sullivan combo,
scored the two goals in first and second periods respectively.
Anton Khudobin stopped more shots, than John Grahame of the LEM.

1 Milwaukee Admirals 45 24 13 2 6 56 0.622 117 113 0-1-0-2 5-3-0-2 5-6 567

2 Houston Aeros 48 26 18 1 3 56 0.583 125 127 6-0-0-1 8-1-0-1 6-3 771

3 Peoria Rivermen 44 26 15 2 1 55 0.625 123 108 0-2-0-0 5-5-0-0 2-1 961
4 San Antonio Rampage 46 27 18 1 0 55 0.598 147 133 2-0-0-0 4-6-0-0 4-0 710

5 Oklahoma City Barons 46 24 16 2 4 54 0.587 153 135 2-0-0-0 6-3-1-0 3-4 822

6 Texas Stars 44 24 15 3 2 53 0 .602 123 116 1-0-0-0 5-4-1-0 4-2 532
7 Chicago Wolves 48 24 19 2 3 53 0.552 156 157 3-0-0-0 5-3-0-2 3-3 842

8 Rockford IceHogs 42 19 18 1 4 43 0.512 110 121 0-2-0-0 5-5-0-0 3-4 833

Just thought I'd post this as a reminder..miracles DO happen!

I have to repost the awesome Hackett   "catch a butterfly" save from the other night..
BIG thanks to MsConduct. Of  TheThirdIntermission..

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More Pics from 21. 1.2011.

Almost a team scuffle?

First Period -Save By Bachman

First Period: Save by Hackett

Second Period -Another Save by Hackett

Weary ? Bachman watches equally weary Star defender tangling with Earl

Khudobin patting Hackett On helmet-well done my boyo!

Aeros News

From the WHL world : 

Do ya all remember the Darcy Vader alias Kuemper?

Who stunned us all with his prowess as goalie for the Aeros.

He has been nominated as WHL Goalie of the Week 152 times already! 
He now has been selected Canadian Hockey League Goalie of the Week,
as well.  Isn't the kid racking up honor upon honor!

Aeros Eclipse Stars with a 3-1 win.. with an add on

In the West:
Peoria and Admirals are also tied with 55 points!
Aeros are now tied with Oklahoma City with 54 points!
Rampage trails with 53 points after a big comeback tonight (meant to write that Beaudoin, after being out for weeks, came back on the ice AND scored one goal of the many - just for all those  loyal fans still following Beaudoin)  
Stars and Wolves tied with 52.
Icehogs with 43 points still firmly last!

Unbelievable how tight this race is!

And without further ado:
Mr Hockey drops first Puck

Let the game begin

 Stars goal first

BUT Hackett saves the rest

After the Wellman Goal

IMHO both goalies did well, with the bigger share of spectacular saves going to Hackett, back in his  Wundergoalie reincarnation.

It was quite an eventful game.
Stars gave chase, passed well. Pounded the net of Hackett. 
But Aeros were flying from one end of the rink to the other, skirmishing, stealing pucks and digging for it everywhere. Inserting and excerting themselves between the Black clad Stars. And catching up the Stars by shots on goal.

Stars' followers were few, their usual screamed 'STARS
 during the anthem sounded rather puny, for a change.

O'Sullivan and DiSalvatore after the empty netter

A bunch of Real Happy Campers

To some hot headed and fiery hearted fans, there was ONLY one fight, and one that was rather un- impressive, between Sawada of the Stars- clearly the winner - and Palmer of the Aeros.
And not much of slamming against the glass either.
So the fans' sound level seemed much reduced. But - ah well I shall NOT go there!

"Unexplained" is the fact that when ever I do NOT wear an Aeros Jersey, the guys win! 
Yes, really.
Of course I am NOT superstitious.
Not me, oh no!
But they do win when I wear one of my others!

And so they did, after 3 periods of fluid motions and 1 goal each.
I still can't wrap my eyes and mind around the saves by Hackett, using all he got. Eyes behind the head maybe? You all saw that one: Reaching back and plucking the puck out of the air-SAVED again!

Feet, legs, pads, body... all used to make save after save!

Actually I thought that empty netter was due earlier - but Bachman, hurriedly putting on the brakes to skate backwards to the net, and his defense guys did an admittedly super job getting the puck away from the net. Only to have one slapped into it, after all that exertion, by Di Salvatore from O'Sullivan just seconds after Bachman, again, scooted towards the bench in favor of 6th Star.

BTW for Beaudoin fans: he's back on ice, and he gets one of the goals tonight.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cleansing, decline, fall

Non PC Words are not allowed !
That 'cleansing' of any, oh so potentially dangerous, language, or as it is perceived to be by some, has been carried too far, in my humble opinion.

I refer to the 'cleansing' of Mark Twain's and other authors' works and plays by busy bees PC censors, recently written about in the news.
If you haven't heard, go google it for yourself!

Henceforth I, chers readers, will use a special font(Helvetica) and color (burnt :-) orange) !
Which IMHO is irony in itself, the adjective 'burnt'.
To alert readers lacking in a sense of the scurrilous!

That all that follows is to be read as tongue-in-cheek, satire or irony!
Or as we say in German Mit Galgenhumor.

And so I sincerly hope, this will prevent any confusions. 
And will save ME the use of smilies, weepies and winkies !
And it shall apply to all photo captions!
Funny ; Such as this:
Minard resting ? - no laurels in sight.

Not funny
 Nr. 1  Interviewed
Should I forget, I rely on my chers readers to remind me.
And that IS a ;-)!