Wednesday, June 26, 2013

San Francisco Opera Turns On Rainbow Lights In Honor Of Equality

Cite as: 570 U. S. ____ (2013)
Opinion of the Court

The power the Constitution grants it also restrains. And though Congress has great authority to design laws to fit its own conception of sound national policy, it cannot deny the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. What has been explained to this point should more than suffice to establish that the principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage. This requires the Court to hold, as it now does, that DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the liberty of the person protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. The liberty protected by the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause contains within it the prohibition against denying to any

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lindsay Ammann Apartment Shops On "House Hunters International"

Season 51, Episode 11: "Till Death Do Us Part, in Stuttgart, Germany" (March 25, 2013)
"While Lindsay was singing with the Pittsburgh Opera, she met and fell in love with a young patron named Linas. Shortly after, the love birds flew to his native Lithuania to live with his family and plan their wedding. One week after they tied the knot, the couple was en route to Stuttgart, Germany where Lindsay accepted a job at the city's Opera House. But, before she can begin work, the newlyweds must agree on an apartment that's quiet and close to public transit. With rentals hard to come by, will they be in for marital bliss or property pains? Find out, when House Hunters International takes the stage in Stuttgart, Germany." [Source]

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Security Concerns Force Renée Fleming To Cancel Lebanon Concert

(Photo: Andrew Eccles/Decca Classics)
"American soprano Renee Fleming, who was scheduled to open the Baalbeck International Festival at the end of June, has canceled a festival official said Friday, citing the deteriorating security conditions. The news surfaced as the organizers of Lebanon's most famous summer music festival mull over plans to relocate the event from the ancient Roman-era temple complex because of spillover violence from Syria's civil war. The change of venue from Baalbek, where the annual music festival is usually held under the towering columns of the Temple of Jupiter, is the latest fallout from Syria's civil war. This month a barrage of 18 rockets and mortar rounds fired from Syria hit Baalbek, about 15 kilometers from the Syrian border. Over the decades, Baalbek has been known for its Roman-era ruins and the international festival under the towering columns that attracted stars like jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone." [Source]

Decca Classics Signs Soprano Pumeza Matshikiza To Global Contract

(Photo: Martin Sigmund)
"Pumeza Matshikiza, 34, has signed with Decca to release an album that will feature arias by Mozart and Puccini alongside a musical setting of Invictus, the Victorian poem that inspired Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment on Robben Island. Ms Matshikiza, who currently performs with the Stuttgart Opera, grew up in rented shacks of corrugated iron as her family moved between townships around Cape Town. Her mother sang in church choirs but she discovered her vocation when she stumbled across a classical music radio station. She studied singing at the University of Cape Town and secured a part in an opera, whose composer was so impressed by her voice that he paid for her to fly to London and audition at the Royal College of Music. Ms. Matshikiza said: 'My debut album tells the story of my incredible journey from Africa to Europe and I feel privileged to be able to chart it through the very personal repertoire choices on this album; songs and arias that prove music unites people across the world and brings cultures together.' The album will include traditional African songs in her mother tongue, Xhosa, alongside arias and a new arrangement of the South African hit 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight.'" [Source] Videos, and a photo of where the soprano grew up, can be found after the jump.

Nicole Cabell Leads Master Class For OpTIC In Evanston

The latest recording from soprano Nicole Cabell
features songs composed by Ricky Ian
 Gordon. Click here to purchase the CD.
"Presbyterian Homes’ Westminster Place retirement community will host the Fourth Annual Young Artist Opera Workshop, a month-long opera training program for junior and senior college students, graduate students and young professionals. The workshop will take place from June 17 through July 12, 2013, and is produced by the Opera Training Institute of Chicago (OpTIC) located in Evanston, IL. Workshop classes will be held in the performance spaces at Westminster Place, where its residents are invited to attend. Classes include private voice and coaching lessons, master classes taught by guest artists, acting, aria presentation and audition technique. Additional courses will include yoga and the Alexander Technique of proper posture and stress elimination for optimal vocal delivery, and scenes performance in full costume with piano accompaniment. A special night of arias and songs in concert will take place in Elliott Chapel on the Westminster Place campus on Sunday, June 30, 2013. An opera scenes performance will be held in the same venue on Tuesday evening, July 9, 2013. Among the guest artists leading master classes is Soprano Nicole Cabell, 2005 winner of the BBC Singer of the World competition and Decca recording artist." [Source]

Mark Morris Tells Gerard Mortier He Would Rather Watch Opera

Opera Talk: Gerard Mortier [left] makes a point in discussion with Mark Morris.
(Photo: Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail)
"It was Mortier, in a previous incarnation as director of the Brussels opera, La Monnaie, who hired a younger Morris to replace his then outgoing director of dance, Maurice Bejart. And it was in Brussels in the late-1980s and early-1990s that Morris created several of his most famous dances, including L’Allegro, The Hard Nut, and Dido and Aeneas. That work, he later confesses, made it easier to re-establish himself in the United States. Morris’s work always begins with the music. 'What a lot of people do is make up a dance,' he explains. 'What I do, in the old-fashioned sense, is go from a piece of music that I love and imagine that I won’t tire of very soon, analyze the score, think about it, and make up a dance with my company.' He adds that he’d rather go to see opera than see dance, 'because if I’m super familiar with someone’s dance work and if I don’t like it, I don’t need to go back. And I won’t go see a three-hour ballet if it only has 10 minutes of good dancing. But I go to the Met [New York’s Metropolitan Opera] a lot.'" [Source]

Amato Opera House Will Be Retail Space And Condominiums

Bowery Boogie was granted exclusive rights to photograph the decaying shell that was once the great Amato Opera. Take a look at a fantastic slideshow with more interior photos and read more about the future of the building: "The current owner, Steven Croman, plans to turn this historic structure (built in 1899) into residential units for 'hedge-funders on the upper floors [plus penthouse] and one massive retail store' where the stage, orchestra pit, entrance and backstage are now." [Source]

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Anna Netrebko Does Late Night And Arias From Red Square

Anna Netrebko appeared on Ivan Urgant's Late Night Show in Russia to discuss compromising positions in which opera singers get themselves, her favorite popular music, friends and family, as well as what she does in airports without social media to pass the time.
Watch the soprano sing "La mamma morta" from Andrea Chénier and "Io son l'umile ncella" from Adriana Lecouvreur from the concert in Red Square. The complete concert with Dmitri Hvorostovsky can be seen here. More photos after the jump.

Is Patricia Racette Singing Music Of Linda Ronstadt A Possibility?

Prior to the announcement of Great Voices Sings John Denver, web viewers were treated to a glimpse into the recording studio for this project via YouTube. As you watch one opera star after another "crossing over" to the pop art form, one stands strongly out from the rest: Patricia Racette. There is something about the placement of her voice and the inflection she projects that is reminiscent of a young Linda Ronstadt. So why not forget John Denver and delve deeper into a female artist's song catalog that is ripe for a rich-voiced diva? Recently, Ms. Racette released a CD of a live cabaret concert titled Diva on Detour that showcased her non-operatic abilities. Would it be too much of a stretch to hear her apply that smoky chest voice to covers of such
Opera glove ready: Linda Ronstadt
ballads as "Blue Bayou," "You're No Good," "That'll Be The Day," "When Will I Be Loved," or "Faithless Love?" As for Linda Ronstadt, it wouldn't be hard to imagine having an opera singer cover her greatest hits, after all she's a fan of great divas: "Of Maria Callas, Ronstadt says, 'There's no one in her league. That's it. Period. I learn more....about singing rock n roll from listening to Maria Callas records than I ever would from listening to pop music for a month of Sundays....She's the greatest chick singer ever.' She admires Callas for her musicianship and her attempts to push 20th-century singing, particularly opera, back into the Bel canto 'natural style of singing'." Plus Ms. Racette and Ms. Ronstadt have both sung the role of Mimi in La Bohème, so maybe it is fate. Only time will tell. [Source

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cecilia Bartoli Becomes A Fan Of Mandarin Oriental Hotels

Cecilia Bartoli joins a long list of celebrities to become a "fan" of Mandarin Oriental Hotels. She was photographed in Barcelona by Mary McCartney wearing an Eliza J dress. Click here for more information (and one bonus video) about what the mezzo-soprano loves about staying at the hotels while she travels around the world. More photos after the jump.

At 90, Lina Vasta Sings Better Than Sopranos Half Her Age

Watch this video clip of Casa Verdi resident Lina Vasta singing "La Vergine degli Angeli" from La forza del destino of Giuseppe Verdi. Watch a wonderful documentary featuring the soprano and Casa Verdi residents by clicking here. One more video of this amazing woman, and one possible Korean contender, can be found after the jump.

The Russians (Netrebko And Hvorostovsky) Are Coming To Red Square

Click the above photo to watch a video from the press conference in Russia for this evening's concert in Moscow's Red Square featuring Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko with conductor Constantine Orbelian. Global listings for live streaming of the concert can be found after the jump.

(Photo: Victor Vasenin/WP)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Motorcyclist Yvonne Fontane Sings and Directs "Carmen"

"An opera singer who has a passion for motorbikes and hiking will be taking on the title role and directing a new production of Bizet's Carmen at Winslow Hall Opera. Yvonne Fontane will take the lead for all six performances, alongside a cast which includes Italian tenor Gianluca Paganelli as Don José, South African baritone Njabulo Madlala (winner of the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Competition) as Escamillo and Scottish-Polish soprano Natasha Day as Micaëla, conducted by the company’s Founder and Music Director Robert Secret. It will mark nine years since Fontane first took on the dual role of singer and director in Carmen at Stowe Opera - now known as Winslow Hall Opera....And in her spare time she loves tango dancing and riding motorbikes. She loves them so much she even toured on a motorbike in the UK. She also holds a diploma in Personal Training, Sports Massage, Nutrition and Lifestyle Management." [Source] Learn more about Ms. Fontane by clicking here. Check out a photo of the mezzo-soprano on her motorcycle after the jump.

Did Enrico Caruso Wear A Gibus Or Chapeau Claque?

"During the 19th century, the top hat developed from a fashion into a symbol of urban respectability, and this was assured when Prince Albert started wearing them in 1850; the rise in popularity of the silk plush top hat possibly led to a decline in beaver hats, sharply reducing the size of the beaver trapping industry in North America, though it is also postulated that the beaver numbers were also reducing at the same time. Whether it directly affected or was coincidental to the decline of the beaver trade is debatable. James Laver once observed that an assemblage of 'toppers' resembled factory chimneys and thus added to the mood of the industrial era. In England, post-Brummel dandies went in for flared crowns and swooping brims. Their counterparts in France, known as the 'Incroyables,' wore top hats of such outlandish dimensions that there was no room for them in overcrowded cloakrooms until Antoine Gibus invented the collapsible top hat in 1812. A Gibus has springs inside allowing it to be folded flat by hand and stored conveniently, as for example in an Opera house cloak-room. For this reason they are often called opera hats, though the term can also refer to any tall formal men's hat. The characteristic snapping sound upon opening a Gibus suggested another name, the Chapeau Claque. Invented for convenience at the opera, collapsible top hats continue to be used as evening wear in the 21st century." [Source] A better view of Caruso's top hat is on display after the jump.

Helen Donath Still Performing 55 Years After Making NYC Debut

An early portrait of the soprano who has sung for over five decades.
A native of Texas, Helen Donath made her New York debut as a concert and lieder singer. 55 years later, she will appear in Gotham Chamber Opera's upcoming season: "The first of the company’s four new productions will be 'Baden-Baden 1927,' a quadruple bill that recreates a legendary program heard at the Baden-Baden Festival of Contemporary Music on July 17, 1927. The most famous of the works heard that night was Kurt Weill’s 'Mahagonny Songspiel,' but the companion pieces were estimable too. They were Paul Hindemith’s 'Hin und Zurück' ('There and Back'), Darius Milhaud’s 'Enlèvement d’Europe' ('The Abduction of Europa'), and Ernst Toch’s 'Prinzessin auf der Erbse' ('The Princess and the Pea'). Gotham’s production, which will have the veteran soprano Helen Donath and the bass John Cheek in the cast, will be staged by Paul Curran at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, Oct. 23 through Nov. 1." [Source, Source]

Opera Star Power Comes Out For Cardiff SOTW Master Classes

The class of 2013: Singers from around the globe ready to compete for a main prize of £15,000 (Photo: Facebook).
Cardiff Singer of the World Competition began this past weekend, but the real event may take place this Saturday. Check out the scheduled opera stars that will be giving master class:

Saturday 22 June
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Dora Stoutzker Hall – with competition non-finalists
11am, Håkan Hagegård, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
3pm, Elena Obraztsova, Neil Shicoff

Richard Burton Theatre – with vocal studies students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
12.30pm, Christoph Prégardien
4pm, Dame Felicity Palmer
Each session lasts more than one hour and times are likely to overlap.

Check out more of the television and radio broadcast schedule by clicking here. And watch a preview of the BBC special celebrating 30 years of the competition after the jump.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pavarotti Fan Jonathan Allen Wows America's Got Talent Audience

"Meet Jonathan Allen, a 20-year-old from Tennessee. On his 18th birthday, his parents decided to kick him out for being gay. An incredible opera singer, he decided to show his family they had missed out on supporting their gifted son by performing on America’s Got Talent." [Source] Judge Mel B, formerly of the Spice Girls, says he must be a fan of Pavarotti and he replies "Oh, yes." She goes on to say that she had the chance to sing with him and he would be impressed with the performance. He sings "Time To Say Goodbye" (originally "Con te partirò") which was made popular by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.

He wasn't the only operatic potential the night of auditions. Watch as Travis Pratt sings "O mio babbino caro" after the jump.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Anna Netrebko Observes A Decade With Deutsche Grammophon

The soprano recording Verdi at Teatro Regio in Turin. Released in August 2013, the album will feature arias from Macbeth, Il Trovatore, Giovanna d'Arco, Don Carlo, and I Vespri Siciliani. Also included is a duet from Il Trovatore with tenor Rolando Villazón. (Photo: Harald Hoffmann/Deutsche Grammophon)
"In ihrem ersten Studio-Album seit fünf Jahren feiert Anna Netrebko die Kraft und Dramatik von Verdis Musik. Vor einem Jahrzehnt entstand die erste Aufnahme der russischen Sängerin für Deutsche Grammophon. Dank ihrer unvergesslichen Interpretationen maßgeblicher Werke steht sie heute an der Spitze der Opernwelt. Anna Netrebko – Verdi wird zu den Höhepunkten im Jubiläumsjahr zum 200. Geburtstag des Komponisten zählen, nicht zuletzt aufgrund des mit Sorgfalt von der Starsopranistin ausgewählten Programms. Das Album wird am 09. August 2013 erscheinen. Netrebkos Kunst, von Kritikern und Publikum gleichermaßen gerühmt, knüpft unmittelbar an das goldene Zeitalter des Gesangs an, zu dem Verdi und seine Kompositionen einen so wichtigen Beitrag geleistet haben. Die Schönheit ihrer Stimme, ihre Bühnenpräsenz und ihre Persönlichkeit haben die Opernliebhaber unserer Zeit erobert und ein gewaltiges neues Publikum für ihre Arbeit eingenommen: 3,8 Millionen Exemplare ihrer Aufnahmen für Deutsche Grammophon wurden verkauft, eine Verkaufszahl, die keine andere Sopranistin in diesem Jahrhundert erreicht hat." [Source]

The cover art for Anna Netrebko - Verdi can be found after the jump.

Terence Blanchard Honors Father With Opera About Emile Griffith

Baritone Aubrey Allicock will play Emile Griffith.
"Jazz composer Terence Blanchard couldn't have imagined how timely his opera about a gay boxer would become when he accepted a commission three years ago. Blanchard's Champion with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer is based on the life of former world welterweight and middleweight champion Emile Griffith. Its world premiere at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis on Saturday comes just weeks after NBA center Jason Collins became the first active male pro athlete from one of the four major North American team sports to come out as gay. Griffith's greatest triumph came in a nationally televised welterweight title bout in 1962 when he knocked out Benny 'The Kid' Paret by battering him with 17 punches in seven seconds, sending his rival into a coma. Paret died 10 days later. At the weigh-in, the Cuban-born Paret had angered Griffith by using an anti-gay Spanish slur. Thirty years later, Griffith was beaten and nearly killed after leaving a gay bar near Times Square."

The composer (above) hopes to build
a bridge between jazz and opera.
"The 51-year-old Blanchard agreed to undertake the biggest musical project of his career in part to honor his father who could not realize his dream of being an opera singer in an era when companies didn't hire male black singers. His father performed with amateur opera groups, and Blanchard grew up listening to opera recordings at his New Orleans home. Blanchard knows his father would have been 'overjoyed' to see that his son had written an opera performed by a largely African-American cast, including Denyce Graves as Griffith's mother, Arthur Woodley as old Emile and Aubrey Allicock as young Emile. An 11-year-old from St. Louis, Jordan Jones, plays Emile as a boy." [ Source]

For more information about the production, visit the official website for Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sony Classical Digs Deep For Rarities on Verdi Bicentennial

Sony Classical has taken the opportunity to mine the treasure trove of their back catalog (featuring recordings from inherited labels of RCA Victor Red Seal, Columbia, and CBS Masterworks) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birth. Some rarities are unearthed for the first time on this occasion, while others have had previous incarnations on compact disc in the past. Of particular interest is the album "A Verdi Collaboration" featuring soprano Anna Moffo with conductor Franco Ferrara. Making its appearance for the first time on CD, it is a welcome tribute from the discography* of Ms. Moffo who passed away in 2006. Track listing from this 1962 recording includes:
1. Vespri Siciliani, Act V: "Mercè, dilette amiche"
2. Ernani, Act I: "Ernani involami"
3. Aida:, Act III: "O patria mia"
4. Il trovatore, Act IV: "D'amor sull'ali rosee"
5. Giovanna d'Arco, Prologue: "O ben s'addice questo torbido cielo"
6. Otello, Act IV: "Salce, Salce - Ave Maria"
7. Un ballo in maschera, Act III: "Morrò ma prima in grazia"
8. Simon Boccanegra, Act I: "Come in quest'ora bruna"

*Sony Classical would do well to look at the soprano's other recordings in the vault that could be released in a box-set tribute: "Anna Moffo Sings Berlin," "French Opera Arias," "Dream Duet" with Sergio Franchi, "Songs of Debussy," "Anna Moffo Sings Gershwin," "Bist du's, lachendes Glück" and "True Love" duet albums with Rudolf Schock, "Film music of Ennio Morricone," and the complete recording of Massenet's "Thais." In the meantime, there is a 10-CD collection that will satisfy some needs!

After the jump are several more of the original cover art releases of Verdi works by Sony Classical that will be showing up mid-summer in the international markets.

Natalie Dessay Exits Opera Stage With A Bitter Vibe

The Examiner reports on the French soprano's plans to retire. She sounds in the article a bit put off by what has been an auspicious career. Read some highlights:

"In September, Natalie will be in Toulouse to sing Massenet’s Manon. It may be her last appearance on the operatic stage. 'Yes, I think so. I did my real 'debut' in Toulouse, in the chorus. I had started off as an acting student. That was my real passion. That is my real passion. It’s just a detour of thirty-three years—to finally get back to my first goal. There’s nothing left for me to sing. I’ve done most of the roles I could do. I don’t want to play Juliette. At my age? Please! Or Lucia or Adina or anything else like that. That’s why I’m quitting. You have to love your repertoire. For a while I thought it was fun, but no. On to something else.'

'Along the way,” I asked, 'who were the coloratura sopranos that inspired you?'
'There was no coloratura, because I hate that kind of voice. I never had any problem with the repertoire. My idol is, was, and will be Maria Callas. That’s not very original, but that’s it. Also Renata Scotto. I worked with her. She’s fantastic as a teacher. I like the actresses. I don’t care about the voice. A beautiful voice in a body that doesn’t act does not interest me more than five minutes. So, I’m not a good audience member for opera.' [Source]

A performance from 1995 of the soprano singing Lakme's "Où va la jeune Hindoue?" demonstrates that there was much to admire in her singing whether she loved it or not.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sonntagskonzert zum Nachhören mit Sopranistin Mojca Erdmann

(Photo: Harald Hoffmann/Deutsche Grammophon)
Listen to a Sunday concert featuring soprano Mojca Erdmann singing Johann Strauss II's "Frühlingsstimmen" (skip to 35:30) and "Mein Herr Marquis" (skip to 10:48) from Die Fledermaus with the NDR-Sinfonieorchester under the direction of Thomas Hengelbrock. As a bonus, listen to an interview with the soprano by clicking here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tensions Rise in Turkey Over Possible Opera House Location

"The protests were triggered by a smaller campaign to protect Gezi Park at Taksim Square, a small and rare patch of green space in central Istanbul which the government wants to raze to build a multipurpose building modeled after a historic Ottoman barracks. An administrative court on Friday ruled to halt construction at the park, providing a brief, if temporary, win for the protesters seeking to preserve the park. In the past five days, demonstrations have gained more steam and attracted a broader swath of the population with each heavy-handed police response that helped turned the event into an antigovernment rally. As protesters continued to move toward Taksim Square, many reported that social-networking sites, which demonstrators have used to organize gatherings, were interrupted or not functioning. Turkey's telecoms regulator said in a statement that any disruption was due to heavy traffic, rather than a government intervention, which would require a court order. Mr. Erdogan's remarks on Saturday showed little sign that he would succumb to protesters' demands to abandon government construction projects, let alone resign. The premier also said that a cultural center at Taksim Square named after modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, should be replaced with an opera house, further inflaming tensions with secularist Turks devoted to the country's first president." [Source]

Daniela Dessì Joins Rapper Moreno For Italian Television Duet

"Il 1 giugno 2013 il soprano è stato ospite del talent show televisivo Amici di Maria De Filippi in cui ha cantato una versione 'rivisitata' di O sole mio al fianco del vincitore Moreno." [Source]

"A seguire Moreno chiama il Duetto con Ospite e canta con il soprano Daniela Dessi' una versione particolarissima di 'O sole mio.' Al termine Moreno è visibilmente commosso e si stropiccia gli occhi per il bel momento vissuto, il pubblico si propone in una standing ovation..." [

Is This The Next Sarah Brightman Or Katherine Jenkins?

That's what the judges on Britain's Got Talent seem to think. Watch two performances of Aliki Chrysochou after the jump.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Catherine Malfitano Delivers Master Class For Opera Preservation

"The American Lyric Theater was founded in 2005 to foster the creation of operas by matching composers to librettists and offering them training and workshops to help them develop new works. Last year it also commissioned three operas from participants. Those operas are at the center of the InsightALT festival being presented at the JCC in Manhattan. The festival, where audiences can get a glimpse of the craft that underpins the art of opera, opened on Tuesday with a public master class led by Catherine Malfitano. A venerated soprano, Ms. Malfitano has, over the course of three decades, created roles in nearly a dozen new operas. In recent years she has also built up a portfolio of directing credits. 'The ultimate test of whether a piece is going to last is whether you can make an emotional connection with the audience and make them come back for more,' she told the participating singers, urging them to take the creation of new operas seriously. 'What we are doing is of the utmost importance for the future of this art form. Because at some point people will get sick of the museum.'" Read more at the New York Times Blog by clicking here.

Heir To Spanish Throne Attends Opera Amid Scandal

Royal arrival at the Gran Teatre del Liceu
"Il principe Filippo e la consorte Letizia sono stati accolti da fischi e «buu» fuori dal teatro dell'opera di Barcellona dove la coppia reale doveva assistere ad una rappresentazione «dell'Elisir d'amore» di Donizetti. L'erede al trono di Spagna e la moglie sono arrivati a bordo di un'auto ufficiale davanti al teatro dove si era radunata una folla di curiosi. Oltre ai fischi c'è stato anche qualche applauso per Felipe e Letizia che hanno risposto con un sorriso alle contestazioni. I reali spagnoli stanno vivendo una fase di scarsissima popolarità dopo l'incriminazione del genero del re, Inaki Urdangarin, in un caso di corruzione che rischia di travolgere anche l'infanta Cristina, e le spedizioni di caccia in Botwsana di Juan Carlos. Intanto, è stato deciso che sarà un consiglio indipendente e non un'agenzia statale a vigilare sul compimento della legge sulla trasparenza, che ha cominciato ieri l'iter parlamentare. La normativa sottopone alla trasparenza anche la monarchia spagnola, che sarà la prima in Europa ad essere soggetta in maniera esplicita al controllo." [Source]

Jean Stapleton (January 19, 1923 – May 31, 2013)

Stapleton was a trained mezzo-soprano. She made
her operatic debut in 1984 at the Baltimore
Opera Company in Bernstein's Candide.
"The daughter of an opera singer and businessman, Stapleton grew up on Long Island and in New York City. It was there during the early 1940s, while working as a typist for the British War Ministry Office, that she began her career in theater. Stapleton made it to Broadway in the production In the Summer House in 1953, the same year of her television debut on the daytime drama Woman With a Past. Other big stage roles followed, including in Bells Are Ringing and Damn Yankees. She also did more and more television, including appearances on shows such as Philco TV Playhouse and Dr. Kildare. Her breakout role was as Edith Bunker, the conscience of All in the Family as the kindhearted foil to husband Archie, played by the late Carroll O'Connor." [Source] Watch a clip of Ms. Stapleton singing, on The Muppet Show, after the jump.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Anna Netrebko Has Major Presidential Contact

With President Vladimir Putin on May 2, 2013, at the opening of the new Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

With former President Bill Clinton at the AIDS Solidarity Gala on May 25, 2013, in Vienna, Austria.

Choral Fantasy: J.S. Bach and Rene Clausen