Tag Archives: NY City Opera

February Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Feb

FAB FEBRUARY

Downton Abbey’s Season 4 was surely enlightening, thrilling, and quite satisfying. Now we wait a year to learn who DowntonAbbey.2.27.14Lady Mary chooses and how Carson and Mrs. Hughes liked the water … Johnny’s daughter, Roseanne Cash, released The River & the Thread, a meditation on folk and country by way of a southern state of mind. And she performed her dad’s songs on his signature Martin guitars at the Metropolitan Museum, tied in with the exhibit on Martin’s early guitars … Carnegie Hall presented the first Isaac Stern Memorial Concert with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax playing Brahms … Hope you got to hear Dianne Reeves at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her voice, her poise – she is one in a million. On Beautiful Life, she sings Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye … The NY Philharmonic celebrated the Chinese New Year with Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; and The BanquetThe Apollo turned 80 and celebrated with Doug E. Fresh hosting their famous Amateur NightLadysmith Black Mambazo, you know, from Paul Simon’s Graceland, well, they brought their magnificent a cappella chorus to BB King Blues Club. Their album, Live: Singing for Peace Around the World, just won a Grammy. Spreading the good word in harmony, that’s what they do … And farewell for real to City Opera with a grand concert that celebrated 70 Years of the People’s Opera. Placido Domingo showed up, too, after all it’s where he made his NYC debut. Put on by the musicians and choristers, they ensured that proceeds benefited the NYC Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund (Local 802). A classy way to go out. Bravo.

BEATLEMANIA

It was 50 years ago todayThe Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and the anniversary of theirBeatles.Love.vbb55 arrival in the US was not forgotten … The Grammys offered a tribute concert featuring Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Eurythmics, and oh yeah, Paul and Ringo … Donovan and Peter Asher talked about Beatlemania at the 92Y … The Library for the Performing Arts’s exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles!, features tour memorabilia, historic film clips and video interviews. The Library held a debate, Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Mike Myers stood up for the Beatles and NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg with Bill Janovitz, musician and author of a Stones book, spoke for well, y’know. Assembled by the Grammy Museum, catch it before it goes May 10 … Like their melodies, lyrics, and harmonies, the Fab Four’s cultural and musical legacy lives on and on and on and on, across the universe.

DOG MANIA

Every February welcomes the hounds. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show celebrates our companions, our champions. It’s our chance to see the wondrous magnificent variety of the dog world, where we are guided by the knowledgeable and passionate David Frei, who celebrated 25 years as our host. Three new breeds were introduced: WestminsterDog.2.27.14.bChinook, Rat Terrier, and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno – loved him! This year offered something extra. The Agility Championship, where the dogs go through steeple-chase maneuvers, included for the first time mixed-breeds. Congrats to our new champ, Sky, the magnificent Wire Fox Terrier – the breed’s 14th Best in Show win, more than any other breed. Terriers rule –with 46 wins, the most of any group. Asked why Terriers win so much, David said, “Terriers were bred to look for trouble…gives them an edge to their performance in the ring…It’s their world and we’re just living in it.” Tell me about it.

REMEMBERING PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

I will always remember this great actor’s roles in three music-related movies. In A Late Quartet, he played the secondphilip-seymour-hoffman.2.27.14.br violinist in a string quartet famous for playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, opus 131. In Almost Famous, he was the renowned rock critic, Lester Bangs. And in Pirate Radio, he made us believe that he could save the world with rock ‘n roll radio. In each of these roles, he showed us his character’s pain, his truth, his humanity. Baring his own at the same time.

WE CAN HELP

Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crWe know how much dogs can help to alleviate stress and suffering that patients and their families experience when dealing with illness. Angel On A Leash was founded by the host of the Westminster Dog Show, David Frei, to provide the best therapy dog programs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, and hospice. Learn how you can help or donate.

 Hey-Jude-45.2.27.14

Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Beatles’s Hey Jude
C’mon, sing along:
Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 Sources:
Downton Abbey pic: DowntonAbbeyOnline
Beatles pic: vbb55
Best in Show pic: Ben Hider/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty images
David Frei quote:
ESPN interview
Philip Seymour Hoffman pic: The Well-Tempered Ear

Hey Jude lyrics: Sony/ATV Music Publishing

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

30 Sep

SEPTEMBER BRIMS WITH HEART + MUSIC

Did you know September is Piano Month? Celebrate the great instrument. Listen to the piano opening on Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water…There’s Yamaha’s new stringless piano. WWVCD. What would Van Cliburn do?…Boston rolled out 75 pianos all over town for people with skill or not, to play on and enjoy…Yoko Ono’s new album, Take Me to the Land of Hell, Yoko.albumcover.9.29.13features Questlove and Lenny Kravitz. The ever peace-promoting Yoko took a NY Times full-page, as is her custom, posting the lyrics to Cheshire Cat Cry. “I’m rolling in your dreams, listening to your screams…Stop the violence, stop all wars.”A Night With Janis Joplin concert musical opens on Broadway…Elton John and Sting released new music…The San Francisco Opera premieres Stephen King’s downright operatic story Dolores Claiborne. “With a Stephen King novel you find a person in extreme situations, and I was drawn to the psychology of that, of how we cope, how we feel,” says librettist J.D. McClatchy…The NY Phil played the score to Kubrick’s great 2001: A Space Odyssey, while the Post.RayChalesStamp.Sept.2013film played on a screen behind the Orchestra…Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, and Bono helped fight poverty at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park…Renee Fleming sang, yes, sang the Top Ten List of opera lyrics on David Letterman’s Late Show…The US Postal Service honors Ray Charles with a stamp, released on his birthday, September 23. Also offered is a CD of his greatest hits. Honor this true music icon, buy his stamp. By the way, the stamp sheet looks just like a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. Very cool…And Cher sang and talked everywhere upon theCher-Closer-to-the-Truth-Album.9.29.13 release of her new album, Closer to the Truth. Cher on Cher: “I’m serious about my work, but I don’t take myself seriously.” The single, I Hope You Find It, is pure Cher – all heart…The good news is Maestro James Levine returns to the Met Opera after a terrible fall which kept him away too long…And at the Met Museum, musicians performed period music that complemented the art in the European Paintings gallery…Alas, there is not good news for the NY City Opera company. This “people’s opera” is in need of money, lots of money, to survive. Losing an arts institution is in no one’s interest. The place Beverly Sills called home needs a benefactor who cares, really cares. In the meantime, there’s a Kickstarter campaign…The One Day University offered classes in Beethoven’s Ninth (The Story Behind the Masterpiece) and Gershwin, Ellington and the Search for an American Sound…Music plays a role in two new documentaries. Muscle Shoals about that Alabama city’s huge musical legacy. And Metallica Through the Never, a concert film. Bring your earplugs…Sir Paul, y’know the Beatle, released the single, New. “All my life, I never knew what I could be, What I could do, Then we were new.” Could it be a (silly) love song?…Finally, noted in the NY Times under In Memoriam: Isaac Stern, July 21, 1920-September 22, 2001, Fiddler.

A NEW FILM ON THE 60s TO LOVE

One man follows his dream and is an eyewitness to a noteworthy decade’s highpoints. Documentary filmmaker Chris Szwedo held a private screening of Eye on the 60s, a mesmerizing view of the sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, and always very interesting photographer, Rowland Scherman. He started out taking pics for the Peace Corps which led to the Kennedys, then BobDylan-Halo.9.29.13RFK’s campaign tour, the March for Jobs and Freedom in DC, and to Life magazine. Barbara Walters, the Beatles, Mapplethorpe and Smith, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Arthur Ashe. There isn’t a pic he’s taken that isn’t seared into our collective memories. Scherman’s passion, his love, and his curiosity are displayed throughout his work – and all share his clear-eyed view of humanity. Oh, by the way, y’know that pic of Dylan with his hair in a halo, yeah, the pic on the cover of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, yeah, that one? That’s Rowland Scherman and it won him a Grammy. This film is not only a wonderful look at the 60s, with all the pleasures that come with that. It is a document of an artist’s intertwined life and career. Hope you catch it. I loved it.

…AND BOOKS

Although her singing has been silenced by Parkinson’s, Linda Ronstadt’s voice LindaRonstadt.9.29.13is open, honest, and sure in her new memoir, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir. With Heart Like a Wheel playing in my head, her memoir felt as heartfelt as her performance of that song is genuine…Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep arrived. In this sequel to The Shining, Danny Torrance is all grown up. Is he fighting his demons? “Dan didn’t think he’d had such a clear shine inDramaHigh.9.29.13 years. It brought a ghost of delight that went back to earliest childhood, before he had discovered how dangerous the shining could be.”…Michael Sokolove’s Drama High about a public high school’s drama program is “the incredible story of a brilliant teacher, a struggling town, and the magic of theater,” and is a testament to the importance of arts education.

ON DOGS AND LOVE 

We can be heroes. Animal Planet’s Hero Dogs of 9/11 is a tribute to the 300 K-9 DISASTER RELIEF NIKIEdogs who played an important role in the rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero. “They will literally put their lives on the line for us.”…And heroes were in abundance at the annual AKC Meet The Breeds show. From the Irish Wolfhound to a teeny Chihuahua. Beauties with big hearts all. Alas, the Westies were a no-show at the show. But Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crI had a wonderful visit with David Frei. Host of the Westminster Dog Show, his Angel On A Leash is all about therapy dogs…Along with a new year wish for peace, I leave you with a Rabbi’s sermon on love. It is not what we feel, but rather what we do…When words of likability come cheap, our deeds matter more. When our emotions become a mere mouse click, our tangible actions define true relationship.” Read it, share it, dig it!

ABOUT A BLOG 

Simon&GarfunkleInCentralPk.9.29.13Posts on Yvette Perry’s Blog include lookalike book covers, Neil Diamond’s songwriting process, the Simon and Garfunkel Concert in Central Park, George R.R. Martin’s take on fantasy, and Diana Nyad’s mantra…Also posted there is this newsletter so you can easily share it with your friends. Just click on any of the share buttons below each post.

Cher-The_Very_Best_Of_Cher.9.29.13

 Soundtrack to this Issue is Cher’s Believe,
performed live in concert in Las Vegas.
I believe in Cher.

 Buddha, stay. Good dog.IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  (Buddha)

Sources:
Yamaha’s AvantGrand N3: David Pogue, The NY Times
Dolores Claiborne quote: The Sacramento Bee
Ray Charles stamp: Yves Carrère, photographer/USPS
Cher’s I Hope You Find It: The Today Show
Cher quote: CBS Sunday Morning
Eye On The 60s: Chris Szwedo Productions
Bob Dylan Halo pic: Rowland Scherman
Love sermon: Rabbi Benjamin Spratt

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