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Short and not-so-sweet, since 3CM is too lazy to think about anything substantial to talk about tonight.  So the essence of things is the simple poll below, which might have different results out in the real world, away from DK.  That aside.....

Poll

Loser of the week?

25%4 votes
75%12 votes
0%0 votes

| 16 votes | Vote | Results

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Next Friday, Opera Philadelphia will be giving its first performance of the opera Oscar, with music by Theodore Morrison and libretto by John Cox.  This will be the its second round of live performances, after the world premiere run in 2013 at Santa Fe Opera, which had commissioned the opera.  The opera covers the period when Oscar Wilde was on trial in 1895 for "gross indecency", in the wake of his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas (a.k.a. 'Bosie'), and when homosexuality was a criminal offense in the UK.  If you cast back your memories about 18 months, you'll remember how much gay marriage and gay rights were in the news, with the general ascendant trend of acceptance of gay marriage in the preceding years (as opposed to the long downward trajectory of abortion rights, but that's off topic and a subject for another day).  So the timing of Oscar, not to mention another gay-themed opera from that summer, Champion by Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer (presented here in STL, as it turns out) couldn't have been more propitious, even if it wasn't planned as such, given the glacial time scales on which opera works.

At the time, Oscar got a lot of press, not least because of the prestige of Santa Fe Opera as a venue for launching new operas, especially one with such a front and center treatment of a gay character.  The second time around, advance buzz is much more minimal, even though Morrison and Cox have reportedly revised the opera for its second production.  This may be partly due to the fact that second productions aren't quite as sexy in terms of media hype compared to a premiere.  However, I suspect that there's another reason, namely......

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Short and not so sweet this evening, since 3CM is much too lazy to write anything with any sort of imagination on his own, taken from posts on a British website that always has a good time finding sources of conservative/anti-intellectual/generally right-wingnut all-American stupidity to wail upon, namely The Guardian.  The posts in question are about:

(1) the Disneyland-related measles outbreak
(2) wingnut embrace of American Sniper

Your assignment: read both articles, and then take the poll here.  (No "all of the above" option; you must choose one.)  More (well, not really) below the flip.....

Poll

The bigger losers?

82%14 votes
17%3 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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Time for the first 2015 installment in the occasional mash-up of SNLC with the opera series started by DK'er Demi Moaned, since appropriated by self.  Thus, the standard start-up question for this diary:

Anyone see the Metropolitan Opera HD-cast of The Merry Widow today?

This is another comparatively infrequent opportunity to discuss comedy, and romantic comedy at that, or at least a "lighter" work on the opera stage.  However, it must be said that the mash-up here has more relevance than usual, because of the mixed reviews that this production has received, at least one evening of technical mishaps prior to this afternoon’s performance, and the success rate, or lack thereof, of  recent work by this production’s director.  In addition, self was wondering, given one particular aspect of the mixed reviews, whether this production would work better on the movie screen than in the house.  So why would 3CM bother to see this one?  Well…..

Poll

Did you see the Met HD-cast of 'The Merry Widow' today?

65%13 votes
20%4 votes
10%2 votes
5%1 votes
0%0 votes

| 20 votes | Vote | Results

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When a noted artist affiliated with a particular organization dies, it's standard practice for that organization to put on its website a page in tribute to that artist.  In the case of orchestras, this situation would obviously apply to orchestra musicians, or past music directors/conductors.  This past December 23, the 9th music director of the St. Louis Symphony from 1975 to 1979, Jerzy Semkow, died in Switzerland.  You can find newspaper obits on Semkow from:

(a) St. Louis Post-Dispatch
(b) Detroit Free Press

However, as of this posting, if you go to the SLSO's own page......

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It's probably a safe guess that many of you watch the Times Square crystal ball drop on TV on New Year's Eve, along with millions of other folks.  For PBS-inclined types, the rough equivalent is this TV program, which doesn't take place live, though.  Although self has used this subject several times in past SNLC's, I'm in the mood (i.e. lazy enough) to draw from this well again, for reasons to be explained in the tip jar.  More below das Flippe......

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So we're now at the 3rd day of Christmas (cost of 3 French hens this year, $181.50, FWIW), presumably with the gifts dispersed and received, as appropriate, fitting, or otherwise, and all the wrapping paper tossed in the trash (unless it's recyclable - not that most people would bother with such things, but 3CM digresses, as usual).  That's the case here.  I happened to notice a few small things when I was shopping for Christmas gifts for my brother's kids, with an air of closing about them.  More (well, not really) below the flip.....

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40 years is a pretty long time to have an affiliation, whether it be in a job, a marriage, or otherwise.  One case in point is the British countertenor David James, who has sung with the UK vocal group The Hilliard Ensemble since its founding in 1973.  In fact, James is the only original member to have stayed with the group all this time.  That came to an end this evening just a few hours ago, when The Hilliard Ensemble gave its last-ever concert at Wigmore Hall in London.  One can only imagine what emotions ran on stage and in the hall.  More (sort of) below ye flippe.....

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It's that time of year where Christmas music takes over commercial radio, or at least at one local station that specializes in oldies.  In ballet, a similar phenomenon occurs in December, when stagings of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker proliferate, perhaps even in or near where you live.  (Local example here.)  This is for very understandable reasons, not least (or perhaps most) because the music is fabulous, and it's a great way to start getting kids involved in ballet and the arts.  However, perhaps just because The Nutcracker is so ubiquitous at holiday time, chances to hear the entire ballet on its own, w/o staging, don't seem to happen that much.  One such rare chance just occurred over in Manchester, England, c/o the Hallé Orchestra.  In fact, you can listen to it tomorrow via teh intertubes and c/o the BBC.  More (ish) below the flip....

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Not that you were paying attention, but a recital this past Tuesday night in London caused a bit of a ruckus in the UK press, because one child was evidently coughing up a storm at one point, which caused the violinist in the recital, Kyung-Wha Chung, to administer some sort of rebuke.  Quite a bit of the intertubes criticism has been leveled at Chung, but in fairness, some voices have also leaped to her defense (OK, defence).  More, sort of, below the flip.....

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Given all the consumerist and money-spending activities tied to this time of year (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday), you might wonder what 3CM, that least active of shoppers, might have to offer for one of these occasions.  Well, nothing of his own, of course (loser, he), but self did find something rather cute, and apparently unique, related to Giving Tuesday.  It's this event in Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center, namely that the Philadelphia Orchestra is giving a free community concert on Giving Tuesday.  What's unique about this concert, AFAICT, is that no other orchestra in the USA (or perhaps the entire world) is actually giving an orchestra concert for Giving Tuesday.  More (sort of) below the flip.....

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Time for the latest installment in the occasional mash-up of SNLC with the opera series started by DK'er Demi Moaned, since appropriated by self.  Thus, the standard start-up question for this diary:

Anyone see the Metropolitan Opera HD-cast of The Barber of Seville today?

For once, in this series, this is a relatively rare chance to indulge in comedy.  Nobody dies or gets whacked (although one character momentarily threatens another with 2 bullets in the head if he doesn’t do what the threat-maker wishes), nor are there are bombastic battle scenes.  But there is some sense of mayhem, abetted by director Bartlett Sher.  This is probably the most famous comic opera ever, and rarely fails to attract audiences.  In fact, it was visible in today’s HD-cast that the house in NYC was pretty packed.  More (sort of) below il flippo

Poll

Did you see the Met HD-cast of The Barber of Seville today?

43%10 votes
26%6 votes
13%3 votes
8%2 votes
4%1 votes

| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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