On the Birthday Omnibus

September 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, FILM, HISTORY, MUSIC, OPERA, WRITING & LITERATURE |
Photo by Harry Whittier Frees

Photo by Harry Whittier Frees

September 5 Many happy birthdays to a range of historical and cultural notables!! 1638: Louis XIV The great empire-builder applied his zeal to the foundations laid by Cardinal Richelieu.  In the end, zeal undid much of his work but he still left a mighty legacy – he could little foresee on his 1715 deathbed that his great regal empire would last well under a century. Louis to the Duc d’Orléans on his deathbed: “‘You are about to see one King in his tomb and another in his cradle. Always cherish the memory of the first and the interests of the…

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Parsifal Swans in to Sydney

August 15, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, RELIGION, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WAGNER |
"Give me an hour, and you'll forget all about that silly mug..." (Temptation of Percival by Arthur Hacker, 1894)

"Give me an hour, and you'll forget all about that silly mug..." (Temptation of Percival by Arthur Hacker, 1894)

(Concert version, Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, 14 August 2017) We landed in Sydney secure in the knowledge that Jonas Kaufmann was already here and in fine form.  Out initial impressions of Sydney town c. 2017 were as favourable as always, except for the subsequent days when “strategic, environmental burn-offs” doused all in plumes of thick blue smoke, smoke much less tasty than that found second-hand in a cigar bar. In any case: Parsifal. This, Wagner’s “work of farewell to the world” has managed to become P’s favourite Wagner Opera, despite Tristan, despite Meistersinger, yes, even despite the Ring. Its music is so…

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Playing With Fire – Staging “The Ring”

July 12, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, HISTORY, MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, WAGNER |
wunderbar

[This article originally appeared in the Newsletter of the Richard Wagner Society of SA, # 282, July 2017] “When Art Meets Politics.” This was the essence of Dr. Peter Bassett’s text in a thoroughly entertaining and salutary talk to the Richard Wagner Society of South Australia on 18 June, entitled ‘Playing with Fire – the pursuit of a Wagner performance tradition in Adelaide 1995 – 2005’. President Geoffrey Siedel introduced Dr Bassett, who was uniquely placed to cover this topic, having completed a PhD on it, as well as being closely involved with the productions that comprised Adelaide’s Wagner Decade…

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Yul Brynner

July 11, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, MUSIC |
Yul as the Pharaoh

Yul as the Pharaoh

Yul Brynner (11 July 1920 to 10 October 1985) was a dramatic presence in a number of watchable films, including The King and I (1956), The Ten Commandments (1956), Anastasia (1956), The Brothers Karamazov (1958), The Magnificent Seven (1960), and Westworld (1973). Happy Birthday Yul. Wherever you are, we choose to believe that you are not smoking. But we choose to remember him today for his particular love of gypsy songs, in which he did not sing so much as ‘complain melodiously,’ in the Romani style: x https://youtu.be/afvbC_7Egj8

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The Fourth Man

July 8, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, Modern Music |
Anton_Karas_(1906-1985)2

Anton Karas, born 7 July 1906 (died 10 January 1985) The famous zither man, a reluctant star whose original score and composition fitted Carol Reed’s film, The Third Man, to a tee. x https://youtu.be/4xq_iB5p1OA There’s a lot of zither here, but it works a treat, even during the great moment where Holly Martins realises who the Third Man was… x https://youtu.be/V4Wcty7FFJo

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