Opera Summer Program Europe

Ellen And Jim Have A Blog, Two

Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West (usually Englished as The Golden Girl of the West, from the title of the play upon which the opera is based), at West End Cinema, from Netherlands Opera

Dear friends and readers,

Summer is definitely here. We have several days in a row where the temperature soared to the high 90s and the heat index was in the 100s (the “dog days of June” anyone?). And we’ve begun using up our tickets bought across the summer to go to operas (not all in HD, some live), plays, concerts, and events of various sorts. Three sets of tickets we bought from the West End Cinema (Georgetown, DC) where the proprietor is bringing in operas from 3 different opera houses in Europe.

First up was Monday last week: La Fanciulla del West done in Eurotrash style. I learnt that one reason we are not in our area seeing the efflorescence of opera that was predicted when HD operas first were broadcast is that the Met will not sign with you if you also broadcast other opera houses. So much for their ethics.

From Netherlands Opera house it was wonderfully well sung but the settings made it impossible to believe in any emotional way. One scene was performed in a large shoebox done as a Barbie trailer home all in ludicrous pinks (see above). Another a vast junkyard of trashed once super-expensive cars. As a comment on the culture and state of “modern” society today the scenes were suggestive, but against the action of Puccini’s opera, the thing was ludicrous. Maybe it was meant to be so, as the characters were also ridiculously, burlesque-ly overdressed, the characters playing “Indians” walked around saying “Ugh” (no need for this as this was not sung), reminding me of the song from Disney film for Peter Pan, “What made the Red Man Red?”. The acting was melodramatic, the silly myths of cowboys, in origin about sociopaths, lynching as a fun thing to do, desperate greed, were sent up. Eurotrash can make a serious statement about our world and not make the very opera part of the problem of those who have and control huge amounts of money running — I had almost said ruining — all experience for the rest of us in accordance with how much profit they personally make: a case in point was Claus Guth’s brilliant Don Giovanni, which took refuge in a pastoral wasteland (which also had junked cars about).

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Amy Winehouse, British freak singer dead @27

by reality4you

British singer Amy Winehouse was reportedly found dead in her home in north London, Sky News reported. She was 27.
In June, the Grammy Award winner had checked out of a treatment program in London. Her spokesman Chris Goodman had said the entertainer had been looking forward to touring Europe this summer.
Winehouse's breakthrough disc, 2006's "Back to Black," won her five Grammy Awards and helped her achieve worldwide stardom, but her music had been overshadowed by drug use and run-ins with the law.

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Wizz Air from Skopje to 14 European destinations. Thursday, 08 May 2014.


Penny Lane
Summer or winter is france?

I'm considering going on a study abroad program to Paris France. Is it better to go in the winter or summer-Pro’s and con’s please? I was told that in the summer there are not many cultural events such as Opera’s, etc. The summer program seems to be less than the winter, which is quiet odd considering summer is vacation time.


All information is greatly appreciated.

Why don't you go to an African country that speaks French? (Not France!) There are certainly more French there than in Paris if that's what your looking for.

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