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26.7.09

In Brief: Beethoven and Everyone Else on Twitter Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • I already linked to my little piece at DCist about Emil de Cou's plans to have updates sent to his Twitter feed while he conducted Beethoven's sixth symphony at Wolf Trap on July 30. It was exceptionally fun to try my Photoshop skills on one of the famous portraits of Beethoven, shown here, for that article. [DCist]

  • Bryant Manning has a great interview with Lang Lang, who is celebrating the big break he had at the Ravinia Festival, ten years ago this summer, when he was asked to step in for Andre Watts. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Remembering James Gibbons (1834-1921), Archbishop of Baltimore, the second American prelate elevated to the rank of cardinal (and the first American to cast a vote in a papal election), one of the founders of the Catholic University of America, champion of the poor, leader of a protest that led to the Vatican reversing its ban on Catholics joining labor unions, trusted adviser of presidents and statesmen (Theodore Roosevelt called him "the most respected and venerated and useful citizen of our country"), and eloquent apologist of American Catholicism (H. L. Mencken said that "the best exposition of Catholic doctrine is probably The Faith of our Fathers, by the late Cardinal Gibbons"). [Whispers in the Loggia]

  • Having spent a couple days reviewing the libretto and piano-vocal score of Paul Moravec's new opera The Letter, which premiered last night at Santa Fe Opera, I'm looking forward to getting to hear and see it on the stage during our upcoming trip to the Great American West (stay tuned for reviews from Central City Opera and, of course, Santa Fe). The amount of media attention focused on this premiere is particularly great, not least from the librettist himself, Terry Teachout, a well-known journalist. It may be the first time in history that so much of the genesis of the libretto and score of a new opera has been opened to the public, through Terry's blog and Twitter feed, giving me plenty of nuggets of information that I have noted in my copy of the libretto and score. [#lettertweet]

  • The Château de Vincennes also has a Sainte-Chapelle, closed since December 1999 when it was badly damaged by 200-kph winds in the terrible storms of that winter. During the course of rebuilding, specialists discovered that the building's structure had weakened by the storm, as the winds whistling through the blown-out windows caused the vault vibrate and move. A special exhibit of icons, manuscripts, and sculptures on loan from Bulgaria is on view in the space through August 30. For anyone visiting Paris this summer, it's an easy Metro, RER, or bus ride to Vincennes, with a beautiful park, forest, and zoo to visit, too. [Le Monde]


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