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27.12.09

In Brief: In Dulci Jubilo Edition


Noël nouvelet, arr. Stephen Cleobury
Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Celebrated bass-baritone José van Dam will celebrate three major milestones in 2010: his 70th birthday (as they say in Belgium, "il aura septante ans"), his 50th anniversary as a professional singer, and the 30th of his debut at the Théâtre de La Monnaie. The Brussels company will celebrate with a production of Massenet's Don Quichotte (May 4 to 19), with van Dam in the title role (Marc Minkowski will conduct and Laurent Pelly will direct -- just how much is a ticket to Brussels?). Martine Mergeay has an appreciation. [La Libre Belgique]

  • The pastry chef at The Four Seasons makes an amazing gingerbread construction every year: this year, it's the Smithsonian Castle under the snow. [DCist]

  • Even from the skies, the aftereffects of last weekend's nor'easter are striking and beautiful. [NASA]

  • The Opéra Garnier is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Ballets russes this month, by staging four of that company's choreographies, including Vaslav Nijinski's controversial staging of L'Après-midi d'un faune with music by Debussy. [Le Monde]

  • Rosita Boisseau looks into the history of the Ballets russes and the life of its iconoclastic founder, Serge Diaghilev. [Le Monde]

  • Researchers have disinterred the remains of Caravaggio. The bones will be examined and given various tests, mostly in an attempt to make a scientific determination of the cause of the artist's death, then displayed to the public at Rome's Galleria Borghese before being interred in an as yet unannounced location. [BBC News]

  • Helpful information for next year's holiday season: how to sabotage your office's Secret Santa activity if it is unjustly foisted on you. [NotionsCapital]

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