Monday, November 30, 2009

Approaching Christmas season

A suspected uranium-enrichment facility near Qom

While getting into the the warm and loving holiday spirit, one can not overlook the brewing dangers of the World.

World powers united in condemnation of Iran's nuclear activities yesterday in a rare show of international consensus on the threat posed by Tehran's continued nuclear defiance. China and Russia joined the United States, Britain, France and Germany in backing an International Atomic Energy Agency resolution censuring Iran and ordering it to halt construction of a secret uranium enrichment plant.

The resolution, the first since February 2006, passed with 25 votes and six abstentions. Only Malaysia, Venezuela and Cuba supported Iran. (picture and quotation from the Times)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tristan and Isolde

"Tristan and Isolde is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based on the romance by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1856 and 1859 and premiered in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bulow conducting."

"Wagner composition of Tristan and Isolde was inspired by his affair with Mathilda Wesendonck and the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. Widely acknowledged as one of the peaks of the operatic repertory. Tristan was notable for Wagner's advanced use of chromaticism, tonality, orchestral color and harmonic suspension." (from Wikipedia)

I had had the good fortune in November of 1955 to attend to the opera of Tristan and Isolde at the Hungarian Opera House in Budapest. It was an unforgettable evening for me.

Unfortunately I do not have chances like that anymore, and that is why I was so thrilled few days ago when listening to BBC Radio 3's live production from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. (Antonio Pappano conductor, tenor Ben Heppner and soprano Nina Stemme as the tragic lovers.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009