Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start . . .

When you read you begin with A, B, C

When you sing you begin with Do, Re, Mi

The original story from the 1956 German film, ‘Die Trapp-Familie‘ combined with Maria von Trapp’s autobiography, ‘The Story of the Trapp Family Singers‘ was the basis for Rodger’s and Hammersteins now beloved family Musical classic, The Sound of Music. Debuting in 1959 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on Broadway.

Three years later in Alaska, was the founding of Anchorage Opera, in 1962. In just three more years the national 1965 debut of The Sound of Music film would mirror the first Off-Broadway presentation of the staged musical- at yours truly– Anchorage Opera in it’s 1965/1966 Season. Yes, that means AO and the world-wide classic film starring Dame Julie Andrews share anniversaries!

A mere 47 years later brings us back to do-oh-oh-oh! Anchorage Opera’s 50th Anniversary season celebrates and revisits it’s roots by producing the acclaimed Rodger’s & Hammersteins musical, The Sound of Music. This March, Alaskans experience their spectacular “hills” alive with the sound of music once more.

This monumental production, boasting nine sensational performances, takes the stage Friday night, March 30th at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets: visit http://www.anchorageopera.org; call 907-263-ARTS now.

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Raisin Brahms, Van Goghgurt & Creativity

Americans for the Arts (AFTA) recently released wonderful new TV commercials promoting the importance of the arts. Click here to view them. The big message … the ‘arts’ inspire creativity and many other very beneficial things. For those who don’t consider themselves artistically inclined, please know … it’s not about being or becoming an ‘artist’. It’s about being inspired to be CREATIVE. ‘Artists’ (or those claiming to be artists) do not have a monopoly on creativity. The nurse, the accountant, the sales person, the plumber, the fisherman, the city planner, the volunteer, the management consultant, the business developer, the spouse, the dentist, the attorney, the school teacher, etc. are all capable of meaningful and important creativity too.

 

The folks at the Harvard Business Review hopped on the bandwagon a few years ago. Click here to visit Harvard Business Online and read the latest posting on this subject.

 

Whatever you do … keep your ‘Muse’ with you. EVERYONE can be CREATIVE and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

 

AFTA … You Rock. And we salute you!

 

Chocolate & Zucchini: A Big Wild BLOG about food and cooking

Straight from Paris, Clotilde Dusolier’s BLOG about food and cooking, Chocolate & Zucchini (C&Z), is for all who appreciate the culinary arts at its Big Wild best. C&Z is so bold and cool, Clotilde MUST have some ALASKAN blood flowing through her veins. Before you visit the site, open your ‘favorites’ tab … C&Z really is THAT GOOD!  Click here to visit the site.

  

C&Z … You Rock.  And we salute you!

 

Glorious Spain! Did you know? The Lady Bullfighter (The Torera)

Spanish Torera, Christina Sanchez

In anticipation of AO’s upcoming ‘blow the house COMPLETELY down’ season, The Passions of Spain, this is the first in a series of BLOG’s about that fabulous part our planet known as the Kingdom of Spain (or España – pronounced ‘Espahnyah’)

 

Women bullfighters (Toreras) have been achieving celebrity status for more than 100yrs. One of the most popular Spanish Toreras of modern times is Cristina Sanchez (pictured above). In 1999 Sanchez retired, complaining that male attitudes against her were so strong she was unable to get top billings. In fact, some male bullfighters publicly declared they would not fight on the same billing as a woman. Let us hope they work this out.

 

For all you proud Americans, here’s a very interesting side note … more than 50yrs ago, Patricia McCormick was the first woman bullfighter in the Unites States. McCormick wrote a book about her experience entitled Lady Bullfighter. Click here to see the historic video of McCormick in the ring (don’t worry … fortunately, the ‘killing’ part of the ritual is deleted).

 

Reflecting deeper … some would say that women take ‘bull’ from men out of the ‘ring’ too. With that in mind … maybe every woman is a Torera!

 

Torera … whoever you are, wherever you are …You Rock. And we salute you!

 

AO’s Torer ‘o’ for its upcoming ‘take no prisoners’ production of Carmen is the OUTSTANDING Anton Bevlov. Anton appeared as Count di Luna in AO’s recent production of Il Trovatore.

 

Glorious Spain! Did You Know? One of the greatest movements of music ever composed, Aranjuez 2.

 View of the Spanish city of Toledo (from National Geographic).

      ·        It’s the brave Toreador (or Torera) facing the awesome bull.

·        It’s the gypsy Flamenco dancer performing on a warm starry night in Andalusia.

·        It’s Lady ‘Ibarruri’ (La Passionara) inspiring folks to live through the Spanish Civil War.

·        It’s Hemingway sipping a Spanish cocktail while writing about the same horrible war.

·        It’s Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra.

·        It’s Cervantes and Don Quixote.

·        It’s the cry of Boabdil (the last African King of Spain).

·        It’s generations of families out for a beautiful evening stroll in Madrid.

·        It’s Zarzuela.

·        It’s students at the University of Salamanca discussing the future of Spain.

·        It’s socializing after work with Spanish vino and tapas (wine and finger foods).

·        It’s the Basque proudly clinging to land and heritage.

·        It’s the Spanish-American fiercely proud of their Spanish lineage.

·        It’s other folks equally proud of the grandeur of Spain.

·        It’s Picasso’s Guernica.

·        It’s Goya’s ‘etchings’.

·        It’s Ferdinand and Isabella funding Columbus’ voyage to the new world.

·        It’s the person on the continent of America suddenly realizing how interconnected the history of Spain is with the history of America and the entire world.

·        It’s the impossible dream.

·        It’s AO’s 2008-2009 Season-to-Die-for, Passions of Spain.

·        It’s all this and much, much more rolled into one of the greatest movements of music ever composed, the 2nd movement of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. Click here to listen/see Xuefei Yang perform this fantastic movement.

Rodrigo … You Rock. And we Salute you!

 

 

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