5.04.2008

Bunch of Semi-Unrelated Bullet Points (Photos Below)

  • I spent a total of six hours this weekend listening to the same opera, twice. Not two different recordings of the same opera. Not even two different performances of the same production. The same performance of the same opera, twice. Die Entfürung aus dem Serail was the Met's final Saturday broadcast of the season (sob!). So I listened. And since it was being rebroadcast on Alaska public radio (KUAC thank you!) I listened again today. Diana Damrau triumphed in the notorious soprano-killer role of Konstanze. And Matthew Polenzani - lord I love him in the Mozart roles; he makes such a sweet, sweet sound. I have my fingers crossed that this one will be released on DVD, because it sounded like the staging was successful, and I loved every minute of it.
  •  I have finally gotten around to listening to La Jolie Fille de Perth, that rare gem of Bizet's that no one seems to know or care about. I first learned about this lovely opera from Rockwell Blake's disk French Opera Arias, in which he sings the tenor aria "A la voix d'un amant fidèle" (a "recital" version, middle part cut, like they do the Pearl Fishers duet) with such sensitivity that it makes you want to cry.  It's a gorgeous aria, and gorgeously sung. I immediately set out to find out more... and promptly learned that there has only been one commercial CD release (doubtless on vinyl as well, I'm sure, but I don't have a turntable so it's pointless to even look) and that CD is out of print. Great. No matter, I sought it out, and sat on it. For a long while. I'm kicking myself now - it's delightful, features a top-notch cast (June Anderson and Alfredo Kraus, who would ask for anything more?), and is filled with some fantastic music. It is much closer in style to Les Pecheurs de Perles than to Carmen, (in other words, more in the French Romantic tradition) but that's quite alright with me. It might not replace Les Pecheurs de Perles as my favorite Bizet, but it definitely compares favorably. (Aside: Hello? Classical music labels? There are a wealth of accomplished belcanto singers out there now, and have been increasingly for the past 10-20 years that could probably handle the florid bits with aplomb... not sure about the "french" style, but we get new recordings of ... how about a new recording? Please?)
  • I watched Disk 3 of Firefly this weekend... and am increasingly upset by the fact that FOX cut it's life far, far too short. (Shakes fist at FOX.) I'll wait a bit until I get Disk 4 (Netflix, of course) so I can savor it a bit longer. Why, FOX, why?!?! Love this show. Love love love. My favorite episode so far? Out of Gas. Also: Mal or Simon? (I vote for Simon. 'S the geek in me.)
  • Speaking of, I have heard that Joss Whedon has a new series coming out. On FOX. I am a big fan of all of his previous work, so I can't wait! Woo hoo! But wait... FOX? I'm not sure I get that - they already burned him (and us) once... (Yes, this news is about 6 months old, but I have no cable TV and don't read the television tabloids, so what can I say?)
  • I finished the 14th block of Absorba, the Undead Bathmat. I am tempted to give up now and call it done. But it isn't as big as I had hoped. So. Onward...

That's it for the list. Here are the obligatory photos:

2008-05-02_chamomile.jpg

Chamomile in my windowbox. I love the chamomile, stretching their necks to the sky, turning their faces to the sun. But the box itself is rather scaggly looking. Ugly really. I think it might be the end for the chamomile, which is really a shame since 1) these were planted last year and were one of the few things I grew from seed that survived over the winter and 2) I have chamomile tea still in the cupboard and wasn't ready to cut them yet. Another idea would be to simply plant a lower-growing plant in the box with them (it could use some more potting soil anyway). Otherwise they have to go. (They are not really ideal for a windowbox. I think there is a compact variety I saw over at Territorial Seed that I might have to check out next year.)

2008-05-04_purple_wildflowers.jpg

When I went out to get my mail today (yes it is Sunday, no I didn't leave the house yesterday) I saw these lovelies growing in the weedy mess (thistle = evil) by the fence on the other side of the "drive" to my building. The landscaping here is grand, let me tell you. At first glance I thought they were some sort of legume (family Fabaceae) because of the purple, pea-like flowers, (like a lupine kindof) except that they're not really. They're not like lobelia (trumpet-like), and they're not like pansys. I'm so confused. My field guide to North American wildflowers tells me NOTHING, suggesting they are maybe not native and someone just dumped them there. Then again, my field guide is pretty crappy. Anyone know? (The color is more or less accurate, they are very purple/blue.)

2 Comments:

At 7:05 AM, Blogger Opal said...

I'm still upset over the early demise of Firefly. My vote is for Mal. I'm a HUGE Nathan Fillion fan.

 
At 5:53 PM, Blogger schrodinger said...

Love the rich color of those last flowers - have no idea what they are though.

 

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