Cher Public

Throne for a loop

On this day in 1056 Empress Theodora became ill, dying suddenly a few days later, without children to succeed the throne, ending the Macedonian dynasty.  

Born on this day in 1834 composer Amilcare Ponchielli

Born on this day in 1912 tenor/baritone Ramón Vinay

Born on this day in 1937 baritone Leif Roar

Happy 54th birthday tenor Neill Archer

  • DerLeiermann

    Ramon Vinay was very fine in Othello and Tristan.

  • armerjacquino

    Question for those better informed than me: other than the Futures Wiki, is there any way of knowing what will be on at the Met in Sep/Oct 2016?

    • Camille

      Aside from staggering through Operabase, plugging in one opera or artist after another with those dates in mind, or looking on favorite artists’s websites, well is there much to be done, indeed?

      • armerjacquino

        I worried as much. Important Honeymoon Decisions depend on this, dammit!

        • Camille

          Remembering the tempests that tossed the last such trip across the pond, and as this is an occasion of the utmost importance, you may want to wait until the announcements are made in February. Or buy a crystal ball. Do err on the side of discretionary caution, dear, as it is something you shall never forget!

        • ML

          Or honeymoon away from music, say in nature.

        • Krunoslav

          Congratulations!

  • Camille

    Born on this day in 1879 was The Most Beautiful Girl in Vienna, Alma Marie Schindler, later Mahler, Gropius, and last but certainly not least, Werfel. More to come…..

    • Camille

      This is how most of us know Alma:

      Or as this:

      But there is more, much much more to her than that:


      And of course there are the paintings of her as well, no time for those as well. A new biography on her came out over ten years ago Malevolent Muse: The Life of Alma Mahler, by Oliver Hilmes, and not to mention others and how many references are their in the biographies in the lives of other artists.

      Anyway, the point I am getting at is this one: wherein does the real ALMA’s soul and character lie? Is it that she is merely maligned by so many or is there an element of truth to the negative things one may hear about her.

      I am wondering about it all is because of the Eighth Symphony, among other things, and because I was sitting outside the location of her hotel at 59th and Fifth Avenue in New York City a few days ago and fell to imagining her in these surroundings. What was her life like? Then again, she had an entirely different life on East 73rd Street in the last ten years of her life when she once again returned to this city. What a strange and peculiar destiny was hers. I just am wondering where to start in and with which book to study, in order to get to know her a little more.

      It is just hard to know what to believe about her. Is she, like Lucrezia Borgia, someone who is more sinned against, than an actual perpetrator of mischief herself? Was it just her despairing that drove her to an affair with Gropius which wreaked such havoc in the life of her great husband? I don’t know, but intend to find out.

  • Speaking of Theodora, the 1st of September (already overseas) was for the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzance) the beginning of the ecclesiastic year (???? ??? ????????), according to which they were structuring and counting Time. So, Happy New Byzantine Year to everybody!