Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paco de Lucía documentaries

I enjoy this documentary film Paco de Lucía: Light and Shade.

I'm posting the version of the film available in Spanish with no subtitles for translation. If you want to view the version in English, you have to put up with the somewhat intrusive voice-overs, but don't let that stop you.

Here is a second documentary made for Spanish TV: Francisco Sánchez (AKA Paco de Lucía), and with extensive interviews of Paco de Lucía from his home in Mexico.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Magic Flute

I was fortunate enough to see a production of The Magic Flute by the MN Opera (review here). The production was designed by the 1927 group, debuted in Berlin and then went to LA. My friend thought the visuals sometimes upstaged the music, and she missed the colerful costumes of more traditional stagings, but I though the singing was quite good throughout, and really enjoyed the creativity and innovation. I did not like the Queen of the Night-giant spider characterization, but the rest of the characterizations worked for me.

This clip from the LA Opera's production shows how they us used early cinema as the aesthetic. So inventive!

A different staging, equally creative is Julie Taymor's design for  the Metropolitan Opera's abridged English production  Nathan Gunn as Papageno is so expressive!And

Papageno and Papagena's duet.

I went looking to compare performances of the Queen of the Night.  Here, dramatic soprano Edda Moser performs the first aria,"O Zittre Nicht".

Nathalie Dessay is so compelling on stage. I love her in everything I see:

Edith Gruberova:

Diana Damrau brings the drama! There is a DVD of this production that I must find:

And here's a recording of Lucia Popp, with the conductor taking things at a slower tempo, and her splendid technique.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Anne Miller for Easter

Thanks to TLo for posting their Easter Parade piece again, and reminding me of this wonderful Anne Miller number.

She started dancing professionally when she was 13, but lied and said she was 18. Born in 1923, she danced with  with Ginger Rogers in Stage Door in 1937, a lanky and youthful 14:

"Too Darn Hot" from Kiss Me, Kate

and 40 years later

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014

MN Zoo

Wild boar 

De Brazza Monkey

Amur Tiger

Sea Otter



Our first outdoor activity without a coat in five months!

Friday, March 28, 2014


This song has been stuck in my head for a week now. I discovered the video this morning; it was made in San Francisco.

Jim James, "State of the Art (a e i o u)" off this album, Regions of Light and Sound of God.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Riviera Nayarit: flora

Ti plant ("Muñeca") 

Plumeria by the beach


Two stages of palm fruit
The landscaping of the place we stayed used plants that were not all native, but they were beautiful.

Two weeks of amazing food in Mexico

While I was in Mexico, I avoided drinking most of the time, but on my last day, I indulged in a typical tourist drink, a "vacation-sized" margarita with Blue Curacao.
Our favorite part of the morning buffet (too much to do every day) was the freshly-made empanadas, prepared with fresh masa and fried in front of you.  I liked the ones with flor de calabaza (squash blossom) filling the best.
 Several kinds of bananas and plantains in the market in Puerto Vallarta.
 Lobster salad with grapefruit and mango, from our last dinner on the beach.
Oh my lord, medio kilo de camarones al ajillo "arriero."