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Archive for the ‘Aegean’ Category

The Times Literary Supplement has an utterly fascinating essay on Minoan civilization, James Joyce’s Ulysses, Arthur Evans’ reconstruction of Knossos, and the role of ancient Crete in European modernism.

“Arthur Evans, the eccentric Englishman who led the excavations, was, if anything, even more creative in his reconstruction of the Bronze Age than Schliemann had earlier been. The fabulously ancient palace of Knossos enjoys, as Gere points out in her arresting first sentence, “the dubious distinction of being one of the first reinforced concrete buildings ever erected on the island”. The complex of buildings gawped at by thousands upon thousands of tourists every year owes less to the masons of the Minoan age than it does to the example of modernist architecture. On Crete, the archaic and the contemporary, both of them recreated in the image of the other, would end up generating a cultural Möbius Strip. “Not only did the Minoan past provide inspiration to the modern movement, it was itself a modernist structure, enfolding past and present into a closed loop of aesthetic self-referentiality.”

Read the full essay; you’re also invited to visit Knossos on our illuminating Mediterranean cruises.

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PBS’s fantastic series “Antiques Roadshow” is all about learning about the hidden treasures in your attic, and valuing them to their fullest. Travel Dynamics International and “Antiques Roadshow” have something in common. Our attic is the world, and we like to rediscover lost places of special worth. Join us on two special “Antiques Roadshow” cruises: The Great Lakes, from August 29-September 5, 2009; or the Classical World, October 7-17, 2009. Enjoy seeing, and participating in, something of great pleasure and worth.

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Now at Travel Dynamics International, for remarkably discounted rates, you can:

Voyage into the classical world with antiquities experts from Antiques Roadshow. Enjoy an epic cruise down the entire Pacific coast of South America, from the Panama Canal to Ushuaia. Explore the lives of famous women of antiquity. Take a once-in-a-lifetime repositioning cruise from Morocco to Patagonia, following the route of Magellan. Continue in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton with Peter Hillary, son of the first man to ascend Everest. Cruise the Falklands and South Georgia in the far southern Atlantic en route to Cape Town, South Africa. Discover South America from the Amazon to Uruguay. Take an astounding voyage along the entire Atlantic coast of Africa. Sail from coastal Brazil into the depths of the Peruvian Amazon. Or perhaps the Orinoco and Amazon, with the beaches of Trinidad? Delve into the rich cultures of the Western Mediterranean from Seville to Venice. Circumnavigate Newfoundland. Or cruise up the entire Atlantic coast of North America, from Palm Beach to the Canadian maritimes? Listen to exquisite music, and enjoy top-chef Mediterranean cuisine, from Seville to Naples.

The epic journeys you’ve been waiting for, available now for less.

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la-fenice1We stride on two levels, I think. There’s the domestic life, the day-to-day, the gainings of friendships and expertise. And then there’s the moment of deep insight, a flash of a hidden facet – the pattern of a façade, a new interpretation of a famous piece of music, that makes you believe you’ve comprehended the shape of things.

On Valentine’s Day, my fiancée and I attended the first opera I’d seen in many years – Mozart’s The Magic Flute, performed by the Yale Opera. It was truly a production for our age, a thing of very high quality indeed. It managed to translate Mozart’s Enlightenment philosophies perfectly into the contemporary idiom, while flashing additional little insights from the right now. The costuming of this Singspiel spoke volumes: Pamino in burgundy, Tamina in a blue-white gown reminiscent of Snow White; male choristers in turbans, female choristers in Women’s Temperance League hats, the Three Spirits as American Revolutionaries, and Papageno and Papagena – the true scene-and-show-stealers in both panache and vocal qualitybirds of a feather in 19th-century French Bohemian linens.

When you put it that way, and remember that Die Zauberflöte premiered on September 30, 1791, it’s pretty easy to gather what Mozart might have been thinking about: music as the magical, reconciling element, enlightening society and freeing it from slavery. (An excellent added touch: as Tamino and Pamina ascend to the wedding altar, the three Revolutionary Sprites are ring-bearers, and don the coats of Colonial statesmen as they bring forth the wedding rings.) (more…)

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This is a classic that’s hard to resist: Venice to Athens aboard the all-suite gold standard of small-ship cruising, with four opera singers – one an international legend, another a recent winner of the Singer of the World award – two concert pianists, an expert on opera and a classics scholar.

September 29 – October 9, 2009

From $7,995 per person (based on double occupancy) including all meals, drinks, lectures, performances, and shore excursions, also featuring:

• Free round-trip private car service from your home to the airport (50-mile radius)
• Free night in Athens (incl. hotel, breakfast, group airport transfer)
• Complimentary CD of the January 2009 gala concert Celebrating Marilyn Horne at Carnegie Hall (collector’s edition not available for sale)

Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, and six tremendous rising stars of opera and classical performance, join Fred Plotkin, author of Opera 101 (see what dinner with Fred is like in this New York Times profile) and Alan Cameron, Professor Emeritus of Classics at Columbia University, for this ten-day celebration of music in the Mediterranean (and a day for yourself in Athens).

Would you like a brochure? You can download it from our main page. Or you can give us a call at (800) 257-5767. Our autumn Mediterranean Music Festival will have you singing.

Marilyn Horne's gala celebration at Carnegie Hall, January 2009

Marilyn Horne's gala celebration at Carnegie Hall

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One of the greatest young sopranos in the world today, Nicole Cabell, will be joining us for an opera cruise of the Mediterranean from September 29-October 9, 2009.

Here’s Nicole Cabell in La Boheme. Simply exquisite.

Oh, here she is in a Donzinetti. Such sweet gusto.

She’s transcendent. I could listen to her for a week straight. On an elegant small ship. Cruising to Santorini.

Nicole Cabell, soprano – One of the most sought-after young sopranos int the world today, Nicole Cabell studied vocal performance at the Eastman School of Music. She has won critical acclaim for her performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera as Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Adina in Donzinetti’s Elixir d’Amore. She has sung at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and with the Orchestra of St. Luke at Carnegie Hall. In 2005 Ms. Cabell won the BBC Singer of the World competition in Cardiff, Wales. Her debut solo album, Soprano, was named an “Editor’s Choice” by Gramophone magazine and received the 2007 George Solti Orphée d’Or from France’s Académie du Disque Lyrique.

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Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano, who will be joining us on Travel Dynamics International’s opera cruise of the Mediterranean September 29-October 9, 2009, had the role of Kitty Oppenheimer in the Met’s recent production of John Williams’ Dr. Atomic. Her performance won high praise from the New Yorker:

She was able to create a fresh, vital portrayal, bringing a luminous tone, a generously supported musical line, a keen sense of verbal nuance, and a flair for seduction.

You can see her below, in the Metropolitan Opera’s promo for Dr. Atomic (Sasha Cooke comes on at 1:13) —

Sasha has upcoming recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in California; in 2008 she sang the role of Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Evgeny Onegin with the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv; and in 2009 she will appear in orchestral concerts with the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and the Denver Symphony.

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