Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alachance/3231163757/in/set-72157612241800357/© 2008, Andy Lachance, all rights reserved

Infinite riches in a little room. Would you like to see more?

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© Andy Lachance, all rights reserved

If you think this is good, you should really see it in four dimensions.

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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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Everyone knows about that annual tempting of fate known as running with the bulls in Pamplona. It’s one of those festivals that make the saner among us scratch our heads in confusion and wonder, “How was that ever a good idea?”

But just because it is Europe’s most famous oddity certainly doesn’t make the Pamplona festival an isolated case. Indeed, the more traditions and customs one comes across, the stranger the Old World starts to look. Just in Spain alone there are two monumental annual food fights: one, in the town of Bunol, involving tomatoes; and who could forget the famous grape war of Binissalem. Up north, in Basque Country, it gets even stranger. There, young villagers hang from a live goose’s neck until the poor animal expires — all in the name of tradition.

Over in Greece, the island of Chios erupts in an annual fireworks war on Orthodox Easter pitting one parish in the town of Vrodandos against the other. In Belgium, they swallow live fish. In Turkey, camel wrestling is all the rage. And in the town of Malanka in Ukraine, residents dress up as Nazis and create simulated wartime checkpoints once a year to celebrate the end of World War II.

In short, there is no end to odd European festivals and traditions. And with the Euro 2008 football championships running through the month of June, SPIEGEL ONLINE thinks it’s time to expose Europe for the strange place it is.

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Since this was announced five minutes ago, we haven’t yet made any plans to visit it — but don’t count us out.

Archaeologists in Rihab, Jordan, say they have discovered a cave that could be the world’s oldest Christian church. Dating to the period AD 33-70, the underground chapel would have served as both a place of worship and a home. It is claimed that it was originally used by a group of 70 persecuted Christians who fled from Jerusalem. These early Christians lived and practised their faith in secrecy until the Romans embraced Christianity several hundred years later. Click here for more from the BBC.

If you’re interested in visiting other important Mediterranean sites from early Christian history, join us on The Classical World and Times of St. Paul in August, or Emperors, Conquerors and Saints: Exploring Turkey’s Cappadocia and the Turquoise Coast in October ’09.

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The Library of EphesusNext time you go to Ephesus (unless you haven’t been there a first time, and shame on you for that) — you’ll be able to see something new.

What? See something new? In a city that was a ruin 1,300 years ago, and totally abandoned by the 16th century?

Well, that’s the fantastic thing about old places. They may be buried, but they’re not dead. They’re always being renewed by the archaeologists: every single day, a place we thought we knew all about is teaching us we know next to nothing.

The Turkish Daily News reports that in Ephesus (one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, where the World Wonder of the Temple of Artemis once stood) they’ve found the Governors’ Palace, along with evidence that the Emperor Hadrian was the first guest there.

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