August 10, 2015 |
SANTA FE, N.M. - The opera world is craving an epic mainstream hit, and Cold Mountain has been anointed. Whatever anybody thought of the Santa Fe Opera Festival opening on Aug. 1, Cold Mountain is sold out here and has a recording and a PBS telecast in the works. With three other companies committed to producing it - co-commissioners Opera Philadelphia (in February 2016) and Minnesota Opera, plus North Carolina Opera - the piece is an inevitable success, and it deserves to be. Cold Mountain has its cosmetic problems, but the common asset noted so far in reviews -- generally positive, with the significant exception of the New York Times -- is solidity, the product of its seasoned collaborators, Pulitzer Prize-winning Philadelphia composer Jennifer Higdon and much-traveled librettist Gene Scheer.
August 4, 2015 |
SANTA FE, N.M. - The new Jennifer Higdon/Gene Scheer opera Cold Mountain premiered amid intense expectations Saturday at the Santa Fe Opera Festival. Years in the making, with some of the best voices and creative minds in the business, the opera's five performances sold out and one has been added, and the Dutch recording label PentaTone is committed to releasing it. Nearly 50 media representatives were present, and "all of Philadelphia is here," noted one Santa Fe Opera staffer. Cold Mountain was co-commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, and written by Pulitzer-winning composer Higdon in a two-year stretch that she spent barricaded in her Spruce Street apartment.
July 27, 2015 |
My husband and I are on a pilgrimage throughout sunny Italy to visit the lands of our forefathers. Since our journey takes us to the remote towns of Gioiosa Marea in Sicily and Badolato in Calabria, we find it necessary to rent the Opel wagon that will be our faithful companion for the duration of this yet-unexplored territory. Today, we set out to visit Badolato. The Autostrada takes us to Messina, Sicily, and the ferry that crosses the Straits of Messina to Reggio Calabria. Armed with GPS maps of Italy, tablet, and a smartphone, we venture into the land of Calabria, searching for the new road that will take us from Tyrrhenian shores to those of the Ionian Sea. All is fine until we come upon the popular rotunda , or roundabout, where the GPS goes crazy after we make a supposedly wrong turn.
June 15, 2015 |
If someone had told me three months ago that the hundreds of thousands of books I saw sitting unused and going to waste in the basement of Philadelphia School District headquarters would by now be almost fully catalogued, ready to be shipped to the kids who need them, I probably wouldn't have believed it. I might have even laughed. The task at hand seemed simple enough: There were a lot of unused books and a lot of kids who need books. Sort the books and give the kids any they could use. But in a drowning district, nothing's simple.
March 30, 2015 |
The only constant Saturday afternoon at the Wesley Bishop turf field in Moorestown was the wind - persistent, freezing, and blowing in the same direction, toward the same net, for the entire game. Whichever team had the wind in its favor, had momentum in its favor. When it was over, the Moorestown girls' lacrosse team walked away a 5-3 winner over Mountain Lakes, the defending state Group 1 champion. And though the box score might suggest otherwise, the Quakers shone brightest in the second half.
February 15, 2015 |
It's not easy belonging to a snowboarding club at a snowless, landlocked urban university - with no hills to speak of. So Temple students brought the mountain to their campus. Armed with a dozen shovels, two cases of Monster energy drinks, and a 40-foot U-Haul, the students trucked 10 tons of snow from the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest skating arena at Penn's Landing onto the heart of their flat North Philadelphia school. They shoveled the shavings in and they shoveled the shavings out. Three times in all. It took more than eight hours - almost an all-nighter.
November 4, 2014 |
John B. "Jack" Hagner, 83, of Bala Cynwyd, a longtime public accountant, died Monday, Oct. 20, of dementia at Symphony Square Assisted Living & Memory Care. His wife of 27 years, Mary Ellen Yuhas Hagner, said Mr. Hagner started suffering memory loss in 2011 and was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. In 2013, he was admitted to Symphony Square. Mr. Hagner worked as a public accountant for 41 years at Ratke, Miller, Hagner & Co. in Philadelphia. It was formerly known as Hagner & Co. after his grandfather and father, who founded the company during the 1930s.
July 28, 2014 |
Philadelphia in the Rockies? "It'll be so beautiful there!" Amy Aldridge says, thinking of dancing with a tall, dark stranger among the pines. Aldridge and nearly every other Philadelphia professional ballet dancer will be dancing outdoors in Colorado this week at the Vail International Dance Festival. The Pennsylvania Ballet and BalletX were invited to perform in one of the season's most prestigious summer dance festivals, which opens Sunday night. "It's sort of our Philadelphia story," says Damian Woetzel, artistic director of the festival and a retired star from the New York City Ballet.
July 4, 2014 |
Hello there John and what seemed like all the other orthopedists in Philadelphia were at the gate for the first morning flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco, site of the 2012 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons conference. Talking with Rothman Institute colleagues, he saw a beautiful woman laughing with her traveling companion. "I remember thinking that I'd never be that lucky to sit next to her on the plane," John said. But he was. As John hoisted his bag into the overhead compartment, he told himself: "Don't be that guy who sits down and immediately starts chatting up the pretty girl.
June 30, 2014 |
UMIKOA, Hawaii - We begin on a rutted, red-dirt trail in this tiny hamlet populated by ranch hands and their families, some 3,500 feet up Mauna Kea, the dormant volcano that - measuring 31,100 feet from its oceanic base to the top - is the world's tallest mountain. Guide Richard Lindberg is driving a taxi-yellow Kawasaki Terra-X, an all-terrain vehicle that looks like a golf cart on steroids. He stops at a gatehouse, gets out and signs a clipboard. "This way if we don't come back, they'll come looking for us," he explains.