Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The day after Christmas


December 26

  Santa has gone, but just for awhile. He shall be back. Don’t listen to the commercials: they bellow and you need to ignore them.

  We are fortunate here in our little home, in our little neighborhood: the houses around us, in their Christmas lights, reflect the slowly falling snow flakes. No two are alike and neither are we. Each an individual with separate hopes, plans, dreams.

  Snow is the envy of the other seasons. None but Winter, in our part of the world, can claim such a spectacle. The wind blows the flakes at a slant. This makes it seem WE are moving, tonight, to the right.

  I hope your past few days have been pleasant. Ours have been.

  Good night. You will have dreams of your own making.

  I hope mine are placid.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Skaters waltz...




Click image to enlarge. For other images click Older Posts below.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Carolers


Click image to enlarge. Click Old Post below for more images.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Reflections of Christmas past...


Click image to enlarge... For other blogs click Older Post at the bottom of the screen.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Opera at Celebration Cinema

From Gisela Moffitt: Hi, on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 12:55 we will see Verdi's "Un Ballo in Maschera" (Masked Ball) at Celebration Cinema. Approximate running time is 235 minutes with 2 intermissions. It is another star-studded performance. From the MET program guide: " Accompanied by a thrilling score, Verdi's characters grapple with life and love, betrayal and death in director David Alden's dreamlike setting. Marcelo Alvarez stars as the conflicted King Gustavo. Sondra Radvanosky is Amelia, the woman he loves, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky is Amelia's suspicious husband. Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe sings the fortuneteller Madame Ulrica Arvidsson, with Fabio Luisi conducting." Can't wait to see it. Gisela=

Thursday, November 29, 2012


A CUP OF KINDNESS

Langley Tiberius Zyne was old.

(A tug at my elbow and a small voice, “Who?” “Zyne,” I replied, “ Zee-why-en-ee, sounds like ‘mine’.”)

 The hands of long years had clutched him firmly, painting his tangled hair with frost, as well as his stubbled cheeks, and particularly his long, unkempt moustache. They bent his back and touched his joints with aches on these cold days near the end of the year. As a young boy, most had called him Lang. Most of them were now dead and gone, remaining only as hollow whispers in his dreams.

(“Did he dream a lot?” “Yes.” “Were they nice dreams?” “Not always.”)

 He lived in a run-down cabin in the woods, near a pond fed by a stream. The water was stiff now, congealed as in a photograph. He posted his small parcel with signs: “No Hunting!” but these were pocked with rifle shots left by poachers in their contempt.

(“Why did they shoot his signs?” “Oh, some men do very mean and thoughtless things, particularly if they have guns in their hands.” “Why?” “Look, do you want a story or not?” “Yes.” “Then listen, I’m telling you one.” Silence for now.)

 His hobby was carving. He had made a living as a carpenter, a very good one, too. But times were bad, and no one needed an old carpenter, so he retreated to his cabin. He cleared the woods of fallen trees in the spring and summer. He had a shed where he dried his wood, some for the fireplace, the nicer pieces for whittling. He could carve just about any thing: birds, animals, small furniture with drawers and doors that really worked. He liked to carve miniatures, particularly with wheels that went ‘round and ‘round.

(“Could he carve a train? I like trains.” “Yes, he carved trains, too.”)

 He stayed by himself mostly, visiting the village only now and then to buy flour, coffee, and sugar. He would also buy a newspaper, which he read carefully at home, particularly page two, with the obituaries to see whether or not he had died.

(“Had he died?” “Not in the ones he read.”)

 In early December he read that the state had cut the funds for the orphanage. Lang puzzled over that. Earlier in the year the new state capital had been completed, at an over-run cost. Why hadn’t they been more careful in how they spent their money? The article had no clue.

 That night, he could not sleep. He remembered his own childhood. Things were better then, he thought. His father worked hard at the mill, his mother tended the home and kept everyone safe, and warm, and fed. Mind you, though, there was never much money in the house, just enough for essentials, such as taxes, but it never was a concern.

(“Did they have a car? What kind was it?” “No, this happened a long time ago and very few families had cars.” “But there were trains?” “Yes, there were trains.”)

 Then he had an idea. As soon as he thought of it, he went right to sleep and awoke the next morning eager to start on his project. He got out his tools, went to the shed and picked out the very nicest pieces of wood. He worked all day, and the next, and the one after that. In fact he worked through the winter solstice because he still was not done.

(“What’s the winter stole sis?” “Solstice, the winter solstice is the beginning of the winter season, and has the shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s one of my favorite times.”)

 At last he was satisfied. Before him was a large pile of his best carvings. They were beautiful! He got a large burlap sack and put everything in it. He got the sled out of the shed, the one he used to haul firewood into the cabin, and put the bag on it.

As night fell, swift and silently, he started to pull his load through the woods toward the town. By the time he arrived at his destination, the town was as quiet as a lamb’s breath. All had gone to sleep. All the better, he thought.

(“Why? What was he going to do?” “You’ll find out in just a minute.” There was a young frown of concern.)

 The orphanage was at the far end of the village. No one saw Lang with his laden sled. When he reached the old building there was only a small light on inside, so the mice could see their way around without bumping into things and making noise. Lang lifted the sack and put it by the front door. On the sack he attached a note, “For the children.” He knocked loudly on the door and then ran with his sled into the shadows. Someone opened the door and gasped in surprise! It was Mrs. Mildew, the mistress of the establishment. She called inside for help and her assistant, fat as a beagle, bustled to help her take in the sack. Lang smiled and went home.

(“Did they know who gave the kids their toys?” “Not a soul. It was a mystery. The rumor spread through the village was that the banker had purchased the toys, but when confronted he admitted he knew nothing about it.”)

 To this day no one but you and I know who was so kind that night.

(“What should we do about it? Tell everyone?” “No, I have a better idea.”)

I have prepared hot chocolate just the way you like it. It’s quite hot, so be careful. What we shall do is propose a toast.

(“We’re going to throw toast at something?” “No, a toast is a tribute completed with a favorite beverage.”)

And here it is, my dear. Hold up your cup, so. When I am finished with the words, we drink:

We’ll drink a cup of kindness, yet

For old Lang Zine!

 
And they drank their chocolate.


                                                             

 

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November Moon caught in our tree...




 


Click on image to enlarge... The full Moon rose at sunset and would have made a safe journey across our sky. Its plans were upset by the covetous branches of one of our trees. It caught the Moon, studied it for a moment or two. Satisfied, it released its grip and sent the Moon westward to meet the horizon at dawn.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Opera at Celebration Cinema


From Gisella Moffitt:
 
Hi, December is upon us which means we will be gifted not with just one opera from the MET, but THREE on consecutive Saturdays! 

On Saturday, Dec. 1 at 12:55 p.m. we will see Mozart's last opera "La Clemenza di Tito" (running time approximately 195 minutes with one intermission).  It is a highly dramatic story full of intrigue and jealousy, but also of forgiveness and mercy.  It stars Guiseppe Filianoti (Tito), Elina Garanca in a trouser role (Sesto), Kate Lindsey (Annio), Barbara Frittoli (Vitelia) and Lucy Crow (Servilia) and is conducted by Harry Bicket.  The reviews have been quite good. 

Dec. 8 we will see "Un Ballo in Maschera" by Verdi and on Dec. 15 we will be able to see again THE grand opera "Aida" with a different, but equally spectacular cast than last year.  We are truly blessed to be able to see such performances right here in Mt. Pleasant!  Gisela

P.S.  If you are writing checks to your favorite charities before the end of the year, don't forget to send some money to the MET.  You can dedicate it to the HD transmissions.  Thanks.=

Sunday, November 25, 2012

First accumulation









Click on image to enlarge. A corner of our back yard. The birds like the gingerbread man.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Global temperatures, 1880 to the present


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
About 264,000 results
https://www.google.com/search?q=global+temperature+1880+to+present&hl=en&tbo=u&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=MUipULiMOIGGyAHYuIGwAg&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=836

 We are not making this up, folks. These are worldwide sources. Hundreds of charts; global ocean temperatures; land temperatures; geographical maps; photos. Copy the link given above to see it all.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Met Opera Saturday


From Gisela Moffit:
 
Hi, on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12:55 P.M.  we will have the pleasure of seeing a NEW opera, The Tempest, by Thomas Ades.  Written and performed in 2004 at Covent Garden, there have been only 4 productions since.  Tom and I were fortunate to see one in Santa Fe so we are eagerly looking forward to the MET's premiere production.  Thomas Ades himself will be conducting with Simon Keenlyside as Prospero and Isabel Leonard as Miranda.  

 Director Robert Lepage recreated the interior of 18th century La Scala which imagines Prospero as a kind of impresario who manipulates people like a director of an opera or play.  The role of the spirit Ariel is the most demanding.  Anthony Thomasini says in his review that the role is "written for a coloratura soprano singing in a stratospheric  range, here the physically and vocally agile Audrey Luna. This punishing part should probably never have been written. With her radiant voice flitting about in super-high fidgety bursts, Ms. Luna can hardly make a single word clear.  It doesn't matter.  Mr. Ades's Ariel is a dazzling creation, and Ms. Luna conquers the role." 

One more exciting tidbit comes from Tim Caldwell (retired CMU music professor) who went to a NY nightclub where the cast of the Tempest was relaxing.  Peter Gelb introduced cast members, among them Laure Meloy, a CMU grad!  Tim says she is running with a heady company these days.  Way to go, Laure!   

 

See you Saturday.  Gisela

 

 

Monday, November 5, 2012

An image of the election...


Click on image to enlarge

Let America be safe and all Americans truly be free.

Now is the hour of our discontent...


Click image to enlarge...

Gone are the seven shades of green, the maroon and gold. Twisted limbs and twigs reach up, bewildered, to a grey sky, waiting for the snow and sleep.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reception for Artists for 2013 Art Reach Calendar




Click images to enlarge...

This afternoon, the children whose art was selected by each of 19 participating elementary schools in central Michigan displayed their original art work at Art Reach on Broadway. The artists, their families and friends enjoyed a reception that featured cookies, cheese and crackers, relish tray, and punch. Each student and school received a calendar, and 50 additional calendars were sold.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A memorable Halloween


Wonderful Halloween! Between 60 and 70 Trick-or-Treaters. Happy faces, some frightened by my “eye in the water glass” and Nedra’s pet spider on her shoulder.  Obama-Christie love fest in New Jersey and Romney’s fake donation drive made this one of the bright spots of autumn. We must remember those who were lost in Hurricane Sandy’s fury. Better days may lay ahead.

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Chipmunk's Autumn Treat


 
 
“I’ve got to find seeds and nuts for the winter. I feel its bite when I wake up from a night that gets longer than the one before,” thought little Chiquita Chipmunk shivering a bit this late bright afternoon in October. She was out and about, running from her nest under the porch to the bird feeder and back. Those Who Live Upstairs put out a new supply of sunflower seeds every day, along with fresh water.

The trees had shed most of their leaves and covered the lawn with patches of gold and crimson, orange and auburn. Leaves! Yes, she realized, “I need leaves for my nest.” Her home was a far corner of the crawl space below the porch. The windows of that room could be opened when the weather was warm and closed when it was frigid. She crammed several crinkly leaves in her pouches and hurried to the small entrance. In she dove to deposit the leaves and out she came to get more. She lost track of how many leaves she packed around her bed. They lay heaped in a pile twice as tall as she. She jumped into the middle to pack them down into a fluffy mattress. Her bed was now dark and very cozy.

As she was about to jump out into the laughing fragrant air she heard the sliding door of the porch open. She peeped out and saw Those Who Live Above come out and walk to their chairs with a low table between. As they sat she saw they had a large paper bag that they placed on the table. Whole peanuts! These were Chiquita’s favorite food. If she had two for breakfast, two for lunch and two for dinner she could do very nicely in the middle of winter.

Out she scampered toward the two who had now brought out handfuls of lumpy treats. Very quietly, the lady held a peanut close to the ground. Chiquita took the treat and quickly stuffed it into her left cheek pouch. The man now held one out and she grabbed it and stuffed it into her right cheek pouch. She ran as fast as she could to her lair and placed the peanuts in a pile near her bed. She returned to the patient twosome again and again.

The mellow sky turned its tawny early evening shades. She had gathered enough peanuts for many comfortable meals in the pleasant darkness of her little palace. Perhaps tomorrow Those Who Live Above would bring more peanuts. Chiquita waited as darkness brought her peaceful sleep.
 


 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Canadian Consulate General visits CMU to discuss Proposal 6


From Sarah Delia:

As the Nov. 6 election approaches, Canadian Consulate General Roy Norton will visit Park Library Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, to discuss the implications behind a vote for or against Proposal 6. Proposal 6 would amend the state constitution to require voter approval before a new international bridge or tunnel for motor vehicles is constructed. As part of his presentation, Norton will answer questions from the audience to help voters make an informed decision at the polls.

Submitted by: Roger Coles, College of Graduate Studies, phone 6099, coles1rl@cmich.edu.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Voices for Planend Parenthood at Central Michigan University.


Hello! 

 My name is Marie Reimers and I am the vice-president of Vox: Voices for Planend Parenthood at Central Michigan University...

Vox is hosting a guest speaker on October 22d at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Auditorium, and we think that some of your members might be interested. Jan Wilberg is renowned social activist who had an illegal abortion while she was a student at CMU. Jan wrote about her experience on Salon.com and her post garnered more that 100,000 views. Her essay is a flashback to another time, when abortion was illegal and hard to obtain. She tells her story to remind the public why safe and legal abortion is crucial to women. 

After Jan speaks there will be an opportunity for other women to tell their abortion stories in a safe and welcoming environment. Anyone who makes the space feel unsafe or unwelcoming will be asked to leave by campus security. 1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Abortion is a commonplace procedure, and it is time that we remove the stigma surrounding it. 

I have attached the flier for our event. I would love if you could forward this email and the flier to your members. 

If you have any other questions please let me know. You can contact me at this email or by phone at 989-751-1494. 

Thank you, 

Marie Reimers 

Vice-President 
Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood 
Central Michigan University 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Voter Guides available


From Theresa Turner:
 
Hello Everyone,

We have received shipment of the state voter guides AND our local voter guides.  We also have available flyers promoting
Vote 411.

So far the guides have been delivered to: Veterans Memorial Library and branches
                                                            Commission on Aging
                                                            SAC Center
                                                            Rics Supermarket
                                                            The Brass Restaurant
                                                            Flour Uprising
(The Bookshelf also has them: Ed.)
There are still quite a few guides left.  (The state guides are in packages of 100) 
If you could pick up guides/flyers to deliver to various places around the county that would be great.
The guides and flyers are on my front porch at 608 S Kinney, easily accessible.

PLEASE "REPLY TO ALL" TO LET EVERYONE KNOW WHERE DELIVERIES HAVE BEEN MADE.

Thanks for your help.




Theresa
www.gardensbyt.etsy.com
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any"   -Alice Walker

Monday, October 8, 2012


LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS

VOTER SERVICE 2012

OCTOBER 18

COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATES

6:30 TO 7:30

(1 MINUTE INTRO; 1 MINUTE FINAL STATEMENT)

approx 50 MINUTES FOR QUESTIONS 

Tom Riley (D)          Distict 3

Roger Trudell  (R)   District 3

Jim Horton (R)         District 4

Jennifer Turner (D)  District 4  (will not attend)


 STATE HOUSE CANDIDATES

7:45 TO 8:45

(2 MINUTE INTRO; 2 MINUTE FINAL STATEMENT)

approx 50 MINUTES FOR QUESTIONS

 

Kevin Cotter (R)

Adam Lawrence (D)

MODERATOR:  Samantha Minnis

SCREENERS:     Sarah Delia, Betty Clason, Marilyn Bidwell

TIMERS:            Cil Lorand,  Diane Current

QUESTION COLLECTOR:  Cindy Miles


OCTOBER 25


BOARD OF EDUCATION

7:00 TO 8:00

(1 MINUTE INTRO; 1 MINUTE FINAL)

approx 50 MINUTES FOR QUESTIONS

Wynne Winslow

Jeffrey S Wigand

Sheila Murphy

Patty Strong

MODERATOR:  Samantha Minnis

SCREENERS:    Betty Clason, Sue Horgan, Cindy Miles

TIMERS;            Cil Lorand, Marilyn Bidwell

QUESTION COLLECTOR;  Diane Current

BALLOT PROPOSALS POWER POINT PRESENTATION

Begins at 8:15 pm

Presented by Sarah Delia, President, League of Women

Voters, Mt Pleasant Area

All events will be held in the City Commission Chambers at Mt Pleasant City Hall, 320 W. Broadway St

 

  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Metropolitan Opera Schedule 2012 – 13

Thanks to Gesela Moffit for this information:
 
Starting time is 12:55 p.m. unless indicated otherwise

October 13, ‘12          Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (new production)
Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani star in Bartlett Sher’s new production of one of the greatest comic gems in opera, as the fickle Adina and her besotted Nemorino.  Mariusz Kwiecien is the blustery sergeant Belcore and Ambrogio Maestri is Dulcamara, the loveable quack and dispenser of the elixir.  Maurizio Benini conducts. Run time:  3:05

October 27, ‘12          Verdi’s Otello

Verdi’s Shakespearean masterpiece returns to the Met with Johan Botha in the title role opposite the acclaimed Desdemona of star soprano Renee Fleming.  Semyon Bychkov conducts.
Run time: 3:30

Nov. 10, ‘12   Ades’s The Tempest (Met Premiere)

Composer Thomas Ades conducts the Metropolitan Opera premiere of his own work, with baritone Simon Keenlyside starring as Prospero. Director Robert Lepage recreates the interior of 18th-century La Scala in this inventive staging. Run Time: 3:35
December 1, ‘12        Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito

The virtuosic Elina Garanca sings Sesto in Mozart’s drama set in ancient Rome.  Guiseppe Filianoti is the noble Tito and Barbara Frittoli is Vitellia, in this handsome revival of one of the composer’s final masterpieces.  Harry Bicket conducts. Run time: 3:15
Dec. 8, ‘12                    Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (new production)

Director David Alden’s dreamlike setting provides a compelling backdrop for this dramatic story of jealousy and vengeance.  Marcelo Alvarez stars as the conflicted king;  Karita Mattila is Amelia, the object of his secret passion; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky is her suspicious husband.  Kathleen Kim is the page Oscar, and Stephanie Blythe sings the role of the fortune-teller Ulrica.  Fabio Luisi conducts. Run time:  4:00
Dec. 15, ‘12                   Verdi’s Aida

The Met’s unforgettable production of Verdi’s ancient Egyptian drama stars Liudmyla Monastyrska as the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with the heroic Radames, played by Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina.  Fabio Luisi conducts. Run Time: 4:00
Jan.  5, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)                     Berlioz’s Les Troyens

The Met offers a rare opportunity to witness Berlioz’s vast epic, last performed at the Met in 2003.  Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft lead the starry cast, portraying characters from the Trojan War.  Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi marshals the large-scale musical forces. Run Time: 5:45
Jan. 19, ‘13                    Donizatti’s Maria Stuarda (Met Premiere)

Mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, one of the world’s most exciting singers, takes on the virtuosic bel canto role of the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots. Director David McVicar turns to the second opera of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, which explores regal characters at fateful moments of their lives.  Elza van den Heever sings Elizabeth I, and Maurizio Benini conducts. Run time: 3:20
Feb. 16, ‘13                   Verdi’s Rigoletto  (new Production)

Director Michael Mayer has placed his new production of Verdi’s towering tragedy in Las Vegas in 1960.  In this production, inspired by the antics of the Rat Pack, Piotr Beczala is the womanizing Duke of Mantua, Zeljko Lucic is his tragic sidekick, Rigoletto, and Diana Damrau is Rigolettt’s daughter, Gilda. Run Time: 3:35
March 2, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)                Wagner’s Parsifal  (new production)

Jonas Kaufmann stars in the title role of the innocent who finds wisdom in Francois Girard’s new vision for Wagner’s final masterpiece.  His fellow Wagnerian luminaries include Katarina Dalayman as the mysterious Kundry, Peter Mattei as the ailing Amfortas, Evgeny Nikitin as the wicked Klingsor, and Rene Pape as the noble knight Gurnemanz. Daniele Gatti conducts.
Run Time: 5:45

March 16, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)             Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini

Zandonai’s compelling opera, inspired by an episode from Dante’s Inferno, returns in the Met’s ravishingly beautiful production, last seen in 1986.  Dramatic soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and tenor Marcello Giordani are the doomed lovers.  Marco Armiliato conducts. Run Time: 4:00
April 27, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)                Händel’s Giulio Cesare  (new production)

The opera that conquered London in Händel’s time comes to the Met in David McVicar’s lively production.  The world’s leading countertenor, David Daniels, sings the title role opposite Natalie Dessay as an irresistibly exotic Cleopatra.  Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducts. Run Time 4:35

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Excerpts from message by Senator Carl Levin

Opening Statement at PSI Hearing: Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code

Thursday, September 20, 2012

America stands on the edge of a fiscal cliff.  This challenge lends new urgency to a topic this subcommittee has long investigated: how U.S. citizens and corporations have used loopholes and gimmicks to avoid paying taxes.  This subcommittee has demonstrated in hearings and comprehensive reports how various schemes have helped shift income to offshore tax havens and avoid U.S. taxes.  The resulting loss of revenue is one significant cause of the budget deficit, and adds to the tax burden that ordinary Americans bear.

U.S. multinational corporations benefit from the security and stability of the U.S. economy, the productivity and expertise of U.S. workers and the strength of U.S. infrastructure to develop enormously profitable products here in the United States.  But, too often, too many of these corporations use complex structures, dubious transactions and legal fictions to shift the profits from those products overseas, avoiding the taxes that help support our security, stability and productivity.

The share of federal tax revenue contributed by corporations has plummeted in recent decades. That places an additional burden on other taxpayers.  The massive offshore profit shifting that is taking place today is doubly problematic in an era of dire fiscal crisis.  Budget experts across the ideological spectrum are unified in their belief than any serious attempt to address the deficit must include additional federal revenue.  Federal revenue, as a share of our economy, has plummeted to historic lows – about 15 percent of GDP, compared to a historic average of roughly 19 percent.  The Simpson-Bowles report sets a goal for federal revenue at 21 percent of GDP.

The fact that we are today so far short of that goal is, in part, due to multinational corporations avoiding U.S. taxes by shifting their profits offshore.
****
The bottom line of our investigation is that some multinationals use our current tax system to engage in shams and gimmicks to avoid paying the taxes they owe.  It is a system that multinationals have used to shift billions of dollars of profit offshore, and avoid billions of dollars in U.S. taxes, to their enormous benefit.  Who are the losers in this shell game?  There are many:
 •The U.S. government, which provides the services and security that help many of those multinational corporations grow and prosper, and then watches them shift their profits offshore to avoid paying taxes;
 •Other citizens and business who must shoulder a greater tax burden;
 •domestic industries that do not exploit the tax code to shift profits offshore and avoid U.S. taxes;
 •the integrity and viability of our tax system.

So today we will take a detailed look at how this system works, the legal contortions on which it is based, its gimmicks and charades, and hopefully, we'll generate some enthusiasm to fix it.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fall opera schedule


Metropolitan Opera Schedule 2012 – 13

 

Starting time is 12:55 p.m. unless indicated otherwise

 October 13, ‘12          Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (new production)

Anna Netrebko and Matthew Polenzani star in Bartlett Sher’s new production of one of the greatest comic gems in opera, as the fickle Adina and her besotted Nemorino.  Mariusz Kwiecien is the blustery sergeant Belcore and Ambrogio Maestri is Dulcamara, the loveable quack and dispenser of the elixir.  Maurizio Benini conducts.

Run time:  3:05

 October 27, ‘12          Verdi’s Otello

Verdi’s Shakespearean masterpiece returns to the Met with Johan Botha in the title role opposite the acclaimed Desdemona of star soprano Renee Fleming.  Semyon Bychkov conducts.

Run time: 3:30

 Nov. 10, ‘12   Ades’s The Tempest (Met Premiere)

Composer Thomas Ades conducts the Metropolitan Opera premiere of his own work, with baritone Simon Keenlyside starring as Prospero. Director Robert Lepage recreates the interior of 18th-century La Scala in this inventive staging.

Run Time: 3:35

 December 1, ‘12        Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito

The virtuosic Elina Garanca sings Sesto in Mozart’s drama set in ancient Rome.  Guiseppe Filianoti is the noble Tito and Barbara Frittoli is Vitellia, in this handsome revival of one of the composer’s final masterpieces.  Harry Bicket conducts.

Run time: 3:15

 Dec. 8, ‘12                    Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (new production)

Director David Alden’s dreamlike setting provides a compelling backdrop for this dramatic story of jealousy and vengeance.  Marcelo Alvarez stars as the conflicted king;  Karita Mattila is Amelia, the object of his secret passion; and Dmitri Hvorostovsky is her suspicious husband.  Kathleen Kim is the page Oscar, and Stephanie Blythe sings the role of the fortune-teller Ulrica.  Fabio Luisi conducts.

Run time:  4:00

 Dec. 15, ‘12                   Verdi’s Aida

The Met’s unforgettable production of Verdi’s ancient Egyptian drama stars Liudmyla Monastyrska as the enslaved Ethiopian princess caught in a love triangle with the heroic Radames, played by Roberto Alagna, and the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, sung by Olga Borodina.  Fabio Luisi conducts.

Run Time: 4:00

 Jan.  5, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)                     Berlioz’s Les Troyens

The Met offers a rare opportunity to witness Berlioz’s vast epic, last performed at the Met in 2003.  Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, and Dwayne Croft lead the starry cast, portraying characters from the Trojan War.  Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi marshals the large-scale musical forces.

Run Time: 5:45

 Jan. 19, ‘13                    Donizatti’s Maria Stuarda (Met Premiere)

Mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, one of the world’s most exciting singers, takes on the virtuosic bel canto role of the doomed Mary, Queen of Scots. Director David McVicar turns to the second opera of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, which explores regal characters at fateful moments of their lives.  Elza van den Heever sings Elizabeth I, and Maurizio Benini conducts.

Run time: 3:20

 

Feb. 16, ‘13                   Verdi’s Rigoletto  (new Production)

Director Michael Mayer has placed his new production of Verdi’s towering tragedy in Las Vegas in 1960.  In this production, inspired by the antics of the Rat Pack, Piotr Beczala is the womanizing Duke of Mantua, Zeljko Lucic is his tragic sidekick, Rigoletto, and Diana Damrau is Rigolettt’s daughter, Gilda.

Run Time: 3:35

 March 2, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)                Wagner’s Parsifal  (new production)

Jonas Kaufmann stars in the title role of the innocent who finds wisdom in Francois Girard’s new vision for Wagner’s final masterpiece.  His fellow Wagnerian luminaries include Katarina Dalayman as the mysterious Kundry, Peter Mattei as the ailing Amfortas, Evgeny Nikitin as the wicked Klingsor, and Rene Pape as the noble knight Gurnemanz. Daniele Gatti conducts.

Run Time: 5:45

 March 16, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)             Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini
Zandonai’s compelling opera, inspired by an episode from Dante’s Inferno, returns in the Met’s ravishingly beautiful production, last seen in 1986.  Dramatic soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and tenor Marcello Giordani are the doomed lovers.  Marco Armiliato conducts.

Run Time: 4:00

 April 27, ’13 at 12:00 (new time)                Händel’s Giulio Cesare  (new production)

The opera that conquered London in Händel’s time comes to the Met in David McVicar’s lively production.  The world’s leading countertenor, David Daniels, sings the title role opposite Natalie Dessay as an irresistibly exotic Cleopatra.  Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducts.

Run Time 4:35

Late summer afternoon: Ten shades of green