The Ring of the Nibelungen was first performed in its entirety at Bayreuth in the summer of 1876. The world had seen nothing like it-a music/drama cycle of incredible scope-four complete operas in four nights with 16 hours of performing time. That should have put off opera audiences used to a single opera and 3 hours running time. Instead Wagner’s Ring has fascinated opera audiences, more now than ever, especially in Seattle.
Norm Hollingshead will offer the following previews:
Tuesday, June 25, 7pm: Das Rheingold
Tuesday, July 9, 7pm: Die Walkure
Tuesday, July 16, 7pm: Siegfried
Tuesday, July 23, 7pm: Gotterdammerung
Sponsored by the Friends of the Mercer Island Library.
Wednesday, February 20, 7pm
Presented by Norm Hollingshead.
Giacomo Puccini is the most popular opera composer of our time. Almost all of his operas end sadly, but that seems to attract rather than repel
opera audiences around the world. His 4th opera, La Boheme, is the saddest of all. In this opera the deadly villain is not another human,
but rather poverty and disease. Puccini’s genius at finding just the right melody to depict the happiness and heartache
of the doomed couple, Mimi and Rodolfo,draws sell-out crowds wherever it is performed.
Sponsored by the Mercer Island Friends of the Library.
In late 1791 Mozart needed a ‘big hit’ to pay off some pressing debts. He got it with his ‘Magic Flute,’ popular from it’s opening night on September 20. Sadly Mozart did not live to enjoy ‘The Magic Flute’s profits, dying on December 5, at the age of 35. ‘The Magic Flute’ has everything an opera audience loves: low comedy, high drama, a handsome prince, a beautiful princess, a wise sorcerer, a wicked sorceress, dazzling high notes, and beautiful melodies.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Mercer Island Library.
Bronze statues of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, at the Plaza de España in Madrid (Source: Wikipedia)
New Date and Time: Friday, February 25, 2 p.m.
Location: Mercer Island Library, 4400 88th Avenue SE, Mercer Island, Washington
The “Don Quixote” opera preview to be presented by Norm Hollingshead, originally scheduled for tonight, has been postponed due to bad weather. It is now scheduled for Friday, February 25, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Massenet (1842-1912) had a one act opera performed in 1867 when he was only 25 years old but it was the blockbuster success of his “Manon” in 1884 that made him a famous name in opera-loving households. Further melodious hits in the 1890s, such as “Werther” and “Thais,” cemented his reputation as one of the most successful opera composers of his time. The turn to the new century, though, saw a decline in his popularity as opera audiences came to find Massenet “old-fashioned,” preferring instead the new sounds of Claude Debussy and Richard Strauss or the more realistic dramas of Giacomo Puccini. Massenet kept composing however and in 1910, had his last big “hit,” “Don Quichotte” which utilized only a few scenes from Miguel de Cervantes‘ famous novel but those are brought charmingly to life by Massenet’s wonderfully “Frenchified” Spansh Music. Don Quichotte was originally composed as a vehicle for the greatest singing actor of his time, the fabled Russian basso, Feodor Chaliapin. Don Quichotte was a great success whenever Chaliapin performed it and, since Chaliapin’s retirement in the 1930′s, the opera has been performed successfully whenever a dynamic basso has assumed the title role. Mr. Hollingshead will illustrate his commentary on Don Quichotte with recorded musical excerpts from his own collection, many quite rare.
This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Mercer Island Library.
Ted Rand, best known to Islanders for his children’s book illustrations, will be honored October 23rd at 1:00 PM at the Mercer Island Library when a framed watercolor for the book Salt Hands is unveiled by the Friends of the Mercer Island Library.
“The Friends have been looking for a way to acknowledge Ted’s contributions to his craft and his community for a couple of years,” said Suzanne Sanderson, Friends member who was responsible for finding the painting. And it was a bit of a search. “We had been told that there was no original artwork available, but were fortunate to discover this one when it came on the market.”
A professional graphic designer who took up children’s book illustrating at a time in his life when most people are planning retirement travel, Rand had 80 books to his credit before he died in 2005 at age 89. Among them were the popular Salty Dog series, Home for Spooky and The Baby in the Basket, all of which were done in partnership with his wife, Gloria, herself an accomplished author of at least 15 children’s books, all of them full of Rand’s watercolors, many of which will be on display the day of the dedication. Several of their books will be on display the day of the dedication.
The Friends chose to honor Rand not only for his contributions to children’s literature, but also for his giving-back ethic. He cast a wide net over many Island organizations, giving freely of his graphic expertise. He juried shows for the Mercer Island Visual Arts League, provided promotional materials for the City’s Mercerversary celebration in 1976 and designed logos for several Island organizations.
KCLS has partnered with area museums to offer free museum passes.
Register online by following these easy steps:
1. Select the museum of your choice & click “Free Pass”
2. Choose the date of your choice & enter your information to register.
3. Print your email confirmation, which serves as your admission ticket.
4. Take your email confirmation to the museum when you visit.
Register for your free museum pass up to two weeks in advance of the day you plan to visit. Online registration opens at 10am daily. Passes are good for general admission and are limited to one per family.
If you do not have an email address, call the Bellevue Library at 425.450.1765 to register.