Saturday, May 28, 2011


Opera composer Friedrich Baumfelder was born on this day in 1836 in Dresden, Germany.  He studied under previously mentioned Ignaz Moscheles (what a cool name).

György Ligeti was born on this day in 1923.  Certainly one of the most prolific and heralded composers of the last 100 years, however he did not produce many operas...actually, just one, an absurdist opera Le Grand Macabre.  Simply, it's about the end of the world.  Amazingly, on youtube (which has rules regarding sexual things) I found a highlight real of this and it is likely the most risqué opera production I have ever seen. For the squeamish or for the Americans, you can watch the clip below instead, however there is still a little bit of fake nudity.  If you would like to see some explicit "European art", click here.

Leopold Mozart, father of one of the greatest opera composers of all time Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, died on this day in 1787.  We should all thank this great teacher for introducing music to his son at such an early age.  He helped to create one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time.

Happy Birthday to the Sierra Club (founded on this day in 1892), which helped to create the National Park system in the United States and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts - each with distinguished professional opera companies.

The Golden Gate Bridge was opened by President Franklin Roosevelt in Washington D.C. on this day in 1937.  If you're wondering, he pressed a button which turned on the traffic lights allowing the traffic to go across the bridge.  There is almost no opera connection here, besides San Fransisco having one of the most acclaimed opera companies in the world.

Happy Downfall of the Derg Day in Ethiopia!  It is actually Ethiopia's national day, equivalent to Independence Day in the U.S.  The name comes from the Derg junta, a military dictatorship, that was overthrown after years of famine and genocide.

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