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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lincoln Memorial tribute to Marian Anderson

WASHINGTON – Marian Anderson couldn't sing at Constitution Hall or even a local high school because of the color of her skin. So the opera singer performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in April 1939 and sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."

Unlike other events then, the 75,000-person crowd that had gathered to hear the African-American woman sing wasn't segregated. Blacks and whites stood together. Senators and Supreme Court justices also came on that Easter Sunday. The event came to symbolize the ideal of America's racial equality.

On Sunday afternoon, 70 years later, there will be another free concert at the Lincoln Memorial, this one designed to commemorate the 1939 landmark event. The Sunday concert will incorporate songs from Anderson's event and remember its significance during America's era of segregation.

The full article is HERE

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cellphones and Opera

don't say you weren't warned:

The Cairo Opera House in Egypt started the practice of confiscating cell
phones (without exception---they even took away that of the US ambassador on
one night) although naturally one or two manage to escape their sweep. A
case in point was a long-awaited concert by the visiting Berlin Philharmonic
Orchestra in 2001. In the middle of the adagio of the Bruckner symphony,
someone's cell phone went off with ascending rings. The owner, not wanting
to be identified, did nothing, and the rings got louder. 6 millitary police
then entered the hall with intense flashlights trying to zero in on the
offending culprit, reminding us of a scene out of Schindler's List.
Eventually the person was found, hand-cuffed (seriously!) and led from the
hall, all the while conductor continued uninterrupted. Later I asked a
friend who is a basso with the Cairo Opera what happened to the person with
the cell phone. He said he and his wife were taken to the police station
and no one knows what happened after that...........