Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fidelio

Last weekend, 7&8 July, whilst out shopping near here on Rainier avenue, I saw an official-looking person in a watch-out-for-me dayglo green vest with the logo of the STP run. I managed to miss this 200 mile trek this year (Phew!)
Anyway, it reminded me to get the bike out for it's first run since I had it fixed.

So yesterday, I took Fidelio, (My 1965 Puegeot bicycle, not Beethoven's opera about his mother) out for an inaugural trip.
I went a little too far and ended up in Auburn.
I had only intended to check out the Interurban trail to where it met tne Green river trail, but I missed the juncture and swooped onward.
On the way back, I found the Green river, but got lost at one of the detours and went about 3 miles out of my way.
It was thirty five miles for the whole trip.
At least, I know how to hook up with the Green Valley road, which goes to Flaming Geyser park. From Flaming Geyser, I already know how to get to the Cedar river trail which runs to Renton and Rainier avenue and home, making a 60-mile loop that I plan to ride sometime soon.

Sorta also reminded me of another trip I've been meaning to tell you about.
I don't remember what month it was, but what difference does it really make, anyway?
We left on a friday. We headed south for the Mt Rainier passes, couldn't get through on the Ohanapecosh side so we backed up and went counter-clockwise past the Paradise side., and ended up staying in a nice little rustic cabin at Trout Creek, on the way to whatchacallit, that city that you go over White pass to get to. (Yakima!)
Saturday, had trout for breakfast and headed out to whatchacallit.
Ended up in Spray, after passing through Shamico, or maybe we stopped in Shamico on our way through Spray. No, we had ice cream cones in Shamico and stopped in Spray.
Ate in a grocery store next to the motel. Great twisty windy roads out of Shamico, I bet the motorcyclists had fun touring there. Wish I had my '54 Porsche speedster,
Sunday we strolled through the John Day fossil beds and looked at stuff and ended up in Baker City and walked around and ate in a fancy hotel.
Sunday, we ended up in Union and the fabulous Union Hotel. We stayed in the Annie Oakley room, which was all done up in purple and had various memoribilia and pictures of Annie. Got a flat tire.
Monday, we had the tire fixed and headed out to try to get to a mountain loop road in the north east corner of the state (Oregon)
Tuesday, On the road 8:30 drive till 4:30, long day,
Ended up in Mt. Vernon.
Wednesday, Lava dome, wind, snow, mount Batchelor, up to the lodge, too much snow, had enough driving in the snow, back to highway 58 to Water falls creek, big drop, it takes a snowball over four seconds to hit the river below. ended up in Bend. and the Deschutes Ale House.
Thursday, On to the high desert museum and Salem.
Friday, Coffee and doughnuts at Safeway store, new wiper blades and on to Oregon Gardens, nice place, volunteer run, if they had the money, it could rival The Buchart. Then on to Silver falls and a few pictures from under the falls. Sleep in Sublimity very near the highway. Wrote a few tunes for the trombone concerto.
Which concerto I'm rather pleased with.
Saturday, back in Washington again. Stay at the Sou'wester lodge in Seaview. Love that place.
Sunday, back to Seattle again.

Somewhere in all that we saw the worlds largest gold dredge and all the busted rock it left behind. I don't remember where it was.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Lane Savant said...

I think that Wedensday's and Thursday's itineraries should be switched. I'd look it up but what difference does it make? You've all had more interesting trips than this, anyway.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Lovely Librarian" and I want to thank Meredith and you for your unequaled wonderful hospitality.
I am now at the Seattle Central Public Library on my way home from leaving Margrit at the airport.
Your bicycle is even older than mine in Schwerin; I bought it in 1968 as about my very first purchase of anything when I moved there in August 1968. It is a woman's bike, so Meredith can use it when she visits. Margrit and I both look very much forward to her visit (and yours, too, if you finally become convinced flying is safer than driving -- or riding a bicycle!!
-- Anonomann

12:45 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Had you been a runner in the STP in the past? Or is it a bike trip? We have friends who are cyclists, and they do the Courage Classic, doing Snoqualamie then Bluett passes, stopping at Levenworth, and then back over Stevens Pass. They also do the Seattle to Portland run that is coming up. My middle daughter, Leslie, and her husband, Joel, are doing that this next weekend. But hey, your 35 mile trip was impressive enough, considering you did it cold, without training. Thank God most of it is flat and straight, running south down the valley, and returning, but you did have the heat to contend with, and as a 65 year old codger, you are punishing those old legs pretty good. Hope it didn't cramp you up for later.

Yeah, that part of H410 that hooks up to Cayuse Pass above Chrystal Mt. stays closed until summer, so off you went to the west then south sides of Mr. Rainier, zooming through Packwood and up into White Pass. Was Skate Creek open from Mt. Rainier to Packwood, or did you have to drive the long way to Morton, and then back up?

That Canyon on the north side of White Pass is narrow and beautiful. That cabin at Trout Creek sounded neat; rustic and comfortable. Are Spray and Shamico in Oregon? I don't remember them in Washington. Were you in central Oregon near Crater Lake, and south of Portland? Eating trout for breakfast is a bit exotic, especially in a restaurant. I guess I will just have to look at a map and see where Baker City and Union are. The Union Hotel does sound like a gas; all that Annie Oakley memorabilia must have put you into a tizzy, that and everything being the "color purple".

God, oh how many of us remember the 54 Porsche Speedster. Yeah, you are at the age now where most men drive their sports cars. They're the only ones who can afford them. Your ancient Volvo keeps running, so I guess it is a moot point. Is there a Mt. Vernon in Oregon? Bend, OR, and Mt. Bachelor; very pretty country, but overrun with new condos and wealthy homes these days. I guess I hadn't realized that in May, when you did your road trip, or was it April --there was still so much snow at higher elevations; Cayuse Pass being closed, etc. You passed through some pretty mountains and forest driving west from Bend to Salem via. Eugene, right? Then you wrapped up on the Oregon coast. Wow, you worked the hell out of central OR, and then the coast. You have talked before about extended weekends in Silver Falls, at the Oregon Gardens, and at the Southwester Lodge in Seaview. You do make it sound grand, and relaxing. Did you pass by any of the many covered bridges between Salem and the coast? Melva and I love those covered bridges, most of which were constructed by the CCC during the depression, or the WPA projects.

I have on air conditioning here at the VA office where I am toiling in between key strokes on your blog. I am sweating like a furry dog; which Melva tells me I am anyway.

Have you ever been to Teatro Zinzanni in Seattle? Norman Langill manages it, and Arne Zalove helps train the staff. The show is part Cirque des Ole (?) and part vaudeville. Arne emailed me yesterday and said they have to move from their present location to an empty lot near where the old Cirque Dinner Theatre used to be, east of the Space Needle. If you want a hoot, and love Cirque, dish out the 100 clams each, and catch a show at their present location.
Arne had open heart surgery last month, and he is doing fine, I guess.

How long do Autonomann and his lovely librarian stay? At some point I do want to drive up and have a visit, don't you know? That is of course, unless it remains so hot out that it will melt the rubber off my old Isuzu tires. So give Meredith and Fidelio some fine strokes, don't get heat stroke or get dehydrated or pass out on the sidewalk in front of SSO.

Annie Oakley (August 13, 1860 – November 3, 1926) b. Phoebe Ann Mosey[1] was an American sharpshooter and exhibition shooter. Oakley's amazing talent and luck led to a starring role in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, which propelled her to become the first American female superstar. Using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet (27 m), Oakley could split a playing card edge-on and put five or six more holes in it before it touched the ground.

According to the Annie Oakley Foundation, Annie Oakley was born in "a cabin less than 2 miles northwest of Woodland, now Willowdell, in Darke County, Ohio."[3] North Star, a few miles away, has a plaque claiming it to be her town of birth. [4],

Annie was the fifth of seven children. Her parents, Susan and Jacob Mosey[5], were Quakers from Pennsylvania. A fire burned down their tavern so they moved to a rented farm in Patterson Township, Darke County, Ohio. Her father, who had fought in the War of 1812, died in 1866 from pneumonia and overexposure in freezing weather. Susan Mosey remarried, had another child, and was widowed a second time. During this time, Annie was put in the care of the superintendent of the county poor farm, where she learned to embroider and sew. She spent some time in near servitude for a local family where she endured mental and physical abuse (Annie referred to them as "the wolves"). When she reunited with her family, her mother had remarried a third time.

Partly due to poverty following the death of her father, and partly by preference, Annie did not regularly attend school with other children of her age. Later she received some additional education. Apparently, she could not spell her family's name since she later rendered it ending in "ee". Her family's surname, "Mosey", appears on her father's gravestone, in his military record and is the official spelling by the Annie Oakley Foundation (AOF) maintained by her living relatives.[6] Being one of many Oakley myths, the name "Moses" appears incorrectly attributed in some encyclopedia entries and internet searches; AOF reported that her "brother John and sister Hulda changed their names to Moses before their dual wedding ceremony in 1884."[7]

Annie began hunting at the age of nine to support her siblings and her widowed mother. She sold the hunting game to locals for money, and her skill eventually paid off the mortgage on her mother's house.

Annie soon became known throughout the region as a shotgun sharpshooter. During the spring of 1881, the Baughman and Butler shooting act was being performed in Cincinnati. Marksman Francis "Frank" E. Butler, (1850-1926), placed a $100 bet ($1900, adjusted for inflation) with hotel owner Jack Frost, that Butler could beat any local fancy shooter. The hotelier arranged a shooting match with Annie, age 21, to be held in ten days time in a small town near Greenville, Ohio. Frank later said it was "18 miles from the nearest station" (about the distance from Greenville to North Star). After missing his 25th shot, Frank lost the match and the bet — a serendipitous irony that led him to become a well-known winner in backstage life. Frank began courting Annie, won her heart, and they began a happy marriage of 44 years on June 20, 1882. [8]

They lived in Cincinnati for a time, and she is believed to have taken her stage name from the city's neighborhood of Oakley, where they resided. At first, Oakley was Butler's assistant in his travelling show. Later, Butler realized that Oakley was more talented, so he became her assistant and business manager. Annie and Frank's personal and business success in handling celebrity is considered a model show business relationship even after more than a century.

They joined the Buffalo Bill's Wild West show in 1885. Standing only 5 feet (1.5 m), Oakley was given the nickname of "Watanya Cicilla" by fellow performer Sitting Bull, rendered "Little Sure Shot" in the public advertisements.

During her first Buffalo Bill's show engagement, Oakley experienced a tense professional rivalry with rifle sharpshooter Lillian Smith. Smith promoted herself as younger and, therefore, more billable than Oakley. Oakley temporarily left the Buffalo Bill's show but returned after Smith departed.

Oakley had initially responded to the show's age rivalry by removing six years from her promoted age. She was a modest and proper woman, who couldn't remove any more years without making it seem that she was born out of wedlock after her father died. As it was, her promoted age led to perennial wrong calculations of her true age and the dates for some of her biographical events. For example, the 1881 spring shooting match with Frank occurred when she was a 21-year-old adult. However, that event is widely repeated as occurring six years earlier in the fall, which also suggests a mythical teen romance with Frank.

In Europe she performed before Queen Victoria and other crowned heads of state. Oakley had such good aim that, at his request, she knocked the ashes off a cigarette held by the Prince of Prussia, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II.[9] AOF suggests Annie was not the source of a widely-repeated sarcasm related to the event. "Some uncharitable people later ventured that if Annie would have shot Wilhelm and not his cigarette, she could have prevented World War I."[10]

In 1901, she was badly injured in a railway crash, but she fully recovered after temporary paralysis and several spinal operations. She soon left the Buffalo Bill show and began a quieter acting career in a stage play written especially for her, The Western Girl. Following her injury and change of career, it only added to her legend that her shooting expertise continued to increase into her 60's.

In 1903, sensational cocaine prohibition stories were selling well. The newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, published a false story that Oakley had been arrested for stealing to support a cocaine habit. The woman actually arrested was a burlesque performer who told Chicago police that her name was "Annie Oakley". The original Annie Oakley spent much of the next six years winning 54 of 55 libel lawsuits against newspapers. She collected less in judgements than were her legal expenses, but to her, a restored reputation justified the loss of time and money.[11]

Most of the newspapers that printed the story had relied on wire services, and upon learning of the libelous error they immediately retracted the false story with apologies. Publisher Hearst, however, tried to avoid paying the anticipated court judgements of $15,000 ($285,000, adjusted for inflation) by sending an investigator to Darke County with the intent of collecting reputation-smearing gossip from Annie's past. The investigator found nothing.

Annie continued to set records into her 60s, even after suffering a debilitating automobile accident that forced her to wear a steel brace on her right leg. In a shooting contest in Pinehurst, North Carolina in 1922, sixty-two-year-old Annie hit 100 clay targets straight from the 16 yard mark. [12] She also engaged in extensive, albeit quiet, philanthropy for women's rights and other causes, including the support of specific young women that she knew.

Annie Oakley died on November 3, 1926, of pernicious anemia, at the age of 66 and was buried in Brock Cemetery[1] in Greenville, Ohio. Her husband, Frank Butler, was so crushed by her death that he stopped eating. He died just 20 days later. After her death it was discovered that her entire fortune had been spent on her charities.

Representations on stage and screen
In 1935, Barbara Stanwyck played Annie in a highly fictionalized film called "Annie Oakley."
The 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun is very loosely based on her life. The original stage production starred Ethel Merman, who also starred in the 1966 revival.
A 1950 film version of Annie Get Your Gun starred Betty Hutton.
Some years after headlining the 1948 national tour, Mary Martin returned to the role for a 1957 NBC television special.
From 1954 to 1956, Gail Davis played her in the Annie Oakley television series.
In 1976, Geraldine Chaplin played Annie in Buffalo Bill and the Indians with John Considine as Frank Butler.
In 1985, Jamie Lee Curtis offered a fresh portrayal in the "Annie Oakley" episode of the children's video series, Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends.
In 1999, Annie Get Your Gun was revived, with Bernadette Peters in the title role. Reba McEntire played the role after Peters left the show.
In 2006, an episode of PBS's American Experience documented Oakley's life. Unfortunately, several myths were perpetuated.

Squeeze it easy, sirs:

Glenn

1:55 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Fidelio (Op. 72) is an opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly. The opera tells how Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named "Fidelio", rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison.

Like much else in Beethoven's career, the opera involved considerable struggle on the composer's part, and it went through several versions before achieving full success.

The opera is a central work of Beethoven's so-called "middle period," and like much of Beethoven's music of this time it emphasizes heroism. Bouilly's story undoubtedly attracted Beethoven for the opportunities it offered in portraying heroism in the main characters. The story also engaged Beethoven's strong feelings about the struggle for political liberty that was taking place in Europe in his day.

As elsewhere in Beethoven's vocal music, the music is not especially kind to the singers. The principal parts of Leonore and Florestan, in particular, require great vocal skill in order to project the necessary intensity without screaming or shouting, and top performances in these roles attract admiration.

Some notable moments in the opera include the Prisoner's Chorus, an ode to freedom sung by a chorus of political prisoners, Florestan's hallucinating vision of Leonore come as an angel to rescue him, and the highly melodramatic scene in which the rescue finally takes place. The finale celebrates Leonore's bravery with alternating contributions of soloists and chorus.

Performance history
The opera was first produced in a three-act version under the title Leonore in Vienna's Theater an der Wien, on November 20, 1805, with additional performances the following two nights. The success of these performances was greatly hindered by the fact that Vienna was under French military occupation, and most of the audience were French military officers. After this premiere, Beethoven was pressured by friends to revise and shorten the opera into just two acts, and he did so with the help of Stephan van Breuning, also writing a new overture (now known as "Leonore No. 3"; see below). In this form the opera was first performed on March 29 and April 10, 1806, with greater success. Further performances were prevented by a dispute between Beethoven and the theater management.

Eight years later in 1814, Beethoven revised his opera yet again, with additional work on the libretto by Georg Friedrich Treitschke. This version was first performed at the Kärtnertortheater on 23 May 1814, under the title Fidelio. The 17-year-old Franz Schubert was in the audience, having sold his school books to obtain a ticket. The increasingly deaf Beethoven led the performance, "assisted" by Michael Umlauf, who later performed the same task for Beethoven at the premiere of the Ninth Symphony. The role of Pizarro was taken by Johann Michael Vogl, who later became known for his collaborations with Schubert. This version of the opera was, finally, a great success for Beethoven, and Fidelio has been important part of the operatic repertory ever since.

Beethoven cannot be said to have enjoyed the difficulties posed by writing and producing an opera. In a letter to Treitschke he said, 'I assure you, dear Treitschke, that this opera will win me a martyr's crown. You have by your co-operation saved what is best from the shipwreck. For all this I shall be eternally grateful to you.'

The opera was published in all three versions, as Beethoven's Opus 72.

The Overtures to Fidelio
Beethoven struggled to produce an appropriate overture for Fidelio, and ultimately went through four versions. His first attempt, for the 1805 premiere, is believed to have been the overture now known as Leonore No. 2. Beethoven then focused this version for the performances of 1806, creating Leonore No. 3. The latter is considered by many listeners as the greatest of the four overtures, but as an intensely dramatic, full-scale symphonic movement it had the defect of overwhelming the (rather light) initial scenes of the opera. Beethoven accordingly experimented with cutting it back somewhat, for a planned 1807 performance in Prague; this is believed to be the version now called Leonore No. 1. Finally, for the 1814 revival Beethoven began anew, and with fresh musical material wrote what we now know as the Fidelio overture. As this somewhat lighter overture seems to work best of the four as a start to the opera, Beethoven's final intentions are generally respected in contemporary productions.

Gustav Mahler introduced the practice, common until the middle of the twentieth century, of performing Leonore No. 3 between the two scenes of the second act, and some conductors still perform it there. In this location, it acts as a kind of musical reprise of the rescue scene that has just taken place.

Conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler remarked in Salzburg in 1948, not long after the end of World War II and fall of Nazism:

"[T]he conjugal love of Leonore appears, to the modern individual armed with realism and psychology, irremediably abstract and theoretical.... Now that political events in Germany have restored to the concepts of human dignity and liberty their original significance, this is the opera which, thanks to the music of Beethoven, gives us comfort and courage.... Certainly, Fidelio is not an opera in the sense we are used to, nor is Beethoven a musician for the theater, or a dramaturgist. He is quite a bit more, a whole musician, and beyond that, a saint and a visionary. That which disturbs us is not a material effect, nor the fact of the 'imprisonment'; any film could create the same effect. No, it is the music, it is Beethoven himself. It is this 'nostalgia of liberty' he feels, or better, makes us feel; this is what moves us to tears. His Fidelio has more of the Mass than of the Opera to it; the sentiments it expresses come from the sphere of the sacred, and preach a 'religion of humanity' which we never found so beautiful or necessary as we do today, after all we have lived through. Herein lies the singular power of this unique opera.... Independent of any historical consideration ... the flaming message of Fidelio touches deeply.
We realize that for we Europeans, as for all men, this music will always represent an appeal to our conscience."

Where is the part about Beethoven's Mum?

Glenn

5:28 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

It's about a strong woman who comes as a savior.
It's my demeaning comment on Ludvig's somewhat childish personality.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

P.S.
A girlfriend would dump you if you got thrown in jail.
A wife would call a lawyer and try to get you out.
Only a mother would try to stage a jailbreak

8:59 AM  

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