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Leanne Ogasawara
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I just finished a wonder celebration of flowers by... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2019 at Borges' Library
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Ido chawan. Of the 26 registered heirloom --or meibutsu teabowls-- the one known as Kizaemon is considered to be the finest of all. It is thought to display all the greatest qualities of a work of fine art: dignity, beauty, composure and pedigree. In all probability, when it was "discovered,"... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at Borges' Library
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Today at the farmer's market was more peaches, white nectarines, tiny plums, and apricots--maybe the last refuge of the truly seasonal in America? These summer fruits are the only food I really can't find at other times of year. But it wasn't just peaches. There were colorful carrots, and heirloom... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at Borges' Library
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“Every era puts invisible shackles on those who have lived through it, and I can only dance in my chains.” ― Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at Borges' Library
My tea friends were forever teasing me because of my last name. Ogasawara is the name of a famous school of etiquette. So each time I did something clumsy --something that happened many, many times-- they always wondered how somehow of the Ogasawara clan could be so clueless! Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at Borges' Library
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“If every library is in some sense a reflection of its readers, it is also an image of that which we are not, and cannot be.” ― Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night Remember the days when invited into someone's home, you sometimes had a chance to poke around their... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at Borges' Library
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[First appeared at 3 Quarks Daily June 2016] By, Leanne Ogasawara When it comes to private art collections, not many places have the richness and diversity of Italy. Of course, Italy also has a few great national museums too. But that is not where one usually heads to find the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2019 at Borges' Library
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Despite what we all learned in grammar school, educated people from the ancient Greeks through the Middle Ages had taken the idea of spherical world quite seriously; with the real question by Columbus’ day being how large the oceans were that separated Europe from Asia. Not unlike the Goldilocks Zone... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2019 at Borges' Library
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[This was posted at Vox Nova on Monday. I really love that blog--this is my second post there.] It started off as another failed art pilgrimage. When I told our tour guide on our first day in Venice that I had come to see Titian's masterpiece, her face fell. Oh,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2019 at Borges' Library
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From The World of the Castrati: The History of an Extraordinary Operatic Phenomenon, by Patrick Barbier Unless you have attended a big religious ceremony in southern Italy, you cannot today understand the atmosphere of a theatrical evening performance in the eighteenth century. In the midst of the service you cans... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2019 at Musical Notes
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'See you at La Scala,' they say,” wrote Stendhal in 1817. And ever since Stendhal called it the finest opera house in the world, people have considered it to be the opera world's pinnacle. Constructed amidst tremendous turmoil- fires, earthquakes and battles (the Spanish and then the Austrians), it rose... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2019 at Musical Notes
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Don Giovanni or the spell of the charming bastard La Fenice, Venice June 18, 2019 Brooks asked me why I was so disappointed by Don Giovanni. I know she loves Mozart--maybe especially that opera. It is also GP's all-time favorite. Chris is likewise a Mozart maniac. Even though I am... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2019 at Musical Notes
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Art by Kevin McNamee-Tweed Very happy to see several of my Chieko Poem translations appearing in University of Iowa's journal of literary translations EXCHANGES See here. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2019 at Borges' Library
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Today was the last day of Caltech Women's Club Morning Bookclub for the 2018-2019 Year. My third year with the club, I am still not okay with an 8am bookclub! Though my whining for pushing our meetings back till 10 fell on deaf ears, we did read Towers of Trebizond... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Borges' Library
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Brooks Riley has written a stunning essay on Anselm Kiefer called Fire in the Attic at 3 Quarks Daily. Of the many things this unique thinker has brought into my world, Anselm Kiefer is one of the jewels. Chris asked, "How could we not have heard of Kiefer before this?"... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2019 at Borges' Library
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Picnics and dolls-- what's not to love about this ... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2019 at Borges' Library
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Note One (Relics): I said I found myself spellboun... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2019 at Borges' Library
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STAATSOPER.TV: "Otello" on 2 December 2018 Giuseppe Verdi Otello Sun, 2 December 2018, 7 pm (CET) Conductor: Kirill Petrenko Production: Amélie Niermeyer With Jonas Kaufmann (Otello), Anja Harteros (Desdemona), Gerald Finley (Iago) From Slipped Disc Brooks sent this Washington Post Review: Empowering the wife: ‘Otello’ as domestic drama This “Otello”... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2019 at Musical Notes
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Susan Orlean, in her latest bestseller, The Library Book, describes her fond memory of the piles and piles of library books of her childhood; those stacks of checked-out books forming totem poles of the narratives she had visited. I was quite taken by this description, as I too loved those... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2018 at Borges' Library
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Miami City Ballet (11/29/18 Dorothy Chandler Pavilion) I am not sure I have seen the Balanchine version before. How many times can you see the Nutcracker? A lot, I think! I was so totally enthralled by Miami City Ballet. The costumes and the sets by the Cuban-American husband and wife... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2018 at Musical Notes
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Renaissance: WATCH GUTH'S MESSIAH WITH BROOKS Lagrime di San Pietro: Director Peter Sellars/ JLA Master Chorale 2016 Disney Hall/Grant Gershon (Talk by Peter Sellars at All Saints Church) 2017 Disney Hall/ Jenny Wong 2018 Wallis Theater/Jenny Wong Best Review: Limelight (about show in Melbourne) To Brooks: Last night, we saw... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2018 at Musical Notes
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CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS' Samson et Dalila (October 2018) Dalila Elīna Garanča Samson Roberto Alagna High priest of dagon: Laurent Naouri ++ New York Times Review I absolutely loved the music of this opera. The choral parts in acts one and three, in particular, brought me to tears. Elina was sublime. (I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2018 at Musical Notes
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Verdi's Don Carlo (October 11, 2018/LA Opera) CAST Don Carlo: Ramón Vargas Elisabeth de Valois: Ana María Martínez Princess Eboli: Anna Smirnova Rodrigo, Marquis of Posa: Plácido Domingo King Philip II : Alexander Vinogradov The Grand Inquisitor Morris Robinson A glorious revival production, the Spanish Inquisition was in full swing.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2018 at Musical Notes
11/17/18 An email from Mark: I wouldn't recommend starting Wagner with Parsifal. Wagner isn't an opera writer, and especially Parsifal is problematic, giving the wrong impression if you don't have the background. In fact, going to Wagner as if it were opera will make you insane. Here is my idea... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2018 at Musical Notes