Friday, October 5, 2007

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Can you really say 'a night at the Opera' even if you didn't watch an Opera but a ballet instead? I guess so. Anyways...


Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" was on at Rome's Opera Theatre. Quite a beautiful place. The Theatre goes back to 1880 - It's got a beautiful dome painting and an amazing chandelier. If you are visiting Rome, see what's on. It's worth the visit.

Sleeping Beauty - the second of Tchaikovsky's 3 ballets - was on. The show starred Carla Fracci who is an icon in the
Italian ballet scene. As the four acts progressed I could not help but to think that what was unfolding before me - the dazzling colours of the scenes, the costumes and the live music - was the equivalent of our modern-day TV some 100 years ago. The theatre was the people's place back then. Shows were written for fun & entertainment. People went and cried at tragedies, laughed at the opera buffa and wanted to believe in the fairy tales they were watching. It surely requires a bit more brain power to appreciate a show than it does to zombily zap thru 678 channels of cable TV.

Along this line, though, I also appreciated how people's perception has become snappier today because of TV and the internet. We have so much at our fingertips. Information is all around us. We communicate and learn to express all our thoughts in an SMS or email. So much so that whenever something comes our way requiring extended attention periods (i.e. Sleeping Beauty) we just... fall into mental drowsiness or lose interest.

At least that's how I felt whenever I started to doze off on the last act. I have to admit it. Don’t get me wrong: I was completely into the music. It was the abundant succession of many slow pieces that distracted me and ultimately nearly turned me into the sleeping beau.

Whenever I write a ballet - one of my goals for the latter part of 2008 - I am going to make sure that as the evening advances, the musical tempo is energizing and involving. Yawn...

All in all, the highlight of Tchaikovsky score still remains the famous "Waltz". Lovely and delightful. But not up par with The Nutcrackers waltz. Or so me thinks!

As far as my upcoming ballet – what story would you like to see coming alive with dance & music? Send me an email with your thoughts. I am still considering options and would love to hear back from you!

Ciao from Christian

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Monday, October 1, 2007

THE MIGHTY APPLE iPOD

Apple just launched their new line of iPods - probably the coolest and sleekest ever. And (another) industry first - the 160GB iPod. Apple was the first (and only) to give people the thrill of walking around with 20,000 tracks in your pocket with their 80GB iPod.

Now with the 160GB Big Brother, you can have 40.000 tracks in 5.7 ounces (162 grams) and literally fit that into yoru pocket. The ultra-cool Anodized aluminium and polished stainless steel enclosure rocks! How do I know? Ehm... I'm looking at what's in my pocket as I write this! :)

And now some math: If you think of an average of 15 tracks per CD, my calculator tells me I'll be able to store 2666 CD's. I looked at my collection and I probably have only 100. For sure not more than 150 anyways! Guess it's time to hop on iTunes and download some stuff!

By the way, my CD is currently being sold on iTunes. Click here to download it from iTunes. And if you already own the CD (if you purchased it elsewhere) did you know you can leave listeners comments on the iTunes CD page? Thanks in advance for yoru positive feedback.

And now - back to the iPod!

Christian

http://www.calcatelli.com

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD ANNIVERSARY

Three years ago (more or less at this hour) I finished playing a unique concert which would have eventually been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's (only) longest solo music internet broadcast.

It was different from any other previous attempts in that, instead of playing from sheet music, I stepped it up by improvising the whole 60 hours. It wasn't always easy since several thousands were always watching at any given time so the material had to be good. Somehow, though, my hands just kept playing new music. Of course recurring themes did pop out now & again. There are two that are special to me and can be heard in the downloadable CD.

That's right - after the fact was accomplished I took up another project worthy of a record of its own - listening to ALL the 60 hours of audio recordings (twice!) with a view to selecting material for two CDs. I sell these through my site. So, please click here for samples & support! :)

If instead you are wondering - and I know you are - how i went to the toilet during 60 hours of piano playing, diapers or catheters is not the answers! Click here to find out!