Monday, July 29, 2013

Mefistofele - Thursday noon Opera Videos on a Wide Screen

The Prologue opens in the nebulous regions of space, in which flaot the invisible legions of angels, Cherubs and seraphs, that, uniting with the celestial trumpets, lift their voices in a hymn of praise to the Supreme ruler of the universe.  Mefistofele enters on the scene at the close of the anthem, and standing erect amid the clouds, with his feet upon the border of his cloak, mockingly addresses the Deity.  In answer to the question from the Mystic Choir, "Knowest thou Faust?" he answers contemptuously, and offers a wager that we will entice him to evil, and thus gain a victory over the powers of Good.

That setting from Boito's Mefistofele (based on Goethe's Faust) provides a bracing opening to the Library's annual program of Thursday noon Opera Videos on a Wide Screen on August 1, 2013.

Annually, in association with the San Francisco Opera Guild, we introduce some of the works to be performed during upcoming San Francisco Opera series.  Each program features selected clips of previously filmed productions of operas to be presented by the San Francisco Opera in the coming year. Narration and commentary is provided by Opera Guild director George F. Lucas.

The August 1 program features a 2000 San Francisco Opera production of Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele with Samuel Ramey as Mefistofele, Gabriela Benacková as Margherita and Elena, Dennis O'Neill as Faust, and Judith Christin as Marta. The conductor is Maurizio Arena.  

Giuseppe Verdi's Falstaff will be presented on August 8 with a 2009 production from the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Bryn Terfel as Sir John Falstaff, Roberto Frontali as Ford, Barbara Frittoli as Alice Ford, Desirée Rancatore was Nannetta and Kenneth Tarver as Fenton. Bernard Haitink directs and Claudio Abbado conducts.

On August 15 we will screen excerpts from the Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner from a 1975 filmed version starring Donald McIntyre as Der Hollander, Catherina Ligendza as Senta, Bengt Rundgren as Daland, Hermann Winkler as Erik, Ruth Hesse as Mary, and Harald Ek as Stevermann, with Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting the Bavarian State Orchestra.

Excerpts from Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly will screened on August 22 featuring a 2011 production from the Metropolitan Opera with Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio-San, Maria Zifchak as Suzuki, Marcello Giordani as Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton, and Dwayne Croft as Sharpless. Patrick Summers is the conductor.

As the Opera Guild only presents four programs and August 2013 has five Thursdays, we will add a bonus program featuring a feature film version of Jerome Kern's Show Boat. This 1951 MGM production directed by George Sidney, stars Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel. This is in anticipation of the San Francisco Opera's performance of this classic of American musical stage in a "grand opera fashion" next summer.

Each screening begins at noon at the Koret Auditorium, Main Library, Lower Level.  The four preview programs will last approximately 60 minutes. Show Boat runs 107 minutes.  All programs at the Library are free and open to the public. This program is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.
The cover to our 1974 Angel 33 rpm vinyl recording of Mefistofele with Montserrat Caballé, soprano, Placido Domingo, tenor, Norman Treigle, bass, the Ambrosian Opera Chorus, a chorus of boys from the Wandsworth School Choir and the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Julius Rudel, conductor.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Searching for Images Class - Links

Below is a list of a number of the links discussed at the June 5, 2013 class Searching for Images presented by the Art, Music & Recreation Center of the San Francisco Public Library.

Image Resources at the Library:

The Art, Music and Recreation Dept.’s Print and Picture File: Information and File Headings [pdf format]

Images - links from the Art, Music and Recreation Center Delicious page

Camio - Catalog of Museum Images Online - a subscription database accessible in the Library, or by logging in with a library card and pin number.

San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection.

Resources From Other Libraries:

Calisphere - California-themed digital images

Library of Congress –Newspaper Photograph Morgues (a list).

Library of Congress – Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

New York Public Library Picture Collection Online

Government Websites:

Image Gallery from the United States Department of Agriculture.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library.

United States Department of Defense Multimedia.

United States Antarctic Program Photo Library.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library

Federal Emergency Management Agency Photo Library.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Images.

United States Geological Survey Photographic Library.

Search Engines and Websites:
Google Images. Once you have search results follow the “gear” /   and select Advanced Image Search. Here you can limit by image size, aspect ratio, colors in image, type of image, region, site or domain, safesearch, file type, usage rights.

Life Photo Archive Hosted by Google (available for non-commercial use).

Digital Librarian: Images - an exhaustive list of links.

Image * After - user-uploaded free images and textures.

stock.xchng - user-uploaded free stock imagery.

morgueFile - free high resolution stock imagery.

Wikimedia Commons - the online media database of the Wikipedia.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Highest Circulating Art, Music & Recreation Books From July 2012 Through the End of June 2013

We measure our collection's circulation according to the City's July-June fiscal year. The list of thirty titles below reflect the most popular books in the Art, Music & Recreation Center collection during those twelve months. 

The majority of the titles are celebrity memoirs, the most popular being those of comediennes and rockers.  There are also a few knitting and photography titles.  Books on fashion and distance running continue to be popular.

Here's a snapshot of what has been popular in the subjects of arts and recreation at the San Francisco Public Library.

Bossypants by Tina Fey (Little, Brown and Co., 2011).

Girl Walks Into A Bar--: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, And A Midlife Miracle by Rachel Dratch (Gotham Books, 2012).

The Truth About Style by Stacy London (Viking Adult, 2012).

Rod: The Autobiography by Rod Stewart (Crown Archetype, 2012).

My Mother Was Nuts: A Memoir by Penny Marshall (New Harvest/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012).

The Digital Photography Book: The Step-By-Step Secrets For How To Make Your Photos Look Like The Pro's!. Part 4 by Scott Kelby (Peachpit, 2012).

Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream by Neil Young (Blue Rider Press, 2012).

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen (Sarah Crichton Books, 2012).

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons (Ecco, 2012).

Twitch Upon A Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery by Herbie J. Pilato (Taylor Trade Pub., 2012).

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, And The Greatest Race The World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009).

Who I Am: A Memoir by Pete Townshend (Harper, 2012).

Kicking and Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock and Roll by Ann and Nancy Wilson (It Books, 2012).

Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith (Gotham Books, 2012).

Seriously-- I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres (Grand Central Pub., 2011).

The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest For The Courage to Settle Down by Andrew McCarthy (Free Press, 2012).

Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them by Frank Langella (Harper, 2012).

Life by Keith Richards (Little, Brown and Co., 2010).

The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, And My Father's Twentieth Century by Margaret Talbot (Riverhead Books, 2012).

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From The Sidewalk To The Catwalk, edited by Thierry-Maxime Loriot (Museum of Fine Arts in association with Abrams, New York, 2011).

Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco, 2010).

Lucky Me: My Life With--And Without--My Mom, Shirley MacLaine by Sachi Parker, Frederick Stroppel (Gotham Books, 2013).

Rita Moreno: A Memoir by Rita Moreno (Celebra, 2013).

Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter: Scaling Back In The 21st Century by Lloyd Kahn (Shelter Publications, 2012).

Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain by Betty Edwards (Tarcher/Penguin, 2012).

Knitting In Circles: 100 Circular Patterns For Sweaters, Bags, Hats, Afghans, and More by Nicky Epstein (Potter Craft, 2012).

Aran Knits: 23 Contemporary Designs Using Classic Cable Patterns by Martin Storey (St. Martin's Griffin, 2012).

Understanding Exposure: How To Shoot Great Photographs With Any Camera by Bryan Peterson (Amphoto Books, 2010).

The Soundtrack of My Life by Clive Davis (Simon and Schuster, 2013).

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012).