Sunday, October 25, 2015

The World of Film and Opera - La Bohème

According to one view, La Boheme may be the world’s most famous opera. San Francisco Public Library’s Art&Music&Recreation Department is pleased to continue its partnership with the Merola Opera Program and screen La Boheme on November 15, 2015, as part of Merola Goes to theMovies series. 

Based on a novel, the opera was composed by Giacomo Puccini as it opened in Turin in February 1, 1896. The popularity of La Boheme eclipsed Puccini’s earlier operatic works.
The Romanian-born Austrian Director Robert Dornhelm directed the opera for the film version on the composer’s 150th birth anniversary. Often referred to as the golden couple of the opera, Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko play the protagonists, Rodolfo and Mimi, of La Boheme.

The opera opens with a poet (Rodolfo), a musician, a painter, and philosopher sharing a tiny hole in Paris’ Latin Quarter. The young Mimi, the neighbor, suffers from tuberculosis. Rodolfo and Mimi fall in love before things get complicated, with tragedy at the end. 

San Francisco Public Library carries in its collection several books, not to mention DVDs and CDS,  with regards to the opera La Boheme which will interest readers should they want to learn more about the world of opera, the legendary composer Puccini, and the world of La Boheme.

We suggest the following titles:

Letters of Giacomo Puccini: Mainly Connected with the Composition and Production of his Operas (Harrap, 1974).

Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas by Brian Castles-Onion (Metro, 2009).

Puccini: His Life and Works by Julian Budden (Oxford University Press, 2002).

Puccini Without Excuses: A Refreshing Reassessment of the World's Most popular Composer by William Berger (Vintage Books, 2005).

The Romantic World of Puccini: A New Critical Appraisal of the Operas by Iris J. Arnesen (McFarland & Co., 2009).

10 Operatic Masterpieces, designed by Merle Armitage; text by Olin Downes (Broadcast Music; G. Ricordi; Charles Scribner's Sons, 1952).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater

A book reading and signing with Carey Perloff, the artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater

"With more than 20 years at the helm of a cultural legacy, Perloff's personal and professional journey, her life as a woman, a wife and mother, a playwright, director, producer, arts advocate, and citizen in a city erupting with enormous change is a compelling, entertaining story for anyone interested in how theater gets made, and its role in our future"-- provided by publisher, City Lights

Come hear the A.C.T.'s artistic director, Carey Perloff, read excerpts from her new book Beautiful Chaos: a life in the theater.  There will be a Q&A session and book signing after the reading. Books will be available for purchase through Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Latino Hispanic Community Meeting Room
Main Library - Lower Level

All programs at the Library are free. Supported by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Monday, October 5, 2015

know your SFPL call numbers - 795 "Games of Chance"

image source: Facts and Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards, by William Andrew Chatto (J. R. Smith, 1848).

Within the broader subject of recreation there is a specific Dewey Decimal number for games of chance.  These include dice games, wheel games, counter games, and card games.

Here is a fine breakdown of the call number 795.

795 - Gambling -- this number also includes casino gambling (some older books on other games of chance were classed here before the call number was broken down into decimal divisions); includes works focused on betting systems and odds (795.01).

795.1 - Games with dice -- including craps (795.12), and backgammon (795.15).  Although board games frequently employ dice, they are usually given a indoor games of skill - 794 - call number.

795.2 - Wheel and top games -- including pinball, roulette (795.23), and slot machines (795.27).

795.3 - Games dependent on drawing numbers or counters - including bingo, dominoes and pai gow (795.32), mah jong (795.34), and lotteries (795.38).

795.4 - Card games -- there are books that are vast compendiums of card games as well as numbers for specific games including poker (795.412), contract bridge (795.415), blackjack (795.423), and solitaire (795.43).  Card tricks were formerly found in 795.43, but are now located with magic books (795.85).