Thursday, June 30, 2011

Superyacht Cleopatra C up for Sale

The 57 metre Cleopatra C was built in 1985 by Amels in Makkum, Holland. She is designed by the late Jon Bannenberg, with naval architecture by Diana Yacht Design. She features a bright interior, and an unusual layout, which places the crew accommodation aft on the lower deck, where one would normally find the guest accommodation. Guests on board Cleopatra C are located forward of the centrally placed engine room, and the owner's stateroom is on the bridge deck. Cleopatra C is currently being offered for sale, with an asking price of € 13,000,000, through Camper & Nicholsons.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Being Cleopatra: Tess Malis Kincaid

Tess Malis Kincaid being Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare with Georgia Shakespeare in Atlanta, GA running from June 23 2011 - July 22, 2011.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Debbie Reynolds Costume Auction

Marilyn Monroe dress goes for $4.6 million at Debbie Reynolds' memorabilia auction

AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Marilyn Monroe dress that flirted revealingly with a gust of New York subway air in "The Seven Year Itch" fetched a record $4.6 million at an auction of film memorabilia.

A more sedate outfit worn by Audrey Hepburn in the Ascot race scene of "My Fair Lady" drew a $3.7 million bid at the sale of nearly 600 Hollywood costumes and props collected by film star Debbie Reynolds.

The buyers, who were not identified, also paid a sum to the auction house and other fees, according to auction publicity firm Nancy Seltzer & Associates. That brought the total price to more than $5.6 million for the Monroe costume and $4.5 million for the black-and-white gown worn by Hepburn.

The total was $22.8 million, according to auction house Profiles in History.

"I'm thrilled beyond words. This first auction shows that our great stars were loved by the world," Reynolds said. She plans to part with more with items later this year.

In filmmaker Billy Wilder's "The Seven Year Itch," Monroe's character cooled off by standing over a subway grate to catch the breeze as a train sped underneath - which sent her dress north and exposed a shocking amount of leg and undergarment for a 1955 movie.

The costume's price set two records, according to Profiles in History: It surpassed the $1.26 million paid for the dress Monroe wore when she sang "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy, and it became the most expensive film costume sold.

That honor had belonged to Hepburn's black dress from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," which sold for $923,000, the auction house said.

More modest but still impressive bids at Saturday's auction in Beverly Hills and online included $540,000 for a Grace Kelly costume from "To Catch a Thief," $140,000 for a guitar used by Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music" and $100,000 for a "Cleopatra" headdress that adorned Elizabeth Taylor.

Reynolds, 79, started collecting four decades ago at auctions held by major film studios, including MGM and Fox, and eventually acquired 3,500-plus items.

The auction meant the end of a dream for Reynolds, who starred as a teenager with Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" and was an Oscar nominee for "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

Reynolds' combined casino-hotel and memorabilia museum in Las Vegas closed and she had planned to relocate the museum to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Last year, Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, said the project had to file for bankruptcy protection and the collection would be sold to satisfy creditors.

Reynolds, who still performs in nightclubs and theaters and remains the petite, pretty blonde who captured Kelly's heart in their 1952 musical, expressed regret in an interview last week. But she looked on the bright side as well.

"I won't have so many children to take care of," she said, "so I won't have quite so much responsibility and I can rest a little more."

More items are to be auctioned in December.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cleopatra's Voice: Paolo Litta

La morte di Cleopatra by Paolo Litta (May 7, 1871 Stockholm, Sweden - May 8, 1931 Fiesole, Italy)

Paolo Litta was a Swedish composer and pianist. While there is almost no information on him, one thing is for sure, his International lifestyle is definitely reflected in his eclectic compositional style.

Litta was born to Italian father, Balserino Litta, and Swedish mother, Dorotea Carolus. At the age of 23, he did his debut concert in Paris, France and was acclaimed as an "excellent performer." He studied Geneva, Switzerland and Brussels, Belgium. Litta may have studied with Franco-Belgian teacher César Franck (1822-1890) since Litta's compositional style seems to adopt some of the principles of the beginnings of avant guard music. He also regularly used Leit Motiv, a compositional tool developed by Wagner, in his works. In Le ménétrier la Mort he even marked all the Leit Motivs alongside a description of the emotion that it represents. It seems that Litta tried to create a new genre of music: the choreographic chamber music.

He seemed to have spent a certain amount of time in Belgium, but there are traces of his passage also in France, Germany and a significant of time in Florence, Italy. In 1900 Paolo Litta married the Florentine soprano Ida Isori (1875-1926) and the couple settled in Fiesole. Together, they founded the Florence musical society called Libera Estetica which was a publishing company as well as a performing organization that gave frequent concerts. This may have been inspired by the La libre esthétique of Brussells, Belgium where Litta had studied in his formative years as a composer. It was located on 3, Via Michele di Lando (now the elegant Hotel Villa Carlotta). In 1900 Litta was also appointed professor for the advanced classes of piano at the Imperial Conservatory in Moscow, Russia, however the duration of this position is unknown. In September of 1913 they published the L'Aria ancienne: Ida Isori et son Art du "Bel-Canto" and a compilation of 24 early Italian arias. Ten years later, the couple also started the Scuola di Bel Canto in Florence.

He settled in Fiesole until he died of liver cancer on May 8, 1931, just one day past his 60th birthday. In honor of Litta's contribution to music in Florence, the Biblioteca dell'Università Popolare di Firenze established the Biblioteca Paolo Litta which is still in use today.

La morte di Cleopatra is a cantata for soprano and orchestra. It was premiered in Rome on January 1, 1914 by his wife and was also dedicated to her. The text was inspired by Shakespeare and the libretto was written by Litta himself in French, German and Italian.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being Cleopatra: Vittoria Tesi

Vittoria Tesi ("La Fiorentina") (Florence, 13 Feb 1700 – 9 May 1775 in Vienna) was an Italian opera singer and music teacher of the 18th century. Her vocal range was that of a contralto.Her operatic career began with performances at Parma and Bologna in 1716. By 1718 she was virtuosa di camera for the Prince of Parma at Venice. The year later she was at Dresden, singing for Antonio Lotti alongside Senesino and Margherita Durastanti. By 1721 she was back in Italy for the Florentine Carnival, and for the next 26 years travelled Europe, with performances in Madrid and possibly Frankfurt. Italy, however, was the nation where she spent most of her time, dividing the years between the various cities. Her career peaked in the late 1730s and 1740s, when she sang alongside such singers as Caffarelli; in 1744 she took the title role in Gluck's Ipermestra and did the same in 1748 in his Semiramide riconosciuta, set to a libretto by Metastasio. This performance persuaded Metastasio of her merits, although previously he had been unenthusiastic, calling her a "grandissima nullità".After successful performances in Niccolò Jommelli's Achille in Sciro and Didone abbandonata (1749), both set to Metastasian libretti, Tesi began to retire from the stage. In 1751 she became costume director at the Viennese court, where she remained for many years, teaching music as a particular favourite of Countess Maria Theresia Ahlefeldt. Among her students were Caterina Gabrielli and Elisabeth Teyber, and she is known to have met not only Casanova but also Mozart and his father. Ange and Sarah Goudar called her "perhaps the first actress who recited well while singing badly", while both Charles Burney and Quantz also praised her acting ability.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cleopatra's Voice: Roya Sabeti

Roya Sabeti, the photographer for Cleopatra's Voice.

Roya Sabeti has been recognized for her photographic achievements. She has an eye for detail, lighting, design, and a style that allows her to create images tailored to the needs of her clients.

Her awards include:

-Special award Laguna College of Art and Design
-Best of show 3 years in a row Orange County Fair
-14 first place awards Orange County Fair
-Children of the World Photography exhibit Mission Viejo Library
-Photography exhibit Huntington Beach Art Center
-Photography exhibit Neighborhood Cup
-Photography exhibit Frank J. Doyle Art Gallery

Click here to see Roya Sabeti's portfolio:

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Being Cleopatra: Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe being Cleopatra in a 1957 photo shoot recreatment of the Theda Bara's version of Cleopatra. A Life magazine spread photographed by Richard Avedon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cleopatra's Voice goes to Alaska

Crystal Cruises: June 14-26
San Francisco - Alaska - Canada
Selections from Cleopatra's Voice will be performed in recital setting on board Crystal Cruises.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

William Vendice, the pianist for Cleopatra's Voice.

Conductor William Vendice was Head of Music Staff and Chorus Master at Los Angeles Opera from 1995 to 2007. At Los Angeles Opera, Maestro Vendice has conducted performances of Norma, La Bohème, Hänsel und Gretel, Madama Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, Aida, Tosca, La Traviata and Die Zauberflöte. Prior to his return to his native California, Maestro Vendice was a member of the conducting staff at the Metropolitan Opera where he debuted in 1983 with The Barber of Seville. While at the Met, he also conducted Lucia di Lammermoor, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Porgy and Bess, L'italiana in Algeri, and the Finals Concert of the Metropolitan National Auditions. He served on the Metropolitan Opera Education committee for eight years and was a well-known accompanist and panelist for Texacos Opera Radio Quiz during the Mets Saturday afternoon broadcasts. He also appeared regularly on the nationally syndicated radio program, First Hearing. Maestro Vendice has conducted internationally at Berlin's Theater des Westens, Hamburg Opera, Puerto Rico Opera, Banff Festival, Israel Opera Institute, the Perelada Festival in Barcelona, and with the Winterthur Orchestra in Switzerland. In the U.S. he has led Eugene Opera, New England Lyric Opera, Chatauqua Opera, Hollybush Festival in New Jersey, the San Francisco Opera Mozart Festival and was Music Director of Western Opera Theater for the San Francisco Opera. Maestro Vendice has been assistant conductor at Houston Grand Opera, Opera Company of Boston, Santa Fe Opera, Venices La Fenice and Grand Théâtre de Genève. He has accompanied many distinguished recitalists, including Nicolai Gedda, Renata Scotto, Catherine Malfitano, Hermann Prey and Sumi Jo.

One of the nations outstanding vocal coaches, William Vendice is equally well known in the field of vocal education. He was Music Director of University of Southern California Opera from 1992 to 1995 and Music Director of UCLA Opera from 1996 to 2004. He succeeded Henry Lewis as Music Director for Opera Music Theater International of New Jersey, the program Jerome Hines created to help young artists.

He has judged for the Met auditions in many cities throughout the U.S. as well as for the Spotlight Awards and Bel Canto Society Awards. He was a guest coach for San Francisco Operas Merola Program during the 2010 session and also gave a public Master Class for the programs participants in Herbst Hall.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tennessee State Museum free lectures

The Tennessee State Museum will present a free summer lecture series on Ancient Egypt:

Saturday, June 18: Museum, Level B
10:15 a.m. – Cecil B. DeMille’s 1934 version of Cleopatra starring Claudette Colbert
12:30 p.m. – The 1963 epic production of Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison

Saturday, July 16, 1pm-4pm: Museum, Level D & B
"Egyptian Family Activity Day" presented by Nashville Parent. Visitors will learn about the process of mummification through examination of a real mummy and will explore the lives of ancient Egyptians. Other activities will include arts, crafts,and hands-on activities. Tutenstein cartoons will be shown.

Sunday, July 24, 2pm-4pm: Museum, Level B
A power-point presentation of "Herakleides: A Portrait Mummy from Roman Egypt" by Dr. Lorelei Corcoran from the Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology of the University of Memphis

Sunday, August 28, 2pm-4pm: Museum, Level B
A lecture, “Pharaohs & the Patriarchs (and Matriarchs) of Israel,” presented by Jack M. Sasson, Ph.D., Mary Jane Werthan Professor of Judaic and Biblical Studies, Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cleopatra's Voice Recording Session

Here is a little clip of Hasse's Morte col fiero aspetto from the recording session for Cleopatra's Voice

Yesterday I finished a 6 hour recording session for Cleopatra's Voice. It was recorded at Symphony Hall at the Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, CA with sound engineer Scott Collins and pianist William Vendice. Cleopatra's Voice is almost here!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cleopatra Lecture at Sierra College, CA

Cleopatra: Myth and Reality
Charlayne D. Allan, Lecturer Emerita, University of California, Davis
Friday, June 10, 7:30 p.m.
Sierra College Tahoe-Truckee Campus
11001 College Trail, Truckee, CA 96161
No charge. Space is limited so please reserve your seat by calling 530-550-2290

Since her death in 30 BC, the image of Cleopatra VII, last queen of Egypt, has been re-imagined and re-shaped, in large measure reflecting the time and culture that produced these divergent images. To the Romans of her era, she was a sexual temptress who led good men astray; to the medieval Chaucer, the model of a good wife; to Shakespeare, the heroine of a memorable love story; to Renaissance artists, a helpless (usually nude and swooning) victim; to twentieth century film-makers, a beautiful and playful coquette.

Who was this most famous woman of antiquity? Professor Charlayne Allan will guide us through an illustrated lecture to explore the reality and dispel some of the myths that surrounded Cleopatra–even in her own lifetime.

About Charlayne Allan:
Charlayne Allan is passionate about all topics related to the Ancient Greek and Roman World, with special interest in Latin, Mythology, and Women in Antiquity. She retired from the UC Davis Classics Department in June 2005, concluding a teaching career of 35 years. She continued to work part-time for the next two years, teaching Latin at UNR, as well as at the Davidson Academy, a public school for gifted students on the UNR campus. She and her husband, a UCD retired professor of geography, now divide their time between Reno and their cabin in Tahoe Donner. At UCD and previously at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, she taught Latin, classical mythology, and literature courses in English translation. At both universities, she introduced courses on women in the ancient world, one of her major areas of research and teaching.

Allan holds a BA in Classics from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky and an MA in Latin from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

About the Dean’s Lecture Series:
The Dean’s Lecture Series is a special program selected by the Dean of the Truckee-Tahoe campus of Sierra College to celebrate lifelong learning. Dean Kimberly Bateman selected Experts & Insights as the Dean’s Lecture Series for 2009/10 to showcase local academic talent and to thank the community for their support of the new Truckee campus. Due to an outstanding response, filling the classroom at each event, Experts & Insights will continue as the Dean’s Lecture Series for 2010/11.

Experts & Insights offers an opportunity for intellectual exchange across a range of scholarly subjects and issues. Each month, a different professor will present a fascinating look at his or her research-based study using a variety of teaching methods including lecture, discussion, character enactment, slides, music and other state of the art technology.

This program is offered to the community at no charge, thanks to the generosity of Sierra College and the Experts & Insights faculty.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Shortage of Cleopatra cigarettes leaves Egyptian smokers fuming

Egyptian Smokers stocking up before tobacco tax hike
By Ashraf Sadek - The Egyptian Gazette
Wednesday, June 1, 2011 03:34:17 PM

CAIRO - Fuming smokers are stockpiling cigarettes ahead of a record tobacco tax rise that the Government has set to go into effect shortly, Cairo kiosk owners said on Wednesday.

"Retailers are making the most of the buying frenzy in the build up to what will be a more than 70 per cent tax rise for some brands as the government has raised cigarette tax ," Hassan el-Sayyed said. An acute shortage of Cleopatra cigarettes has compelled many frustrated smokers to buy different brands, which they never liked before.

"Retailers are making the most of the buying frenzy in the build up to what will be a more than 10 per cent tax rise for some brands as the government has raised cigarette tax ," Hassan el-Sayyed said.

An acute shortage of Cleopatra cigarettes has compelled many frustrated smokers to buy different brands, which they never liked before.

El-Sayyed said that smokers have started stocking upon packs of cigarettes in Cairo, a city that is considered a smokers ' haven because it allows smoking in public places except for the cinema houses and the metro stations.

"There is a rush for buying and stocking up cigarettes that started when the Government announced its plan to raise tobacco taxes by 10 per cent on Wednesday," Om Saber, another kiosk owner in the eastern Cairo district of Hadayek el-Kobba, said.

The rush began also after the Government increased the prices of local brands by 50 piasters last week, Om Saber said, adding that she could not expand her cigarette stock because the Eastern Tobacco Company, which dominates the country's cigarette market , stopped providing her shop with its daily ratio of the Cleopatra brand since Monday.

The hike has also led to an increase in the sales of water-pipe tobacco, popularly known as meaassil, because its price has remained the same, Om Saber said.

"People can't afford such prices," says Haj Amin as a small crowd gathered around him, expressing outrage over the tax increase and lashing out at the Government.

Ahmed el-Nadi, a customer, warned that there would be an " explosion " if the Government continued to raise prices .

At a cafe house, which have become a central feature of Hadek el-Kobba, the shisha-loving customers have joined forces in criticising the new rise, saying that the price of one bowl of apple or honey-scented tobacco could be doubled too.

"The Government should solve the problems of electricity, drinking water and unemployment . This new tax on tobacco products should be last on its list," complained Nadia, a 45-year-housewife, who said she smokes at least three bowls of shisha, the famous Egyptian smoking device, each night.

"The shisha smokers can not afford the new prices," she said , adding that she sees smoking as relief from the daily grind either at home, or in the street.

The Government has authorised the company, to raise the prices of cigarettes by around 50, or 75 piasters per pack of 20.

The price of popular brand Cleopatra Box his risen from LE5 to LE5.50 per pack since last week. With the new 10 per cent increase in tobacco tax, the Government hopes to eventually raise the prices to reach the same prices of cigarettes in Europe and North America.

The move was proposed by Health Minister Dr Ashraf Hatem to discourage smoking specially among the nation's youth.

Ahmed Sobbh, a mass communication student attending a private university in the 6th of October City, complained that he had paid LE10 for a pact of locally manufactured foreign brand after the increase.

"The increase now, or in the future will not stop me from smoking specially during the days of the final exams that make each student tense," Ahmed said, adding that the hike is also encouraging cigarette buying instead of dissuading young smokers.

Maha, another female student who smokes a pack a day , said that she had stashed 3 cartons after the price hike, also costing around LE225. She said she wouldn't stop smoking even if the price rose to LE7.50 a pack.

"I will expand my stock in advance to last during the final examinations and keep it all in the refrigerator," she said, adding that the examination season makes her nervous and under pressure all day long .

But the price hike has also helping some smokers kick the habit. Journalism professor Laila M said that she would give up after the price hike.

"The margin of price increase is larger this time. I have decided to quit because of its impact on my pocket," she said, while dragging a puff from her cigarette.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Being Cleopatra: Dreya Weber

Aerialist Dreya Weber being Cleopatra in Hail Caesar! from May 26, 2011-August 28, 2011 at the 100 year-old European cabaret tent, Teatro Zinzanni in Seattle.

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