Category Archives: Uncategorized

Nannerl Mozart at Royal and Desire

This is a thing that just happened, and these are words I need to see together:

Tonight I  saw a performance by a woman channeling Maria Anna Mozart (“Nannerl”) at a house named “Wonderland” at the corner of Royal and Desire streets in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Of course, she wasn’t really channeling Nannerl, or at least she didn’t claim to, but in a city full of ghosts it is so easy to believe Miss Mozart herself was present.

(Can I call her Nannerl? We certainly weren’t acquainted. Is that disrespectful? Maria Anna, then.)

But I have to talk about this show. I expected that a performance about the younger Mozart’s lesser-known sister would have to be good. That they even knew Mozart had a sister spoke volumes. I couldn’t have expected what I got. The young woman performing the lead (and only) role embodied Maria Anna so well that it could only have come from a deep pool of admiration and some connection to the real person she sought to evoke when she put on that dress and pouffed up that hair. After the show I asked her fellow player (who switches the role with her at different performance times) who wrote the piece. The actress, Sylvia Milo, was the writer, her partner told me, and she’d “been playing it for years.”

Be still, my heart, another nerd of the 18th century variety.

You can see it, too, if you’re in New Orleans for this year’s Fringe Fest, but be quick, for it’s only got the lifespan of a weekend. If you have the misfortune to be in some other, frozen clime, then look to http://www.theothermozart.com/upcoming-performances for your next best chance. It would appear she travels all over.

Like all savvy modern artists, she and her co-conspirators have a crowdfunding site at https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=4624#giving_levels, and at one level you receive a handmade music box with original music from the play. May I remind you all that Christmas is upon us, and that music box would look and sound nice in my home…

Advertisements

The Declaration of Independence as Self Help

“…all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Woah, TJ. Heavy.

(source)

“Let them eat cake”

I thought it was best to put this rant in one convenient place to be linked in the future. You’re welcome!

Marie Antoinette was many things and not always blameless, but she never said, “Let them eat cake” (“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”). I can. not. abide when people say that she did.

The saying originated (in print) with Jean Jacques Rousseau in Les Confessions [handy Google books link to the page here] as something once said by a “great Princess.” Some think he was quoting Marie Thérèse (queen to Louis XIV), but my gut tells me that that’s as much a myth as attributing it to Marie Antoinette.

Marie Antoinette and her dresses and pearls were not to blame for France’s ills – you can thank decades of nonstop war waged by Louises XIV and XV for that – but Antoinette was a woman and a foreigner, hated by the French, and all that made her an easy target.

Go home, Tennessee history, you’re drunk

From John Sevier’s (Tennessee’s first governor) Wikipedia entry:

“Following his inauguration, [John] Sevier encountered [Andrew] Jackson in Knoxville, and an argument ensued in which Sevier accused Jackson of adultery for his marriage to Rachel Donelson. An enraged Jackson challenged Sevier to a duel, which Sevier accepted. The duel was to take place at Southwest Point, but Sevier’s wagon stalled at Campbell’s Station en route to the duel. As Jackson returned to Knoxville, he encounted Sevier’s entourage. The two loudly exchanged insults, and Sevier’s horse ran away, carrying his pistols. Jackson pointed his pistol at Sevier, who hid behind a tree. Sevier’s son pointed his pistol at Jackson, and Jackson’s second pointed his pistol at Sevier’s son. Members of both parties managed to resolve the incident before bloodshed took place.”

It will never not be hilarious how many of this country’s founding fathers either killed each other or tried to in duels. Some of them were a little more competent than this, though.

Armistice

But it’s never really Armistice, is it? One war ends for a moment while another war goes on someplace else, and eventually the old war picks up again. So we call it Veteran’s Day instead. BritCem16 BritCem19 BritCem2 from the Bayeux War Cemetery, Bayeux, France, 2005 In the two World Wars, they came from everywhere, high- and low-born, as it were. CollevilleCemWestVirginia CollevilleCemSpectorStarDavid CollevilleCemTedRoosJr from Coleville-sur-Mer cemetery, Basse Normandie, France, 2005 There wasn’t enough left of some to be buried at all, and so the place where they died stands as their only monument. For some, we will never know their names. PointeDuHoc4 from Point du Hoc, Basse Normandie, France, 2005. (Those are craters from the bombs.) OmahaBeach5 Omaha Beach, Basse Normandie, France, 2005  HomageAuxCombatantsVoluntaires Rue de la Huchette, Paris, France, 2005 Some fell on the wrong side of history and are forgotten by their countrymen. GermanWWIIGraves2 Melaten Cemetery, Cologne, Germany, 2005 It’s hard to make sense of it all. I think of Pvt. Ranson often, especially on days like today, and I worry what became of his parents after he was gone.

The SomeDaily – 2013-08-15

For all the time I’ve spent in Bristol, I’ve wondered how the King (Clothing) Manufacturing Co. stayed in business. The New York Times tells us how. It’s crazy! And it’s the happiest story I’ve read all day.

Chambre 666: Wim Wenders asked a few directors the question, “Is cinema a language about to get lost, an art about to die?” and filmed their responses in a Cannes hotel room in 1982. Starring Jean-Luc Godard and his cigarette, barefoot Werner Herzog, and a tree outside the Paris airport.

“We all know that money is short. This is 1982.”

Here’s some Erik Satie. Now go to bed.

The SomeDaily – 2013-08-14

A not-every-daily feature to help keep track of the days…

New Orleans City Council prepares to discuss a report on the city’s “soundscape” and recent bizarre enforcement of sound ordinances on places like Frenchmen Street. Suggests requiring permits for street musicians.

Oh, and the powers that be are trying to do away with go-cups.

If you haven’t already seen this (and it’s been linked about everywhere by now), Todd Andrlik has compiled the 1776 ages of all your favorite American Revolutionaries at his excellent site Journal of the American Revolution.

And, returning to the dirty south, another article in the same Web journal specs out a meal in Bernardo de Galvéz’s New Orleans (complete with recipes).

Onward and upward.