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text 2018-02-09 17:54
Well, well, go figure ...

... who but Bonn Opera's very own Sumi Hwang got to perform the Olympic Hymn at today's opening ceremony in Pyong Chang?!

 

 

A short interview with her on the experience (in German) is here -- she talks about this being a once in a lifetime experience that she's now privileged to share with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Plaicido Domingo and Anna Netrebko, about how the freezing temperatures on the stadium's outdoor stage compelled her to wear heating pads all over her body underneath the traditional Korean dress in which she appeared, and about how her Greek colleague from Bonn Opera, baritone Giorgos Kanaris (alongside whom she is currently appearing, inter alia, in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro -- he's Count Almaviva, after having appeared as Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville a few years ago) helped her learn the words of the hymn in the original Greek, which was the language the Pyong Chang organizers insisted the performance to be in.

 

 

A few shots from Le Nozze di Figaro, ,which just opened a little less than 2 weeks ago (and yes, my mom and I were there) ...

 


Photos: Susanna (Sumi Hwang) with Figaro (Wilfried Zelinka), Count Almaviva (Giorgos Kanaris), Countess Almaviva (Anna Princeva), and with the Countess and young Cherubino (Kathrin Leidig)

 

The first performance in which I saw her in Bonn, and where she instantly blew the audience away, was as Almirena in Händel's Rinaldo, four years ago.

 

("Lascia ch'io piangia" -- the captive Almirena's aria)

 

I've been a fan of hers pretty much ever since -- so I was over the moon when she appeared on the Pyong Chang olympic stage today!

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review 2016-08-29 03:17
THE SUMMER GAMES: OUT OF BOUNDS by R. S. Grey
The Summer Games: Out of Bounds - R.S. Grey

Brie has made the Olympic gymnastic team and 2 months before the games Coach Winters is hospitalized. His son is chosen to take over from him. He is young and attractive and Brie has trouble staying away from him.

I enjoyed this story. I liked the alternate points of view between Brie and Erik. They are well defined characters with strong opinions. I like how they learn to be vulnerable and open up after many fights and misunderstandings. Once they are on the same page, it seems they are able to work together.

The secondary characters were fun. Lexi is educating them all. Rosie gets her first boyfriend at the Olympics. Molly has her first love at home waiting for her return. Erik's grandfather is cute.

The story is intense. It's well done and developed. I look forward to more books in this series.

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review 2016-07-31 09:47
The Great Sex Olympics of 221B - XistentialAngst

OK... now I have to watch the series... ;-)

 

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review 2016-06-15 12:21
Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics - Chris Grabenstein

Yes! Yes! I finished it! This was a struggle.

I loved, adored, the previous book. It had riddles, libraries, books, and so much more. This one however had terrible characters, it was boring, I found the way the kids (except for Kyle) knew everything EVERYTHING there was in the world if it was about books/libraries. It just didn't seem believable. I can imagine a few kids, but all of the kids? No.
I struggled to get through this book, really struggled, and I was delightful when I was done. The ending was a slight disappointment though.

All in all, I can't give this more than 1 stars. Because even with crap characters, and a boring olympics, there were still some fun parts.

Here is a list of things I hated and why:
First up characters:
-Let me start with the biggest hate of all:
Marjory.
Marjory, or the girl who just loves stomping on everyone and doesn't care if she hurts anyone's feelings. She thinks she is all that, but in fact there are enough things she doesn't know. Sadly, she keeps on preening, keeps on making harsh remarks, is a total bitch, and so so much more. I hated her guts from the moment she was introduced. And then when she started talking and gaining a bigger role I hated her even more. Dear Lord, this girl needs to get a reality check. Good job, you know a lot, good job you know how to organize, no need to be a bitch about it, OK?
-Second place goes *drum roll*:
The Chiltington family. Gosh, I already hated them in the previous book, but they really got on my nerve in this one. They were unreasonable, spoiled, and they really had some big screws missing in their heads.
I think I could go on about them, but I just won't. I don't want to waste my time on that piece of crap family.
-That librarian from the previous library. Dear Lord, can someone please erase her from the hologram program? She was just so frustrating. Instead of being a fun librarian, all she was doing was being overly paranoid.
-Kyley. He was pretty decent in the previous book, but I totally didn't like him one bit in this one. He was boring, annoying, a wimp, only cared about winning (and for stupid reasons), was totally a downer, and various other reasons.
-And lastly, I also have to give Mr. Lemoncello himself a place. The stuff he did in this book, how he just threw around his money, it just disgusted me.
*And now some story stuff that I didn't like:
-The olympics. I had expected something more, and also way more book-related, but some games just didn't seem to do with books, or only in a very roundabout way.
-The whole all the kids magically knew EVERYTHING about the library and every book in existence. *sighs*
-The ending.
-What happened to the end of olympics.

All in all, this was a book I was really looking forward too, but now I wish I just hadn't read it. This book clearly suffers from the second-book-in-a-series-syndrome.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

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review 2016-05-29 18:25
THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - Daniel James Brown
  This follows the 9 American boys who won Olympic gold in rowing in Berlin in 1936. None of them were raised in privileged homes. They were blue collar boys growing up during the Depression trying to find a better life through education at the University of Washington. They rowed and beat the best in the U. S. and took on the world in 1936 Berlin.

I enjoyed this story. I liked how the story is mainly about Joe Rantz's life. I liked the glimpses I got of the other rowers' lives. The author interwove the stories of the rowers, Joe, the U. S., and Germany together so I got a picture of what was happening concurrently. I have to wonder about the positioning of the race craft at the Olympics. I felt I was at the races each time. His descriptions were so vivid. This read as a novel.
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