Mar 30, 2010


A drizzly, gray day in Cleveland? Why it's perfect for hauling giant slabs of wood!

I have mentioned before that we have a partnership with Philips Healthcare. They produce huge CAT and PET scanners, among other health care machines. Huge machines require huge boxes for shipping. Huge boxes require huge pieces of wood.

What happens to this wood after they are done shipping? That's where we come in. Our partnership saves some of this wood from hitting the landfill, and it provides us with great raw materials for building up stage sets. It also saves us money, and how can you go wrong with that?

So I accompanied the two Lisas and Sarah to Philips to pick up a load of wood. (And I mean, a load--I could build a VERY large chicken coop with it.)

Sarah is smiling because this pick up saved us over $3,000!!

Teaching the next generation how to be eco-friendly.

Kish should always drive with a chicken on her shoulder. Everyone should.


Mar 26, 2010


Opera Cleveland: entertainer, educator... INADVERTENT MATCHMAKER!

I just got word that singers Jason Hardy and Carrie Kahl are getting married, which is awesome. Even better: they met during our production of The Marriage of Figaro in September 2008. Jason played Figaro and Carrie donned the pants as Cherubino.

Jason recently proposed onstage in front of 2,000 people on opening night of another production of The Marriage of Figaro, in which they shared the stage. (see above)

If you think their story is as cute as I do, you can vote for them in Crate and Barrell's Ultimate Wedding contest here.

I feel warm and squishy inside.

(Ed.: Jason just called ME directly to give me the low-down. Turns out his proposal was just a week ago, so they are freshly minted fiances. And he was pretty sly about the proposal, arranging for Carrie to play the role of Barbarina at the last minute. She usually plays Cherubino. They don't have a date set yet, but are hoping the Ultimate Wedding contest can help two "starving artists" with that. There's only five days left to vote!)

Mar 23, 2010


Renee Fleming as Thais


The Celtic Woman?

Mar 22, 2010


Please excuse this interruption to my irregularly scheduled opera prattle for a glimpse at my little trip to lovely Milwaukee. Ok, ok, the only glimpse you actually get is of the Harley-Davidson Museum, but, really, what more do you need?

Our Board President Pauline giving me the what-for.

Will has found a new mode of commuting to the office. (I believe the correct term is "crotch rocket.")

Ha--chickens are everywhere! The opera...Harley-Davidson museums. (Watch out, we're coming for your children next.)

Mar 19, 2010


Ah, more relics from operas of yore. In our Great Warehouse Clean-out 2010, we snagged a box of old Cleveland Opera posters. (One of our predecessor companies.) Thought I'd share some:

Look! Hell's fiery hand has arthritis!

The opera has a vast prop collection of daggers, but I'm fairly certain we don't have a dagger adorned with a clown. It's like those pencils with cumbersome toppers, such as trolls, feathers and pom-poms. I like my pencils and daggers plain and simple, thank you very much.

I love this poster--but when was the opera? Sometimes you have to sacrifice art for content.

Mar 17, 2010


I have got an itch. The sort of itch Gold Bond just can't handle. (And, no, it's not from the wanton company I keep.) It's the itch for the opera season to begin. Perhaps it's the glimpses of spring we have been privy to lately, but I'm just like "c'mon, already! Get this show going!"

Alas, we've got two more months until Lucia di Lammermoor opens. So I must busy myself with other operatic goings-on in the area. Here's the scoop:
  • Tonight & this weekend: Oberlin Opera Theatre presents Candide.

  • Sunday, March 21: GO!, Generation Opera, heads to the Cedar Lee to see the HD broadcast of Il Trovatore.

  • Monday, March 22: Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater reprises highlights from its production of Ariadne auf Naxos through the Operatic Adventures program at 7 pm at Beachwood Library.

  • Saturday, March 27: Check your local movie theaters for showing of The Met's HD broadcast of Hamlet, featuring Simon Keenlyside.

Mar 10, 2010


It pays to be an eavesdropper. I'd do it just for the gossip, but occasionally I learn things. (Imagine that.) Such was the case a few weeks ago when I overheard the meeting between Lisa and Beau, the Business Recycling Specialist from the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.

While the office is fairly hip to recycling (as I mentioned in a previous post), there's always more we can do. And Beau gave us the what's what.

First of all, the county website has a bevy of information to help with your solid waste needs. (Don't go there--you know what I mean.) But here's some tidbits I overheard that are helpful for businesses and individuals:
  • In the city of Cleveland, you can recycle plastics #1-7. Unless you are a business with a recycling program, you do have to drop off recyclables.

  • There is no company in the region that recycles incandescent light bulbs. But you can--and should--recycle fluorescent bulbs because they contain mercury. You can bring them to Home Depot to do so.

  • There's also no company in Cuyahoga county that recycles styrofoam--because there's no end market for the material. Avoid it! (And, hence, avoid that awful sound styrofoam makes when it brushes against something. Eek.)

  • Aveda stores take bottle caps (from any bottles) to recycle. (These are a #5 plastic that many cities don't collect.)

  • Compost! So much of what gets trashed can easily go back into the earth--a win-win situation.

  • Before you considering tossing something you don't think can be recycled, think again. There may indeed be a business that accepts it in Cuyahoga County. Check out the numerous publications, detailing all of the options. We used the Recycling Directory for Business and Industry to find a company that would pick up a literal ton of paper at our warehouse to recycle.
It should go without saying--but I'm a verbose little chicken, so I'm going to say it anyway--that recycling is the last step in the life cycle of an item. Reduce your consumption first!

Mar 8, 2010


So much opera, so little time. Lately, that's been my mantra. And by "opera," I don't just mean the music, I mean all the work that goes into opera--which we're in thick of here.

So forgive me as I punt this post to some madness on YouTube. Take your pick of your favorite Lucia:

I know which one I prefer.

Mar 2, 2010


When we cleaned out the files in our old warehouse (see previous post), we found many treasures--along with a LOT of manila folders. I thought perhaps you wouldn't be so compelled by photos of said folders (don't hate on me, all you manila fetishists out there!) But I found the old issues of Opera News interesting--we found ones from the 1940s and 1950s, some of which feature cool illustrations on the covers.

I love how instead of generic headshots, the cast page features the singers in character. Cheesily in character, I might add.

Ah, patriotism--the greatest marketing tool, even for opera:

In the bowels of our warehouse, I discovered old programs from when the Met performed in Cleveland. While the company sporadically came to town since 1899, it regularly performed at Cleveland Public Auditorium starting in 1924. These programs are early on in that tenure--they're from 1925 and 1926, respectively.

One of the performances in 1926 was Lucia di Lammermoor:

(I have been inspired by The Sterling & Welch Co. ad above to create my own "Bureau of Suggestion." I think I have enough suggestions and opinions to fill a bureau, heh heh.)