Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U. S. federal government, after the President of the United States, ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The Vice President is an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote; the Vice President presides over joint sessions of Congress. The Vice President is indirectly elected together with the President to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, ratified in 1967, created a mechanism for intra-term vice presidential succession, establishing that vice presidential vacancies will be filled by the president and confirmed by both houses of Congress. Whenever a vice president had succeeded to the presidency or had died or resigned from office, the vice presidency remained vacant until the next presidential and vice presidential terms began.
The Vice President is a statutory member of the National Security Council, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The Office of the Vice President organises the vice president's official functions; the role of the vice presidency has changed since the office was created during the 1787 constitutional Convention. Over the past 100 years, the vice presidency has evolved into a position of domestic and foreign policy political power, is now seen as an integral part of a president's administration; as the Vice President's role within the executive branch has expanded, his role within the legislative branch has contracted. The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch; the modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress.
Mike Pence of Indiana is the current Vice President of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. No mention of an office of vice president was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until near the end, when an 11-member committee on "Leftover Business" proposed a method of electing the chief executive. Delegates had considered the selection of the Senate's presiding officer, deciding that, "The Senate shall choose its own President," and had agreed that this official would be designated the executive's immediate successor, they had considered the mode of election of the executive but had not reached consensus. This all changed on September 4, when the committee recommended that the nation's chief executive be elected by an Electoral College, with each state having a number of presidential electors equal to the sum of that state's allocation of representatives and senators; the proposed presidential election process called for each state to choose members of the electoral college, who would use their discretion to select the candidates they individually viewed as best qualified.
Recognizing that loyalty to one's individual state outweighed loyalty to the new federation, the Constitution's framers assumed that individual electors would be inclined to choose a candidate from their own state over one from another. So they created the office of vice president and required that electors vote for two candidates, requiring that at least one of their votes must be for a candidate from outside the elector's state, believing that this second vote could be cast for a candidate of national character. Additionally, to guard against the possibility that some electors might strategically throw away their second vote in order to bolster their favorite son's chance of winning, it was specified that the first runner-up presidential candidate would become vice president. Creating this new office imposed a political cost on strategically discarded electoral votes, incentivizing electors to make their choices for president without resort to electoral gamesmanship and to cast their second ballot accordingly.
The resultant method of electing the president and vice president, spelled out in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, allocated to each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives membership. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president, but could not differentiate between their first and second choice for the presidency; the person receiving the greatest number of votes would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president. If there were a tie for first or for second place, or if no one won a majority of votes, the president and vice president would be selected by means of contingent elections protocols stated in the clause; the emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns during the 1790s soon frustrated this original plan. In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the presidency, but his bitter rival, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second and became vice president.
Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties.
Fringe (TV series)
Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, it premiered on the Fox network on September 9, 2008, concluded on January 18, 2013, after five seasons and 100 episodes. The series follows Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop, Walter Bishop, all members of the fictional Fringe Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, based in Boston, under the supervision of Homeland Security; the team uses fringe science and FBI investigative techniques to investigate a series of unexplained ghastly occurrences, which are related to mysteries surrounding a parallel universe. The series has been described as a hybrid of fantasy, procedural dramas and serials, influenced by film and television shows such as Lost, The X-Files, Altered States, The Twilight Zone; the series began as a traditional mystery-of-the-week series and became more serialized in seasons. Most episodes contain a standalone plot, with several others exploring the series' overarching mythology.
Critical reception was at first lukewarm but became more favorable after the first season, when the series began to explore its mythology, including parallel universes and alternate timelines. The show, as well as the cast and crew, were nominated for many major awards. Despite its move to the "Friday night death slot" and low ratings, the series developed a cult following, it spawned two six-part comic book series, an alternate reality game, three novels. Fringe follows the casework of the Fringe Division, a Joint Federal Task Force supported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which includes Agent Olivia Dunham, they are supported by Phillip Broyles, the force's director, Agent Astrid Farnsworth, who assists Walter in laboratory research. The Fringe Division investigates cases relating to fringe science, ranging from transhumanist experiments gone wrong to the prospect of a destructive technological singularity to a possible collision of two parallel universes; the Fringe Division's work intersects with advanced biotechnology developed by a company called Massive Dynamic, founded by Walter's former partner, Dr. William Bell, run by their common friend, Nina Sharp.
The team is watched silently by a group of bald, pale men who are called "Observers". Season 1 introduces the Fringe Division as they investigate cases that form "the Pattern" geographically centered around Reiden Lake in New York state, many of which are orchestrated by an international network of rogue scientists known as ZFT, led by David Robert Jones, who are preparing for a doomsday event; the ZFT threat appears to end. Olivia comes to learn she was a child test subject for Walter years ago for a nootropic drug, giving her weak psionic abilities. Walter struggles with adjusting to normal life in Peter's care after living seventeen years in a mental institution while hiding the fact that Peter is from the parallel universe, "his" Peter having died as a child. In Season 2, the occurrences are found to be in conjunction with activities of a parallel universe, plagued by singularities occurring at weakened points of the fabric between worlds; the Fringe team deals with more cases that are leading to a "great storm" as the parallel universe appears to be at war with the prime one, engineered by human-machine hybrid shapeshifters from the parallel universe.
Walter is forced to tell Peter that he is from the parallel universe, a replacement for his own Peter, who died from a genetic disease. Walter had crossed over on the frozen ice of Reiden Lake in 1985 to administer the cure for the alternate version of Peter, after accidentally destroying a dose of the cure upon transport, he instead brought the boy across. On return, they fell through the ice but were saved by the Observer September, who told Walter of the importance of "the boy", which Walter took to mean Peter. Walter's crossing is what caused the singularities in the parallel universe, with Reiden Lake at their epicenter. Walter has been looking for a sign of forgiveness in the form of a white tulip. Season 3 presents episodes that alternate between the two universes. "Walternate", Walter's doppelgänger in the parallel universe, is the U. S. Secretary of Defense and has set events in motion to assemble the Machine, a doomsday device that reacts only to Peter's biology, he sent his Olivia, "Fauxlivia"2, to the prime universe, in Olivia's place, to engage the Fringe Division and assemble the prime universe's version of the device, while he studies Olivia's Cortexiphan-induced powers.
By happenstance, Fauxlivia becomes pregnant with Peter's child, before being outed and extracted to the parallel universe. Walternate orchestrated acceleration of the pregnancy to gain a sample of the baby's blood, which he uses to activate the machine. Peter, with Olivia's help, enters the prime version of the machine, experiences a vision of the future where the parallel universe has been destroyed and the same fate threatens the prime one, learns the Machine is a device created by Walter and his associates from this future, sent back in time purposely to relay this vision of the future to Peter. Recovering in the present, Peter alters his plan
Premiata Forneria Marconi
Premiata Forneria Marconi is an Italian progressive rock band. They were the first Italian group to have success abroad, entering both the British and American charts. Between 1973 and 1977 they released five albums with English lyrics, they had several successful European and American tours, playing at the popular Reading Festival in England and on a popular national television program in the United States. PFM introduced new sounds, such as the synthesizer, to the Italian musical world, they were among the first to combine symphonic classical and traditional Italian musical influences in a rock music context. Such innovations and their longevity have earned PFM a place among the most important bands in the Progressive rock genre; the original core members of PFM were Franco Mussida, Flavio Premoli, Luciano Dovesi, who preceded Giorgio Piazza, Franz Di Cioccio. They came together in the mid-1960s while playing together as backup musicians for many different Italian pop and folk singers such as Lucio Battisti, Adriano Celentano and Fabrizio De André.
They appeared on many recordings for other artists during this period and established themselves as top players on the Italian scene before forming the group'I quelli' in 1968. I Quelli released some successful Italian singles. Premiata Forneria Marconi was formed in Milan in 1970 when the members of I Quelli met Mauro Pagani from the group Dalton. Pagani helped the group expand their sound to include flute. By this time they were highly experienced musicians who were able to play the kind of complex progressive heavy rock played by the leading English and American groups, their early live performances included songs by groups such as Jethro Tull. Other early influences included Chicago and The Flock. After rejecting Isotta Fraschini as a name the group settled on Pagani's suggestion,'Forneria Marconi', borrowed from the sign of a shop in the small town of Chiari, near Brescia. However, record producer and friend Alessandro Colombini suggested the name was not strong enough, so the title'Premiata' was added.
Some objected that'Premiata Forneria Marconi' was too long a name, but the group's philosophy stated that the more difficult to remember a band's name, the more difficult it was to forget it. Italian progressive bands tended to have long names back and so they were referred to as'La Premiata', later'PFM'. In June 1971, PFM were contestants at a competition-cum-music festival called the first'Festival d'Avanguardia e Nuove Tendenze' in Viareggio, which they won, along with Osanna and Mia Martini. In 1971 the group signed with the Numero Uno division of RCA Records in Italy, released their first single, "Impressioni di settembre"/"La carrozza di Hans", it received wide recognition as the first Italian hit record to feature the synthesizer. Both songs are still performed by the group. Flavio Premoli did a special demonstration of the capabilities of his Minimoog during a PFM television performance broadcast by RAI. In early 1972, PFM released their first album, Storia di un minuto; the album topped the Italian charts in its first week and was the first by an Italian rock group to achieve this kind of success.
It contained re-recorded versions of songs from the first single, as well as "È Festa" and "Dove... Quando..." which continue to be concert favorites. In 1972 saw the release of their second LP, Per un amico; this album opened the way to broader audience recognition all across Europe. It allowed the group to refine their sound. PFM came to the attention of Greg Lake of Lake & Palmer while ELP was on an Italian tour. ELP arranged for PFM to be signed to Manticore Records; the first album on Manticore, Photos of Ghosts was released all across Europe, the USA and Canada and was the first time an Italian rock band found success in foreign markets. It was one of the first recordings by a mainland European rock group to have chart success in the United States, peaking at #180 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in November 1973; the album contained re-recordings of songs from Per un amico in English. New lyrics were written by former King Crimson member Peter Sinfield, who helped produce the new recording and mixing at Advision Studios in London.
Sinfield suggested that the band's name be abbreviated to PFM starting with this album. Songs included "Celebration", which received considerable airplay on album-oriented rock stations in the USA and Canada. Following the release of Photos of Ghosts bass player Giorgio Piazza left the group, being replaced by Patrick Djivas, who has remained with the group since; the next PFM album release in Italy was L'isola di niente in 1974. Highlights of the album include "Dolcissima Maria" and the instrumental "Via Lumiere" Again a similar English language version of the album was released by Manticore as The World Became the World; the English album included another re-recording of "Impressioni di settembre" as the title track. This was their last collaboration with Peter Sinfield, as the group were not pleased with the content of his English lyrics. On the 1974 U. S. tour PFM played concerts with Little Feat, The Beach Boys, The Allman Brothers Ba
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and as President from 1987 to 2017. He chaired the Zimbabwe African National Union group from 1975 to 1980 and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front, from 1980 to 2017. Ideologically an African nationalist, during the 1970s and 1980s he identified as a Marxist–Leninist, although after the 1990s self-identified only as a socialist, his policies have been described as Mugabeism. Mugabe was born to a poor Shona family in Southern Rhodesia. Following an education at Kutama College and the University of Fort Hare, he worked as a school teacher in Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, Ghana. Angered that Southern Rhodesia was a colony of the British Empire governed by its white minority, Mugabe embraced Marxism and joined African nationalist protests calling for an independent black-led state. After making anti-government comments, he was convicted of sedition and imprisoned between 1964 and 1974.
On release, he fled to Mozambique, established his leadership of ZANU, oversaw ZANU's role in the Rhodesian Bush War, fighting Ian Smith's predominantly white government. He reluctantly took part in the peace negotiations brokered by the United Kingdom that resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement; the agreement ended the war and resulted in the 1980 general election, at which Mugabe led ZANU-PF to victory. As Prime Minister of the newly renamed Zimbabwe, Mugabe's administration expanded healthcare and education and—despite his professed Marxist desire for a socialist society—adhered to mainstream, conservative economic policies. Mugabe's calls for racial reconciliation failed to stem growing white emigration, while relations with Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union declined. In the Gukurahundi of 1982–1985, Mugabe's Fifth Brigade crushed ZAPU-linked opposition in Matabeleland in a campaign that killed at least 10,000 people Ndebele civilians. Internationally, he sent troops into the Second Congo War and chaired the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of African Unity, the African Union.
Pursuing decolonisation, Mugabe emphasised the redistribution of land controlled by white farmers to landless blacks on a "willing seller–willing buyer" basis. Frustrated at the slow rate of redistribution, from 2000 he encouraged black Zimbabweans to violently seize white-owned farms. Food production was impacted, leading to famine, drastic economic decline, international sanctions. Opposition to Mugabe grew, although he was re-elected in 2002, 2008, 2013 through campaigns dominated by violence, electoral fraud, nationalistic appeals to his rural Shona voter base. In 2017, members of his own party ousted him in a coup, replacing him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Having dominated Zimbabwe's politics for nearly four decades, Mugabe is a controversial figure, he has been praised as a revolutionary hero of the African liberation struggle who helped to free Zimbabwe from British colonialism and white minority rule. Conversely, in governance he has been accused of being a dictator responsible for economic mismanagement, widespread corruption, anti-white racism, human rights abuses, crimes against humanity.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924 at the Kutama Mission village in Southern Rhodesia's Zvimba District. His father, Gabriel Matibiri, was a carpenter while his mother Bona taught Christian catechism to the village children, they had been trained in their professions by the Jesuits, the Roman Catholic apostolic order which had established the mission. Bona and Gabriel had six children: Miteri, Robert, Dhonandhe and Bridgette, they belonged to one of the smallest branches of the Shona tribe. Mugabe's paternal grandfather was Constantine Karigamombe, alias "Matibiri", a strong powerful figure, who served King Lobengula in the 19th century; the Jesuits were strict disciplinarians and under their influence Mugabe developed an intense self-discipline, while becoming a devout Catholic. Mugabe excelled at school, where he was a secretive and solitary child, preferring to read, rather than playing sports or socialising with other children, he was taunted by many of the other children, who regarded him as a mother's boy.
In 1930, Gabriel had an argument with one of the Jesuits, as a result the Mugabe family was expelled from the mission village by its French leader, Father Jean-Baptiste Loubiere. The family settled in a village about seven miles away, although the children were permitted to remain at the mission primary school, living with relatives in Kutama during term-time and returning to their parental home on weekends. Around the same time, Robert's older brother Raphael died of diarrhoea. In early 1934, Robert's other older brother, Michael died, after consuming poisoned maize; that year, Gabriel left his family in search of employment at Bulawayo. He subsequently abandoned Bona and their six children and established a relationship with another woman, with whom he had three further offspring. Loubiere died shortly after and was replaced by an Irishman, Father Jerome O'Hea, who welcomed the return of the Mugabe family to Kutama. In contrast to the racism that permeated Southern Rhodesian society, under O'Hea's leadership the Kutama Mission preached an ethos of racial equality.
O'Hea nurtured the young Mugabe. As well as helping provide Mugabe with a Christian education, O'Hea taught him about the Irish War of Independen
Regis College, Toronto
Regis College is the Jesuit school of theology in Canada, associated with the University of Toronto. Founded in 1930, it is an postgraduate college and a member institution of the Toronto School of Theology. Regis College began as the Jesuit philosophy college on Wellington Street in downtown Toronto in September 1930, it offered philosophy programmes to Jesuit scholastics preparing for priesthood. It was in 1943. In 1954, the Jesuit seminary was formally named Collegium Christi Regis, The College of Christ the King. In 1956 Regis College was accredited as a pontifical faculty by becoming the School of Theology of St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and thus became able to offer ecclesiastical degrees in theology. In 1961, the college moved to a new site on Bayview Avenue in Toronto. There, it taught theology; the 40 acre site, was offered to the Jesuits as a location for the college by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1958. In 1969, Regis College was one of the founding colleges of the Toronto School of Theology.
Within its own federation, the University of Toronto granted all but the theology or divinity degrees. In 1970, the college joined the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Membership of the association in 1980, 2001 and 2011. In 1976, the college moved to St. Mary Street in Downtown Toronto, close to its present site; the Bayview site was sold to Ontario Bible College, which became the Tyndale University College and Seminary in 2003. That year, it admitted its first non-Jesuit students. Since 1978, by virtue of a change made in its charter, the University of Toronto has granted theology degrees conjointly with Regis College. Regis College became a federated college of the University of Toronto; this arrangement was renewed for a further ten years in 2004. In August 2008, Regis College agreed to move to Christie House, on the corner of Wellesley Street and Queen's Park, it was a female residence building for St. Michael's College administered by the Sisters of St. Joseph who ran St. Joseph's College School next door.
The University of Toronto bought the site from the Sisters of St. Joseph and leases it to the college. Construction started to make the house suitable for the college in time for the start of the academic year in September 2009; as part of the leasing agreement with the university, the half of the building closest to the school was converted so that it could be used by the university's Faculty of Music. The building is located opposite the Parliament of Ontario, it is to the south of St. Michael's College and is next to buildings that housed the offices of Marshall McLuhan; the building itself was the former home of William Mellis Christie and after his death it was the residence of his son Robert Jaffrey. Robert Jaffrey had a secret room built in the house so his mistress could secretly live with him and his family; the mistress killed herself in this secret room, is said to haunt the college. In the traditions of Jesuit spirituality and service, Regis College promotes an integrated spirituality that emphasizes justice, critical dialogue and academic pursuits.
As per all Jesuit institutions, it remains grounded in the concept of ad maiorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory of God. Regis College confers three major types of theological degrees: basic degree programmes, graduate degree programmes, ecclesiastical degrees. Regis College offers degrees that are awarded by Regis College, those that are conjointly awarded by Regis College, the Toronto School of Theology and the University of Toronto. Basic degree programmesMaster of Sacred Theology Bernard Lonergan, philosopher and economist Frederick Crowe and theologian Robert M. Doran and theologian Mary Jo Leddy, writer and social critic John Navone, author, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome Gill Goulding and papally-appointed expert for the October 2012 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization Michael Kolarcik, biblical scholar, current Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute The Jesuit Honor Society's chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu was established at Regis College in 2000.
Regis College is a popular location for films and TV series and has been used in the past by various film and television production companies. For example: Ice Princess – 2005 Who Is Clark Rockefeller? – November 2009 Sherlock Holmes – December 2009 The Kennedys – July 2010 Skins – August 2010 Warehouse 13 – September 2010 Perception – December 2010 Nurse 3D – September 2011 Covert Affairs – August 2012 Lost Girl – August 2014 Pay the Ghost – August 2014 Official website Lonergan Research Institute, Regis College Robert M. Doran's Website The Little Red Umbrella News Story
Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included, it is home to the nation's capital city and the nation's most populous city, Ontario's provincial capital. Ontario is bordered by the province of Manitoba to the west, Hudson Bay and James Bay to the north, Quebec to the east and northeast, to the south by the U. S. states of Minnesota, Ohio and New York. All of Ontario's 2,700 km border with the United States follows inland waterways: from the west at Lake of the Woods, eastward along the major rivers and lakes of the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence River drainage system; these are the Rainy River, the Pigeon River, Lake Superior, the St. Marys River, Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River, Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River from Kingston, Ontario, to the Quebec boundary just east of Cornwall, Ontario.
There is only about 1 km of land border made up of portages including Height of Land Portage on the Minnesota border. Ontario is sometimes conceptually divided into Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario; the great majority of Ontario's population and arable land is in the south. In contrast, the larger, northern part of Ontario is sparsely populated with cold winters and heavy forestation; the province is named after Lake Ontario, a term thought to be derived from Ontarí:io, a Huron word meaning "great lake", or skanadario, which means "beautiful water" in the Iroquoian languages. Ontario has about 250,000 freshwater lakes; the province consists of three main geographical regions: The thinly populated Canadian Shield in the northwestern and central portions, which comprises over half the land area of Ontario. Although this area does not support agriculture, it is rich in minerals and in part covered by the Central and Midwestern Canadian Shield forests, studded with lakes and rivers. Northern Ontario is subdivided into two sub-regions: Northeastern Ontario.
The unpopulated Hudson Bay Lowlands in the extreme north and northeast swampy and sparsely forested. Southern Ontario, further sub-divided into four regions. Despite the absence of any mountainous terrain in the province, there are large areas of uplands within the Canadian Shield which traverses the province from northwest to southeast and above the Niagara Escarpment which crosses the south; the highest point is Ishpatina Ridge at 693 metres above sea level in Temagami, Northeastern Ontario. In the south, elevations of over 500 m are surpassed near Collingwood, above the Blue Mountains in the Dundalk Highlands and in hilltops near the Madawaska River in Renfrew County; the Carolinian forest zone covers most of the southwestern region of the province. The temperate and fertile Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence Valley in the south is part of the Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests ecoregion where the forest has now been replaced by agriculture and urban development. A well-known geographic feature is part of the Niagara Escarpment.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway allows navigation to and from the Atlantic Ocean as far inland as Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. Northern Ontario occupies 87 percent of the surface area of the province. Point Pelee is a peninsula of Lake Erie in southwestern Ontario, the southernmost extent of Canada's mainland. Pelee Island and Middle Island in Lake Erie extend farther. All are south of 42°N – farther south than the northern border of California; the climate of Ontario varies by location. It is affected by three air sources: cold, arctic air from the north; the effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Ontario's climate is classified as humid continental. Ontario has three main climatic regions; the surrounding Great Lakes influence the climatic region of southern Ontario. During the fall and winter months, heat stored from the lakes is released, moderating the climate near the shores of the lakes.
This gives some parts of southern Ontario milder winters than mid-continental areas at lower latitudes. Parts of Southwestern Ontario have a moderate humid continental climate, similar to that of the inland Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes portion of the Midwestern United States; the region has warm to cold winters. Annual precipitation is well distributed throughout the year. Most of this region lies in the lee of the Great Lakes. In December 2010, the snowbelt set a new record when it was h
The Sheldonian Theatre, located in Oxford, was built from 1664 to 1669 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford. The building is named after Gilbert Sheldon, chancellor of the University at the time and the project's main financial backer, it is used for music concerts and University ceremonies, but not for drama until 2015 when the Christ Church Dramatic Society staged a production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. What came to be known as the Sheldonian Theatre was Wren's second work and was commissioned by Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury. With the triumph of the Restoration and with it the Church of England, Dean Fell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, sought to revive a project proposed in the 1630s by the late William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury: a separate building whose sole use would be graduation and degree ceremonies. In the past these rowdy occasions had taken place in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, in the High Street. "The notion that'sacrifice is made to God and Apollo', in the same place where homage was due to God and God alone, was as repugnant to Fell and his colleagues as it had been to Laud".
Sheldon was forthcoming with all three. He gave an impressive £1,000 and pledged to gather the needed money from like-minded sponsors, he had little luck and financed nearly the entire £14,470 himself, in an age where a mid-level craftsman's wage was between £2 and £4 per year. Wren's initial designs for the Sheldonian included a proscenium stage that did not survive his revisions; the building, constructed was a sharp, unmistakable break from the Gothic past. According to Wren's son, Wren designed the Sheldonian based on Serlio's sixteenth-century engraving of the D-shaped Theatre of Marcellus erected in Rome in the first century BC. Like any Mediterranean theatre of that time, the Theatre of Marcellus had no roof: the audience relied on a temporary awning for inclement weather, but 17th century Oxford was not ancient Rome, the Theatre needed a permanent roof. The span of the D-shaped roof was over 70 feet. However, no timbers existed that were long enough to cross that distance, Wren dismissed the obvious solution of a Gothic roof.
Instead, he decided to use the "geometrical flat floor" grid developed twenty years before by Oxford professor John Wallis. It involved... creating a series of trusses which were built up from shorter section and held in place by their own weight, with help from judiciously placed iron bolts and plates... O effective that for nearly a century the University Press stored its books... and for many years it was the largest unsupported floor in existence... In 1720, surveyors inspecting the roof, following a rumour that it was no longer safe, were both surprised and impressed at what they discovered. Though sagging from the massive weight of books, the inspectors pronounced that "... the whole Fabrick of the said Theatre is, in our Opinion, like to remain and continue in such Repair and Condition, for one hundred or two hundred Years yet to come."In November 2008 a four-year project to restore the ceiling fresco was completed. The thirty-two oil on canvas panels painted by King Charles II’s court painter, Robert Streater, were removed and conserved.
As part of the conservation process, the panels had their linings replaced, holes in the canvas mended, over-painting removed. The allegorical story depicted in the paintings shows Truth descending upon the Arts and Sciences and expelling ignorance from the University; the building has a prominent eight-sided cupola in the centre of the roof, accessible via a staircase leading to the dome over the main ceiling. The cupola has large windows on all sides, providing views across central Oxford, is open to visitors; the Theatre is used for music recitals, lectures and for various ceremonies held by the University. Handel conducted the first performance of his third oratorio Athalia here in 1733. Today, the theatre is home to regular performances by local groups, including the Oxford Philomusica and Stornoway; the latter were the first pop band to play in the space, joined by the student-led Oxford Millennium Orchestra for their first single launch in 2009 again to celebrate the launch of their third LP, in 2014.
The building seats between 800 and 1000 people and is on the grounds of part of the Bodleian Library adjacent to Broad Street. To the left at the front is the Clarendon Building and to the right is the Old Ashmolean Building. Behind the Sheldonian is the Divinity School; the Theatre features prominently in Max Beerbohm's 1911 novel Zuleika Dobson and was used as stand in for Harvard in the 1980 film Heaven's Gate. Holywell Music Room Oxford Bach Choir Oxford University Big Band Oxford Philomusica Stornoway Media related to Sheldonian Theatre at Wikimedia Commons Sheldonian Theatre website