Bayreuth is a medium-sized city in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Franconian Jura and the Fichtelgebirge Mountains. The town's roots date back to 1194. In the early 21st century, it is the capital of Upper Franconia and has a population of 72,148, it is world-famous for its annual Bayreuth Festival, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. The town is believed to have been founded by the counts of Andechs around the mid-12th century, but was first mentioned in 1194 as Baierrute in a document by Bishop Otto II of Bamberg; the syllable -rute may mean Rodung or "clearing", whilst Baier- indicates immigrants from the Bavarian region. Documented earlier, were villages merged into Bayreuth: Seulbitz and St. Johannis; the district of Altstadt west of the town centre must be older than the town of Bayreuth itself. Older traces of human presence were found in the hamlets of Meyernberg: pieces of pottery and wooden crockery were dated to the 9th century based on their decoration.
While Bayreuth was referred to as a villa, the term civitas appeared for the first time in a document published in 1231. One can therefore assume that Bayreuth was awarded its town charter between 1200 and 1230; the town was ruled until 1248 by the counts of Andechs-Merania. After they died out in 1260 the burgraves of Nuremberg from the House of Hohenzollern took over the inheritance; as early as 1361 Emperor Charles IV conferred on Burgrave Frederick V the right to mint coins for the towns of Bayreuth and Kulmbach. In 1398 Bayreuth was partitioned from Nuremberg; until 1604, the princely residence and the centre of the territory was the castle of Plassenburg in Kulmbach and as such the territory was known as the Principality of Kulmbach. The town of Bayreuth developed and was affected time and again by disasters. Bayreuth was first published on a map in 1421. In February 1430, the Hussites devastated the town hall and churches were razed. Matthäus Merian described this event in 1642 as follows: "In 1430 the Hussites from Bohemia attacked / Culmbach and Barreut / and committed great acts of cruelty / like wild animals / against the common people / and certain individuals.
/ The priests / monks and nuns they either burnt at the stake / or took them onto the ice of lakes and rivers / and doused them with cold water / and killed them in a deplorable way / as Boreck reported in the Bohemian Chronicle, page 450"By 1528, less than ten years after the start of the Reformation, the lords of the Frankish margrave territories switched to the Lutheran faith. In 1605 a great fire, caused by negligence, destroyed 137 of the town's 251 houses. In 1620 plague broke out and, in 1621, there was another big fire in the town; the town suffered during the Thirty Years War. A turning point in the town's history came in 1603 when Margrave Christian, the son of the elector, John George of Brandenburg, moved the aristocratic residence from the castle of Plassenburg above Kulmbach to Bayreuth; the first Hohenzollern palace was built in 1440-1457 under Margrave John the Alchemist. It was expanded and renovated many times; the development of the new capital stagnated due to the Thirty Years' War, but afterwards many famous baroque buildings were added to the town.
After Christian's death in 1655 his grandson, Christian Ernest, followed him, ruling from 1661 until 1712. He was an educated and well-travelled man, whose tutor had been the statesman Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal, he founded the Christian-Ernestinum Grammar School and, in 1683, participated in the liberation of Vienna, besieged by the Turks. To commemorate this feat, he had the Margrave Fountain built as a monument on which he is depicted as the victor of the Turks. During this time, the outer ring of the town wall and the castle chapel were built, his successor, the Crown Prince and Margrave, George William, began in 1701 to establish the independent town of St Georgen am See with its castle, the so-called Ordensschloss, a town hall, a prison and a small barrack. In 1705 he founded the Order of Sincerity, renamed in 1734 to the Order of the Red Eagle and had the monastery church built, completed in 1711. In 1716 a princely porcelain factory was established in St. Georgen; the first'castle' in the park of the Hermitage was built at this time by Margrave George William.
In 1721 the town council acquired the palace of Baroness Sponheim as a replacement for the town hall built in 1440 in the middle of the market place and destroyed by fire. In 1735 a nursing home, the so-called Gravenreuth Stift, was founded by a private foundation in St. Georgen; the cost of the building exceeded the funds of the foundation, but Margrave Frederick came to their aid. Bayreuth experienced its Golden Age during the reign of Margrave Frederick and Margravine Wilhelmina of Bayreuth, the favourite sister of Frederick the Great. During this time, under the direction of court architects, Joseph Saint-Pierre and Carl von Gontard, numerous courtly buildings and attractions were created: the Margravial Opera House with its richly furnished baroque theatre, the New'Cast
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery and sometimes dance or ballet; the performance is given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor. Opera is a key part of the Western classical music tradition. Understood as an sung piece, in contrast to a play with songs, opera has come to include numerous genres, including some that include spoken dialogue such as musical theater, Singspiel and Opéra comique. In traditional number opera, singers employ two styles of singing: recitative, a speech-inflected style and self-contained arias; the 19th century saw the rise of the continuous music drama. Opera originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe: Heinrich Schütz in Germany, Jean-Baptiste Lully in France, Henry Purcell in England all helped to establish their national traditions in the 17th century.
In the 18th century, Italian opera continued to dominate most of Europe, attracting foreign composers such as George Frideric Handel. Opera seria was the most prestigious form of Italian opera, until Christoph Willibald Gluck reacted against its artificiality with his "reform" operas in the 1760s; the most renowned figure of late 18th-century opera is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who began with opera seria but is most famous for his Italian comic operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, as well as Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Magic Flute, landmarks in the German tradition. The first third of the 19th century saw the high point of the bel canto style, with Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti and Vincenzo Bellini all creating works that are still performed, it saw the advent of Grand Opera typified by the works of Auber and Meyerbeer. The mid-to-late 19th century was a golden age of opera and dominated by Giuseppe Verdi in Italy and Richard Wagner in Germany; the popularity of opera continued through the verismo era in Italy and contemporary French opera through to Giacomo Puccini and Richard Strauss in the early 20th century.
During the 19th century, parallel operatic traditions emerged in central and eastern Europe in Russia and Bohemia. The 20th century saw many experiments with modern styles, such as atonality and serialism and Minimalism. With the rise of recording technology, singers such as Enrico Caruso and Maria Callas became known to much wider audiences that went beyond the circle of opera fans. Since the invention of radio and television, operas were performed on these mediums. Beginning in 2006, a number of major opera houses began to present live high-definition video transmissions of their performances in cinemas all over the world. Since 2009, complete performances are live streamed; the words of an opera are known as the libretto. Some composers, notably Wagner, have written their own libretti. Traditional opera referred to as "number opera", consists of two modes of singing: recitative, the plot-driving passages sung in a style designed to imitate and emphasize the inflections of speech, aria in which the characters express their emotions in a more structured melodic style.
Vocal duets and other ensembles occur, choruses are used to comment on the action. In some forms of opera, such as singspiel, opéra comique and semi-opera, the recitative is replaced by spoken dialogue. Melodic or semi-melodic passages occurring in the midst of, or instead of, are referred to as arioso; the terminology of the various kinds of operatic voices is described in detail below. During both the Baroque and Classical periods, recitative could appear in two basic forms, each of, accompanied by a different instrumental ensemble: secco recitative, sung with a free rhythm dictated by the accent of the words, accompanied only by basso continuo, a harpsichord and a cello. Over the 18th century, arias were accompanied by the orchestra. By the 19th century, accompagnato had gained the upper hand, the orchestra played a much bigger role, Wagner revolutionized opera by abolishing all distinction between aria and recitative in his quest for what Wagner termed "endless melody". Subsequent composers have tended to follow Wagner's example, though some, such as Stravinsky in his The Rake's Progress have bucked the trend.
The changing role of the orchestra in opera is described in more detail below. The Italian word opera means "work", both in the sense of the labour done and the result produced; the Italian word derives from the Latin opera, a singular noun meaning "work" and the plural of the noun opus. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Italian word was first used in the sense "composition in which poetry and music are combined" in 1639. Dafne by Jacopo Peri was the earliest composition considered opera, it was writt
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is a music drama in three acts and composed by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas performed taking around four and a half hours, it was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater, today the home of the Bavarian State Opera, in Munich, on 21 June 1868. The conductor at the premiere was Hans von Bülow; the story is set in Nuremberg in the mid-16th century. At the time, Nuremberg was a free imperial city and one of the centers of the Renaissance in Northern Europe; the story revolves around the city's guild of Meistersinger, an association of amateur poets and musicians who were master craftsmen of various trades. The master singers had developed a craftsmanlike approach to music-making, with an intricate system of rules for composing and performing songs; the work draws much of its atmosphere from its depiction of the Nuremberg of the era and the traditions of the master-singer guild. One of the main characters, the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs, is based on a historical figure, Hans Sachs, the most famous of the master-singers.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg occupies a unique place in Wagner's oeuvre. It is the only comedy among his mature operas, is unusual among his works in being set in a well-defined time and place rather than in a mythical or legendary setting, it is the only mature Wagner opera based on an original story, devised by Wagner himself, in which no supernatural or magical powers or events are in evidence. It incorporates many of the operatic conventions that Wagner had railed against in his essays on the theory of opera: rhymed verse, choruses, a quintet, a ballet. Wagner's autobiography Mein Leben described the genesis of Die Meistersinger. Taking the waters at Marienbad in 1845 he began reading Georg Gottfried Gervinus' Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung; this work included chapters on Hans Sachs. I had formed a vivid picture of Hans Sachs and the mastersingers of Nuremberg. I was intrigued by the institution of the Marker and his function in rating master-songs... I conceived during a walk a comic scene in which the popular artisan-poet, by hammering upon his cobbler's last, gives the Marker, obliged by circumstances to sing in his presence, his come-uppance for previous pedantic misdeeds during official singing contests, by inflicting upon him a lesson of his own.
Gervinus' book mentions a poem by the real-life Hans Sachs on the subject of Protestant reformer Martin Luther, called Die Wittenbergisch Nachtigall. The opening lines for this poem, addressing the Reformation, were used by Wagner in act 3 scene 5 when the crowd acclaims Sachs: Wacht auf, es nahet gen den Tag. In addition to this, Wagner added a scene drawn from his own life, in which a case of mistaken identity led to a near-riot: this was to be the basis for the finale of act 2. Out of this situation evolved an uproar, which through the shouting and clamour and an inexplicable growth in the number of participants in the struggle soon assumed a demoniacal character, it looked to me as if the whole town would break out into a riot... I heard a heavy thump, as if by magic the whole crowd dispersed in every direction... One of the regular patrons had felled one of the noisiest rioters... And it was the effect of this; this first draft of the story was dated "Marienbad 16 July 1845". Wagner said, in Eine Mitteilung an meine Freunde that Meistersinger was to be a comic opera to follow a tragic opera, i.e. Tannhäuser.
Just as the Athenians had followed a tragedy with a comic satyr play, so Wagner would follow Tannhäuser with Meistersinger: the link being that both operas included song-contests. In 1854, Wagner first read Schopenhauer, was struck by the philosopher's theories on aesthetics. In this philosophy, art is a means for escaping from the sufferings of the world, music is the highest of the arts since it is the only one not involved in representation of the world, it is for this reason. In his earlier essay Oper und Drama Wagner had derided staples of operatic construction: arias, duets, recitatives, etc; as a result of reading Schopenhauer's ideas about the role of music, Wagner re-evaluated his prescription for opera, included many of these elements in Die Meistersinger. Although Die Meistersinger is a comedy, it elucidates Wagner's ideas on the place of music in society, on renunciation of Wille, on the solace that music can bring in a world full of Wahn, it is Wahn which causes the riot in act 2 — a sequence of events arising from a case of mistaken identity, which can be seen as a form of self-delusion.
Commentators have observed that in his famous Act 3 monologue Wahn, Wahn, überall Wahn, Sachs paraphrases Schopenhauer's description of the way that Wahn drives a person to behave in ways that are self-destructive: Following the completion of Tristan und Isolde, Wagner resumed work on Die Meistersinger in 1861 with a quite different philosophical outlook from that which he held when he developed his first draft. The character of Hans Sachs became one of the most Schopenhauerian of Wagn
The Flying Dutchman (opera)
The Flying Dutchman, WWV 63, is a German-language opera, with libretto and music by Richard Wagner. Wagner claimed in his 1870 autobiography Mein Leben that he had been inspired to write the opera following a stormy sea crossing he made from Riga to London in July and August 1839. In his 1843 Autobiographic Sketch, Wagner acknowledged he had taken the story from Heinrich Heine's retelling of the legend in his 1833 satirical novel The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski; the central theme is redemption through love. Wagner conducted the premiere at the Königliches Hoftheater in Dresden in 1843; this work shows early attempts at operatic styles that would characterise his music dramas. In Der fliegende Holländer Wagner uses a number of leitmotivs associated with the characters and themes; the leitmotifs are all introduced in the overture, which begins with a well-known ocean or storm motif before moving into the Dutchman and Senta motifs. Wagner wrote the work to be performed without intermission – an example of his efforts to break with tradition – and, while today's opera houses sometimes still follow this directive, it is performed in a three-act version.
By the beginning of 1839, the now 26-year-old Richard Wagner was employed as a conductor at the Court Theatre in Riga. His extravagant lifestyle plus the retirement from the stage of his actress wife, Minna Planer, caused him to run up huge debts that he was unable to repay. Wagner was writing Rienzi and hatched a plan to flee his creditors in Riga, escape to Paris via London and make his fortune by putting Rienzi on to the stage of the Paris Opéra. However, this plan turned to disaster: his passport having been seized by the authorities on behalf of his creditors, he and Minna had to make a dangerous and illegal crossing over the Prussian border, during which Minna suffered a miscarriage. Boarding the ship Thetis, whose captain had agreed to take them without passports, their sea journey was hindered by storms and high seas; the ship at one point took refuge in the Norwegian fjords at Tvedestrand, a trip, expected to take eight days delivered Wagner to London three weeks after leaving Riga.
Wagner's experience of Paris was disastrous. He was unable to get work as a conductor, the Opéra did not want to produce Rienzi; the Wagners were reduced to poverty, relying on handouts from friends and from the little income that Wagner could make writing articles on music and copying scores. Wagner hit on the idea of a one-act opera on the theme of the Flying Dutchman, which he hoped might be performed before a ballet at the Opéra; the voyage through the Norwegian reefs made a wonderful impression on my imagination. Wagner wrote the first prose draft of the story in Paris early in May 1840, basing the story on Heinrich Heine's satire "The Memoirs of Mister von Schnabelewopski" published in Der Salon in 1834. In Heine's tale, the narrator watches a performance of a fictitious stage play on the theme of the sea captain cursed to sail forever for blasphemy. Heine introduces the character as a Wandering Jew of the ocean, added the device taken up so vigorously by Wagner in this, many subsequent operas: the Dutchman can only be redeemed by the love of a faithful woman.
In Heine's version, this is presented as a means for ironic humour. By the end of May 1841 Wagner had completed the poem as he preferred to call it. Composition of the music had begun during May to July of the previous year, 1840, when Wagner wrote Senta's Ballad, the Norwegian Sailors' song in act 3 and the subsequent Phantom song of the Dutchman's crew in the same scene; these were composed for an audition at the Paris Opéra, along with the sketch of the plot. Wagner sold the sketch to the Director of the Opéra, Léon Pillet, for 500 francs, but was unable to convince him that the music was worth anything. Wagner composed the rest of the Der Fliegende Holländer during the summer of 1841, with the Overture being written last, by November 1841 the orchestration of the score was complete. While this score was designed to be played continuously in a single act, Wagner divided the piece into a three-act work. In doing so, however, he did not alter the music but interrupted transitions, crafted to flow seamlessly.
In his original draft Wagner set the action in Scotland, but he changed the location to Norway shortly before the first production staged in Dresden and conducted by himself in January 1843. In his essay "A Communication to My Friends" in 1851, Wagner claimed that The Dutchman represented a new start for him: "From here begins my career as poet, my farewell to the mere concoctor of opera-texts." Indeed, to this day the opera is the earliest of Wagner's works to be performed at the Bayreuth Festival, and, at least for that theatre, marks the start of the mature Wagner canon. Der fliegende Holländer is scored for the following instruments: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass tuba timpani harp 1st and 2nd violins, violas and double basseson-stage 3 piccolos, 6 horns, tam tam, wind machine Place: On the coast of Norway On his homeward journey, the sea captain Daland is compelled by stormy weather to seek a port of refuge near Sandwike in southern Norway.
Swan Lake, Op. 20, is a ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875–76. Despite its initial failure, it is now one of the most popular of all ballets; the scenario in two acts, was fashioned from Russian and German folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger; the ballet was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 4 March 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Although it is presented in many different versions, most ballet companies base their stagings both choreographically and musically on the 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, first staged for the Imperial Ballet on 15 January 1895, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. For this revival, Tchaikovsky's score was revised by the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre's chief conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo. There is no evidence to prove who wrote the original libretto, or where the idea for the plot came from.
Russian and German folk tales have been proposed as possible sources, including "The White Duck" and "The Stolen Veil" by Johann Karl August Musäus, but both those tales differ from the ballet. One theory is that the original choreographer, Julius Reisinger, a Bohemian, created the story. Another theory is that it was written by Vladimir Petrovich Begichev, director of the Moscow Imperial Theatres at the time with Vasily Geltser, Danseur of the Moscow Imperial Bolshoi Theatre. Since the first published libretto does not correspond with Tchaikovsky's music in many places, one theory is that the first published version was written by a journalist after viewing initial rehearsals; some contemporaries of Tchaikovsky recalled the composer taking great interest in the life story of Bavarian King Ludwig II, whose life had been marked by the sign of Swan and could have been the prototype of the dreamer Prince Siegfried. However, Ludwig's death happened 10 years after the first performance of the ballet.
Begichev commissioned the score of Swan Lake from Tchaikovsky in May 1875 for 800 rubles. Tchaikovsky worked with only a basic outline from Julius Reisinger of the requirements for each dance. However, unlike the instructions for the scores of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, no written instruction is known to have survived. From around the time of the turn of the 19th century until the beginning of the 1890s, scores for ballets were always written by composers known as "specialists," who were skilled at scoring the light, decorative and rhythmically clear music, at that time in vogue for ballet. Tchaikovsky studied the music of "specialists" such as the Italian Cesare Pugni and the Austrian Ludwig Minkus, before setting to work on Swan Lake. Tchaikovsky had a rather negative opinion of the "specialist" ballet music until he studied it in detail, being impressed by the nearly limitless variety of infectious melodies their scores contained. Tchaikovsky most admired the ballet music of such composers as Léo Delibes, Adolphe Adam, Riccardo Drigo.
He would write to his protégé, the composer Sergei Taneyev, "I listened to the Delibes ballet Sylvia... What charm, what elegance, what wealth of melody and harmony. I was ashamed, for if I had known of this music I would not have written Swan Lake." Tchaikovsky most admired Adam's 1844 score for Giselle, which used the Leitmotif technique: associating certain themes with certain characters or moods, a technique he would use in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty. Tchaikovsky drew on previous compositions for his Swan Lake score. According to two of Tchaikovsky's relatives – his nephew Yuri Lvovich Davydov and his niece Anna Meck-Davydova – the composer had earlier created a little ballet called The Lake of the Swans at their home in 1871; this ballet included the Swan's Theme or Song of the Swans. He made use of material from The Voyevoda, an opera he had abandoned in 1868; the Grand adage from the second scene of Swan Lake was fashioned from an aria from that opera, as was the Valse des fiancées from the third scene.
Another number which included a theme from The Voyevoda was the Entr'acte of the fourth scene. By April 1876 the score was complete, rehearsals began. Soon Reisinger began setting certain numbers aside that he dubbed "undanceable." Reisinger began choreographing dances to other composers' music, but Tchaikovsky protested and his pieces were reinstated. Although the two artists were required to collaborate, each seemed to prefer working as independently of the other as possible. Tchaikovsky's excitement with Swan Lake is evident from the speed with which he composed: commissioned in the spring of 1875, the piece was created within one full year, his letters to Sergei Taneyev from August 1875 indicate, that it was not only his excitement that compelled him to create it so but his wish to finish it as soon as possible, so as to allow him to start on an opera. He created scores of the first three numbers of the ballet the orchestration in the fall and winter, was still struggling with the instrumentation in the spring.
By April 1876, the work was complete. Tchaikovsky's mention of a draft suggests the presence of some sort of abstract but no such draft has been seen. Tchaikovsky wrote various letters to friends expressing his longstanding desire to work with this type of music, his excitement concerning
James Lawrence Levine is an American conductor and pianist. He is known for his tenure as Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, a position he held for 40 years, he was formally terminated by the Met from all his positions and affiliations with the company on March 12, 2018 over sexual misconduct allegations that he denies. Levine has made numerous recordings, as well as television and radio broadcasts, with the Met. Levine has held leadership positions with the Ravinia Festival, the Munich Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 1980 he started the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, he has trained promising singers and musicians for professional careers. After taking an two-year health-related hiatus from conducting from 2011 to 2013, Levine retired as the Met's full-time Music Director following the 2015/16 season to become Music Director Emeritus. On December 2, 2017, The New York Times published a front-page story containing detailed accounts of four men in their 40s to 60s alleging their long-term sexual abuse by Levine occurring decades earlier, while each was a music student of his in his teens or early 20s.
The following day, the Met cancelled his future scheduled engagements. The Ravinia Festival promptly severed all ties with Levine, as did the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which announced that Levine would never again "be employed or contracted by the BSO at any time in the future." Following an investigation that ended in March 2018, having "found credible evidence", the Met terminated its relationship with Levine, for "sexually abusive and harassing conduct". Levine was born in Ohio, to a Jewish, musical family, his maternal grandfather was a composer and a cantor in a synagogue, his father was a violinist who led dance bands under the name "Larry Lee" before entering his father's clothing business, his mother was an actress on Broadway, performing as "Helen Golden". He has a brother Tom, two years younger, who followed him to New York City from Cincinnati in 1974, with whom he is close, he employs Tom as his business assistant, his brother is a painter as well. He has a younger sister, a marriage counselor.
He began to play the piano as a small child. On February 21, 1954, at the age of 10, Levine made his concert debut as soloist playing Felix Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 2 at a youth concert of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Ohio. Levine subsequently studied music with first violinist in the LaSalle Quartet. In 1956 he took piano lessons with Rudolf Serkin at the Marlboro Music School in Vermont. In the following year he began to study piano with Rosina Lhévinne at the Aspen Music School, he graduated from an acclaimed magnet school in Cincinnati. He entered the Juilliard School of Music in New York City in 1961, took courses in conducting with Jean Morel, he graduated from the Juilliard School in 1964, joined the American Conductors project connected with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Levine lives in The San Remo on Central Park West in New York City. From 1964 to 1965, Levine served as an apprentice to George Szell with the Cleveland Orchestra, he served as the Orchestra's assistant conductor until 1970.
That year, he made debuts as guest conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra at its summer home at Robin Hood Dell, the Welsh National Opera, the San Francisco Opera. From 1965 to 1972 he concurrently taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In the summers, he worked at the Meadow Brook School of Music in Michigan and at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. During that time, the charismatic Levine developed a devoted following of young musicians and music lovers. In June 1971, Levine was called in at the last moment to substitute for István Kertész, to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Mahler's Second Symphony for the Ravinia Festival's opening concert of their 36th season; this concert began a long association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. From 1973 to 1993 he was music director of the Ravinia Festival, succeeding the late Kertész, he made numerous recordings with the orchestra, including the symphonies and German Requiem of Johannes Brahms, major works of Gershwin, Berg, Beethoven and others.
In 1990, at the request of Roy E. Disney, he arranged the music and conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the soundtrack of Fantasia 2000, released by Walt Disney Pictures. From 1974 to 1978, Levine served as music director of the Cincinnati May Festival. Levine made his Metropolitan Opera debut at age 28 on June 5, 1971, leading a June Festival performance of Tosca. Following further appearances with the company, he was named principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in February 1972, he became the Met's principal conductor in 1973, its music director in 1975. In 1983, he served as conductor and musical director for the Franco Zeffirelli screen adaptation of La Traviata, which featured the Met orchestra and chorus members, he became the company's first artistic director in 1986, relinquished the title in 2004. In 2005, Levine's combined salary from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Met made him the highest-paid conductor in the country, at $3.5 million. During Levine's tenure, the Metropolitan Opera orchestra expanded its activities into the realms of recording, separate concert series for the orchestra and chamber ensembles f
Sopot is a seaside resort city in Eastern Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea in northern Poland, with a population of 40,000. Sopot is a city with powiat status, in Pomeranian Voivodeship; until 1999 Sopot was part of the Gdańsk Voivodeship. It lies between the larger cities of Gdańsk to Gdynia to the northwest; the three cities together make up the metropolitan area of Tri-City. Sopot is a major tourist resort destination, it has the longest wooden pier in Europe, at 515.5 metres, stretching out into the Bay of Gdańsk. The city is famous for its Sopot International Song Festival, the largest such event in Europe after the Eurovision Song Contest. Among its other attractions is a fountain of bromide spring water, known as the "inhalation mushroom"; the name is thought to derive from an old Slavic word sopot meaning "stream" or "spring". The same root occurs in a number of other Slavic toponyms; the name is first recorded as Sopoth in 1283 and Sopot in 1291. The German Zoppot is a Germanization of the original Slavic name.
In the 19th century and in the interwar years the German name was re-Polonized as Sopoty. "Sopot" was made the official Polish name when the town came again under Polish rule in 1945. The area of today's Sopot contains the site of a 7th-century Slavonic stronghold, it was a commercial trade outpost for commerce extending both up the Vistula river and to cities north across the Baltic Sea. With time the significance of the stronghold diminished and by the 10th century it was reduced to a fishing village abandoned. However, a century the area was settled again and two villages were founded within the borders of today's' city: Stawowie and Gręzowo, they were first mentioned in 1186 as being granted to the Cistercian abbey in Oliwa. Another of the villages that constitute today's Sopot, Świemirowo, was first mentioned in 1212 in a document by Mestwin I, who granted it to the Premonstratensian monastery in nearby Żukowo; the village of Sopot, which became the namesake for the whole city, was first mentioned in 1283 when it was granted to the Cistercians.
By 1316, the abbey had bought all villages in the area and became the owners of all the area of the city. After the Second Peace of Thorn the area was reincorporated into the Kingdom of Poland; the spa for the citizens of Gdańsk has been active since the 16th century. Until the end of that century most noble and magnate families from Gdańsk built their manor houses in Sopot. During the negotiations of the Treaty of Oliva King John II Casimir lived in one of them, while Swedish negotiator Magnus de la Gardie resided in another — it has been known as the Swedish Manor since. During the 1733 War of the Polish Succession, Imperial Russian troops besieged the nearby city of Gdańsk and a year looted and burned the village of Sopot to the ground. Much of Sopot would remain abandoned after the conflict. In 1757 and 1758 most of the ruined manors were bought by the Pomeranian magnate family of Przebendowski. General Józef Przebendowski bought nine of these palaces and in 1786 his widow, Bernardyna Przebendowska, bought the remaining two.
Sopot was annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia in 1772 in the First Partition of Poland. Following the new laws imposed by King Frederick the Great, church property was confiscated by the state; the village was reconstructed and in 1806 the area was sold to the Danzig merchant Carl Christoph Wegner. In 1819, Wegner opened the first public bath in Zoppot and tried to promote the newly established spa among the inhabitants of Danzig, but the undertaking was a financial failure. However, in 1823 Dr. Jean Georg Haffner, a former medic of the French army, financed a new bath complex that gained significant popularity. In the following years, Haffner erected more facilities. By 1824, a sanatorium was opened to the public, as well as a 63-metre pier, a park. Haffner died in 1830; the latter in 1842 opened a new theatre and sanatorium. By the number of tourists coming to Zoppot every year had risen to 1,200. In 1870 Zoppot saw the opening of its first rail line: the new Danzig-Kolberg rail road, extended to Berlin.
Good rail connections added to the popularity of the area and by 1900 the number of tourists had reached 12,500 a year. In 1873, the village of Zoppot became an administrative centre of the Gemeinde. Soon other villages were incorporated into it and in 1874 the number of inhabitants of the village rose to over 2,800. At the beginning of the 20th century it was a favourite spa of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany; the city again became a holiday resort for the inhabitants of nearby Danzig, as well as wealthy aristocrats from Berlin, Königsberg. Soon after World War I, a casino was opened in the Grand Hotel as the primary source of money for the treasury of the Free City of Danzig. In 1877, the self-government of the Gemeinde bought the village from the descendants of Dr. Haffner and started its further development. A second sanatorium was constructed in 1881 and the pier was extended to 85 metres. In 1885, the gas works were built. Two years tennis courts were built and the following year a horse-racing track was opened to the public.
There were several facilities built for the permanent inhabitants of Zoppot, not only for the tourists. Among those were two new churches: Protestant (September 1