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Icaria

Icaria spelled Ikaria, is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles southwest of Samos. According to tradition, it derives its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, believed to have fallen into the sea nearby. Administratively, Icaria forms a separate municipality within the Ikaria regional unit, part of the North Aegean region; the principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Agios Kirykos. The historic capitals of the island include Evdilos. Icaria is one of the middle islands of the northern Aegean, 255.303 square kilometres in area with 102 miles of coastline and a population of 8,312 inhabitants. The topography is a contrast between barren steep rocks; the island is mountainous for the most part. It is traversed by the Aetheras range. Most of its villages are nestled with some in the mountains. Icaria has a tradition of producing strong red wine. Many parts of the island the ravines, are covered in shrubbery, making the landscape lush with green.

Aside from domestic and domesticated species such as goats, there are a number of small wild animals to be found, such as martens, European otters, jumping spiders, green toads. Icaria exhibits a typical Mediterranean climate. Icaria has been inhabited since at least 7000 BC, when it was populated by the Neolithic pre-Hellenic people of the Pelasgians. Around 750 BC, Greeks from Miletus colonized Icaria, establishing a settlement in the area of present-day Campos, which became the ancient capital city of Oenoe. Anciently, the island was called Ikaria, as today. Icaria, during the 6th century BC, became part of the sea empire of Polycrates, during the 5th century BC, the Icarian cities of Oenoe and Thermae were members of the Athenian-dominated Delian League. During the 2nd century, the island was colonized by Samos. At this time, the Tauropolion, the temple of Artemis was built at Oenoe. Coins of the city represented a bull. There was another, smaller temenos, sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, at Nas, on the northwest coast of the island.

Nas had been a sacred spot to the pre-Hellenic inhabitants of the Aegean, Nas was an important island port in antiquity, the last stop before testing the dangerous seas around Icaria. It was an appropriate place for sailors to make sacrifices to Artemis Tauropolos, a patron of seafarers; the temple stood in good repair until the middle of the 19th century when the marble was pillaged, for their local church, by the Kato Raches villagers. In 1939, this church was excavated by the Greek archeologist Leon Politis. During the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II, many of the artifacts that were unearthed by Politis disappeared. Local tales state; the Knights of St. John, who had their base in Rhodes, exerted some control over Icaria until 1521, when the Ottoman Empire incorporated Icaria into its realm; the Icarians hanged the first Turkish tax collector but managed to escape punishment, since none would identify the guilty one, the Turks realistically determined that there was neither profit nor honour in punishing all.

The Ottomans imposed a loose administration, not sending any officials to Icaria for several centuries, although in years they would appoint groups of locals in each village of the island to act as Kodjabashis in order to collect taxes for the empire. The best account that we have of the island during the early years of the Ottoman rule is from the Archbishop J. Georgirenes, who in 1677 described the island with 1,000 hardy, long-lived inhabitants, who were the poorest people in the Aegean. Without a decent port—the local population destroyed the island's ports long ago to protect themselves from pirate raids—Icaria depended for its limited intercourse with the outside world upon small craft that were drawn up on the beaches. Icarian boatwrights had a good reputation for building boats from the island's fir forests, they sold boats and lumber for coin and grain at Chios. The inshore waters of the island, as told by Georgirenes, provided the best cockle shellfish in the archipelago. Goats and sheep roamed untended in the rocky landscape.

Cheeses were made for consumption in each household. Icaria in the 17th century was unusual in the archipelago in not producing any wine for export; the people kept barrels of the wine for their own drinking. They continued to store it in the old-fashion way, in terracotta pithoi containers sunk to their rims in earth, thus protected their supplies from both tax collectors and pirates. Apart from three small towns, none of which exceeded 100 houses, numerous village settlements, each house had a walled orchard and a garden plot. Unlike the built towns of Samos, the hardy inhabitants lived separately in fortified unfurnished farmsteads. In 1827, during the Greek War of Independence, Icaria broke away from the Ottoman Empire, but was not included in the narrow territory of the original independent Greece, it was forced to accept Ottoman rule once more a few years later. Icaria remained part of the Ottoman Empire until 17 July 1912, when the Icarians expelled the Turkish garrison and thereby achieved independence.

After its independence and the outbreak of the First Balkan War, Icaria's sole "warship", the Cleopatra, was used to provide food and supplies to the islands of Samos and Chios, which were captured by the Greek Navy during the war. George N. Spanos of Evdilos, killed in a Turkish ambush on 17 July 1912, is honored as the hero

Richard Mayr

Richard Mayr was an Austrian operatic bass-baritone, admired for his performances in works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. He notably created the role of Barak, the Dyer in the world premiere of Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten. Mayr studied medicine in Vienna before being persuaded by Gustav Mahler to pursue a career as a singer. After studying at the Vienna Music Academy for several years, he made his professional opera début to critical acclaim at the Bayreuth Festival in 1902 as Hagen in Wagner's Götterdämmerung; this led to his being engaged as a principal singer at the Vienna Hofoper by Mahler where he enjoyed a successful career that lasted for three decades. His first role in Vienna was Silva in Giuseppe Verdi's Ernani. Mayr sang at the Royal Opera, London from 1911-1913 and again from 1924 to 1931, he sang for three consecutive seasons at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, making his Met début as Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in 1927. He was a mainstay at the Salzburg Festival, appearing every year there from 1921 until his retirement from the stage in 1934.

He is buried at St. Peter cemetery in Salzburg. Barak in Die Frau ohne Schatten by Richard Strauss Fritz in Die tote Stadt by Erich Wolfgang Korngold The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, by John Warrack and Ewan West, 782 pages, ISBN 0-19-869164-5

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel

Peter & Max: A Fables Novel is a 2009 novel based on the comic book Fables, written by series creator Bill Willingham. The book was released by Vertigo on October 7, 2009. An audio book version was released on December 8, 2009. Of the novel, Willingham stated that he "wanted the challenge of writing a novel... I wanted to see if I could." The novel flips between telling the history of the main characters in Hesse, their homeland, current events in the mundane world. Peter Piper and his brother Max are sons of traveling minstrels. Although Peter is the younger son, his father bestows on him a magical flute, a family heirloom that has ability to avert danger; when the Piper family is visiting their long-time family friends, the Peep family, the empire's army attacks. The Pipers and Peeps escape to the Dark Forest. While they are asleep, Max — jealous of Peter because he was given the flute — kills his father while they are away from camp. Max returns to camp claiming that the empire's troops have attacked.

The announcement causes the families to flee in panic. Peter, Max and Bo Peep are separated. Peter winds up in Hamelin where he becomes a member of a thieves guild. Bo Peep becomes a member of an assassin's guild. Max meets Frau Totenkinder who gives him a magical pipe of his own which he learns to use for evil purposes, he goes to Hamelin. Peter and Bo Peep are reunited and marry, they are heading to Sanctuary when they meet Max, still angry over being passed over by his father. He attacks Bo Peep using a magical pipe. Peter is able to avert the danger with his flute, but inadvertently passes the danger along to Bo Peep, ruining her legs and crippling her. In present day, Peter and Bo Peep have been settled in "the Farm", when they are advised that Max has emerged in the current world. Peter leaves New York to meet his brother in Germany. Peter is aware of his brother's power and intent to kill him, but is determined to face his fate regardless. In their confrontation Peter is all but helpless in the face of his brother's magic.

Peter triumphs in their confrontation by using his magical pipe as a weapon, shoving the sharp reeds through his brother's heart. This is only possible. Peter claims his brother's flute for Fabletown, resolving to use it only to undo the spell that crippled his wife centuries before; this is successful. There is a brief epilogue in comicbook format, in which Beast, of Beauty and the Beast, tries to confiscate "Fire", the red flute of Max's, but Peter refuses. He promises to turn Fire over. Critical reception for Peter & Max was mixed. Publishers Weekly positively reviewed the book while The A. V. Club gave it a C rating, stating that it "isn’t a bad book, it just isn’t a good one, either". CraveOnline wrote that although the book's plot was "disjointed" as it moved between time periods, it was "a surefire hit for pre-established fans of Fables"; the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction cited Willingham as a "skilled stylist" and praised the book's artwork. Official publisher site