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La bohème

La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini. Since La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most performed operas worldwide. In 1946, fifty years after the opera's premiere, Toscanini conducted a commemorative performance of it on radio with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. A recording of the performance was released by RCA Victor on vinyl record and compact disc, it is the only recording made of a Puccini opera by its original conductor. As credited on its title page, the libretto of La bohème is based on Henri Murger's novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème, a collection of vignettes portraying young bohemians living in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1840s. Although called a novel, the book has no unified plot.

Like the 1849 play drawn from the book by Murger and Théodore Barrière, the opera's libretto focuses on the relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì, ending with her death. Like the play, the libretto combines two characters from the novel, Mimì and Francine, into the single character of Mimì. Early in the composition stage Puccini was in dispute with the composer Leoncavallo, who said that he had offered Puccini a completed libretto and felt that Puccini should defer to him. Puccini responded that he had had no idea of Leoncavallo's interest and that having been working on his own version for some time, he felt that he could not oblige him by discontinuing with the opera. Leoncavallo completed his own version in which Marcello was sung by a tenor and Rodolfo by a baritone, it was unsuccessful and is now performed. Much of the libretto is original; the main actions of acts two and three are the librettists' invention, with only a few passing references to incidents and characters in Murger. Most of acts one and four follow the book.

The final scenes in acts one and four—the scenes with Rodolfo and Mimì—resemble both the play and the book. The story of their meeting follows chapter 18 of the book, in which the two lovers living in the garret are not Rodolphe and Mimì at all, but rather Jacques and Francine; the story of Mimì's death in the opera draws from two different chapters in the book, one relating Francine's death and the other relating Mimì's. The published libretto includes a note from the librettists discussing their adaptation. Without mentioning the play directly, they defend their conflation of Francine and Mimì into a single character: "Chi può non confondere nel delicato profilo di una sola donna quelli di Mimì e di Francine?". At the time, the book was in the public domain, Murger having died without heirs, but rights to the play were still controlled by Barrière's heirs; the world première performance of La bohème took place in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio and was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini.

The role of Rodolfo was played by Evan Gorga with Cesira Ferrani as Mimi, but Gorga was unable to accommodate the high tessitura and the music had to be transposed down for him. The initial response of the audience at the first performance was subdued and critical responses were polarized. Despite this varied introductory response, the opera became popular throughout Italy and productions were soon mounted by the following companies: The Teatro di San Carlo; the first performance of La bohème outside Italy was at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 16 June 1896. The opera was given in Alexandria and Moscow in early 1897; the United Kingdom premiere took place at the Theatre Royal in Manchester, on 22 April 1897, in a presentation by the Carl Rosa Opera Company supervised by Puccini. This performance was given in English and starred Alice Esty as Mimì, Bessie McDonald as Musetta, Robert Cunningham as Rodolfo, William Paull as Marcello. On 2 October 1897 the same company gave the opera's first staging at the Royal Opera House in London and on 14 October 1897 in Los Angeles for the opera's United States premiere.

The opera reached New York City on 16 May 1898 when it was performed at Wallack's Theatre with Giuseppe Agostini as Rodolfo. The first production of the opera produced by the Royal Opera House itself premiered on 1 July 1899 with Nellie Melba as Mimì, Zélie de Lussan as Musetta, Fernando De Lucia as Rodolfo, Mario Ancona as Marcello. La bohème premiered in Germany at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin on

WEOS

WEOS is a college radio station licensed to Geneva, New York, broadcasting on 89.5 FM across the Finger Lakes region of New York. It broadcasts on a smaller relay transmitter on 90.3FM in Geneva. The station is owned by The Colleges of the Seneca, Inc. the legal name of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The board of trustees of the colleges are the owners, with the current President Mark Gearan as its chair; the programming is NPR/public radio, with a focus more on news/talk shows. WEOS is an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media and Pacifica Radio. In addition, it acquires "public radio"-style programming from the Public Radio Satellite System, from the internet, from various national and local sources. WEOS maintains an active "community calendar" listing of local events. There are regular special broadcasts of lectures, panel discussions and live concerts from local and regional colleges and arts centers. In general, it maintains a public radio format.

Most of the programming is of a news/talk/information style, although there are a few hours of music shows on weekdays, several hours on weekends. Some programming is produced locally by volunteer community DJs, others by Hobart and William Smith students. WEOS reaches most of the central Finger Lakes region of New York State. There are a repeater or "translator" station. Both broadcast the same programming. WEOS 89.5FM: Located on a cellphone tower on Lake to Lake Road, near the village of Gorham, New York. Licensed for 6,000 watts effective radiated power via a 3-bay/full-wavelength Shively 6810 antenna array. Uses a Harris Z8HDC transmitter to create a HD Radio digital signal. Serves the Finger Lakes region. Actual reception of WEOS can vary with local terrain and the quality of receiver/antenna. W212BA 90.3FM: Located on a tower on top of the Winn-Seeley Gymnasium on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus. Licensed for 88 watts ERP via a 4-bay/full-wavelength ERI antenna array. Operating under Special Temporary Authority from the Federal Communications Commission to transmit 44 watts ERP.

Uses a Larcan DRT01 & LA25 heterodyning transmitter to copy WEOS's 89.7FM signal and retransmit it on 90.3FM in HD Radio. Serves downtown Geneva and the HWS campus. WITH 90.1FM: Related to WEOS is WITH 90.1FM broadcasting from the WSQG 90.9FM tower in North Lansing, with 1,000 watts ERP. WITH broadcasts a separate programming schedule from WEOS, focusing on Triple-A music. WITH is a partnership endeavor between WXXI in Rochester. WEOS started on May 6, 1949 as a carrier current radio station at Hobart and William Smith Colleges as a means of rebroadcasting recorded lectures from Western Civilization or other classes for students to either re-hear, or in some cases, hear for the first time if they missed class. However, there are records and citations that mention broadcast experiments and other related efforts in earlier years, one involving the broadcast of a Hobart and Union College football game in 1920; the station was operated by students. The station's studios were in Smith Hall, before moving to the basement of Sherrill Hall, where real broadcast studios were built in the 1960s.

The studios remained there until 1998. The station was granted a construction permit in 1970, for 91.3 MHz, at 10 watts ERP. However, this frequency would have precluded Syracuse from getting a public radio station. Through negotiation, the station applied for and changed its frequency to 89.7FM. The station went on the air in 1971, broadcasting a variety of programs both recorded and live, all forms of music and sports, including those of NPR; the transmitter site was on the roof of Eaton Hall. Through a series of power increases and improvements, the station increased its power and coverage in steps, first to 250 watts 460 watts, 1500 watts; the latter moved the transmitter site and tower to the roof of Winn-Seeley Gymnasium in the mid-1970s. The station had a Phelps-Dodge 4-bay antenna. In July 1988, lightning struck the antenna, a fire destroyed the transmitter and related equipment; the transmitter was to be replaced and back on the air by the start of the school year, but the new transmitter was destroyed in-transit in a truck accident.

The replacement transmitter did not arrive until mid December 1988. The Harris FM1-K was installed in a new location in Winn-Seeley gym, including its Optimod 8100A; the STL link was a buried multi-conductor shielded audio cable running from building to building from Sherrill Hall in the old Alpha System fire alarm conduit. The station used to run audio and voltages on these cables, in a home-built remote control; the advent of the new transmitter, a new remote control, allowed for the stereo send/return audio from remote pickup transmitters and the data to use this cable, which when equalized, was flat from 15 Hz to 22 kHz! In 1989, the antenna failed, was replaced by an ERI 4-bay antenna, still used today for a translator, W212BA 90.3FM. In 1994, The station applied for and was granted a construction permit to move the transmitter site off campus. For years, there was an effort to get the station's transmitter up on "Bean's Hill" to lessen multipath and help improve coverage; this came to pass with a move to Stanley, New York, on a tower site owned by Ontario County public safety.

The station we

Curse of 39

The curse of 39 is the belief, in some parts of Afghanistan, that the number 39 is cursed or a badge of shame as it is purportedly linked with prostitution. The number 39 has somehow become lodged in the Afghan popular imagination as a sign of pimping and prostitution, but it has been claimed to have been associated with a pimp living in the western city of Herat, nicknamed "39" after the registration plate of his expensive car and the number of his apartment; the number is said to translate into morda-gow meaning "dead cow" but a well-known slang term for a pimp. Others have blamed corrupt police officials for spreading the rumour in order to charge between $200–$500 to change a "39" plate. Officials have, in turn, blamed car dealers and "those who work for the mafia started the rumours about 39 so they could buy cars with 39 plates cheaper and sell them back for higher prices after changing the plates", according to Abdul Qader Samoonwal of Kabul's Traffic and License Registration department.

The problem is made worse by the fact that Afghanistan is a illiterate country in which rumours and superstitions thrive. Vehicle registration plates incorporating the number are seen as so undesirable that vehicles and apartments bearing the numerals are said to be unsellable in the capital, Kabul; the drivers of such vehicles have reported receiving abuse and derision from pedestrians and other drivers, some have had their registration plates altered to disguise the numbers. One such driver, Zalmay Ahmadi, told The Guardian: "hen I drive around all the other cars flash their lights, beep their horns and people point at me. All my classmates now call me Colonel 39."A taxi driver, Ahmad Ghafor, said that he found that "it gets worse when I have women customers in the car. Other drivers signal to me or blow their horn saying'shall we pay you to drop these ladies to my place?'"The issue caused particular problems in Kabul after the Persian New Year of March 2011, as the government started to issue registration plates beginning with 39..

Despite the threat of penalties, many drivers refused to register their cars while the number 39 still appeared on them. Cellphone owners have encountered similar problems, forcing them to hide their caller ID or switch their numbers altogether. One man with "39" in his phone number told the BBC: "I receive lots of anonymous calls asking if I have got prostitutes. I am known as Mr 39 amongst my friends." Some 39-year-old Afghans are said to refer to themselves as being "one less than 40" or "one year to 40." During the 2010 parliamentary elections, one candidate, Mullah Tarakhil, had the misfortune to be listed 39th on the ballot. Afghan government officials and numerologists have tried to scotch the claims about 39, though with little success. Gen. Assadullah, the head of the traffic department in Kabul, described the problem as "nonsense" as 39 is "just a number." He noted that there is no religious prohibition against the number and his department has sought to reassure the public by noting where Muslims can find the number 39 in the Quran and publishing a formula by which the number can be derived from the name "Allah."Sediq Afghan, a famous numerologist, has complained that people "only see the negative side" of the number and has called it "a sickness for Afghans".

He told television viewers that associating the number with pimps "is a sin because 57 Suras from our Quran contain the number 39." The popular television satire show Danger Bell highlighted the issue but only succeeded in publicising it further. Some car dealers have been able to profit from it, as the problem exists in Kabul. Many have "edited" their own plates by painting or taping over the offending digits, or altering them to make the number 3 look like an 8, or covering over the entire plate. One driver told NPR: "I have no choice but to drive this car, but I have to cover the 39 plate with a blue sheet. I do this to protect the dignity of this organization and of myself." Prostitution in Afghanistan Triskaidekaphobia Tetraphobia "Loya jirga: Afghan elders reject'pimp's number 39'", BBC News, 17 November 2011