The terms "semi-opera", "dramatic opera" and "English opera" were all applied to Restoration entertainments that combined spoken plays with masque-like episodes employing singing and dancing characters. They included machines in the manner of the restoration spectacular; the first examples were the Shakespeare adaptations produced by Thomas Betterton with music by Matthew Locke. After Locke's death, a second flowering produced the semi-operas of Henry Purcell, notably King Arthur and The Fairy-Queen. Semi-opera received a deathblow when the Lord Chamberlain separately licensed plays without music and the new Italian opera. Semi-operas were performed with singing and dancing roles; when music was written, it was for moments in the play following either love scenes or those concerning the supernatural. It has been observed that several of Calderón's comedias with music by Juan Hidalgo de Polanco are closer to semi-opera than to the pastoral Zarzuela. Macbeth libretto by William Davenant after Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Susan J. Owen: chapter by Todd S. Gilman
Sidi Yahya is a mosque and madrassa of Timbuktu in Mali which finished construction in 1440. Sidi Yahya along with Sankore compose the "University" of Timbuktu. Sidi Yahya's mausoleum was destroyed on 2 July 2012 following the Battle of Timbuktu; the sacred legend of this holy site states that the "End of The World" main gate of Sidi Yahya mosque would not be opened until the last day, or end times. Sidi Yahya is named for head professor Sidi Yahya; the mosque is located south of the more famous Sankoré Mosque. Construction of the Sidi Yahya mosque was begun in 1400 by Sheikh El-Mokhtar Hamalla in expectation of a great holy person, it took 40 years to complete. In 1441 Mohamed Naddah, the city-governor of Timbuktu, appointed his close friend Sidi Yahya as its first imam; this marked the beginning of the mosque as a great center of learning for the region. The Sidi Yahya mosque was restored in 1578 by Cadi Al Akib, its original shape was altered in 1939 to reduce its appearance as a military fortress.
The original minaret, however, is still in place. Beneath it are the sepulchres of Sidi Yahya and Mohamed Naddah who are said to have died one week apart; the doors of the mosque were repaired. Sidi Yahya resembles the other famous mosques in Timbuktu. Key differences are the doors are ornately made reflecting Moroccan influence; the mosque has three rows of pillars facing north-south. The main courtyard is towered over by the minaret; the courtyard was converted into a cemetery, no longer in use. The imams of the school are buried in an underground area located to the north of the mosque. Evening and morning prayers are performed there, it contains lodgings for the mosque’s guard. A smaller, external courtyard is used as reading space during the celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad. Compared to other mosques of Timbuktu, this one benefits from maintenance. In the summer of 2012, members of Ansar Dine broke down the doors of the mosque, which according to legend were not to be opened until the end times.
IC 349 known as Barnard's Merope Nebula, is a nebula which lies 3500 AUs from the star Merope in the Pleiades cluster. It was discovered in November 1890 by the American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard, who described it as "a new and comparatively bright round cometary nebula close south and following Merope... about 30" in diameter, of the 13 brighter in the middle, cometary in appearance.” The British astronomer Charles Pritchard, disputed Barnard's discovery announcement, claiming to have discovered it himself on a photographic plate obtained at Oxford on 29 January 1889. Pritchard dismissed IC 349 as an "apparently insignificant fleck," dismissing a distinct identity for the object and instead regarding it as the brightest part of the broader reflection nebulosity enveloping the Pleiades. Sherburne Wesley Burnham agreed with Barnard's estimation of the importance of the nebula, calling it "far more interesting than any of the nebulae heretofore discovered in the Pleiades by visual and photographic method" and "one of the most singular objects in the heavens."
Burnham further speculated as to whether IC 349 was kinematically related to the Pleiades, suggesting that its proper motion might provide a definitive answer. IC 349 may be an example of a cold, dense small-scale condensation of the interstellar medium. Morphologically, it appears to have a pentagonal shape with a bright knot situated closest to Merope; this knot was examined for evidence of an embedded protostar, but none was found to a luminosity upper limit of 0.23 ± 0.05 times the luminosity of the Sun. This implies an upper limit of 0.15 times the mass of the Sun for a deuterium-burning protostar embedded in the knot, whose existence is further rendered dubious by a lack of emission lines characteristic of pre–Main Sequence stars in its optical spectrum. Further searches in the near-infrared failed to show any evidence of an embedded protostar in the bright knot, showing only wavelength-dependent scattering of light consistent with the presence of fine dust particles. Analysis of the nebula's space motion indicate it does not share the velocity and direction of the Pleiades, suggesting a chance encounter between the objects.
Because IC 349 shares the velocity of molecular gas in the nearby Taurus Molecular Cloud complex, it may have originated there. IC 349 is now sufficiently close to Merope that its envelope is undergoing disruption by either the star's radiation pressure, a stellar wind, or both. IC 349 Media related to IC 349 at Wikimedia Commons