Summer Olympic Games

The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad, first held in 1896, is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years. The most recent Olympics were held in Rio de Brazil; the International Olympic Committee oversees the host city's preparations. In each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals are awarded for second place, bronze medals are awarded for third place; the Winter Olympic Games were created out of the success of the Summer Olympics. The Olympics have increased in scope from a 42 competition event programme with fewer than 250 male competitors from 14 nations in 1896, to 306 events with 11,238 competitors from 206 nations in 2016; the Summer Olympics has been hosted on five continents by a total of nineteen countries. The Games have been held four times in the United States, three times in the United Kingdom, twice each in Greece, France and Australia, once each in Sweden, Netherlands, Italy, Mexico, Soviet Union, South Korea, Spain and Brazil.

The IOC has selected Tokyo, for a second time, to host the Summer Olympics in 2020. The 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, for a third time one hundred years after the city's last Summer Olympics in 1924; the IOC has selected Los Angeles, California, to host its third Summer Games in 2028. To date, only five countries have participated in every Summer Olympic Games – Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland; the United States leads the all-time medal table for the Summer Olympics. The United States has hosted the Summer Olympic Games four times: the 1904 Games was held in St. Louis, Missouri; the 2028 Games in Los Angeles will mark the fifth occasion on which the Summer Games have been hosted by the U. S. In 2012, the United Kingdom hosted its third Summer Olympic Games in the capital city, which became the first city to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games three times; the cities of Los Angeles and Athens have each hosted two Summer Olympic Games. In 2024, France will host its third Summer Olympic Games in its capital, making Paris the second city to have hosted three Summer Olympics.

In 2028, Los Angeles will become the third city to have hosted the Games three times. Australia, France and Greece have all hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice; the IOC has selected Tokyo, Japan, to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, when it will become the first city outside the Western world to have hosted the Summer Olympics more than once, having hosted the Games in 1964. The other countries that have hosted the Summer Olympics are Belgium, China, Finland, Mexico, South Korea, Soviet Union, Sweden. Asia has hosted the Summer Olympics three times, in Tokyo, Seoul, South Korea, Beijing, China; the Summer Olympics has been held predominantly in English-speaking countries and European nations. Tokyo will be the first city outside these regions to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice; the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, were the inaugural Summer Olympics to be held in South America and the inaugural, held during the local "winter" season. The only two countries in the Southern Hemisphere to have hosted the Summer Olympics have been Australia and Brazil.

Africa has yet to host a Summer Olympics. Stockholm, has hosted events at two Summer Olympics, having been sole host of the 1912 Games, hosting the equestrian events at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Amsterdam, has hosted events at two Summer Olympic Games, having been sole host of the 1928 Games and hosting two of the sailing races at the 1920 Summer Olympics. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Hong Kong provided the venues for the equestrian events, which took place in Sha Tin and Kwu Tung; the modern Olympic Games were founded in 1894 when Pierre de Coubertin sought to promote international understanding through sporting competition. He based his Olympics on the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games, contested in Much Wenlock since 1850; the first edition of de Coubertin's games, held in Athens in 1896, attracted just 245 competitors, of whom more than 200 were Greek, only 14 countries were represented. No international events of this magnitude had been organised before. Female athletes were not allowed to compete, though one woman, Stamata Revithi, ran the marathon course on her own, saying "If the committee doesn't let me compete I will go after them regardless".

The 1896 Summer Olympics known as the Games of the Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event, celebrated in Athens, from 6 to 15 April 1896. It was the first Olympic Games held in the Modern era. About 100,000 people attended for the opening of the games; the athletes came with most coming from Greece. Although Greece had the most athletes, the U. S. finished with the most champions. 11 Americans placed first in their e

Ballet of the Nuns

Ballet of the Nuns is the first ballet blanc and the first romantic ballet. It is an episode in Act 3 of Robert le diable, it was first performed in November 1831 at the Paris Opéra. The choreography was created by either Filippo Jean Coralli; the short ballet tells of deceased nuns rising from their tombs in a ruined cloister. Their aim is to seduce the knight, Robert le Diable, into accepting a talisman to win him a princess. At the end of the ballet, the white-clad nuns return to their tombs; the ballet was created to demonstrate the building's newly installed gas lighting. The lighting was capable of creating ghastly effects. Ballet of the Nuns starred Marie Taglioni as the Abbess Helena. Although opening night was marred with a few mishaps, Taglioni made her indelible mark on the ballet world in the role, she became known for her ethereal qualities and her moral purity, is one of the most celebrated ballerinas in history. The ballet opens with Bertram, Robert le Diable's father, entering the ruined cloister of Sainte-Rosalie.

He summons the ghosts of nuns. They rise from their graves, he orders them to seduce his son Robert into accepting a deadly talisman. The Abbess Helena orders the ghosts to waltz. In spite of their sacred vows, the nuns waltz; the dead nuns give themselves over to unholy thrills. Robert enters; the nuns return to prevent his escape. Robert stands terrified before a saint's tomb; the Abbess lures him towards the talisman in the saint's hand. Robert seizes it; the nuns continue their dance. Their graves open and they sink into the earth. Stone slabs slide into place. A choir of demons is heard. Ballet of the 18th century was based on classical art; the French Revolution however ushered in a period. Trapdoors, gas lighting, other elements that became associated with the romantic ballet had been used in the popular theaters on the Paris boulevards for some time; such elements would gain official sanction and prestige at the Paris Opéra in the middle decades of the 19th century. A ballet on a Robert le Diable theme was danced in Paris before Her Highness Mlle de Longueville in 1652.

Ballet of the Nuns however was something new in concept to audiences on the ballet's opening night. Henri Duponchel, managing director of the Paris Opéra, was in charge of visual effects at the Opéra, he wanted to demonstrate the venue's installed gas lighting. Its reflectors produced a stronger, more keenly directed light than before. Working with him was chief scenery designer. Ciceri was inspired by either the Saint-Trophime cloister in Arles or the cloister of Monfort-l'Amaury for the ballet's moonlit setting; the theme of the ballet is passion and death, love beyond the grave. The scene is night rather than day, Gothic Europe rather than the classical world of Greece and Rome. After 100 years of rational thought, audiences were clamoring for the mysterious, the supernatural, the vague, the doomed; the story of the ballet is about a knight who slips into a cloister at midnight to steal a talisman from a dead saint's hand that will allow him to win a princess. Hans Christian Andersen included the scene in one of his novels.

Andersen writes of the scene, "By the hundred they rise from the graveyard and drift into the cloister. They seem not to touch the earth. Like vaporous images, they glide past one another... Their shrouds fall to the ground, they stand in all their voluptuous nakedness, there begins a bacchanal." The nuns were not naked, but Andersen did capture the essence of the scene. Opening night was spoiled by a trapdoor that would not close properly. A piece of scenery fell; the curtain was brought down. The ballerina assured everyone; the curtain rose and the performance continued. It ended in a triumph for Meyerbeer, the Taglionis, Dr. Louis Véron, the Opéra's new manager. Dr. Véron had been awarded the Paris Opéra as a private enterprise, he had great faith in Taglioni. He raised her salary to an unprecedented 30,000 francs a year, her father was named ballet master with a three-year contract. Véron's boldness was rewarded when Taglioni became a great star; the audience took prurient delight in the scandalous Nuns.

A reviewer for the Revue des Deux-Mondes wrote:A crowd of mute shades glides though the arches. All these women cast off their nuns' costume, they shake off the cold powder of the grave. What a pleasure to see these light women. Nuns was the first romantic ballet; the opera was performed 756 times between 1893 at the Paris Opéra. French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas painted the ballet scene several times between 1871 and 1876. Under her contract, Taglioni was to appear in Nuns about a dozen times, she left after six. It is possible, she may have been reluctant to appear in a ballet within an opera. A foot injury and the accidents that marred the first performance may have given the ballerina pause for thought. Bad press directed at her father may have caused Taglioni to withdraw. Taglioni was replaced by Louise Fitzjames; the Danish choreographer August Bournonville saw Fitzjames's performance as the Abbess in Paris in 1841. He based his own choreography, used in Copenhagen between 1843 and 1863, on this.

His choreography has been preserved. It repr


The Meistersaal is an historic concert hall in Berlin, Germany. Built in 1910 as a chamber music concert hall, the building today enjoys protected building status, it is located in Berlin-Mitte near Potsdamer Platz. Its major claim to fame stems from the times. Since the 1990s, the Meistersaal has found use as a location for all manner of events. In 1910 the Real Estate Association of Berlin and its Suburbs – which became the Guild of Maisons – bought the plot of land on the Köthener Straße 38, with the view to building there a head office for the association. After three years of construction the building was completed with offices for the association together with some solicitors' offices as well as a bookshop and was opened by the association’s chairman, Otto Heuer, in October 1913. In its early days many small meetings and concerts were held within its 266-square-metre chamber music room located at the building's centre; the name Meistersaal was first coined as part of the invitation for tender for the project.

The room found further use as the venue for the graduation ceremonies of the newly qualified guildsmen. In the 1920s the Meistersaal started to build a reputation for itself amongst the blooming artistic scene in Berlin. On the ground floor of the building the publishers Malik-Verlag, under the management of Wieland Herzfelde, the Gallery George Grosz took up residence here, and on January 27, 1921 Kurt Tucholsky performed a reading in the Meistersaal. Furthermore, stars of the nascent silver screen made regular appearances here such as the silent film actor Carl de Vogt and Ludwig Hardt staged frequent performances in the Meistersaal; as a result of some rather controversial exhibitions held in the ground floor gallery, which took a critical look at social issues of the times and gained some notoriety in Berlin, The Guild of Masons, who considered themselves to be representatives of conservative morality, refused to extend the leases to their unpopular tenants. Therefore, the Malik-Verlag house was forced to find new premises in 1926.

Today their presence here is commemorated by a plaque. From 1933 the State Chamber Music Orchestra held their concerts in the Meistersaal and in 1936 the Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau held a series of concerts here performing the entire piano works of Johann Sebastian Bach, a feat that aided his subsequent fame and popularity. During the night from the 22 to 23 November 1943 the rear wing of the building was destroyed by an allied bombing attack; the Meistersaal itself remained intact although during the war no further events took place here. In 1945 the Guild was dispossessed by the Allied forces; the building was put under marshal ownership and after some essential renovation work the building was used as a concert hall under different forms of management whilst on the ground floor a cinema was introduced. Although attempts to establish the Meistersaal as a theatre failed to make an impact, the venue became popular for cabaret performers for example the famous magician Fredo Marvelli. In 1948 the Meistersaal was renamed as Ballhaus City and later in 1953 as Ballhaus Susi.

It continued in this guise until the erecting of the Berlin wall in 1961 which brought about an abrupt end to activities. Its location which once placed it at the epi-centre of a bourgeoning capital city, now left it high and dry, cut off from its public, at the centre only of a political dispute. From 1961 the record label. Amongst the famous artists of this epoque who recorded here were the composer and conductor Robert Stolz, the Tenor Rudolf Schock, Peter Kreuder, Ivan Rebroff, Erika Köth, René Kollo, Norbert Schultze, Peter Alexander as well as the Swedish singer and actress Zarah Leander, its proximity to the Berlin Wall now left it in a quiet backwater, the ideal pre-requisite for locating a recording studio. In 1976, the music producers Meisel Musikverlage bought the entire building in the Köthener Straße 38 and created within it five Hansa-Tonstudio studios. Many of the bomb-damaged rooms were renovated and converted to meet the demands of a recording studio. A restaurant opened on the ground floor, whereas the Meistersaal was reborn as Studio 2.

Over the next years, the Meistersaal became famous worldwide within the music industry as it was the recording studio of choice for many pop stars from around the globe, including U2, Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Eartha Kitt, Richard Clayderman, Mike Batt, David Byrne, Nick Cave, Snow Patrol, Jon Bon Jovi and Supergrass to name but a few. Rubbing shoulders with the international stars were the local heroes of the time, including Peter Maffay, Udo Lindenberg, Udo Jürgens, Roland Kaiser, Nina Hagen, Einstürzende Neubauten, Marianne Rosenberg, Die Toten Hosen, Heiner Pudelko, Ute Lemper, Reinhard Mey, Max Raabe, Horst Nußbaum a.k.a. Jack White and Paul Kuhn; the falling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 meant the Meistersaal was back in the throng of things and lost some of the advantage it had had for recording music. Concurrently, the overall demand for recording studios of this kind was in decline, meaning Studio 2 became no longer economically feasible and was closed. However, it went out with a bang as the last production done there was Achtung Baby by U2.

Thomas Meisel, co-founder of the Hansa Music Produktion and owner of the building, decided to return the Meistersaal as near as possible to its original condition and run it as an event location. The restoration work began on 1 March 1993 and lasted 18 months, more than twice as long as intended. One of the main reasons for this was that a commemorative brochure from the original opening of the Meistersaal from 1913 came to light showing pictures of the room