Culture and Arts (2)

Books vs. Television

Some people read to take their mind off of things and forget their everyday lives. Basically, some people read as a distraction. Well, we all know reading is more than that. Some kids dread reading books because of the boredom it may cause but frankly, books are very entertaining. Ever since television was invented, people started to lose the interest in reading as it does not stimulate two of the very important senses to people, both their sense of sight and their sense of hearing.

The thing about television is that it translates information in both a physical and verbal way which you will automatically accept as it is. For example, the television shows a person in a big house. With the television, instead of having to imagine the house, it fills you in detail by detail of how the house actually looks.

From the colors to the bricks, the television shows you every little spec of detail. The television is definitely a technological advancement and we should be pretty proud of it, but then again, what has it taken away from us? The television has taken away our hobby of imagining. Since everyone is already used to see things as they are, they take away the beauty of our imagination.

Our imagination is a powerful tool. In fact, we wouldn’t be where we are right now without our imagination. Back in the day, with the limited visual and sonic stimulation, people were very fond of imagining. This is why they would take something they saw for the first time with a great amount of wonder and awe. Television has become a substitute for our imagination and although television is still a great source of information, it tends to substitute imagination.

Now, here’s the question, which is more important, knowledge or creativity? Some people are overloaded with knowledge and others with information. Not everyone has the right balance of both. Some people are more knowledgeable and others are more creative. Without one, the other wouldn’t be able to function to its full potential. How can you maximize your creativity if you aren’t that knowledgeable?

Well, the effects of the balance of your creativity and your knowledge can be pretty big. Not everyone maximizes their knowledge and creativity but we can definitely notice people who do. People like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and so many more. The effects of maximizing both your knowledge and creativity are exactly what you need to succeed in life.

Creativity helps create the vision of where you want to be, who you want to be, what you want to achieve, and so many more. Now, how do we balance the battle between the television and the book? One book takes up much more time than a movie and you usually get as much in a movie as you get in a book. Of course this isn’t always the case. Movies have a tendency of simplifying what can only be experienced in the book.

Now, the key to balancing out the battle between the television and the book is by alternating. There are times when it is good to watch television and there are other times when it sure isn’t helpful. The same goes with a book. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to read. Schedule a time to read your books. Feed your mind with both knowledge and creativity and unlock your potential.

Opera for Beginners

Sitting through hours of a performance can be intimidating for beginners. Here is a list of operas you should consider as a starting point before you move on to longer and tedious productions.

Don Giovanni
It is a two-act opera based on stories of the womanizer Don Juan by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte. Don Juan wants to seduce Donna Anna by disguising as her fiance Ottavio.

Boris Godunov
This four-part masterpiece is the only complete opera by Modest Mussorgsky and is based on the life of Tsar Boris Godunov and rival Tsar Dmitriy I.

The Marriage of Figaro
It’s a four-act opera by Mozart and Da Ponte based on another stage play The Mad Day. Figaro and Susanna, with the help of Countess Rosina, are trying to reject the advances of Count Almaviva.

The Makropulos Affair
Composed and written by Leos Janacek, this three-act play features a youthful Elina Makropulos who drank an elixir of eternal life commissioned by her father Emperor Rudolf II hundreds of years ago.

This is the only opera composed by Beethoven. The different text versions were written by Joseph Sonnleithner and Jean-Nicolas Bouilly. Leonore calls herself Fidelio to disguise as a prison guard and rescue her husband.

This four-act play was based on Shakespeare’s Othello. Giuseppe Verdi composed the music while Arrigo Boito wrote the libretto. The story revolves on the four characters; the Moorish general Otello, his wife Desdemona, Otello’s ensign Iago and captain Cassio.

Inspired by Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Julian Andeson composed the music for a three-act opera commissioned by the English National Opera. The librettist was Frank McGuinness. Oedipus’ cursed family had to deal with murder and fate’s cruel hand.

La Traviata
Verdi composed the music for this three-act opera while Francesco Maria Piave wrote the libretto. They adapted it from Alexander Dumas’ novel The Lady of the Camellias. It tells about the love affair of the courtesan Violetta Valery and Alfredo Germont.

The Tempest
Composed by Thomas Ades and written by Meredith Oakes, The Tempest is a three-act opera based on Shakespeare’s play. The rightful Duke of Milan Prospero is trying to restore his daughter’s status.

La Boheme
It’s a four-act play composed by Giacomo Puccini and written by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica.Inspired by a collection of stories by Henri Murger, it tells about young bohemians in Paris’ Latin Quarter, particularly the poet Rodolfo and seamstress Mimi.

Composed by Verdi and written by Piave, it’s based on Victor Hugo’s play The King Has Fun. The three-act opera features the Duke of Manuta and his court jester Rigoletto who were cursed by a courtier.

Madama Butterfly
The three-act play was composed by Puccini and written by Illica and Giacosa. Inspired by John Luther Long’s story “Madame Butterfly,” it tells the story of the American B.F. Pinkerton and a Japanese girl called Butterfly whom he marries.

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious
It is a three-act play by Oscar Wilde and was adapted for musicals several times. It was Gerald Barry who adapted it for the opera in 2011.