March 6, 2011 |
Reporting from Nagano, Japan Fame is fleeting, but mountains are eternal. Or so it seems in Nagano, the mountain-ringed city in the center of Honshu, Japan's main island. Nagano had a brief brush with international fame when it hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics, but the city center has returned to its former self, a comfortably modern medium-size downtown spread out below the imposing Zenkoji Buddhist Temple. But the mountainous prefecture, or administrative region, encircling it seems ancient, with its Shinto shrines, hot springs and villages trapped in time.
July 7, 2010
James Patterson's publishing company says that he's the first author to exceed 1 million sales in electronic book delivery. The Hachette Book Group says Patterson has moved 1.14 million units of his books for devices like Kindle and the iPad. The big seller, by far, is the most recent: Patterson's novel "I, Alex Cross," which was published both electronically and in hardcover last fall. Since his first novel in 1976, Patterson's books have sold more than 205 million copies. There's no third-party monitor of e-book sales, so Hachette used its own figures and checked other prominent authors.
October 14, 2009 |
Two-time Olympic champion Hermann Maier retired Tuesday, ending a career in which he became one of Alpine skiing's most prolific racers and almost lost a leg in a motorcycle accident in 2001. The 36-year-old Maier cited surgery on his right knee in the off-season as the main reason for his retirement. The Austrian speed specialist won two golds at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, and earned three world championship titles. He won 54 World Cup races and four overall titles, putting him second only to Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark , who captured 86 race victories.
May 18, 2009 |
Kent Nagano, who now commutes between the Montreal Symphony and the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany, has been a rare visitor to Southern California since ending his tenure as Los Angeles Opera music director three years ago. But Saturday night he appeared at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica with a handful of Montreal Symphony players, two Inuit throat singers and a bassoon-playing bear. First the orchestra's second associate concertmaster, Marianne Dugal, gave a labored solo performance of the Chaconne from Bach's D-Minor Violin Partita.
July 21, 2007 |
The posters of Kent Nagano on the side of the Bavarian State Opera are curious. One is a severe close-up of his face, pores and all, unsmiling, stern. Another is the same shot with "Hier bin ich gern" plastered over him in blocky red letters, like war paint. It translates: "I'm glad to be here." He may not look it, but in fact he is. The company is, at present, midway through its annual Opera Festival, which began at the end of June and runs through July.
March 27, 2006 |
I doubt that many who attend "The Marriage of Figaro" know exactly what is going on at all points in its screwball plot. Yet Saturday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, when Los Angeles Opera brought back its perfectly likable 2004 production of Mozart's opera, I noticed something unusual. As the situation on stage got more confusing, heads in the audience began bobbing less.