Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Now considered one of the most prestigious opera festivals in the world, the Glyndebourne Festival was founded in 1934 by music lover John Christie and his wife, Audrey Mildmay. During the current 11-week season, several full-length operas are presented, at least one of which is by Mozart. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has been the main ensemble since 1964. The performances start in the late afternoon, and opera-goers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner so they can eat outdoors and enjoy the grounds during the 85-minute intermission. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Eugène François Vidocq

Vidocq was a career criminal who became a spy for the Paris police while in prison in 1809. After 21 months of spying, he was released and organized a plainclothes unit. In 1817 alone, he played a role in 811 arrests. In 1832, accusations that he was instigating crimes for the purpose of uncovering them forced his resignation. He recounted his exploits in his memoirs, inspiring several fictional accounts. Considered the father of modern criminology, Vidocq pioneered what investigative methods? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Oberammergau Passion Play

The Oberammergau Passion Play has been held since the 17th century in the small woodcarving village of Oberammergau, Germany, in the Bavarian Alps. The play, depicting the story of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection, is presented in six hours by a cast of about 2,000. All performers are villagers, and the 600 with speaking parts are required to have been born in Oberammergau. Legend says that the play was first performed in 1634 in fulfillment of a vow to God that they would reenact the Passion if he would spare the villagers from the plague. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Garden of Eden

In the Bible, the Garden of Eden is the first home to humankind, a harmonious, idyllic paradise. There, God created Adam and Eve, the first humans. Having eaten fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil—against God’s orders—they were banished from the garden. While the location of the garden itself is not specified or known, its location is described in reference to places that are. What geographic locations have biblical scholars proposed for the Garden of Eden? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Bergen International Festival

The Bergen International Festival is the major cultural event in Norway, and features more than 100 events in music, drama, folklore, opera, ballet, and the visual arts. Most of the musical events are held in Bergen’s Viking Castle (built in 1250), at the Grieg Concert Hall, at Edvard Grieg’s home (known as “Troldhaugen“), and at Lysoen, the island home of composer and violinist Ole Bull. Although the primary attraction is music, children’s programs, literary events, and art exhibits are featured as well. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

À rebours

À rebours is an 1884 novel by French author Joris-Karl Huysmans. Translated as Against Nature or Against the Grain, the novel follows Jean Des Esseintes, the last member of a noble family. Disgusted with his decadent life in Paris, he retreats to the countryside and immerses himself in art and philosophy, becoming somewhat deranged. Though not mentioned by name, À rebours is thought to be the book that heavily influences what famous novel’s titular character? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

French Open Tennis

The French Open is one of the four major tournaments that make up the Grand Slam of tennis. (The others are the Australian Open, the United States Open, and Wimbledon.) The French National Championship, played at the Stade Roland Garros in Auteil, France, on red-clay courts, was instituted in 1891 but wasn’t opened to players from other nations until 1925. It became an open (to both amateurs and professionals) in 1968. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary