Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dear Anthony Amato 1920 - 2011 Rest in Peace

(Photo Copyright © 2013 Harald Schrader. All Rights Reserved.)

On a very busy work day, I have to pause for one moment to acknowledge personally devastating news. I just learned of the passing of the one-and-only, Anthony "Tony" Amato, of his now legendary New York opera company, AMATO OPERA. Founded in New York by Tony, and his late, beyond-beloved wife, Sally, Amato in 1948, the "small, but oh, so grand" company -- which was first housed in the basement theater of Our Lady of Pompeii Church on Bleecker Street, followed by other locations, then a long-term home at 159 Bleecker Street, then its longer, final home at 319 Bowery -- gave thousands of performances over nearly 60 years, and an equal amount of aspiring singers (some who ended up at the MET and other great companies) the opportunity to learn operatic roles, stage craft, and the magic that was Tony and Sally.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Frank Ufert World Trade Center Survivor


The photo above is the hard hat given to my late father, Frank Ufert, by his final employer, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of the U.S. Department of Labor, following the 9-11 Tragedy, All of us in the United States, and throughout the globe, have personal recollections of that world-changing day. Only a few of us, however -- and by "few," I mean tens of thousands out of billions of humans who live on Earth -- lost someone, or were, or knew, a survivor, to whom we we were related or knew first-hand. My dad was one of those survivors.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Happy 50th Birthday President Barack Obama

I want to wish a very Happy 50th Birthday to our great President, Barack Obama.

I continue to deeply admire this strong leader, who methodically, quietly, and brilliantly, handles each of the challenging situations that he faces as an American President. Additionally, he continues to be forced to contend with the most conspicuous greed ever in history from the party/"parties" of his opposition -- and even blatant bigotry from those who would typically support him politically -- and does this with the greatest of dignity.

We are also fellow August Leos--both born in the 1960s. Rrroarrrrrr, President Obama!

Please celebrate with our President by continuing to support him and his work with citizen pressure to the U.S. Congress to be more responsible, and less avaricious, than they've been in recent months/weeks, with your votes, and with your donations to President Obama's 2012 Presidential Campaign.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bernard Herrmann Postscript

I just learned that the great composer, Bernard Herrmann, was born 100 years ago in Lying-In Hospital in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. Lo and behold, 53 years later, I was born in the SAME HOSPITAL (then called Manhattan General Hospital).

My connections to this towering figure are many. Fascinating...

Bernard Herrmann Centennial

On June 29, we celebrate the Centennial of the birth of the late Bernard Herrmann, (arguably) my all-time favorite cinematic composer. Herrmann was the composer of reference of my entire youth, and the reason that I fell in love with classical music, opera and learned to have equal passion for, and better understand, the work of other cinematic music composers. While other great film composers are Herrmann's equals in my mind, by an inch I most personally relate to my love for Herrmann's scores.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Death of Osama Bin-Laden: Reflections from a Great Writer and from Me

A brilliantly-written article by Chris Hedges, who was, "nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for 'The New York Times'," on CommonDreams.org (Hedges,  "made these remarks about Osama bin Laden’s death at a Truthdig fundraising event in Los Angeles on Sunday evening"):

On Osama Bin Laden’s Death | Common Dreams

My own (Karl Ufert's) thoughts about the announcement of the death of Osama Bin-Laden--I posted an abridged version of the following to Facebook last night, after the President spoke: