Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, everybody! Earth is home to billions of people and we share it with millions of species of plants, trees, and animals—from the smallest bee to the biggest whale. We rely on earth for everything we need; food, water, and oxygen. Respect the earth.

earth day

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Verona, Italy; City of Romance

I was not planning to visit Verona at all, but a friend told me that it is good to visit as Casa di Giulietta (Juliet’s Castle) is located there, and so I visited the city with some of my friends.

We visited the so-called castle and there’s a bronze Juliet statue in the courtyard. Most all of the tourists seemed to be wanting to be photographed with the statue while groping its breast. For good luck in love, they said. I was not too keen and I refuse to belief the myth.

juliet-statueJuliet statue by Nereo Costantini (1905-1969).

The area was too full with tourists and we couldn’t even breathe, so we opted walking outside the castle, along the old street, that looks more enticing.

Verona tends to bring out the romantic in everyone who made the trip to see Juliet’s castle, balcony and statue, which in reality are just a good bit of marketing strategy to market Verona to tourists. Historians said there is nothing to link the house to Shakespeare’s tragic love story but however, archaeologists unearthed skeletons believed to be Romeo and Juliet outside Mantua, 25 miles south of Verona.

But anyway, despite the romantic fiction, the town is full of artistic, historical and cultural histories. Some of the places we visited was Castelvecchio, Piazza Brà and the Roman Arena.

castelvecchio

Castelvecchio (Old castle) with its amazing fortified bridge, represent a military monument of the Scaligera (the Scaligera was the noble family, also called “della Scala”, that governed Verona) dominion. The castle housed Verona’s principal art gallery.

arena

 

We visited Piazza Brà, a large open square where the town’s most remarkable sight, the Arena, is located. The main part of The Arena is well preserved, though an outer ring of arches is almost lost. With a total length of 139 meters and a width of 110 meters, it is one of the largest amphitheatres in the world and, after the one in Rome.

Here are some photos of attractive buildings around Piazza Brà.

veronawindows

veronacafe

veronabuilding

veronaflowershop

 

 

 

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27th Macao Arts Festival

08 Macao Arts Festival

I am always interested to find out about Arts Festival around the world. I recently found out that Macao will be having its 27th Macao Arts Festival (MAF) and the line up of programmes looks very interesting.

Themed around “Time”, MAF will kick off under the slogan “Reshape Your Imagination. Experience the Spirit of the Times” conveying the message that classics always go hand in hand with our lives.

MAF will be orchestrating 27 fascinating programmes, divided into seven distinctive categories: Thematic Highlights, Groundbreakers, Cross-Disciplinary Creations, Family Entertainment, Quintessence of Tradition, Concerts and Exhibitions. The shows and outreach programmes, more than 100 in all, are set to satiate each and every spectator through an encounter with the soul and essence of culture and arts alongside a taste of beauty and sorrow in the passage of time.

As this year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the western world literary giant William Shakespeare and of Ming Dynasty’s famed Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu, MAF will present a number of their works in tribute to the two virtuosos.

01 A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night’s Dream

07-MacbethMacbeth

The cultural spectacular will kick off with Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream rendered by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and Macbeth, presented by Third World Bunfight from South Africa. It will be seasoned by a rewritten and adapted score originally conceived by Giuseppe Verdi.

I am currently into Shakespeare and read some of his plays (read each one over and over because of the Early Modern English that was written in a rhythmic poetic iambic pentameter), and since I have yet to read both plays above, I thought it will be interesting to watch. Yay, yes, I am attending the festival!

06-The-Legend-of-the-Purple-HairpinThe Legend of the Purple Hairpin

Two of Tang’s tours de force will be staged: local Cantonese Opera maestro Chu Chan Wa and a number of professionals will interpret Tang’s widely admired The Legend of the Purple Hairpin. Meanwhile, The Peony Pavilion, recognised as one of the Four Great Chinese Classical Dramas, will delicately portrays bittersweet love in the form of Yue Opera excerpts.

02-Krapp's-Last-TapeKrapp’s Last Tape

Other highlights include renowned 20th century playwright Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape interpreted by consummate U.S. director Robert Wilson in person. To debunk stereotypes of disability and theatrical experience, a group of mentally challenged persons will perform in the Disabled Theater with their homespun bodies. Tao Ye, a talent in contemporary dance circles, will pilot TAO Dance Theater through “6” & “7”, presenting minimalism in dance. All these shows, among others, promise immense excitement.

The Cultural Affairs Bureau of Macao is dedicated to introducing tremendous international productions to widen audience’s horizons and to encouraging local artists as well as offering arts education, thereby accumulating a profound and sustainable element to Macao’s culture.

If you happen to visit Macao between 30th April – 29th May, you might want to attend and check out MAF’s programmes: 27th Macao Arts Festival.

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