Tag Archives: Point

Celebrating 100 Posts!

I can’t believe it, but this is my 100th post to gegallas.wordpress.com!!

I started this blog in March of last year, not knowing where it would take me. It’s quite incredible how many amazing people are here on WordPress and that they have and continue to visit my humble blog.

For my 100th post, I’d like to share a drawing I’ve been meaning to squeeze in somewhere for a long time. This drawing is from August 2011, but really marks the point at which I discovered, after a long hiatus due to college, that I could enjoy drawing again.

December 2012 - 3

For my 100th post, I’d like to ask two important but simple favors from my readers:

  1. For those of you who have yet to check out my graphic novel The Poet and the Flea, it would be a great honor if you would go over to thepoetandtheflea.wordpress.com and check it out!
  2. If you’d like to receive notifications on Facebook about my new WordPress posts, please follow/like me at www.facebook.com/gegallas!

By the way, if you’re interested in checking out my 99 previous posts, head over to the contents page by either clicking on “contents” at the top of this blog or by clicking the following link: gegallas.wordpress.com/contents.

Thank you very much and I look forward to writing the next hundred posts of this blog!!!

***

For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

***

Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Note on “The Nutcracker”

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following images or video!!

One of my favorite operas is Jacques Offenbach‘s The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d’Hoffmann). This opera is a fantastical retelling of the life of the German Romantic author E. T. A. Hoffmann,  casting Hoffmann as the protagonist of his own stories.

Placido Domingo performing the “Chanson de Kleinzach” aria.

Désirée Rancatore performing “Les oiseaux dans la charmille.”

Through The Tales of Hoffmann, I developed an interest in Hoffmann and his stories, quickly leading me to Sigmund Freud’s The Uncanny. In Freud’s essay, he uses many of the same Hoffmann stories as Offenbach, but in this case to prove a psychological point (not that Offenbach’s opera isn’t deeply psychological). If I remember correctly, Freud even mentions Offenbach’s opera.

Portrait of E. T. A. Hoffmann

I’m sure you are all wondering, “What does all this have to do with The Nutcracker?” Well, little do most people know, E. T. A. Hoffmann wrote in 1816 one of the earliest versions of The Nutcracker story, entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Nussknacker und Mausekönig).

Alexandre Dumas was also a fan of Hoffmann, employing allusions to Hoffmann’s stories in The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas even went as far as creating a revision to Hoffmann’s Nutcracker in 1844 called History of The Nutcracker (Histoire d’un casse-noisette), or The Tale of the Nutcracker.

9780143104834

Towards the end of the 19th Century, Hoffmann’s Nutcracker was adapted to ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, perhaps the most famous incarnation of the tale. I write this post because my dad purchased tickets to the San Francisco Ballet to see The Nutcracker at the end of the month. Perhaps later I’ll add my thoughts on the production to this post.

Tchaikovsky’s music is always wonderful, if not a little too overplayed for the holidays. A lot of people tend to associate The March from The Nutcracker or The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy not with Tchaikovsky, but with the thousands of Christmas commercials that use these pieces. This also happens with The Chinese Tea Dance from The Nutcracker with Disney’s Fantasia and The Sleeping Beauty Waltz with Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

I believe the most creative and exciting production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut. The Hard Nut is set in 1950s America with a very retro feel inspired by the comic artist Charles Burns — a strange but brilliant compliment to the classical music. I hope to one day be able to attend a live performance.

Advertisement for The Hard Nut.

***

For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

***

Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,462 other followers