New Year Message

Dear Friends:I make this extensive to all of you as a New Year message.

For all those people who love opera, music, singing, painting, theatre and/or all the arts…For all those of you out there, think of how the careers of great musicians like the Danish tenor Aksel Schiøtz and the Soviet artists Dmitri Shostakovich, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Mstislav Rostropovich, the American contralto Marie Powers, the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, the composer Sergei Prokofieff, the Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, the Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas… so many of them were either brought to a halt or otherwise impaired by war, by intolerance, by political repression, by the brutality of man to man…

Remember Cheney’s comments on the pillaging of the Bagdad Museum of Antiquities? Some of those cuneiform tablets and vases will never glue together again, if ever they are found.

This year coming up, celebrate the arts: they are what gives our lives meaning, be we Gay or straight, Republican or Democrat, Black, Hispanic, Brown, Asian, Eskimo or White, Jewish or Muslim. Long after we have forgotten the name of the Moroccan King who invaded Spain in the Middle Ages, we will still be celebrating the wonders of the Alhambra and Cante Jondo.

I can’t think of what contributions Mad Ludwig of Bavaria made. I remember him chiefly because he sponsored a fellow named Richard Wagner who coined the word Gesamtkunstwerk and made history with a handful of operas.. The arts will win the wars.

Rafael de Acha


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