Portia Placino

teaching, blogging and researching on art and culture, viewing the world through the camera's eyes, continually contemplating on the world of aesthetics and art theory and expressing it in art criticism and discourse…

Diary of a Grad Student: Leap Year, Cartoons, and Opera

Google Doodle for Rossini and Leap Year

I looked to the coming of the leap year with dread. It was supposed to be the deadline of my thesis proposal’s first draft. But, maybe the leap year has its magic. Alas, the deadline was extended. With a sigh of relief, I wasted time again.

If you’re a reader of this blog, you will know of my fondness for google doodles. I wanted to write about it during the day, but as it was, I was terribly busy. My voices column went out in The Shakespeare Standard, then spent part of the day procrastinating. It’s an extra day of the year after all, right?

And so it was, it was also the 220th birthday of Gioachino Rossini. Unfamiliar with his music? You’re not. Listen to this…

The things we learn everyday, right? Gives us some Loony Tunes and Lone Rangers memories. I was reading comments on YouTube, saying that if Rossini was alive, he’d be so rich because of all the royalties due him. They’re right, of course. It’s probably why older, popular cartoons choose “classic” music instead of contemporary ones. Not that I’m saying it’s a bad thing. At least children of the generation are familiar with the music and are regularly exposed to it. Nowadays, sigh…

Who didn’t have cowboy fantasies? Especially after listening to that? And of course, in another incarnation, is Mickey Mouse! As I said, it’s very educational and helpful for children to listen to such music. I grew up with it. It makes me sad that children today rarely see this. It’s just one spectacle after another today.

Going back to Rossini, he’s also the composer of The Barber of Seville. Yes, you are familiar with that. It’s the first part of The Marriage of Figaro trilogy. Yes, it’s good with cartoons too. I only wish we could still be as cultured as before. Even cartoons were thinking cartoons. We were geeks without even knowing it.

Here’s a leap, to another year.

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Real and Theoretical: Portia’s Art Blog

This blog is the extension of my classroom and of myself. I teach art, aesthetics and art history. I study, research, write and blog various aspects of the art world--real or theoretical. I look at the world through my camera's eyes and share such views to those who care to look. I hope you, who stumbled into this blog, would stop being a passive voyeur and engage in art criticism and discourse with me and the public...

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