Monday, August 02, 2010

Lohengrin on the Basketball Court

The first opera I attended was Lohengrin in May 1967 at Convention Hall in Philadelphia.  New York's Metropolitan opera performed Lohengrin in a week-long visit to Philadelphia that was part of the company's national tour.

The production was by Wieland Wagner, the composer's grandson, who had died the previous fall.  This was to be Wieland Wagner's final production.

I was 13 years old.  You never forget your first Lohengrin!  Yes, I was a very strange kid.


Gary Freedman said...

I have no idea what's going on in this modern production. Lohengrin is supposed to be the proverbial knight in shining armor.

In this production he's wearing a T-shirt, gym pants and sneakers.

Gary Freedman said...

And, no, this post is not a veiled reference to former Senator Bill Bradley.

Gary Freedman said...

By the early 1960s, the NBA's Nationals were struggling. Syracuse was the last of the medium-sized cities, but it was too small for a professional team to be profitable. Paper magnate Irv Kosloff bought the Nationals from Danny Biasone and moved them to Philadelphia in 1963. The NBA thus returned to Philadelphia one year after the Warriors had left for San Francisco. A contest was held to decide on their new name. The winning name, chosen by Walt Shuberg, was the "76ers", after 1776, the year the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia. The nickname was quickly shortened to "Sixers" by headline writers, and the two names soon became interchangeable for marketing purposes. Schayes was named head coach, a post he held for four years (the first as player-coach).

For their first four years in Philadelphia, the Sixers played mostly at the Philadelphia Arena and Civic Center-Convention Hall, with an occasional game at The Palestra at the University of Pennsylvania.