Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Daily Images for May from O'Connor


Daily Images from the award winning photographer O'Connor moves into the month of May. As usual he concentrates more on the faces of the people of Barga and less on the architecture or landscape. His images are here

Monday, May 30, 2005

Mo(n)tezuma - Vivaldi - Opera Barga in rehearsals



Rehearsals have been underway for most of this month for the staged world premiere of the recently discovered opera by Antonio Vivaldi
Mo(n)tezuma, written in 1733 and until recently believed to have been lost forever.

The production is a joint venture between Opera Barga and the Altstadtherbst Kulturfestival of Dusseldorf where the production will be seen in September 2005.

The dates for this show are the 16th and 17th of July at the Teatro dei Differenti in Barga.

The cast:
Motezuma - Tobias Scharfenberger
Fernando - Jorg Waschinski
Mitrena - Angelique Noldus
Teutile - Silvia Vajente
Ramiro - Lucia Sciannimanico
Asprano - Elisabeth Scholl
The Modo Antiquo Baroque Ensemble will be directed by Federico Maria Sardelli.
Director - Uwe Schmitzt-Gielsdorf
Sets - Paolo Atzori
Costumes - Amelie Haas
Lighting - Nicolas Bovey

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Small incursion into the world of chocolate at Altana




What should have been a simple and fairly quick assignment for the barganews award winning photographer O'Connor, turned into a marathon 12 hour photo session yesterday at the Altana Restaurant in Barga Vecchia.

O'Connor was there to photograph the work of a couple from Pisa that are winning awards around the world for their trail blazing work in handmade chocolates.

The Chocolate Bible - the prestigious guide “The Chocolate Companion” by Chantal Coady puts them among the best 15 chocolate manufacturers worldwide.

Paul de Bondt and Cecilia Iacobelli, a Dutch chef and confectioner, and Cecilia Iacobelli, designer were invited by the Altana to prepare a menu which had as its title " A chocolate coloured evening - a small incursion into the world of chocolate"

The entire menu was based on cacao with such specialities as fish with seeds of cacao and roast pork with chocolate.

O'Connor had the rare privilege of watching the pair at close quarters as they prepared the ingredients in the Altana kitchens.

Paul seemed to be unbothered by the constant presence of the photographer and kept up a running commentary of just what he was preparing and kept offering small tasters of some of the dishes.

He pulled seemingly out of thin air, a series of taste sensations one after another, each one more stirring and stimulating than the last, so that the next time O'Connor looked at his watch it was already evening and the guests were already arriving.

A memorable evening was enjoyed by all and a rare chance to glimpse into the working processes of a creative team who are opening up not just the palate but the mind.

O'Connor's images are here


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The Altana is also the venue later on this week for the long awaited opening of "The Mutande of Barga" exhibition plus live music in the Piazza with Jack's Pack Blues Band and (if the rumours in the piazza are correct) a 15 piece Samba band ...telephone for booking your table .. 0583 723192

Gruppo Chorale di Bolzano Vincentino


Two choirs performed in the Duomo last night, our own Corale Femminile del Duomo directed by Roberta Popolani and their guests, The Gruppo Chorale di Bolzano Vincentino, directed by Massimo Donadello.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Barga Swimming Pool opens for the summer season



The Barga Swimming pool opened to the public this morning for the start of the summer season 2005.

Swimming courses for children and adults, aqua spinning and breakfast by the pool have all been added to the attractions down at the poolside this year



Already this morning by 11 am they had their first happy bather. Looks like its going to be another busy year for Riccardo and his crew.

Parco Buozzi cleared with the help of school children



Parco Buozzi was the scene this morning of a mass clear up by the voluntary services of Barga along with the help of pupils of the elementary school, the Alpini and some of the local politicians.

More images here

Friday, May 27, 2005

Franco Mariani 4tet at the Barga Jazz Club



The Franco Mariani Quartet played at the Barga Jazz Club this evening to an appreciative audience who included some new members visiting the club for the first time from such diverse places as Britain, Scotland, Canada, Australia and USA.

More images here

The secret of the duomo bells revealed (again)


Eve and Roscoe King, recent arrivals in Barga from Australia sitting outside Aristo's bar in Barga Vecchia trying to work out just what the time is according to the bells of Barga.
Roscoe, a chef and manager at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia has travelled a good part of the globe but still he, and his fellow travellers, were baffled by the chimes ... just what time was it ?

This question has been asked by many visitors to Barga and to which, for some reason, the reply is almost always never given in full was answered here on barganews last year but we will publish again it today to give a hand to Roscoe and his friends.
For those of us who live here in Barga Vecchia we have the chimes of the Duomo to keep us company and tell us the time of day. Hourly they ring out over the castle but there is a kind of code to the ringing.
It is not simply one ring = one o clock, two rings = two o clock ... no, no, nothing so simple. Once you know it becomes a simple thing to work out but until you are given a "key" it is difficult to get to grips with.
People smile when asked and sometimes if they are feeling generous they might even hand out a clue of "think of ships bells" but otherwise it is not really talked about .
That is until Giordano at Casa Cordati who had been asked so many times by visitors to the Casa Cordati Gallery that he decided to print out a sheet in Italian and English.
His explanation is here

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Barghigiani abroad - Filo and Kate now in Australia



Barghigiani abroad -- Filo and Kate have been gradually moving round the world.

Have a read of their blog as they recount their journey through India from the peaceful city of Pushkar to the hussle and bussle of Delhi, then on to the neon lights of Hong Hong before finding themselves in Perth Australia.

SO just what is he doing in that pair of legs and with a wall of Carrara Marble behind him ?

Complete article from Filo and more images here

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Industrial action at Europa Metalli in Fornaci this morning



Workers at the Europa Metalli factory in Fornaci di Barga started industrial action this morning in support of 180 fellow workers in Campotizzoro who are threatened with closure of their factory.

A two hour strike was called from eight till ten this morning and another four hour strike proclaimed for the 7th June. More images here

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Juventus supporters take to the streets



Juventus supporters were today celebrating their third Scudetto in four seasons after AC Milan dropped out of the title race by drawing 3-3 against US Città di Palermo last night. They took to the streets with a cavalcade of cars all bearing black and white flags and horns blowing just in case you hadn't noticed that their team had won this year as well. Full article and more images here

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Indian Ambassador and party visits Barga



Sua Eccellenza l'Ambasciatore Himachal Som was in Barga this afternoon in preparations for a larger event in July to commemorate the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the two world world fought in Europe.

More images here

Friday, May 20, 2005

Atomic Duo at the Barga Jazz Club



ATOMIC DUO - Luca Giovacchini - chitarra - Peewe Durante - Organo Hammond

Luca Giovacchini e Pewee Durante fanno parte di una band molto nota a Barga: gli Organic Groove. Chi ha seguito le precedenti edizioni Barga in Jazz, la rassegna che ogni anno si tiene in occasione del concorso Barga Jazz, li avrà senza dubbio sentiti esibirsi in una delle piazze del centro storico.

Il loro è un repertorio selezionato e non comune che riprende e interpreta in chiave personale brani di organisti come J. Smith, J. McDuff, J. McGriff, Groove Holmes, Booker T. & the Mg's, J. Taylor Quartet ed artisti come S. Wonder, M. Parker, i Meters e molti altri. Un ampio repertorio, comunque caratterizzato da una dirompente carica di groove, che spazia da raffinati brani di influenza jazz-blues al funky al beat, al latin, caratteristica del sound organistico.
Il gruppo si esibisce attualmente in un circuito nazionale di locali di musica dal vivo, oscillando tra ricerca di sonorità raffinate e d'atmosfera e coinvolgente ed esplosiva pulsione ritmica.

More images here

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Medieval Fibre Optics

deety said;

"I was driving up the Mologno road last night when I saw a very long neatly cut groove in the side of the road. A 3 inch diameter empty black plastic tube was being laid in the channel. Further up the Mologno road, towards the beginning of Barga is Telecoms main telephone switching system.. Now I wonder if what I saw was the first few hundred meters of Fast internet…. ? "

he then went on to say ........

Weekly Words for the Wise: Medieval Fibre optics

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Faster internet connection finally coming to Barga ?



A series of posts on the barganews forum this morning:;

deety said;

"I was driving up the Mologno road last night when I saw a very long neatly cut groove in the side of the road. A 3 inch diameter empty black plastic tube was being laid in the channel. Further up the Mologno road, towards the beginning of Barga is Telecoms main telephone switching system.. Now I wonder if what I saw was the first few hundred meters of Fast internet…. ? "

hamish replied:

"Deety, you've beaten me to this post
I saw the cut groove yesterday up from the main road and wondered the very same ?
Do you know for sure this is where the telephone exchange is in the town ? - this is where they'll add the cabinet to the existing exchange and ADSL enable the local area However.....well spotted and I think the process has begun

Full article plus images that prove that the process really has begun can be found here

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Maggie Ramage in the news on glasgowwestend.co.uk

Maggie Ramage, Artist.

Maggie Ramage is a name I've often heard tripping off the tongue of friends and acquaintances in the West End. She is a well known West End character much in demand for her work as a portrait painter. She is a member of the Glasgow Society of Women Artists and has exhibited with the Glasgow Group. She's a graduate of Glasgow's famous School of Art, where she studied drawing and painting and for many years she worked at Clydebank College as Senior Lecturer in Art. Maggie's work can be found in private collections throughout the world and at art exhibitions in Scotland.



Now, supposedly retired, she finds herself a busy, busy lady - but as I found out when we chatted over coffee at Tinderbox, she is having the time of her life. She looks a million dollars, vivacious and bright. Maggie is in great demand - with lots of commissions for portraits, a landscape painting class at University of Glasgow's Department of Adult and Continuing Education, as an illustrator and for private tuition in drawing and painting



She is enthusiastic about her work and enjoys teaching art to people of all ages and abilities; in particular she loves to work with beginners' classes because the students often surprise themselves by picking up new skills very quickly: 'It's great to hear them say things like - I didn't know I could do that!'
. Making me think that perhaps I have a hidden talent and should sign up for some painting classes.



What seems like a particularly good idea is combining art classes with a trip to a lovely, sunny, relaxing place and Maggie will be providing just that opportunity for the first two weeks in July, when she sets off for Barga in Tuscany. She works there in the summer for Artemisia, an international package holiday company. She will teach art to holidaymakers intent on simultaneously developing their creative skills and enjoying the splendour of Tuscany's landscapes.

Maggie is looking forward to returning to Barga, where she has carved out a very pleasant little niche for herself ... the rest of this article can be found over on the glasgowwestend.co.uk site

Monday, May 16, 2005

Natalino picks up the accordion after a long break



A voice rings out in Barga Vecchia ..it is Biondo singing at full throttle with Natalino on accordion, Silvano Togneri on drums and Ale Rizzardi on mandolin. No reason why they should be singing outside Aristo's bar at this time of night but they just are....and enjoying every note. Download the MP3 file and have a listen in to four friends enjoying life.

More images, full article and a small MP3 file here

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Mutande of Barga Exhibition almost ready



Put simply, mutande are everywhere in Barga, shouting out our secrets from clotheslines and drying racks strung in full sight on nearly every home; but the moot understanding is that they are not supposed to be seen.

Few artifacts of our material culture say more about us — more about our bodies, stripped to their last shield against the naked truth of age and physical decline, more about our most intimate acts and fantasies. For that very reason, the expectation is that we will not observe them, in any meaningful way. We will not “read” them as would an anthropologist or a voyeur.



Over the course of a lifetime in a town as small and densely built as this, neighbors come to know each other more intimately than do many husbands and wives in the transient suburbs and anonymous highrises of the contemporary urban world. Over the progression of years recorded by their mutande, the Bargagiani absorb an infinitely detailed and intuitive version of the portrait that compels Keane; they grow ever more closely acquainted with their neighbors` acquired habits and inherited pasts, their loves won and lost, their joys and sorrows.

They are bound, tightly, in the contract symbolized by those colorful banners waving from every home, the contract that says, in effect, “va bene, I can hang my secrets out before your windows, let them take the air and sun, because you know me — and I trust you not to look.” Frank Viviano 2005

Full article and lots more images here

Saturday, May 14, 2005

barganews gets it own Scottish page



As you can see from the articles this week on barganews, there has been an extraordinary interest in Barga coming from Scotland, so in response to that we have come up with the barganews Scotland page where all the articles over the past few years that deal with the links between Scotland and Barga can all be found.

The Scotland page can be found here

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Piero Orsi Quartet at the Barga Jazz Club



The Piero Orsi Quartet at the Barga Jazz Club presented their new CD entitled "Stenkuriscioignanzi" .... (now if somebody is brave enough to translate that piece of Garfaganana slang into readable English, please be my guest)

Moraldo Marcheschi - sax, Fabio salvi - pianoforte, Leo Gnesi - contrabbasso and of course, Pierino Orsi - batteria.

More images and a small MP3 file of the music of the Quartet here

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Villa La Penna - elegant guest house near Barga



We are now in that lull period between Easter and the coming summer season which gives up a bit of time to look at one or two places on barganews where we do not usually have the time to focus on. Anybody recently clicked on the horizontal banners on the top right hand side of the front page ?



Ok, lets do it for you. Just around the corner from Barga, (about 15km's ) is a small town perched on the top of a hill called Coreglia Antelminelli. It is there that we find the Villa La Penna, one of the most elegant guest houses in that area.



The award winning photographer O'Connor came back from the last shoot there enthusing about the use of colours in the house and the remarkable gardens surrounding the main villa.

Check out their site which is chock-a-block full of images here

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Aristodemo remembers some of the names



As we reported last week, an image in an email arrived in the barganews offices. It came from a regular reader of barganews, carrying the proud surname of Nardini and postmarked Scotland. Included in the mail were the following words:

"Finally in my cafe* I have a large photograph hanging. It features my grandfather in it Sandrino Nardini (at the back with the white shirt and bald head) and I believe was taken in the late 1930's in the Capretz.

Just wondered if you or your readers knew who the others in it were. My mum reckons the lady is Lucia, the owner, with her brother adjoining Giovanni. Dott. Luciniani (who I remember) is in it but she recognises few others"

We printed off the image and took it to Aristodemo Casciani at his famous bar in Barga Vecchia and let him run through a few names ...

You can see in detail just how many names he came up with here

Monday, May 09, 2005

Bagpipes problem resolved thanks to Luca Gherardi



OK, so somebody goes to visit Scotland and comes back with a set of "Original Scottish bagpipes" in a box. The box is brought into Aristo's bar in Barga Vecchia and all crowd round trying to work out just how to assemble the pipes. Various suggestions are offered, none of which seem possible, feasible or likely. In the end, the pipes are put together and then comes the difficult part... how do you actually play them ?

This was a couple of weeks ago and still nobody has been able to get a squeak out of the venerable pipes. Barga the most Scottish town in Italy ??

hmmm, what is going to happen when they find out that those "Original Scottish bagpipes" in a box probably did not come from Largs but from a town nearer to Islamabad ?

So, just a week later who should come into Barga but a musician who not only can play bagpipes but also knows how to repair them. Not only that but he also had his tools with him and the time and energy to sort out those Turkish or Pakistani "Scottish" pipes

Luca Gherardi from the "La Bottega della Musica" a co-operative based in Camaiore who specialise in building a restoring musical instruments sorted out the problems in a couple of minutes. Smiles all round as the sound of the bagpipes floated out and into the streets of Barga. Full article and more images are here

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Giochi di Balestra del Calendimaggio 2005



The Calendimaggio Medieval crossbow competition held in Barga today drew groups from around Italy and also a contingent from Germany.

More images here

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mushroom Jazz Band at the Barga Jazz Club



Mushroom Jazz Band ospite Michela Lombardi

Torna l'orchestra guidata dai decani del Jazz nostrano: Giancarlo Rizzardi e Pietro Paolo Mannelli. Per l'occasione graditissima ospite dell'orchestra sarà la singer Michela Lombardi.
Alcune novità anche per l'orchestra che vede il rientro di Andrea Guzzoletti che, reduce dai succesi in campo House e Dance, per una sera tornerà a suonare jazz... altro inserimento Chiara al corno già maestra della Banda di Barga...
per il resto niete sorprese una difesa ben collaudata con alla batteria Angelo Ferrua, Nino Pellegrini al Contrabbasso e Piero Gaddi al piano vero e proprio rifinitore...

THe Mushroom Jazz Band with the voice of Michela Lombardi filled the Jazz Club this evening. Included in the line up, the welcome return of Andrea Guzzoletti, taking a break from the House and Dance scene at the Apecarica club and returning to his jazz roots

More images are here

Friday, May 06, 2005

Liz Cameron - Lord Provost of Glasgow in Barga



The Lord Provost of Glasgow, The Rt. Hon. Liz Cameron arrived in Barga this afternoon for the official opening of "Casa Fontana"

Ron and Susi Gauld have recently moved to Barga from Aberdeen Scotland and moved to Casa Fontana, an historic 18th Century town house, within Barga Vecchia, close to one of the ancient gates of the walled city

More images here

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Street in Saltcoats, Scotland named Barga Gardens



A new housing development in Saltcoats, Scotland has just been named by the local council there "BARGA GARDENS" in recognition of the Italians in the area who have made such a significant contribution to the local community. You can read the council agenda meeting here where the sub committee approved the recommendation of the local member, Councillor Samuel Taylor, to name the 5 streets, "Betsy Miller Wynd", "Clytus Court", "Spindrift Wynd", "Barga Gardens", and "St. Andrews Court".


Councillor Samuel Taylor, JP

"Betsy Miller Wynd" is recommended because she was the first female sea captain to be registered at Lloyds, and she was born in Saltcoats and traded from Saltcoats Harbour. "Clytus Court" is recommended because it was the name of Captain Betsy Miller's ship. "Spindrift Wynd" is recommended because it was the name of a well-known motor boat which plied between Saltcoats and Arran for many years and provided a lifeline to the island when other boats were storm bound. "Barga Gardens" is recommended in recognition of Italians in the area who have made such a significant contribution to the local community, and mainly originate from that region of Italy. "St. Andrews Court" is recommended after St. Andrews Academy, the name of which is likely to disappear in the near future, and its contribution to education in the area should be recognised. BRIAN MACDONALD
Assistant Chief Executive (Development and Promotion)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Scottish week in Barga ?

Capretz

In what is rapidly turning into the unofficial Scottish Week in Barga, an image arrived this morning in the barganews offices from Scotland ... (click on the image for a larger view)

It came from a regular reader of barganews, carrying the proud surname of Nardini and postmarked Scotland. Included in the mail were the following words:

"Finally in my cafe* I have a large photograph hanging. It features my grandfather in it Sandrino Nardini (at the back with the white shirt and bald head) and I believe was taken in the late 1930's in the Capretz.

Just wondered if you or your readers knew who the others in it were. My mum reckons the lady is Lucia, the owner, with her brother adjoining Giovanni. Dott. Luciniani (who I remember) is in it but she recognises few others"

So, using the power of the internet, lets open this up to the other readers of barganews .... anybody out there recognise any of these people?

If so please use the comments button and share your wealth.

* Ale Nardini at the famous Seaview Cafe in Wemyss Bay, Renfrewshire, Scotland

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Original Scottish Bagpipes in Barga



OK, so somebody goes to visit Scotland and comes back with a set of "Original Scottish bagpipes" in a box. The box is brought into Aristo's bar in Barga Vecchia and all crowd round trying to work out just how to assemble the pipes. Various suggestions are offered,none of which seem possible, feasible or likely. In the end, the pipes are put together and then comes the difficult part... how do you actually play them ?

This was a couple of weeks ago and still nobody has been able to get a squeak out of the venerable pipes. Barga the most Scottish town in Italy ??

hmmm, what is going to happen when they find out that those "Original Scottish bagpipes" in a box probably did not come from Largs but from a town nearer to Islamabad ? Full article and more images here

 

 

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