A L-o-o-ong Night in the Concert Hall!

That’s what it was tonight in 1808.

That evening, at the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, Ludwig van Beethoven conducted and performed in concert. The concert featured the premiere of his “5th Symphony”, “6th Symphony”, “4th Piano Concerto” (performed by Beethoven himself) and “Choral Fantasy” (with Beethoven at the piano). I guess an evening with Beethoven is certainly an evening with Beethoven. As large as this program was, it still came in second to that year’s Academy Awards in the “Longest Show” competition.

Three birthdays of interest;

– First things first; today is the birthday in 1095 of Roger II, King of Sicily. I know nothing of King Roger, but I certainly admire his mom’s taste in names.

– Film producer J. Arthur Rank was born today in 1888. I love the openings of his films when the shiny guy walks out with a big hammer in front of a giant gong. The guy bangs the gong (which I find pretty cool unto itself) and the words “A Rank Production” emerge on the screen. A rank production…someone shoulda given Mr. Rank some honest feedback.

Drink 4cast 4 2day

The other birthday is that of my favorite opera composer, Giacomo Puccini in 1858. Mr. Puccini gave us “Tosca”, “La Boheme”, “Madama Butterfly”, and “Turandot”. None of those were rank productions!

We will toast his birth with a;

Puccini Cocktail

8 segments Fresh Mandarin

¾ oz. Mandarin Napoleon Liqueur

Prosecco

Muddle the segments in the base of a shaker.

Add liqueur.

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute.

Top up with prosecco and lightly stir.

(Now sing it like your heart is crying) “O mio babbino caro.”

Cheers!

Roger

12/22/11.

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