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It's all about the music, Hun

August 9, 2011

Attila may have been one of history’s fiercest warriors, but he’s no match, according to Giuseppe Verdi, for one woman’s sworn revenge. John Relyea, who proved to be as stunning an actor as a singer in Washington Concert Opera's (WCO) production of Gounod’s Faust, portrays the dreaded Hun, with the divine Brenda Harris as his nemesis, Odabella, in Attila, one of Verdi’s most dramatic and compelling operas.

Bass-baritone John Relyea (Attila) (Photo by: ) Bass-baritone John Relyea (Attila)

As one of WCO's ardent fans put it, "Washington Concert Opera offers the best of opera distilled to its essence at an affordable price." Join him and other Washington area opera lovers Friday, September 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm at Lisner Auditorium for WCO's Attila, and a memorable musical experience.

No sets, no costumes or props to distract the eye ... and ear ... from the operatic score. It’s all about the music.” WCO’s slogan rings true. Complete, full-length professionally performed, full-length operas (ones infrequently heard in the Washington metro area) in concert form introduce Washington audiences to a new generation of singers.

Acclaimed in the local, national, and international press as one of the finest in the field, WCO has been described by critics as “integral to the musical fabric of this city” (The Washington Post) and praised as offering “… performances of the highest order.” (Opera News).

Founded in 1986 by Stephen Crout and currently led by Artistic Director and Conductor Antony Walker (formerly of Welsh National Opera), WCO has presented over 40 operas, featuring world-class singers who regularly appear on the most renowned opera house stages—the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Paris Opera Bastille, and the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden).

Soprano Brenda Harris (Odabella) (Photo by: ) Soprano Brenda Harris (Odabella)

The roster of artists the company has brought, and often introduced, to local audiences includes Renee Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Elizabeth Futral, Ben Heppner, Deborah Voigt, James Morris, Alessandra Marc, Denyce Graves, Sumi Jo, Richard Leech, Luis Lima and Jerry Hadley.  Young artists also made their area debuts with WCO to critical acclaim such as, in recent seasons, Sarah Coburn, Celena Shafter, Kenneth Tarver, and Lawrence Brownlee, winner of the 2006 Richard Tucker and Marian Anderson Awards.

For more information on Attila, the current season and how to become a member, visit Washington Concert Opera.

For tickets, call 202.364.5826 


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Meat market Wednesday at Rose Park

August 3, 2011

“What the f---is he waiting for? Sorry, buddy. You can aim, but at some point you have to pull the trigger.” Jamie Stachowski was not talking about hunting. Without pausing, “If Hillary was in there, she wouldn’t have let this happen.”

In Washington, even the local butcher feels strongly about politics -- in this case, the debt ceiling.

But the ‘Maestro of Meat’ at Rose Park Farmers’ Market is no ordinary butcher. He is hoping to return a classic and essential service to Georgetown that, across America, has largely been replaced by frozen and cellophane covered stacks under florescent lights in supermarkets.

That not only means grass fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef, but also  pork, lamb and chicken. Some say it's the best pork tenderloin they have ever had.

Stachowski appreciates Georgetown for its warm welcome of his offerings. "The people here appreciate this product. They’re sophisticated. They travel. They know it’s authentic.” Continuing, “What’s sorely lacking is a [daily] local meat purveyor. And I’m going to think about how I’m going to remedy that.”

Brooke and Jane Adams peruse the selection including Wisconsin bratwurst, chicken Sante Fe and breakfast sausage (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Brooke and Jane Adams peruse the selection including Wisconsin bratwurst, chicken Sante Fe and breakfast sausage

Jamie Stachowski offers customers a taste of lamb merguez (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jamie Stachowski offers customers a taste of lamb merguez

As we were talking, former senator John and the late Elizabeth Edwards' eldest daughter Kate stopped by, lovely and smiling.

With his 23-year-old son, Joseph (“he's 6’4” and takes after his uncle”) running much of the family charcuterie business, Jamie has time to contemplate his next ventures and adventures. 

While squab is  his "all-time favorite," the Stachowski Brand Charcuterie, Jamie explained, "includes meats fresh, cured, smoked, and prepared, from sandwiches, galantines, to meatballs and meat loafs."

He’s been in Washington for almost 20 years with a couple of years break living in the Middle East, and now, ruminates about living in Portugal. Jamie is planning a visit there shortly with his wife, Carolyn.

But today, his thoughts were on the regular customers he knows by name and the new ones who easily recognize him. “Thank you, thank you.” Jamie responded to numerous compliments about his appearance in last week’s airing of “MEAT AMERICA!" on the History Channel.

Rose Park, August 3, 2011 (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Rose Park, August 3, 2011

A light rain did not deter the shoppers.

A perfect day for Italian ice (Photo by: Judith Beermann) A perfect day for Italian ice

eggplant and flowers from Anchor Nursery (Photo by: Judith Beermann) eggplant and flowers from Anchor Nursery

Les Caprices de Joelle paella (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Les Caprices de Joelle paella

Anchor Nursery melons and tomatoes (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Anchor Nursery melons and tomatoes

Praline Bakery macarons (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Praline Bakery macarons

On the way home (Photo by: Judith Beermann) On the way home

Rose Park Farmers' Market, open every Wednesday through October 26, is at the corner of 26th and O Streets.


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See Todd Reed’s diamonds in the rough today at I. Gorman

July 29, 2011

“The first cut is the deepest.” Of course, Rod Stewart was singing about love. When it comes to raw diamonds, Todd Reed, internationally acclaimed jewelry designer believes the most perfect cut is no cut at all.

Award-winning Todd Reed cabochon aquamarine and diamond cuff (Photo by: Todd Reed) Award-winning Todd Reed cabochon aquamarine and diamond cuff

Reed was in town Thursday evening for a special preview of his award-winning designs at I. Gorman, the family owned and operated Washington D.C. contemporary jewelry business since 1981. And today, Friday, July 29, meet Todd Reed at I. Gorman from 11:00 am to 5:30.

It’s no surprise that Adam Gorman and Todd Reed discovered each other. “Todd has become a good friend,” Adam explained, “We’ve been working with him for five years. It’s exciting to able to introduce our D.C. customers to his amazing designs.”

I. Gorman has been traveling the world to bring the best new designers to Washington. As Adam told us, "People are responding. Our engagement ring business is booming because people are exploring  contemporary design."

Todd Reed shows diamond earrings (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Todd Reed shows diamond earrings

As Reed told The Georgetown Dish, “I started at 17 and for 23 years have been expanding the boundaries of what people consider jewelry.”

The first contemporary designer to work exclusively with rough diamonds, in 1992 Todd Reed forged the way of "the raw elegance movement." With the "perfect geometry" found in the natural, uncut diamonds, Reed pairs high carat recycled gold and other precious metals.

Thursday evening at I. Gorman (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Thursday evening at I. Gorman

Nicole Gorman and Barbara Meyer wearing Todd Reed designs (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Nicole Gorman and Barbara Meyer wearing Todd Reed designs

Winner of many prestigious international jewelry design awards, Reed's work is featured in museum collections. Self-taught, this goldsmith and jeweler sources ethically mined and socially responsible diamonds throughout the world. 

Todd Reed raw diamond ring (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Todd Reed raw diamond ring

I. Gorman is at 1133 20th Street NW. Tel: 202.775.8544


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