Next week, for the first time in 22 years, PBS will televise the four dramas of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle on consecutive nights - a rare opportunity to encounter in the manner intended "the most ambitious and most profound work of art ever created". [more inside]
Chuck Jones draws and discusses Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote and Pepe le Pew and Warner Bros. and the producer Eddie Selzer (MLYT) [more inside]
Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" arranged for 8 pianos - performed by Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Claude Frank, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, James Levine, Mikhail Pletnev, and Staffan Scheja. [more inside]
What's Opera, Doc? (YouTube, approx. 7 mins.) The opera-parodying Merrie Melodies cartoon, which some consider to be Chuck Jones' career masterpiece, turned 50 years old this week. The short is also known as "Kill The Wabbit" in reference to the line sung by Elmer Fudd to the tune of "Ride Of The Valkyries," which is just one of many Wagner references in the piece.
Back in the dark days of World War II, the man who would become Dr. Seuss was in the business of military propaganda . One of the characters he created was Private Snafu. Private Snafu was an animated depiction of a bumbling soldier in military training films, whose voice sounded suspiciously close to Bugs Bunny's. Warner Bros. animation studios produced the cartoons with the talents of Mel Blanc, Chuck Jones, and Bob Clampett. Private Snafu has been discussed here previously but now you can watch some of the original cartoons on youtube and download them here! (unfortunately, I am still unable to locate the awesomely-titled "Private Snafu vs. Malaria Mike")