by Kevin Osborne
A plan by two Hamilton County commissioners to help solve a $14 million deficit in the stadium account by reducing operating expenses at the county-owned facilities for the Reds and Bengals and hosting more events there isn't feasible, county staffers said. In December Commissioners Chris Monzel and Todd Portune proposed the plan rather than reduce a property tax rebate for homeowners. Erica Riehl, the county’s sales tax fund specialist, wrote in a memo that most operational expenses are “non-negotiable” and establishing a revenue goal is not “practical or dependable” as an annual revenue source, The Enquirer reports. Time to find a real solution, guys.Today's sunny weather might put you in the mood for spring and some baseball. Although the Reds' Opening Day isn't until April 5, fans can begin camping out today at Great American Ball Park to score tickets to the opener against the Miami Marlins. Tickets will go on sale 9 a.m. Saturday; there are 1,000 view level seats for $35 each and 500 standing room only tickets for $25 each. Hurry up, though: Last year the tickets sold out in less than an hour.Speaking of sports, two special visitors will travel to Ohio next Tuesday to attend the first games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the University of Dayton. President Obama will bring British Prime Minister David Cameron to the Gem City to watch some hoops.The turnabout is now complete. Ohio Gov. John Kasich sent a letter Wednesday afternoon to President Obama asking for a presidential disaster declaration for Clermont County. Shortly after last Friday's tornado, Kasich had said he didn't believe federal aid was needed. Then, after public outcry and a personal appeal from U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Miami Township), Kasich switched course earlier this week and allowed Federal Emergency Management Agency teams to inspect the area. Obama already issued a major disaster declaration Tuesday for Kenton and Pendleton counties in Northern Kentucky.An Ohio lawmaker from Greater Cincinnati wants to repeal daylight savings time in the Buckeye State. State Rep. Courtney Combs (R-Hamilton) will introduce a bill today to keep Ohio on standard time throughout the year. Combs called the World War I-era practice outdated and unneeded. “While it may have made sense when the government was fighting a war, it has no place in a modern world. Nowadays, all it does is inconvenience people twice a year,” he said.The city of Cincinnati is preparing to sell historic Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine to a nonprofit group for just $1. Although the 134-year-old structure has an appraised value of $12.7 million, it needs major renovations and city officials say a private owner would have an easier time raising $165 million to upgrade and improve the facility. The private group, Music Hall Revitalization Co. Inc., also would be responsible for future operating and maintenance costs.In news elsewhere, emails obtained by hacker group Anonymous and posted by WikiLeaks indicate terrorist leader Osama bin Laden might not have been buried at sea last year by the U.S. military, as Obama and U.S. officials said. The emails, from high-profile intelligence service Stratfor, said bin Laden was flown to Delaware on a CIA plane, then taken to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda, Md. The official version of bin Laden's death had alleged he was wrapped in a sheet and “eased” off the decks of a naval ship into the North Arabian Sea just hours after he was killed on May 2 in a raid by Navy SEALs.Taliban fighters in Pakistan pledge to attack government, police and military officials if three of bin Laden's widows aren't released from Pakistani custody, a Taliban spokesman said today. Pakistan's government has charged bin Laden's three widows with illegally entering and staying in the nation, which observers said was probably done at the urging of U.S. officials.Many Republican political campaign professionals believe Mitt Romney will win the GOP's presidential nomination but is perceived as weak and needs to quickly and decisively recast his image. Otherwise, they add, Romney will suffer the same fate as Bob Dole in 1996, when he lost the election to Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton.U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in February to complete three of the best months of hiring since the recession began. The unemployment rate was unchanged, largely because more people streamed into the work force. The Labor Department said today that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent last month, the lowest in three years.European leaders are praising a recent Greek debt swap deal, adding it will pave the way for another eurozone bailout. Holders of 85.8 percent of debt subject to Greek law and 69 percent of its international debt holders agreed to a debt swap. Athens needed to get 75 percent to push through the deal, which is a condition of Greece's latest bailout. The Greek deal with its lenders is the largest restructuring of government debt in history.
Cincinnati Opera offers a cinematic version of 'The Magic Flute'
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute is a perfect point of entry for kids. There’s plenty of fantasy, a happy ending, no one dies and the music is sublime. But for director Tomer Zvulun, it’s all about the magic. Although instruments get the magic started, Mozart’s utterly delightful score and characters like the bird catcher Papageno, his mate Papagena and a host of birds and animals are the opera’s true magical forces.
The leads in Rigoletto draw on personal experience for their roles
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 15, 2011
An intense father-daughter relationship is at the heart of Verdi’s opera Rigoletto, which opens Cincinnati Opera’s summer season with performances Thursday and Saturday. Baritone Stephen Powell makes his role debut as Rigoletto, the acid-tongued jester, and soprano Sarah Coburn is his daughter Gilda.
Fancy and worry-free dining awaits before Music Hall performances
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The Symphony Hotel and Restaurant is quite the Cincinnati secret. Tucked away on 14th Street, adjacent to Music Hall, the hotel began as a mansion in 1871, built by a local music instructor and was later converted into the current hotel and restaurant. Dining at the Symphony makes you feel, well, fancy.
From future legal eagle to songbird, Lawrence Brownlee’s diverted flight path
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
In the summer of 2004, an unknown African-American tenor starred in Cincinnati Opera’s production of The Daughter of the Regiment, best known for the killer aria “Ah! Mes Amis!” with its nine high C notes. Lawrence Brownlee made it sound effortless, spinning off octave jumps with crystalline purity.
Classical superstar Hilary Hahn works hard to maintain her creative balance
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 14, 2010
It's a great time to be Hilary Hahn. There's hardly been a stray day over the past three decades where that hasn't been the case, but the past couple of years have been exceptionally good for the 31-year-old violinist. She performs with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Friday and Saturday at Music Hall.
Cincinnati Ballet brings grandeur and history to Music Hall and vice versa
0 Comments · Thursday, October 21, 2010
Devon Carney is tired, but somehow he doesn't look the part. Cincinnati Ballet's associate artistic director has been putting in roughly 16-hour days recently. All these efforts go toward the company's upcoming production — ironically, 'The Sleeping Beauty.' The four performances this weekend mark Cincinnati Ballet's return to Music Hall.
Cincinnati Opera celebrates its 90th season with three promising operas and a gala
0 Comments · Monday, June 14, 2010
Cincinnati Opera's 90th anniversary season already has more drama than a Verdi potboiler in an Italian opera house about to go on strike. But despite casting woes for the opening work, there's plenty to celebrate: three great operas with world-class performers, conductors and directors. It all kicks off with a gala concert June 19 featuring acclaimed performers from the company's past and present.
Local opera singer Kara Shay Thomson makes a few debuts at May Festival
0 Comments · Monday, May 10, 2010
When locally based soprano Kara Shay Thomson takes the stage during the 2010 May Festival, she'll be notching a number of significant firsts. Most importantly, she'll make her May Festival debut, which will also mark her first opportunity to work with Maestro James Conlon.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I got to thinking recently of Cincinnati archetypes. Let's start with Creative People Who Make Interesting Things, since they basically make life worth living. Some of them host a music/art "campout" in an Over-the-Rhine building (see our Bunk Warehouse report), some start bands to play in bars around town and some work with teenagers to host a temporary Outdoor Museum in Eden Park.