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‘La Traviata’ in HD Splendor from the MET Opera

Opulent Elegance and Escapades of a Glamorous Parisian Courtesan

Productions shown in this summer’s free online HD screenings from the Metropolitan Opera include Giuseppe Verdi‘s well-loved opera, La TraviataAs a sparkling, exemplary new production by Michael Mayer, this opera was part of the 2018—19 season at the MET. This superb screening is from the performance on December 15, 2018, and was conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director.

The production features a highly-acclaimed cast of world-renowned principal singers, Diana Damrau, Juan Diego Flórez and Quinn Kelsey. As the celebrated Parisian courtesan, Violetta, Diana Damrau is faced with a difficult dilemma. She must decide whether to continue a life of grandiose luxury or embrace the consuming passion of true love.

Continue Reading Here: La Traviata Review


ZooNation’s ‘The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ – Roundhouse and Royal Ballet

HD Video Viewing of Premier Performance: July 31, 2020

This subterranean yet very real-to-life fantasy is based on the classic novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This riveting dance performance on the theme of Lewis Carroll’s famous story is a ZooNation production.

As a Roundhouse and Royal Ballet presentation, this video production is presented in alliance with the Royal Opera House, London.   It offers a captivating melange of emotional colors and tonalities. The audience experiences each character’s psychic state, from deep turmoil to catatonia to charismatic charm and contagious elation.

Continue Reading Here: Zoo Nation’s ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ Review


La Belle Famille

Excerpt from the Novel by Ellen L Gilmer

Art Gallery Openings — A Young Artist’s Colorful First Time Experience

When the elevator doors slid apart once again, its passengers stepped out into a spacious, high-ceilinged room with soft spotlights on large abstract still-life paintings against newly painted white walls. The room was already nearly two-thirds full of mingling people — some lively, animated; others with affectation of condescending boredom.

A slender dark young man (one of the bored) was commenting in a rather loud whine to a short portly matron in a sea-green suit with matching forties pill-box hat, on the inferiority of the champagne being served. To Celia, champagne was at this point still an item of novel extravagance; she had yet to discover differences in quality and the fact that, in general, gallery openings were notorious for serving relatively low quality liquid refreshment. The chubby woman in green seemed to agree wholeheartedly with the young man’s complaint. And yet, Celia noted that as they exchanged yawns and tired, affected, lazy remarks, both sipped away and emptied full glasses.

After several glasses of the bubbly, overly sweet beverage, Celia found herself floating slowly around the crowded floor in counter-clockwise direction, as though she were a vague dancer in some unexplained ballroom scene of another time. Along her course, she had brief encounters with a pompous politician; a harried hairdresser; an overworked bleary-eyed accountant; six painters; three sculptors; a jaded journalist turned art critic; an undertaker’s apprentice; the fussy, hyper mother of a “child prodigy painter” (in tow); a dapper Danish diplomat; a radiantly regal opera singer in flowing scarlet silk and satin; and a tall, slightly aloof man of fortyish with dark, greying hair and a child-like, uneven, mischievous smile that lit up large dark eyes . . .


Bask in the Warmth and Luxury of Intriguing Island and Seaside Destinations

Press Article By Ellen L Gilmer



Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Are you ready for the calm leisure and reassuring warmth of an intriguing island or seaside destination? If so, one of the currently most popular spots is Mexico’s Nuevo Vallarta. With a location just 16 miles to the north of Puerto Vallarta, the natural beauty of this favored resort area enhances top-tier accommodations, restaurants, activities and entertainment—and there is truly something enjoyable for everyone here. You can spend your days basking on the sunlit golden beaches of Banderas Bay, embark on an extensive tour of the neighboring Sierra Madre jungle, swim in sync with the dolphins, and then relax with a tall beverage while riding the gentle waves into a breathtaking sunset. The kids will have a great time in the water park with its spiraling slides, and the whole family will enjoy the sea lion shows.

You will delight in the all-inclusive amenities of the Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort. The outstanding beauty of this resort facility and its beaches is enhanced further by the rapt attentions of its highly experienced and gracious staff. At Villa La Estancia on Flamingo Beach you will enjoy the heights of genuine luxury along with excellent cuisine in a completely relaxed setting with gorgeous ocean and sunset views. You will marvel at the outstanding quality of fresh seafood in the healthiest of oceanside locations. Resort rooms are large and attractive, with spacious adjoining decks revealing more amazing scenic views. All accommodations have modern appointments and amenities, and the entire locale is surprisingly quiet and peaceful, even during busy holiday seasons.

While there, you’ll want to take in Sea Life Park Vallarta by way of the 10 water toboggans. Enjoy spectacular river rides and the elegant leisure of a game of golf at the Mayan Palace Nuevo Vallarta Golf Course. While delighting in your stay in these superb resort accommodations stretching over greater than three miles of gorgeous sandy beaches, you will also enjoy the local average annual temperature of 25C (77F).The extensive marina development includes a 300-slip ultra-modern marina with luxurious condos for both residents and seasonal visitors. Nuevo Vallarta is also a winter residence for the Caguama. At one time on the endangered species list, it is now very carefully protected here by scientists, environmentalists, and eco-friendly visitors alike.

Asia’s Maldives

The Maldives (Maldive Island group), to the south of South Asia, is the smallest existing Asian country. Also having the smallest population count of all Asian countries, it has the earth’s lowest lying country terrain, with its topmost natural peak at 2.3 meters (7ft. 7 in.). Comprised of roughly 1,190 coral islands arranged in a double chain of 26 atolls, this island country stretches north-south across approximately 90,000 square kilometers (or 35,000 square miles). These atolls are formed of live coral reefs plus sand bars perched on top of a submarine ridge which inclines sharply upward from its origins deep within the Indian Ocean. Only by means of two clear passages close to the south end of this natural dual coral chain can ships safely navigate through the Maldives’ territorial waters in order to reach either side of the Indian Ocean.

A major commercial enterprise of the Maldives is its busy tuna fishery facilities. Actually, these lovely islands have an astonishing variety of sea life available, such as reef sharks, moray eels, and various types of rays including the Eagle ray, Stingray, Batfish and Barracuda. Coconut palms, as the celebrated national tree, enhance the beauty of each island.

Here the annual temperatures can vary from 24○ C (75F) to 33C (91F). Conveniently serving as a heat filter, the Indian Ocean gradually releases the tropical temperatures, providing a delightful and relaxing atmosphere for residents and visitors alike. The constant soothing ocean breezes also moderate humidity levels.

In Lhaviyani Atoll of the Maldives, Kanuhura offers a comprehensive water sports center for windsurfing, canoes and pedalos, along with planned excursions to the ultimate diving locations. Other available sports activities include squash, tennis, a fitness center and spa, along with a well-equipped kid’s club. You will also enjoy nearby attractive accommodations, bars, and restaurants serving both theme menus and fine Mediterranean cuisine. This island is roughly 1,000 meters in length and 200 meters in width—a unique treasure of true beauty and pure relaxation and enjoyment currently awaiting the arrival of you, your family, special guests and friends.

Mana Island, Fiji

In the Fijian language, Mana means magic, and the intriguing ambiance and allure of this unique island resort are truly magical in every aspect. For the high-spirited traveler, there are plenty of adventures and thrills. And for those seeking the ultimate in quiet, calm, peaceful relaxation, these qualities are also equally available on Mana.

As you cruise amidst the beautiful Mamanuca Islands near the coastline of Denarau in the South Pacific, enjoy your quiet entry to Mana through the lagoon. The island is now a large, attractive resort including three beach areas on pristine, sparkling waters; an abundance of lush palm trees providing well-shaded lounging areas; and extensive modern poolside settings. The lagoon side offers snorkeling and various other water sport activities. Or, if you’re in the mood for quiet relaxation, try the North Beach for its peacefulness and breathtaking views. Later, enjoy sunbathing on gorgeous Sunset Beach. Do it all, or choose to do nothing at all. Whatever your fancy, you’ll find it and have a delightful time here.

Mana has two excellent main restaurants, South Beach Restaurant and Mamanuca Restaurant. At South Beach you can sample haute fusion cuisine, and Mamanuca has Al Fresco style dining along with spectacular ocean views.

You’ll be delighted at the large variety of activities available to you at this unusual island resort. Water sports include snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking, swimming and diving. There are culture shows on the island each day which last until evening, when the nightly entertainment begins. Through taking part in the activities of the kid’s club, children will learn about Fijian history and culture while making new friends and having a great time.

Mana even offers six different designs of accommodations to visitors. So you can choose the one that best suits your stylistic tastes, practical needs and personal preferences. For couples and newlyweds, there are the modern Honeymoon bures with their own private beach areas. The spacious, duplex Oceanfront suites are decorated with handsome blends of ultra-modern and traditional décor. The Island bures are constructed of timber in Plantation Style and surrounded by tropical gardens.

For the adventurous visitor, Mana offers its celebrated ride in the Yellow Submarine amidst a spectacular array of stunning coral formations and tropical marine life. Then, if you dare, view the splendor and beauty of the Mamanuca Islands as you soar to startling heights, kept aloft by a single or tandem parasail.


A Haven for Creative Artists – The Greenbrier Valley in West Virginia

Article Short By Ellen L Gilmer

The Greenbrier Valley in southeastern West Virginia, home to old-time mountaineers, middle-class business folks, lawyers, academicians, and people of rather high net worth in search of some peace and quiet in the pure mountain air — is a place of simple, rare beauty with much to tell. For this reason, it is also a haven for creative artists. Writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers, and makers of crafts from the U.S. as well as abroad come to experience the poignancy, joy, laughter and sorrow reflected in the local folklore, mountain music, and breathtaking colors of hazy sunrise and brilliant sunset mixed with the vibrant hues of the countryside terrain.


Peter Agostini – Artist of Exquisite Influence

Press Article by Ellen L Gilmer


The June showing of Peter Agostini’s sculpture at the Salander-O’Reilly Gallery on East 79th Street in Manhattan brings a true master’s touch of creative genius to this Spring and Summer’s New York Art Gallery scene. With its vivid, image-provoking title of “Mid-Life Crisis,” this uniquely characteristic and diverse collection of the artist’s work exhibits the highest definitive qualities of major schools and styles in the rich, complex history of World Art.

Entering the gallery, the viewer is greeted by the silken surface and steely force of the “Swell,” made of hydrocal in 1965. One of a series of “Swells,” this amazing landmark in modern sculptural achievement at once defies and re-defines accepted and proven laws of physics in its seductive intrigue of tied inner tube forms contained to near bursting, threatening absolute explosive elegance – pure, pristine dynamite grace. Within this piece, Eastern Asian full-form and fluidity meet Western power-packed compression, and align.

Nearby, another well-known smaller sculpture entitled “Squeeze” (1964) is a plaster replica of the artist’s strong, sensitive hands kneading tight-skinned tubular forms into lifelike, billowing, breathing flesh. Its classic Italian form in American Pop Art medium give this piece unbounded limits as a powerful merging of style, form and period – a sculpture of true significance within the history of international art. – The artist’s index finger playfully arching above the work-in-process questions any challenge to Peter Agostini’s valid place as a Founding Father and true genius in the history and development of Modern Art.

Another “Swell” in hydrocal (c. 1965) exudes an uncanny feeling of feather lightness in flight, its ballooning, bulbous dimensions defying both weight and gravity. Its rope-lined seams of stretching, barely controlled power with fabric-like pleats beneath the rope-ties lend a sheer suggestion of draping to this otherwise naked revelation of exaggerated form. The tightly encased volumetric magnitude is similar to that found in many large, heavy-based and massive Buddha figures of Indian, Ceylonese and Chinese sculpture from the 5th and 6th Centuries A.D., as well as in stone figures and fragments from the Mayan ruins of Mexico.

The terra cotta “Untitled Head” (1972), a gentle-featured, expansive, cloud-boulder sits stalwart, unconcerned of its peculiar duality of full, rounded, yet fractured forms. Its fragmented skull and nose in no way detract from its large, round baby-doll eyes and full, plush lips. The overall fullness and depth of the features are classical, but the eyes are shallow – almost drawn – as in Abstract Expressionism. And the endearing vertical line through the eye is unmistakably theatrical French and Art Nouveau. – Agostini came close to discarding this piece when it broke and fragmented during its kiln firing, but was persuaded to keep it because of the artistic strength and validity of its altered state.

Immortalized in bronze, the “Old Apollo” (1976) with its bony, yet muscular torso and sparse, thinning legs – its powerful, yet gnarly hands and feet – possesses a quiet, knowing countenance of incorrigible patience and acceptance of longevity. The elderly god stands watchful, fearless in his linear definition of aging grace. With back of right hand resting easily on right hip, he exhibits the uncanny relaxed, open-handed, languid strength so beautifully recognized in the male figures of Michelangelo.

“Butterfly” in plaster (1959) has a rare quality of sophisticated buoyancy and weightlessness – a new-born nymph taking flight, emerging from its satin pillow cocoon in a graceful curving twist of upward spiraling transformation. Within this piece live the exquisite convergence of classic Renaissance form, Rococo richness of style, and Pop Art conception and material. The artist’s characteristic signature of “Agostini” nonchalantly carved in subtle, low-relief in large and small capitalized print in the sculpture’s soft-pillow base emphasize even further this vibrant combination of period and world style.

The amazing sculptural triptych display of bronze horses: “Walking Horse” (1971), “Galloping Horse” (1969), and “Flying Horse” (1939) all embody a pure, uninhibited and joyful outrageousness in their yogic postures and near-impossible dance-flight moves. The subtle nuances of their smooth classical forms combined with their dashing flare and dauntless unfurling of elegance enable them to soar above any pedestal or reproach.

With each face carefully defined by the free, casual, but exacting touch of the artist, the four plaster “Figure” sculptures are definitive of feminine beauty and liquidity of form. Their flowing, graceful lines and rough-surface modeling are proudly indicative examples of the joining together of Renaissance, Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism

The exquisite and outstanding exhibition of Agostini’s sculpture at the Salander-O’Reilly Gallery in Manhattan will run until the end of June, and Peter Agostini’s brilliant influence and significance in the field of American and World Art will continue throughout the endurance of history.


JoAnne Brackeen – Dynamic Excellence in the Fazioli Salon at Klavierhaus

Press Article by Ellen L Gilmer


JoAnne Brackeen’s dynamic performance on the Fazioli piano in the small, intimate Salon at Klavierhaus in Manhattan hosted by founders Jim and Genevieve Luce on November 9, 2007 was at once a generous display of the virtuosity and brilliance of this highly accomplished female jazz pianist—a uniquely talented, innovative and masterful musician at the very top level of achievement as pianist, composer and educator—and a radiant and exhilarating experience of sheer joy to the favored ear of the audience. The selections she played ranged from Irving Berlin’s romantic How Deep Is the Ocean and wistful What’ll I Do to the soulful Alone Together by Ray Charles and JoAnne’s own ingenious tunes, Picasso and Haiti-B.

JoAnne’s complete and artful command of the keyboard, her impeccable technique, her flawless art of counterpoint combined with genius touch-strokes of color, form, timbre and nuance lend enhancement to qualities descriptive and definitive of the Fazioli piano—its powerful, clear tones; mellow richness of sound; brilliance of balance between treble and bass; and its impressive dynamic range and harmonic opulence.


Tosca’ at the Metropolitan Opera

Press Article Short by Ellen L Gilmer


The evening’s performance of both principal singers and the orchestra, conducted by James Levine, was unquestionably superb, displaying highest levels of quality and artistic excellence. As the well-loved opera singer, Tosca, Karita Mattila exuded the dramatic passion and charismatic beauty and magnetism of a truly larger-than-life melodramatic heroine. Her rich, multi-colored soprano, at once lustrous and scintillating, enveloped the entire house throughout the performance, and especially in her dramatic high notes during the torture scene of Act III. Since the opera’s plot―based on Sardou’s 5-act French drama―deals with passions rather than themes or sentiments, both hero (heroine) and villain are human beings who struggle, interact and clash on stage, at times violently. Political motives and historical ideals take a backseat to confrontations between individuals driven by strongly personal motivations and beliefs.

As director of the production, Luc Bondy deftly emphasizes Puccini’s defined aesthetic combination of Verismo and bourgeois culture. Set designer Richard Peduzzi, with the starkness of his near-proletarian style (remember, the basic definition of “opera” is work) stage sets (along with the bold, unembellished lighting effects of Max Keller) abruptly transports the drama and meaning of “Tosca” into bare modernity. Yet, Milena Canonero’s costume design maintains the strong sense of time and place of early Nineteenth century Rome, as well as the societal distance between the elegantly dressed Tosca and her bohemian artist lover. Although the lush, baroque extravagance of earlier productions is clearly replaced by stark realism (Verismo) and opposing dramatic excess (bourgeois culture, no less), this production seems to exhibit Puccini’s original overall structure and plan for “Tosca”―by distinctly different artistic methods and means.


An Entrepreneur’s Lifestyle — Taxing or Relaxing?

Article Short By Ellen L Gilmer

Have you seen those ads claiming that the life of an entrepreneur is as free as a bird at the beach? They tend to be filled with enticing stories of exotic lifestyles of travel and adventure in far away, stylish, yet secluded locations. Well, this scenario is at least somewhat possible, provided your business venture doesn’t require close supervision of a product or service focused mainly in one place—and provided that secretive, secluded spot has reliable Internet and smartphone access. In reality, the birds seem to be in the lead. After all, they have 24/7 free airborne transport, and they don’t need cable, wireless service or satellite to communication.


Canonization in St. Peter’s Square, Rome

Press Article Short By Ellen L Gilmer


More than 10,000 people from Italy and around the world witnessed the extremely moving and meaningful Mass on Sunday, October 11, 2009, in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, Rome, as Pope Benedict XVI led the Canonization ceremony of Blesseds followed by the usual Sunday morning Papal Blessing. The early morning autumn sun beamed brightly on the Square and the multitude of people gathering for the Canonization ceremony and Mass. Its golden-white rays outlined the faces and figures quietly assembling, lending a balanced ambiance of genuine reverence and joyful elation to the morning’s religious ceremony. Even the well-known statues of saints and martyrs—140 in all—mounted high on the entablature above the Square’s 280 Doric pillars were edged with the unmistakable pristine aura of the freshly dawned purity of a new day.

For all of us present in St. Peter’s Square for the Canonization of Blesseds by Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday, October 11, this at once reverent and joyous celebration was truly memorable, emotional and meaningful. The many Catholics and other Christians attending were joined by people of various religions and systems of belief from around the world to commemorate the countless good deeds and the highest levels of excellence and purity exhibited throughout the lives of the individuals canonized. At moments, one could clearly sense the nearby presence and beauty of the sacred works of art inside St. Peter’s Basilica—the exquisite “Pietá” (sculpted by Michelangelo before his 25th birthday); Bernini’s astounding bronze “Baldachin” exhibiting bonze detail from the Pantheon; and the massive, yet graceful beauty of the statue of St. Peter—which all seemed to have joined with the audience assembled outside in the Square to view and experience the Canonization ceremony.


View Our Video: Dusk Into Dawn

Background Innovations


At Kinetic Lens, we offer products using the latest in updated motion background technology. Along with our superior quality motion backs, we also offer a wide selection of video templates for your professional use and enjoyment. A motion background is video footage that is created for inclusion as artistic background in a video or motion graphics production. These videos are short and in looped format so that they add a pleasing style, color pattern and rhythm to your video. They are designed to add impact and artistic dynamics as well as validity to your final video content without distracting the viewer’s eye and attentions from the product or other main subject of the video appearing in front of this continuously moving background.

Our motion backgrounds may be abstractions, realistic natural scenes, cityscapes or any background subject matter of choice. Colors may be brilliant in hue or subtle, and these backgrounds can move at whatever desired speed has been selected. By combining integrative software techniques and tracks of animated motion background in HD Mp4 videos of approximately 10 seconds in length, motion video experts created short motion background footage. These moving backgrounds add dynamic impact and emphasis to headings and menus of DVD presentations, film trailers, performance art introductions and videos for product advertising campaigns.

Creating Abstract Motion Backgrounds

You can design and create abstract motion video backgrounds by using several different methods, such as the following:

Software Programs. – With use of various popular software packages, you can produce ideal abstract motion background loops. Two major types of software currently recommended for creating these moving abstractions are 3D Rendering Software and Motion Graphics.

  •  3D Rendering Software. – Top quality 3D creative software programs on the market today include 3Ds Max, Cinema 4D and Blender, a free, open source choice. With this software, you can invent detailed three dimensional objects ranging from a plain geometrical shape to a replica of a human or animal body. Beginning with a wire frame, you can build your chosen form by adding textures as well as many lighting and color effects to bring your constructed form to life. Although this 3D software is frequently used to produce animation, it can also help you create dynamic and effective motions backgrounds for your videos and digital graphics. This versatile software enables you to color, blend, overlay, animate and add your choice of 3D shapes and other effects to produce spectacular abstractions as moving backgrounds.  
  •  Motion Graphics Software. – Two major motion graphics software packages are in popular use today by both professional and amateur motion background creators—Adobe’s After Effects and Motion from Apple. Although After Effects is currently rated as the leading moving background and graphics software, Apple’s Motion is also quite a good choice. With this software’s myriad creative capabilities, you can manipulate objects, textual content, colors, shapes and textures. After experimenting and deciding on your best moving graphics for background designs, you can combine, layer, highlight, blur, glow, flow, bend and fine-tune your content to produce winning abstractions in motion backs.  

Footage-Based Motion Backs. – You can actually create some very effective abstract motion backgrounds by videoing an object or scene with your lens out of focus. Many of the most artistic footage-based moving backgrounds are produced by using this technique to capture footage of lights.

  •  Blurred Footage. – One frequently used type of video background shoots is known as the light bokeh method. When shooting footage of blurred lights, especially during night hours, the result is a series of small points of light, similar to the effect of a Pointillist painting, like those made famous by the Neo-Impressionist painter, Georges Seurat during the 1880’s in France.
  •  Zoomed Footage. – When you zoom in close on an object or scene, your camera lens will automatically be out of focus, resulting in some creative, impromptu background motion footage.
  •  Motion-Centered Footage. – By slanting or panning your camera suddenly, you will produce a streaking effect, which can be used as a pleasing background abstraction. This is also an effective technique for smooth transitions between frames.  
  •  Subject-Centered Footage. – The world around us is abundant with abstractions like fire, ocean waves, clouds, snowstorms, rainfall on your car windshield and bubbling soup. In these instances, all you need to do is just point and shoot footage.  

Remember, you can always shoot artistic motion backs and then use After Effects software options to further enhance them. With use of overlay or invert features, you can alter the final look and impact of your motion backgrounds in any way that you choose. Our creative video templates can assist you with artistic placement and use of design elements. Abstract motion backs can be used to brighten up or enhance menus, titles and credits for videos. They can also be used to create some very intriguing effects when applied to footage or still photos to be included in your videos.


As abstractions, moving backs serve as appealing, restful or playful interludes between segments of an instructional or complex video presentation. These artistic and colorful motion backgrounds also emphasize the creative aspects of your videos and capture the attentions of your viewers. We offer the ultimate quality motion backgrounds at Kinetic Lens. Visit our website today and choose your favorites from our extensive online catalog of superior, advanced motion backs. Our products will satisfy all your preferences and needs for your creations and for dynamic product sales campaigns.

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