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Clinton, Kaine begin tour of Pa., Ohio

PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton kicked off her general election campaign Friday in Philadelphia by comparing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to a king, while she argued the historic nature of her candidacy showed the goodness and potential of America....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/07/30/Clinton-Kaine-begin-tour-of-Pa-Ohio/stories/201607300117

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Clinton, Kaine launch campaign bus tour from Philadelphia

Hillary Clinton kicked off her general election campaign this afternoon in Philadelphia by comparing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to a king, while she argued the historic nature of her candidacy showed the goodness and potential of America....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/07/29/Clinton-Kaine-launch-campaign-bus-tour-from-Philadelphia/stories/201607290207

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Do the Met's Live in HD broadcasts hurt Pittsburgh Opera?

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

The Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series is 10 years old, offering a natural point to take stock of the legacy of this controversial project. 

LL 2016 01 LAMOUR DE LOIN 02 231-XL photo by kristian schullerThe Met will offer a Live in HD transmission of Kaija Saariaho’s opera "L’Amour de Loin" in December. (Photo: Kristian Schuller) 

The series, which broadcasts live performances from the Metropolitan Opera to movie theaters around the world, was designed to expand opera audiences. But some have wondered whether it has done the opposite: By offering a relatively affordable way to experience a quality opera production up-close, has Live in HD eroded audiences inside the opera house? What's more, the audience for these presentations tends to be older — not necessarily the new viewers the Met was seeking to attract.

The Washington Post's Anne Midgette weighed in on the transmissions and surveyed several opera administrators about Live in HD. Ms. Midgette see issues with the program, even beyond the potential effect it has on ticket sales, such as whether it has placed too high a priority on cinematic detail or whether the technological adjustments afforded by the productions have numbed the artistic risks of producing opera.

I spoke with Christopher Hahn, general director of Pittsburgh Opera, about whether he felt the HD series had eroded the local opera audience. His answer, emphatically, was "absolutely not," and he feels the program could in fact enrich Pittsburghers' operagoing experience and knowledge.

"In our specific position in Pittsburgh, I absolutely believe it has no impact on the audience," he said.

Mr. Hahn has not actually attended a Live in HD broadcast himself because he generally catches several of the productions in New York and (rightfully) prefers seeing operas in the flesh. But he views the transmissions as an opportunity for Pittsburghers, on the one hand, to experience repertoire and productions they typically can't get at the Benedum Center and, on the other hand, to be exposed to Met performers they actually might see in Pittsburgh (e.g., Lisette Oropesa, who appeared with Pittsburgh Opera most recently in the company's 2015 production of "Daughter of the Regiment").

"It's very important for our audience to know what a wonderful 'Lulu' looks and sounds like," he said, referring to the Alban Berg opera that was broadcast on the series in 2015.

In his view, Live in HD runs the risk of cannibalizing ticket sales for smaller opera companies that may not have the resources to put on high-quality productions. On the other end of the spectrum, it also could hurt the Met's own in-house audience. But a "major regional opera company" like Pittsburgh Opera, he believes, is safe from those factors.

He acknowledged the cinema presentations have some advantages for older patrons. Those who might have trouble making it to the Benedum at night will find the ease of navigating a cinema on a Saturday afternoon attractive. But while Pittsburgh Opera has lost patrons who can't manage those late-night trips into Downtown Pittsburgh anymore, Mr. Hahn does not know of anyone who gave up tickets specifically because of the Met's transmissions.

Personally, I think a lot of folks are scapegoating the HD series. Sure, it hasn't built the new audiences the Met had hoped for, but as others in those articles mentioned, there plenty of wide-ranging cultural forces that have affected ticket sales at opera companies. As I've previously stated, I appreciate the opportunity to see operas (such as William Kentridge's visually arresting "Lulu") that aren't likely to appear in Pittsburgh anytime soon. 

What do you think about Live in HD? Good for opera, bad for opera, or somewhere in between? Feel free to comment below or send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to share your thoughts.  

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North Allegheny hires Wild Things player Heck as baseball coach

Written by Mike White on .

With a new skipper that has some "wildness" in him, the North Allegheny baseball team can give opponents "Heck" next season. 

North Allegheny has hired Andrew Heck as its new coach. Heck, 27, has been Sewickley Academy's coach the past four seasons, but he also plays for the Washington Wild Things, an independent minor-league baseball team. Heck is an outfielder and is hitting .260 this season.

Before coaching, Heck played Division I baseball. He played for three years at Duquesne University before the program folded. He played his final year for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Heck is a 2007 graduate of North Hills High School, where played both football and baseball.

At North Allegheny, Heck will lead one of the top programs in the WPIAL. He takes over for Andy Maddix, who resigned after this past season mainly because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Maddix was highly successful at North Allegheny, going 142-54 in nine seasons with two WPIAL championships.

Heck has worked some with the North Allegheny athletic department the past few years while doing a nice job as Sewickley Academy's coach. He was 39-27 at Sewickley and made the WPIAL playoffs all four years. His 2014 team made the WPIAL semifinals. He also was a base coach for a few months with the Wild Things before playing again. North Allegheny athletic director Bob Bozzuto used to be the Wild Things manager and also an assistant coach.

 

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Perry on Politics: Khan's quiet grace hit Trump the hardest

Sometimes dramatic things happen at our national conventions, even at heavily scripted ones....

Read more http://www.post-gazette.com/early-returns/ernational/2016/07/29/Perry-on-Politics-Donald-Trump-s-worst-nightmare/stories/201607290188

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