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Jacques Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880) was a German-born French composer, cellist and impresario. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s to the 1870s, and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. Beginning as a cellist and conductor, Offenbach first wrote small-scale one-act pieces, limited by theatrical licensing laws. These eased by 1858 when he premiered his first full-length operetta, Orphée aux enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld). La belle Hélène (1864) and other successes followed. The risqué humour (often about sexual intrigue) and gentle satire in these pieces, together with Offenbach's facility for melody, made them internationally known, and he was a powerful influence on later operetta and musical theatre composers. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, and many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st century. The Tales of Hoffmann remains part of the standard opera repertory. (Full article...)

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Giado concentration camp
Giado concentration camp

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Barbora Krejčíková and Carlos Alcaraz
Krejčíková (left) and Alcaraz

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Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe

Thirty-seven awards from 101 nominations were won by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, a 2011 fantasy film directed by David Yates from a screenplay by Steve Kloves. The film received particular recognition for its acting – mainly that of Daniel Radcliffe (pictured) – its musical score, its production design, and its visual effects. It received three nominations at the 84th Academy Awards, including Best Visual Effects. At the 65th British Academy Film Awards, the film was nominated for Best Production Design, Best Sound, and Best Makeup and Hair, and won Best Special Visual Effects. It received four nominations at the 17th Critics' Choice Awards and won two awards. The National Board of Review selected The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 as one of its top ten films of 2011. (Full list...)

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Bronze-winged jacana

The bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus) is a wader in the family Jacanidae. It is found across South and Southeast Asia. Like other jacanas, it forages on lilies and other floating aquatic vegetation, using its long feet and legs for balance. The sexes are alike but females are slightly larger and are polyandrous, maintaining a harem of males during the breeding season in the monsoon rains. Males maintain territories, with one male in the harem chosen to incubate the eggs and take care of the young. When threatened, young chicks may be carried to safety by the male under his wings. This bronze-winged jacana was photographed in Kumarakom on the shore of Vembanad, the largest lake in the Indian state of Kerala.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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