The Blog


Earlier this week, the Bacchanal Committee officially announced that Rae Sremmurd, Marian Hill, and Bibi Bourelly will be performing at this year’s Bacchanal.

Tickets to Bacchanal 2016 are available for the performance on April 2nd. As previously announced, EVELINE will also be featured during this year’s show.

We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.

 

 

The Columbia Elections Board has extended candidate registration for the Inclusion and Equity Representative position.

While The Columbia Elections Board officially released the candidates running for positions in student council on Friday morning, no candidate elected to register for the Inclusion and Equity Representative position.

Registration closes Sunday March 27 at 11:59pm. To apply, click here.

For more information regarding The Columbia Elections Board, contact Katherine Welty at kmw2197@columbia.edu.

“I’m so stressed out right now.”

“I have so much work this weekend.”

“God, these finals are going to be rough for me.”

This kind of dialogue is ubiquitous on campus, especially as the weather gets warmer, the sun gets brighter, and finals begin to hang ominously over every Columbia student’s head. Undoubtedly, Columbia is a difficult school. We are consistently ranked as having a high level of stress compared to other colleges in the United States. In 2011, Columbia was ranked the number one “most stressful” school, and in 2012, it was ranked “most rigorous” by The Daily Beast.

A few days ago, one of my friends told me that she thinks there’s “a dearth of big hearted people at Columbia.” Naturally, I did a bit of a double take — it’s not exactly the kind of thing someone wants to hear about their school. I inquired what she thought it meant to be a “big hearted person,” a working definition. After discussing it for a bit, we decided that a big-hearted person “sincerely and naturally feels the weight of other people’s lives.” These empathetic human beings really care about the people around them, and my friend was saying that we didn’t have individuals with this quality.

While it might feel that way sometimes, saying that we lack big hearted people at Columbia is reductive. We need to think differently to see the true picture.

People tell others about their stress and work. The people around them hear this, and because they are also probably overloaded with coursework, feel the need to talk about their work as well. A destructive amalgamation of insecurity, one-upmanship and stress talk ensues. Students naturally want to validate all the work that they put in and when they hear about their classmates’ work, they need to speak up themselves and highlight their own stress so that other people will know.

This positive feedback cycle is responsible for making people focus on themselves and for making people talk about themselves. The root of my friend’s “lack of big hearted people” problem lies here. Students at an intense, competitive, and stressful university become self focused, and this leads to people feeling alone. If a classmate talks about what is going on in his or her life most of the time rather than inquiring about how you are doing and what is going on in your life, it is only natural to feel like that person doesn’t care about you and doesn’t “sincerely and naturally feel the weight of other people’s lives.”

Students of Columbia and other intense and stressful colleges: do not slip down the slope of self-obsession and self-focus just because it feels like everyone around you is. Your life is hard, but so is the life of the cute girl sitting next to you in class, the person that lives next door to you in your dorm, and the guy that you always run into in the dining hall. When finals are closing in on you and you feel cornered, don’t forget about those around you.

We need each other more than ever at this point in the year. Make it your personal responsibility to ensure that no one feels trapped by their work. Ask how someone’s day was, then listen for a genuine answer. Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know that well and learn something about them. Make people feel loved and supported. You are big hearted. You do care about your classmates. Don’t fail to show it.

This Op-Ed was written by Jake Petterson for his University Writing Progression 4 and is originally from The Lion Archives.

Nearly a fifth of the operas appearing onstage this year at the Met were written by the 19th century Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, and together, they all provide the opportunity to experience the broad range of his artistic mastery. Already audiences have been treated to two of three operas of the “Tudor Trilogy,” dramas depicting the trials of British royalty and this season starring Sondra Radvanovksy. This season in March, two of his mirthful comedies share the stage. L’elisir d’amore (“The Elixir of Love”) opens at the end of this week, while Donizzetti’s outlandish farce Don Pasquale returned last Friday in a revival of an exuberant production by director Otto Schenk.

Beneath an evening of hilarious shenanigans lies a fairly simple plot. The old bachelor Don Pasquale has promised to bequeath a small fortune to his pouty nephew Ernesto as long as he agrees to marry the woman Pasquale has selected. Ernesto refuses, and Pasquale, with the aid of the wily Doctor Malatesta, decides to cast out Ernesto and find himself a young wife instead.

Pasquale is beside himself when Malatesta offers him the hand of his docile sister Sophronia, but little does he know that this delicate bride is none other than Norina, Ernesto’s beloved, in disguise. Before the ink can dry on their false marriage contract, Norina turns into a demanding shrew and terrorizes Pasquale unceasingly until he abandons any hope of marital bliss. Eventually, the young lovers are ultimately reunited, everyone is reconciled, and all join in proclaiming the opera’s wry moral: Only trouble awaits the old man who weds a young wife.

As the curmudgeonly Pasquale, rotund Italian baritone Ambrogio Maestri returned to the Met after past triumphs as the scheming Doctor Dulcamara in “L’elisir d’amore” and the buffoonish title character in Verdi’s “Falstaff.” A “maestro” of farce, Maestri brings impeccable timing and telling facial expressions to every outsized character he plays and excels at patter singing, a hallmark of Italian comic opera during which long lines of text are declaimed at great speed.

Making an exciting Met debut, soprano Eleonora Buratto conveyed Norina’s dual sweetness and cunning with lustrous timbre and dynamic physicality. Early on, the top of her range tended to get away from her, but as the evening progressed, she focused her tone and offered pure, creamy singing. Hers is a voice that will undoubtedly become rounded and more secure with time, but even on this occasion, she managed to blend nicely with her colleagues.

Rising Mexican tenor Javier Camarena played Ernesto, lending his supple instrument to yet another successful interpretation of beloved Bel Canto character. In this repertoire, there is often a risk that a tenor’s bright tone can grate on the ear, but Camarena’s warm, heartfelt voice and masterfully fluid phrasing always ensure great lyricism. The prolonged applause he received after his Act 2 aria “Povero Ernesto” was well deserved.

Rounding out the ensemble, Levente Molnár brought spirited panache to his portrayal of Malatesta, not only matching his colleagues’ winning stage presence and rapid-fire singing, but also bringing a rich depth to more expressive moments. On the podium, conductor Marizio Bennini evoked spirited color and Italianate style from the orchestra and chorus, though his pacing often got ahead of the action onstage, forcing the singers to struggle to keep up with the accelerated tempi.

While we await the end of winter’s chill, the lovable antics of “Don Pasquale” should warm the hearts of Columbia students desperately seeking an escape from impending midterms.

Performances of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale continue through March 18, with this Saturday’s matinee performance being broadcast live on WQXR 105.9FM. More information can be found online at metopera.org

Last night, Columbia University No Budget Sketch Show (CUSS) released their newest video, “Shmasterpieces of Western Lit: The Odyssey,” a video showcasing an overview of Homer’s Odyssey… from a different point of view.

Watch the video below.

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