Why didn’t we know about this production?

I’ve been searching for images of the Wexford Opera House (as you do), and that’s how I came across this photo of the 2011 production of Mercadante’s  Virginia. It looks like we would have been in our element, n’est-ce pas?

Mercadante's Virginia at wexford

The photo comes from an NPR page which gives in-depth background about a broadcast of the opera. You can click on the image to see the photo full size if you like.

Launch of new-look website

Members at today’s music session got a live preview of the re-designed web site I’ve been working on over the past few weeks. The original site design has served us well for several years, but had become rather tired and old and out-of-date. I’ve been thinking of a re-design for a while, and decided at the beginning of the month that it would be appropriate to have it up and running for the new year.

Front Page

The image above shows the new home (Schedule) page. It’s dramatically different in appearance, but there are also some refinements above and beyond what was there before. For starters, I’ve added a list of each month’s anniversary dates for ease of reference. Also, there’s a new What’s On section which pops up from the bottom of the page, as shown below.

What's On popup

The functionality of this page remains the same as members are accustomed to: mouse over the JAN, FEB, MAR … list to view the schedule for each month, now including that month’s anniversary dates. Also as before, the Schedule page will default to display the current month as the year progresses.

These changes are not merely cosmetic: The new implementation makes updating much easier and quicker than it has been, and it will even be possible for someone other than the webmaster to make changes online. This will be thanks to a shift away from our present hosting providers, who didn’t really cover themselves in glory during the recent hacking experience. The new-look site will be hosted by Adobe as part of my monthly subscription to their Creative Cloud. The annual collection will go towards offsetting part of this subscription rather than meeting our present-day hosting costs. There will be an overlap period during which the old site will continue to be hosted as before, and some of the new pages will link back to there. This is necessary because I still need to implement a tie-in between the Presentations database and the web-design software I’ve used for the new look, and it will take some time to sort out the technical problems involved. The link will be seamless however, and members will be presented in the interim with the Presentations information in the way they’ve been used to.

There will also be a cross-over period with regard to the photo galleries of the group trips abroad during the time it takes for me to change all the galleries to the new approach demonstrated on the pages for Paris 2001 and Berlin 2010.

I welcome feedback about the re-design. To be able to do that, though, you need to know where to find it. So here’s the link to the new web location.

Further progress with weblog rescue

Things are looking up on the weblog front. We will unfortunately have to do without images and photos and the like which were originally part of some entries (thanks to Mr Hacker and his deletion spree), but I’ve now managed to get the weblog system to talk to the existing database. That means that all our content is still available to view and search and comment on.

I’ll work through those entires which are showing ugly spaces where photos/images should be, and I’ll tidy these up. After that, I’ll see what I can do about sourcing a more interesting and colourful theme (hopefully one which will tie in with the rest of our web site).

Almost a rescue

Our nasty-minded hacking visitor made things extremely difficult for me when it came to rescuing our weblog.

He rather beat me to the punch and was busily deleting material while I was trying to copy it to my hard drive. So what survives is rather lacking in photos and other images, and I’ve had to use a different look to be able to make sense of the existing posts.

At any rate, there’s something back here now for you to turn to. I haven’t had time to go through all the posts to see which ones are affected by yer man’s antics. At this stage I was mainly concerned about having a tidy first page for you to ooh and aah over — and even at that there’s some basic functionality missing, for which I apologise.