Archive for the ‘Spirit Blades’ Category

The Magic Flute and Knives – Mozart’s Opera Masterpiece Made Better by Jende

June 17, 2015

Many people don’t know (but they will in a second!) that the very first opera I ever played was Mozart’s The Magic Flute my freshman year in college. It has a special place in my heart because I played second clarinet to my teacher at the time, Roger McKinney. Aside from that, I was never much of an opera fan because the stories are just too complicated to follow (but here’s the Cliff’s notes version), and while Die Zauberflöte is dear to me, I never saw it because I was sitting in the back row under the stage in the pit in college, and I never watched or listened to it since (except for The Queen of the Night’s Aria when soloists sang with the orchestra).

Well that all changed this past week. The Kaohsiung City Spring Arts Festival featured a full blown opera production of, you guessed it, Mozart’s The Magic Flute. It’s been a while since a professional level staging of an opera or ballet was done in Kaohsiung, so I was happy to secure tickets to finally see the show with my children some twenty-odd years later! It is common for outside talent to be brought in for the major solo parts, in this case The Queen of the Night, Papageno, and Sarastro were performed by famed Hungarian Colorarura Erika Miklósa,  American Baritone Philip Cutlip, and American Bass Jeremy Galyon.

Whenever soloists come through Kaohsiung, a group of us try to meet up with them for coffee or dinner to help with the some of the culture shock, and to give them a real taste of our wonderful little city instead of being carted around to the touristy places by overworked and underpaid cultural department workers. 🙂 And this time we hit the jackpot – There was some interest in knives as gifts, so we suggested they swing on by our new workshop to see what all the fun was about. I can’t give all the juicy details of the fun we had without having to kill you, but we showed them EVERYTHING in the shop! and got a great video with a surprise cameo from Philip at 0:17 (don’t tell his agent!), and some great pictures of the aftermath:

Here’s the cameo video of our now famous Jende Ceramic Sharpening Steel Whack!,Whack!,Whack!,Whack! video:

And some nice family friendly pictures of some proud new owners of some Spirit Blades:

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At Jende Industries L-R: Erika Miklósa, Chris, Tom, Philip Cutlip

 

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At Jende Industries L-R: Erika Miklósa, Tom, Jeremy Galyon, Philip Cutlip

But that’s not all – We also secretly placed a 6 foot walking billboard at the opera rehearsal… When my wife (who is in the orchestra) saw it, she called me up and yelled at me – after getting pictures, of course!  😀

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Nothing says “Bass” like a Jende T-shirt!

Jeremy Galyon loves his Jende Shirt!

Jeremy Galyon loves his Jende Shirt!

So the big night finally arrived – The opera was a huge success all around! The most interesting thing was when the Queen of the Night was singing her famous aria, she gave Pamina a knife to kill Sarastro… I couldn’t help wondering at that point if that was why Erika had purchased 2 knives earlier in the week….

We were lucky enough to score a slightly blurry selfie with one of the Three Ladies (who were amazing together!)

One of the Three Ladies with my ladies!

One of the Three Ladies with my ladies!

With the closing of the opera’s run, we were lucky to spend a little more time with our new found friends before they had to depart for home. Jeremy joined us for breakfast, and had to leave first, but we were able to have a light lunch with Erika and Philip at one of my favorite places in Kaohsiung – Chung-Shan University, which has an amazing view, and is right on the beach.

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The sun deck at Chung Shan University

View from the sun deck at Chung Shan University

Sadly, the time came for us to say our goodbyes, and we turned the page on yet another amazing encounter with great people! We did get some good souvenirs, though… We had the entire cast sign the program for our daughters, and Erika and Philip left a little something extra for them as well.

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Jende Giveaway this month! Free 8″ Spirit Blade Chef Knife

June 8, 2015

Our June 2015 Contest – Register to win a free 8″ Spirit Blade Chef knife from Jende Industries!

Spirit Blade 8" Chef Knife

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Our Spirit Blades are hand forged by Sword smith, Master Kuo, who made the Green Destiny sword for Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Each blade is infused with human bone during the forging process, and the damascus patterns are truly mesmerizing and unique. Handles are made from African Rosewood with 2 small copper pins, and a beautiful mosaic pin of copper and stainless steel. For those involved in the spirit world, copper is an excellent conducting medium for spiritual energy. You can watch Master Kuo in action on this video.

This amazing chef knife is valued at $900.00! Entering to win is easy – go to the announcement of this contest on our Facebook page and follow the instructions!  Winner will be announced on July 1st 2015.

Good luck to everyone!