help_outline Skip to main content
Stay Connected
Copyright ©2020 - All Rights Reserved
Powered By
Date: 4/16/2020
Subject: Keeping Busy Keeping Busy During These COVID-19 Days #3
From: Beacon Hill Village

BHV New Logo - email ver

APRIL 16, 2020

We are changing our production schedule for members’ suggestions.  Going forward the weekly calendar will run Friday to the following Thursday.  So this new calendar of one-time events will be for April 17-24, 2020.  New items on the 24/7 list of things to do are in red.  Many of these items are (apparently) available indefinitely.  Others, though, while more than one-time, are only available for a limited time, and their dates of availability are indicated.

Be engaged!  The weekly calendar and the 24/7 list reflect what you say you are watching, listening to and reading.  We’ll compile your recommendations for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, until BHV resumes its normal programs.  Send any suggestion for a new item to  Because of our new calendar production schedule, recommendations by Tuesday evening of each week will get priority for listing, though we will try to accommodate every recommendation whenever sent.

Be well and be safe.




Doug Fitzgerald, President; Karen Garvin, Vice President and Chair, Program Committee; Betsy Peterson, Secretary; Charley Davidson, Board Member; Steve Roop, Board Member; Joanne Cooper, Chair, Member Services Committee; Barbara Roop, Chair, Living Well/Ending Well Committee; Gina Morrison, Executive Director


Friday, April 17, 2020

2-3 pm.  Massachusetts Historical Society presents Gordon Edes, official historian of the Boston Red Sox, in an online Q&A.  Bring your questions or just listen in on the conversation. Links to video content will be included in the confirmation email following registration. Information on how to join the live webinar will be emailed to participants the day before the event.  Register at following the links from there.

free only 7:30 pm until 6:30 pm on 4-18.  Puccini, Madama Butterfly, Metropolitan Opera,    

Saturday, April 18, 2020

free only 7:30 pm until 6:30 pm on 4-19.  Cilea, Adriana Lecouvreur, Metropolitan Opera,    

Sunday, April 19, 2020

free only 7:30 pm until 6:30 pm on 4-20.  Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier, Metropolitan Opera,

Monday, April 20, 2020  PATRIOTS DAY

12 noon.  Boston Athenaeum.  Presentation about famed sculptor Edmonia Lewis, the first woman of color to achieve international fame and recognition in the fine arts world as a sculptor, but also how she used photography to advance her career, anti-slavery activism, and the abolitionist movement.  Register at 

free only 7:30 pm until 6:30 pm on 4-21.  Richard Strauss, Elektra, Metropolitan Opera,

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

1:30 pm  Boston-based Digital Public Library of America has become the biggest single contributing partner to Wikimedia Commons; if you’d like to learn more about the origins, the current nuts and bolts, and future of this collaboration, register for a working seminar at 

free only 7:30 pm until 6:30 pm on 4-22.  Puccini, Tosca, Metropolitan Opera,

Wednesday, April 22, 2020  EARTH DAY 50

free only 7:30 pm until 6:30 pm on 4-23.  Offenbach, The Tales of Hoffmann, Metropolitan Opera,

Thursday, April 23, 2020
free only 7:30 pm until 6:30 pm on 4-24.  Lehar, The Merry Widow, Metropolitan Opera,


AVAILABLE 24/7, APRIL 11, 2020


Andrea Bocelli’s free Easter Sunday Music for Hope concert is moving throughout,  But the final few minutes are quite overwhelming (start at 18:38):  video of the empty streets and squares of Milan (from whose Duomo the concert originated), Paris, London and New York accompany Bocelli’s powerful rendering of “Amazing Grace.”

Boston Symphony Orchestra offers new selections from past concerts every week, but all the music released remains available once it’s released, apparently:   You can also hear a BSO program nightly (except Sundays] at 8 pm on 99.5, WCRB-FM, though apparently, as of this writing, only through April 18.

April 17- May 20 only:  Boston Symphony Orchestra, Concert for Our City, The final free concert of a series after the scheduled BSO trip to Asia was canceled because of the COVID 19 outbreak.

You can get an idea of the BSO’s music homeschooling efforts for these COVID-19 days at 

Andrew List, “The Emerald Necklace:  A Chamber Symphony in Three Movements,” commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra,   If a May 31 BSO gala if it not canceled, List’s work will be featured.

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, free online concerts, at least for now, with simple signup at 

Chamber Music Society of New York offers dozens of free solo/small ensemble programs, including historic performances of major classics from CMS’s first 50 years.  Some lectures as well.

Handel and Haydn Society offers a number of free archived concerts, including earlier-this-season’s Messiah; all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and his St. Matthew Passion; Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas; and the Monteverdi Vespers.

Juventas New Music Ensemble, on Facebook, has a variety of solo and ensembke oerformances by young musicians focused on contemporary music and emerging composers.

Rockport (MA) Music offers classical, folk, jazz, pop:

Four Chopin nocturnes--Op. 15, No. 3 in G minor, Op. 27, No. 1 in C-sharp minor; Op. 37, No. 1 in G minor; and Op. 48, No. 1 in C minor—performed by Piers Lane, pianist, at the 2019 Rockport (MA) Chamber Music Festival,   

Rockport Music presents a swing classic in bossa nova idiom: 

From Passim, Cambridge’s venerable emporium of folk, rock and bluegrass, listen to livestreamed and recorded concerts:


Bob Dylan, “Murder Most Foul”—two contending polemics: and  .  When, since college, have you read polemics about a pop song—even if its author is a Nobel literature laureate?  Dylan’s song is at

Beethoven—you’ve heard the first movement of the 5th Symphony many times but you’ve never seen it visualized like this!  Huge fun and very clever:   

You don’t have to speak French to get the point of this in-these-times Offenbach riff:

All at home because of the COVID-19 crisis, musicians from three orchestras nonetheless together (stunningly) play excerpts from the Beethoven 9th finale, from Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,”and from Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik:


Melinda Lopez, Mala.  Lopez, Mellon Playwright in Residence at the Huntington, stars in this one-woman show which is a memoir of caring for her increasingly frail but ever-fierce mother during the epic Boston winter of 2015.

April 12-16 only, Jane Eyre.  National Theatre at Home (UK).  Coming April 16, 7 pm, through April 23, Treasure Island.   Follow link to the National Theatre’s YouTube channel at

April 17-19 only:  William Shakespeare, Hamlet, the 2018 Shakespeare Globe production, .  See a wealth of supplemental materials about the play and its production at (scroll down).

April 20- May 3.  William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, the 2009 production, at and scroll down to link.

April 17-23 only.  Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag,  award-winning fringe account of “some sort of woman living her sort of life.”  This huge 2019 West End hit is now in film form and being livestreamed to benefit a variety of British charities aiding theater workers in time of need.  Fee is for a 48-hour download, in the US from Amazon Prime. 

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 2016 British co-production by Made at Curve and Birmingham Repertory Theatre, at


April 17 only:   Mozart, “Cosi fan tutte,” Royal Opera,

Mozart, “The Marriage of Figaro,” Vienna State Opera--free enrolment at

April 17-24 only:  “The Metamorphosis,” Royal Opera,

Willem Jeths, “Ritratto.”  The inspiration for this work is Luisa Casati—essentially, a wealthy art groupie who once said, ‘I want to be a living work of art.’  The recent Dutch National Opera world premiere had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 crisis, but the dress rehearsal was recorded.  In English (mostly), at .

Tchaikovsky, “Jevgeni Onjegin,” Dutch National Opera,


Starting April 18:  “Cendrillon” (“Cinderella”), Paris National Opera,


“Peter and the Wolf,” Royal Ballet/Royal Ballet School,     

Handel, “Acis and Galatea,” Royal Opera/Royal Ballet,

April 17-18 only:  Dutch National Ballet, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," the original E T A Hoffmann story; it is the Alexandre Dumas adaptation that Tchaikovsky set to music and Petipa/Ivanov choreographed. 

April 18-25 only:  Dutch National Ballet, “Coppelia,” and scroll down

April 17-19 only:  Paris Opera, “Tribute to Jerome Robbins,”

April 17 only.  If you use Facebook, check out Sadlers Wells’ various offerings, including superstar choreographer Anna Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rain, where ten dancers run rings round each other to Steve Reich’s minimalist music in De Keersmaeker’s shimmering production, performed by her Rosas company.  Part of Sadlers Wells’ Facebook Premieres.

April 17-27 only:  Montreal’s The 7 Fingers performs its eye-popping and gravity-defying “Séquence 8” from Arts Emerson’s 2012-2013 season,

Siobahn Burke, “12 Places to Watch Dance Online,” The New York Times (April 7, 2020), 


Rian Johnson, Knives Out (Amazon Prime TV), a comedy/murder mystery

Alice Rohrwacher, Happy as Lazzaro (Netflix; orig. German, 2018).  Lazzaro, a good-hearted young peasant, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination, form a life-altering but very complex bond when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping.

Andrey Zvyagintsev, Loveless (2017).  An estranged Russian couple going through a brutal divorce both have new partners and want to start over--until their 12-year-old son disappears after witnessing one of their fights.  Unflinching, discomfiting and insistent.  Widely available for a fee. 

Coolidge Corner Theatre, various films available for 5-day rental periods:



Michael Apted, The Up Series.  Celebrated documentary series in which fourteen British children, starting in 1964, are revisited every 7 years for over five decades.  A portrait of changing lives and changing  British society.  Bingeworthy!  Subscription info at

Ken Burns, The Gene:  An Intimate History, adapted from the award-winning book of the same name by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. Part 1 is streaming presently on PBS, ; Part 2 debuts Tuesday on PBS, April 14 at 8 pm.

Sarah Burns and David McMahon, East Lake Meadows:  A Public Housing Story (2020), presented by Ken Burns,   This history of an Atlanta public housing project, from its construction in 1970 to its demolition in the mid-1990’s, raises searching questions about how marginalized Americans, especially African-Americans, find housing in America and what might be done to improve their lives.

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watt’s documentary For Sama is “… a miraculous diary of an activist and mother locked down in the siege of Aleppo. Its lessons for our current crisis are uncountable, and it left me devastated, hopeful and humbled with admiration.”  A “… work of art that opened my heart and allowed me to imagine war as an emotional reality….” (The Guardian)  At

Celebrate Frederick Law Olmsted’s 198th birth (April 26) with this documentary, “Frederick Law Olmsted:  Designing America,”

Homes by the Sea.  One BHV member calls it “documentary escapism.”  On Netflix,

Environmental Film Festival, more than 300 films to choose from,


The Library of Congress has extensive collections online of photographs from many places:

Europe and Other Locations  (683 prints)

Norway and Sweden:  (156 prints) and Tunisia:    (41 prints)

Cuba and Mexico album:  (51 prints)

Striking views in color of Western Landscapes,  (41 prints)

Views of Landscape, Architecture, and People – Howard Gottlieb gift,    (488 prints)

New York:    (110 prints)

Scotland:   (183 prints)

Marc Walter Photochrome Collection:  (366 photos)

Italy:  (319 photos)   

Wales:   (166 prints)

Turkey:     (28 photos)

Algeria:¨    (74 photos)

Holy Land,  (145 prints)

France:   (519 prints)


Peabody Essex Museum, podcasts (mainly) on art, 

Google’s art materials will yield hours of viewing pleasure, , notably artists online, by the hundreds: ;   art movements online, ; and museum tours on line, hundreds of them, for travel planning, travel reminiscing or armchair traveling:

Google’s extraordinary Frida Kahlo compendium, almost to the point of TMI:   

The Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol exhibit fell victim to COVID-19 but you get  a taste of it at

.  The video is brief but worthwhile.

The Tate Modern’s Aubrey Beardsley exhibit likewise fell victim to COVID-19 but here is a 30+ minute film that may be a satisfying temporary substitute: 

Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, a 5+ hour tour,  You know you have the time….

The Art Newspaper (UK) has dozens of podcasts about art, artists, art museums and exhibits, the art market, etc.: 

Tate Museum, "The Art of Slow Looking: What happens when we spend time getting to know a single artwork in detail? “ (podcast, 20 minutes)


Architecture:  on the Google website,, search “architecture” to access many modules on many aspects of architecture from the Romans to Renzo Piano.  One example of what is available:  Google’s brief but arresting appreciation of Frank Gehry’s Museum Guggenheim Bilbao,

See Historic New England’s material on the Walter Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts at 

See Historic New England’s material on the Aesthetic Movement treasure in Milton, MA, the Eustis Estate, with its imposing mansion, furnishings and grounds, 


The English Game (Netflix)—the origins and class-transcending power of English football (aka soccer).

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, available for a fee through Amazon or Amazon/Acorn.  See the March 23, 2020 review in Slate,  

Foyle’s War (series).  The classic British detective series, set during and shortly after WWII, debuted in 2002 and ran 8 seasons.  Widely available, for a fee; just Google it.

The Windermere Children (PBS), child survivors of the Holocaust brought to Britain for mourning, healing and starting their lives anew.   At least for a while it is available on the PBS website at ; also at

One member recommends:

NOTE: Those with a * are series still releasing.  Most shows are available on HBO or Amazon Prime. A series is underlined when it is especially important to watch the 1st episode thru to the end.

DRAMA (mostly)


Escape from Dannemora


Godless (Western)

Years and Years

Olive Kitteridge

Big Little Lies


Boardwalk Empire

The Boys*


Handmaid's Tale*

The Night Manager

My Brilliant Friend

Breaking Bad

Better Call Saul*

House of Cards (later seasons are "strange"/original available on BBC too)


“The Socially-Distanced Protestor.”  Much of the emotional power of a march or demonstration comes from being there. How can activists organize when social distancing measures prevent gatherings in person?  Part of The New Republic series “The Politics of Everything.”

Grolier Club (NYC),  America’s oldest society for book lovers and graphic arts fans, has dozens of talks at 

Harvard Environmental Economics Project—COVID-19, climate change, and other environmental policy issues; publications, papers and lectures.

London Review of Books is offering non-paywalled LRB selections, chosen for their “… compulsive, immersive and escapist qualities…”  They are wide-ranging but there is “… a complete absence of references to plague, pandemics or quarantine.”

London Review of Books has a wide variety of podcasts and videos, many of which appear to be available non-paywalled on YouTube.  See the selections at



Barbara Kingsolver, Unsheltered (2018)

James Nelson, All the Brave Fellows (2000)

Richard Powers, The Overstory (2018)

Evan Kindley, “Why Anxious Readers Under Quarantine Turn to ‘Mrs. Dalloway,’ “ The New Yorker (April 10, 2020),

Time hanging heavy on your hands?  Cull the worthwhile from the merely long at



David Abulafia, The Great Sea:  A Human History of the Mediterranean (2011).  A sweeping tour de force and a quite different view from that of the great French historian Fernand Braudel in his iconic 1949 The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II.

Alex Beam, Broken Glass:  Mies van der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth and the Fight Over a Modernist Masterpiece (2020).  Beam recounts the torrid relations leading to the creation of Mies’s modernist masterpiece in Plano, Illinois, and how things went south afterwards and wound up in court.  Beam discusses his book with the eminent and urbane urbanist Witold Rybcynski at Harvard Book Store’s first program for these COVID-19 times, 

Cyprian Broodbank, The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World (2013).  Another epic synthesis of the Mediterranean world.

Daniel C. Dennett, From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds (2017).  A philosopher’s speculations on the origins of human consciousness.

Walter Isaacson,  Leonardo da Vinci (2017)

Erik Larson, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (2020)

Peter Padfield, Maritime Supremacy and the Opening of the Western Mind:  Naval Campaigns That Shaped the Modern World (2000)

Nancy Seasholes (ed.), The Atlas of Boston History (2019).  Wonderful maps and illustrations.  Seasholes and other contributors discuss the book in a Massachusetts Historical Society talk,

Six quite varied books about travel, from Che Guevara to Robert Louis Stevenson and his donkey in France:


Wide-ranging discussions of a wide range of current books can be found at the Harvard Book Store Channel:

Other book recommendations

There are hundreds of book recommendations, new and old, solicited by this sophisticated lit-blog, , and links therein to hundreds more recommendations.  


COVID-19:  the science

BHV members Kim Bottomly and Wayne Villemez—retired immunologist and demographer, respectively—have developed terrific reading lists about various aspects of COVID-19 here and here.  Kim has a great primer on immunology here.  They welcome an ongoing discussion via your comments and questions.  They update the readings to assist and reflect this discussion, and as new information becomes available.


Other COVID-19-related articles

Sharon Begley, “Social distancing is controlling Covid-19; now scientists need to figure out which measures are most effective,” STAT News (April 9, 2020),

Sharon Begley and Hyacinth Empinado, “It’s difficult to grasp the projected deaths from Covid-19. Here’s how they compare to other causes of death,” STAT News (April 9, 2020).  Concise, with excellent graphics: 

Mark Blyth, “The U.S. Economy Is Uniquely Vulnerable to the Coronavirus:  Why America’s Growth Model Suggests It Has Few Good Options,” Foreign Affairs (March 30, 2020), .  Paywalled, but free sign-in is available.

J. Scott Brennan et al., “Types, sources, and claims of COVID-19 misinformation,” April 7, 2020, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University,

David Brooks, “The Pandemic of Fear and Agony:  Readers Open Up About Their Mental States,” The New York Times (April 9, 2020), 

Calabria, Stephen. “The Hidden Mental Health Toll of Coronavirus,” Who.What.Why (March 23, 2020),

Correia, Sergio and Luck, Stephan and Verner, Emil. “Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu” Social Science Research Network (March 30, 2020),  or

COVID-19 and ICE detention:  an ACLU report (April 8, 2020):   

James Crabtree, “How to Manage a Pandemic,” Technology Review (April 14, 2020),

Gordon Craig, “Politics of a Plague” New York Review of Books (June 30, 1988).  Cholera in Hamburg, 1830-1910:  plus ça change, plus la même chose     

Dalton, Clayton. “A Boston Hospital [MGH] Nears Its Limits,”  The New Yorker, April 2, 2020,

Economists overwhelmingly urge need to get COVID-19 under control before restarting US economy,

Adam Clark Estes and Shirin Ghaffary, “Apple and Google want to turn your phone into a Covid-tracking machine,” Vox (April 13, 2020),    The new contact-tracing tool, explained.  See also

“Flattening the Global Curve.”  A series of articles—they being from Project Syndicate some are rather polemical--, about what the developed world, in its own self-interest, needs to do in the less-developed world about COVID-19.  It’s vital to keep in mind there are still vast swathes of the world, containing billions of people, where COVID-19 penetration is only in its earliest stages.

The Forward Staff, The 11th Plague?  Passover in a Pandemic

Gawande, Atul. “Keeping the Coronavirus from Infecting Health-Care Workers,” The New Yorker, March 21, 2020,

Atul Gawande, “Why Americans Are Dying from Despair,” The New Yorker, March, 2020,  Gawande, concluding his article, underlines why the coronavirus will likely only compound this despair.

Gluck, Abbe, and Erica Turret. “Happy Tenth Birthday, Obamacare: This Crisis Would Be Much Worse Without You,”  Health Affairs (March 23, 2020),

Philip Gordon, “ ‘America First’ Is a Dangerous Fantasy in a Pandemic,” Foreign Affairs (April 4, 2020), (paywalled but easily entered for free)

Health Affairs has two related articles about why COVID-19 data can be so confusing and how better to manage it.  See  

And .

Nina Misuraca Ignaczak and Michael Hobbes, “Black People Are Dying Of COVID-19 At Alarming Rates. Here’s Why,” Huffington Post (April 8, 2020),

“Lessons from the Spanish Flu:  Social Distancing Can be Good for the Economy,”  The Economist (March 31, 2020),

Kelly Michelson, “If it comes to rationing, I shouldn’t have to be the one deciding who should live and who should die,” STAT News (April 2, 2020),  The Massachusetts effort to relieve medical personnel of such horrific rationing decisions was quietly released Tuesday, April 7, 2020, “Crisis Standards of Care:  Planning Guidance for the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Massachusetts Department of Public Health,

See also Lindsay Beyerstein, “The Staggeringly Complicated Ethics of Ventilating Coronavirus Patients,” The New Republic (April 10, 2020),   

Hong Kong Nguyen, “Vietnam’s Low-Cost COVID-19 Strategy,” Project Syndicate (April 8, 2020),

Fred Pearce, “After the Coronavirus, Two Sharply Divergent Paths on Climate,” Yale Environment 360 (April 7, 2020),

Robert Peckham, “Past Pandemics Exposed China’s Weaknesses:  The Current One Highlights Its Strengths,” Foreign Affairs (March 27, 2020),

David Price, MD, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, on protecting and empowering COVID-19 patients, their families and friends:

Jeffrey D. Sachs, “The East-West Divide in COVID-19 Control,” Project Syndicate (April 8, 2020),

Elena Sánchez Nicholás, “Coronavirus: Are we trading privacy for security?”  EU Observer (April 14, 2020),

Joseph E. Stieglitz, “Internationalizing the Crisis,” Project Syndicate (April 6, 2020),  Why, as COVID-19 spreads, the rich countries need to act now so the poor countries will not collapse in debt.

Tom Teicholz, “No, I haven’t read all of Proust. Fighting the coronavirus humble brag,” The Forward (April 7, 2020),  A pretty funny piece!

UMass’s Donohue Institute will start generating visualizations of COVID-19 data as it apples to Massachusetts.  The most impacted communities to date are at

Robert Walton, “Energy efficiency efforts are shutting down due to COVID-19, threatening jobs and savings,” Utility Drive, April 6, 2020,

Micah Zenko, “The Coronavirus is the Worst Intelligence Failure in US History,” Foreign Policy (March 25, 2020), 

Free coverage of COVID-19 news

Boston Globe coronavirus coverage is purportedly free but access can be irregular.

The Christian Science Monitor,

The Guardian is always free.  But sign up for breaking COVID-19 info at      

Health Affairs has free COVID-19 coverage at 

The New York Times has free coronavirus coverage but you may need to create an account, 

State House News Service has a summary of all its COVID-19 coverage—focused almost exclusively on Massachusetts government’s reaction to the crisis--, fee for the duration.  Check it out at

Technology Review’s coronavirus coverage is free but you need only sign up, at 

Many other periodicals are offering free coronavirus coverage.


Boston Public Library.  Massachusetts residents can avail themselves of abundant BPL digital and online resources at and at  For access use an valid BPL library card or get one at   

Digital Public Library of America, headquartered at BPL Copley Square,, has numerous online exhibitions, sets of online primary source materials, and online genealogical and scholarly research resources, but its 37+-million items are also completely searchable. It’s also launched a brand new web catalog that allows anyone to browse and directly download any of the more than 6,300 ebook titles available on DPLA’s Open Bookshelf. Read classic novels, children’s books, textbooks and non-English titles, all for free, with no login or library card needed.

The Making of America, a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction, is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.  Browsable by subject.  


Try Trickstercards for nine card games; easy to use—much easier, for bridge players, than, say, BridgeBase, though without all BridgeBase’s bells and whistles.  Simple, free enrollment at ,

Paint-By-Number for Adults,