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Update regarding the black boxes on The Best of Marbella and Vienna blogs

Dear readers,

Unfortunately, something went wrong with my Picasa Albums and Google+ and all my hard work from the last 4 years is destroyed. My sincere apologies to all of you.

I have contacted Google and they need to find a solution asap. There are many other people affected by this problem. Please check the forum!msg/picasa/9ttGjFI6GS4/bFeCL0ofJ50J and

In the meantime, be careful by signing up onto Google+ and Picasa 3 or using Blogger.

I can see this situation as a sign that I need to move on and create a new webdesign for The Best of the World: that is currently under construction. In the meantime, you can check the high tech, amazing tool from Talk Fusion:

Maria Petrak
The Best of Vienna blog
The Best of Marbella and

Tribute To A Beautiful Lady by Dario Poli

"Tribute To A Beautiful Lady"

Inspired by the original article from Dario Poli

Spain has been fortunate for British artist, author and composer Dario Poli, known to his contemporaries as the “Renaissance man.” For it was here that he found the inspiration to originate and produce one of his finest musical achievements “Lady X and The Power of Destiny” in a creative collaboration with Puerto Banus’s living legend Patrick Lloyd Hulme.

The musical drama, originally composed as a celebration of England’s favourite princess, based on the late Diana Princess of Wales. For the composers  it became a long mystical and spiritual journey, an exploration of Diana’s enigmatic character, her emotions, her motivations, and her fascination with the phenomenon of love. Their meticulous research into every facet of her life has resulted in a work, which has great profundity and truth to life, while acknowledging the gaiety and brilliance of a beautiful, if flawed aristocrat.

The project tells of Diana’s rise and fall, her golden yet tragic plight, in a sensitive and heartfelt piece of work that will stand the test of time, much as the light of her life will transcend the generations. Two men started a project, inspired by the muse, a project that tragically turned into a mission for the truth – to capture the innocence of her life and a light that was lost but never to be forgotten.
It was first registered in Marbella with S.G.A.E before her death; a tragedy, which galvanized the composers into re-writing almost the entire work and then re-registering the work in Malaga. The financial backers brought in by Dario, were fascinated by the quality of the music and story line, supported the composers enthusiasm and ideas, and the work was then legally constituted in Holland and Ireland.

With this funding the two men approached one of Britain’s leading musical professionals, the renowned musical director – David Redston – who, after studiously appraising their story, agreed to work with them on the project and conducted the orchestra and directed the numerous superb vocalists on the recording.

The musical drama was recorded by a symphony orchestra, opera singers and  including some singers from Riverdance at the famed Westland Studio Dublin.  These complex recordings and rehearsals, were directed by David Redston  following intensive rehearsals at RTE studios Dublin. It was produced by Richard Pine on the 11 September 2000, with Dario and Patrick in close attendance as advisors overseeing the work. It was engineered by Bob Somerville and was later mixed by David Redston and Bob Sommerville. Richard Pine:

It is a powerful and imaginative, two-act fictional musical drama of a total 2 hrs 45 minutes duration, specifically produced by its creators, to explore the tumultuous life of Lady X, a beautiful aristocrat and her entangled loves. Drawing into focus the esoteric factor X, the irresistible power of destiny and its mysterious design, that inexorably acts throughout her life.

The drama intricately woven around her, expresses a gamut of emotions, containing a haunting sense of tragic premonition, which unfolds, as the complexity of her life and charisma is explored and skilfully brought to life, by the innovative story; the sensitive and incisive power of the music, words and musical arrangements.

The musical effect simply carries the songs from the hearts and minds of Dario Poli and Patrick Lloyd Hulme, into the heart and soul of the listener. The result of the collaboration between Dario and Patrick, David Redston, the orchestra and the vocalists is truly mesmerizing and can confidently be described as ‘touching and very beautiful’

Richard Pine wrote “…. the recording demonstrates…its emotional appeal, the immediate catchiness of its rhythms and lyrics,and the richness of the orchestral texture.” … “The jewel at the heart of the musical remains that what it had been from the outset, …a celebration of her life, beauty and demeanour.”

He continued on the CD cover of Diana  - “ The musical differs from other productions in its truth to life, its deep appreciation of the circumstances which combined to bring the aristocratic girl, Lady Diana Spencer, to the point where she became Diana, Princess of Wales, and beyond it to the divorce court, to disillusion and death. The unique selling proposition of the composers is its powerful combination of singable tunes and a haunting sense of premonition.

Dario wrote; the moral of their story is simply that, “what we say and do to other people effects and shapes their lives, whether for good or bad. Therefore, each individual has his or her own personal responsibility to manage their actions towards others”. This becomes very clear in the final moments of the Opera.

The former secretary general of the UN - Mr Kofi Annan in Marbella

Marbella, Costa del Sol in Spain is seen as one of the most popular tourism hotspots in the world, however, there is 'much more than a wonderful climate, glamour, luxury and famous parties.

This article is inspired by the two original articles from:
Marbella Marbella: Dario Poli:
World Conference on Climate Change and Wine and
Kofi Annan addresses the world

Over 800 participants attended the recent talk by Kofi Annan at The 3rd World Conference on Climate Change and Wine from 13-14 April in The Palacio de Congreso in Marbella. Marbella was the  chosen venue by the Wine Academy of Spain to present the largest and widest selection of fine wines with an inspiring collection of speakers on the subject of climate change in the business of winemaking.
Pancho Campo MW, Kofi Annan and the mayoress of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz

Since the end of his secretary post in the United Nations in 2006, Kofi Annan has been devoted to the protection and development of social causes all over the world. The former Secretary-General has been championing the importance of economic, social and environmental sustainability throughout his career at the United Nations. He believes this is the key to “reduce the environmental impact for future generations”.

The climate change challenge was the main focus of Mr. Annan’s speech on the first day of the III World Congress on Climate Change and Wine. Mr Annan’s conference was titled “The Global Compact: A challenge in the business word to become leaders in sustainable development” (13th of April. 18.00 h.) and was introduced by Pancho Campo MW.

The conference was directed to the Business community on the Coast and focuses on the importance of adapting to sustainable measures in order to deal with climate change. The conference was open to businessmen and the general public. After the conference there wias a 30 minute session of questions and answers with the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner. On the evening of April 13th, Kofi Annan and his wife joined the mayoress of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz and attended the official dinner, that took  place in La Cabane, Hotel Los Monteros. This dinner wias held in aid of the charity Vicente Ferrer Foundation.

Last November in a climate change conference in Switzerland, Mr Annan explained the impact of this phenomenon in sectors where high irrigation is needed, such as agriculture or farming: “The gradual increase in temperature is producing in increase in the seawater. This causes more floods and less frost”, which is crucial for the growth of some grape varieties. In this speech, the Secretary-General will reiterate the responsibility of businesses and individuals to address environmental challenges; undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; protect human rights; and encourage the development and transfer of environmentally-sustainable technologies.

A report released by the Forum in May of 2009 estimated that climate change is responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people every year, with 325 million of the poorest suffering most. All its work ultimately aims to be of benefit to the most vulnerable, particularly those living in least developed countries. In an address to the World Economic Forum in 1999, he challenged business leaders to join an international initiative – the Global Compact – that would bring companies together with UN agencies, as well as labour and civil society, to promote and respect universal environmental and social principles.

This III World Congress on Climate Change and Wine ( will rely on professionals in this field who have already begun implementing new concepts in Spain and abroad.  In order to fight climate change, Campo believes that we need to focus on two issues: one of prevention, which would aid in diminishing CO2 emissions as well as energy costs; and mitigation and adaptation directed specifically to vineyards and wineries.

The Wine Academy of Spain is a private organization founded in 2003 by Pancho Campo MW, the first Spaniard to hold the title Master of Wine. It focuses its activities on the education of wine professionals and amateurs; the international promotion of Spanish wine through its Spanish Wine Experience; the promotion of Spain as a destination for wine tourism; the analysis of the impact of climate change on the industry; and study trips to wine producing regions with the collaboration of the University of California Davis (US). It is also an Approved Programme Provider for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), which it promulgates in Spain; has organised the internationally-acclaimed conferences Climate Change & Wine, Wine Future-Rioja ’09, and Vinoble Jerez 2010.

 En Español:

Algunas reflexiones por Jose Luis Hernandez, Concejal de Turismo Ayuntamiento de Marbella, despues de conferencia de Kofi Annan

"Algunas ideas que recuerdo que manejó Kofi Annan en su exposición en Marbella:

1.- Manejó un término interesante aunque fuese para un concepto viejo... el concepto de "quien contamina paga". Este concepto, al menos que yo sepa tiene 20 o 25 años de antigüedad, y se refiere a que el costo económico de la contaminación en los acuerdos internacionales, no puede ser igual para un país cuyos ciudadanos circulan en "bicicleta", que en otro país en que lo hacen en "todoterrenos" y "deportivos". El término que usó para referirse a este concepto de "quien contamina paga" fue el de "justicia climática". Me pareció una forma elocuente de designarlo.

2.- Se refirió a la importancia económica que tiene el hecho de que los empresarios identifiquen en el respeto a la naturaleza una oportunidad económica "green opportunity", no sólo en términos de sostenibilidad ambiental sino también de rentabilidad económica. La limitación de los recursos y de la capacidad de contaminación abren nuevas puertas al desarrollo de nuevas tecnologías y, por tanto, de nuevas áreas de negocio Además, el respeto a la naturaleza es algo cada vez más valorado por los consumidores que premiarán a las empresas que lo hagan adquiriendo sus productos.

 3.- Habló también sobre el poder individual que tenemos cada uno de nosotros como votantes en relación al medio ambiente... votando a los políticos que desarrollen políticas de protección medioambiental y no votando a los que no lo hagan.

4.- Manifestó su apoyo implícito al cultivo de transgénicos: Para Annan es evidente que el incremento de población debe sustentarse sobre los terrenos que actualmente se destinan a la agricultura y no devastar más zonas arboladas. La única manera de conseguir alimentar a más personas con la misma superficie agrícola estriba en que la ciencia dé una respuesta a través del perfeccionamiento de los transgénicos.

5.- Energía nuclear. Dejó la responsabilidad sobre su desarrollo futuro a cada Gobierno del mundo"