• Amfortas

    by Published on May 5th, 2012 12:58 AM

    Chapter 14

    Schiudendo forte,
    mi salse al viso un gelido soffio,
    quasi di morte.

    An icy chill, like an omen of death. Brushing the premonition aside, she opened the box and peered at its contents.
    by Published on April 25th, 2012 01:07 AM

    Chapter 11

    "You son of a bitch!"

    Risi had the man backed up against the dressing room wall, hands around his throat. Caught off guard, Green struggled in the smaller man's grasp.

    "What the hell's wrong with you?" he wheezed.

    "Stop it! Stop it! Let him go!" Lindstrom cried.
    by Published on April 3rd, 2012 03:51 PM

    Chapter 9

    Quale occhio al mondo
    può star di paro
    all'ardente occhio tuo nero?

    The new tenor was not so able a vocalist, or nearly as photogenic, as Marcello Gui. Still, he wasn't bad for short notice, and was holding up reasonably well under the added pressure of a live broadcast. The Opera Goes to the Movies series, far too lucrative to pass up, was going ahead as planned.
    by Published on March 27th, 2012 12:33 AM

    Chapter 7

    At last she awoke. As her eyes cleared, she sat up and looked around her. She was on a canopied bed, in a room with stone walls and a vaulted ceiling, filled with bouquets of flowers on ornate metal stands. From far away came the echo of a piano playing a mournful étude.
    by Published on March 10th, 2012 01:10 AM

    Chapter 4

    Heiajoho! Grane!
    Grüss' deinen Herren!

    Her face beamed with an ecstatic fervor as she addressed her imaginary horse.
    by Published on March 10th, 2012 12:59 AM

    Chapter 1

    "Ah! Morto! Morto!"

    She knelt by the bullet-riddled body, weeping uncontrollably.

    "O Mario . . . morto . . . tu . . ."

    The firing squad had marched off, leaving her alone with her fallen lover.
    by Published on March 10th, 2012 12:52 AM

    Back in my college teaching days, I had my students write serial novels. Each person would contribute a chapter, one after the other, letting the story develop freely. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. But it was always an interesting challenge.

    I thought we might write our own opera-related serial novel. I know most of us aren't professional authors, but we all enjoy writing (or we wouldn't be here). Anyway, this type of collaborative method isn't intended to produce a masterpiece. But with such a bright group of people, we may come up with something fun and memorable. So take a chance and join in!

    A title for the novel has been proposed: "Opera Deadly"
    by Published on January 9th, 2012 11:26 PM
    Article Preview

    Il Trovatore presents many challenges for the director. With its wildly implausible story line, puzzling ellipses in narrative, and constant shifts of location, it's hard to make the opera coherent or comprehensible, let alone believable. Too often the work is dismissed as a ridiculous potboiler, Verdi's relapse to the "bad old days" when tuneful, stirring music trumped any concern with dramatic viability.

    Nevertheless, modern directors have embraced the opera, in spite or perhaps because of its difficulties. Some update the action to a different historical period in order to provide a context for the work's unbridled violence and eroticism. For other interpreters, though, the opera's wildly melodramatic improbabilities suggest a dreamlike atmosphere, prompting visual approaches freed from conventional realism or narrative logic.

    The following article will examine several recent productions and the ways different directors have tackled the challenge of Il Trovatore. In the interest of full disclosure, it should be mentioned that this will be a survey, based on research, rather than a set of first-hand reviews. Hopefully, though, these brief descriptions will help indicate the widely varied staging possibilities for Verdi's masterwork.
    by Published on December 18th, 2011 12:54 AM     Number of Views: 8476 
    Article Preview

    Verdi intended La Traviata to be not only a musical entertainment, but a challenging work of theatre. Going against operatic tradition, he presented a modern-day drama of the Parisian demi-monde, featuring a courtesan who tries to embrace a more conventional life, is thwarted by social stigma, and succumbs to the ravages of tuberculosis.

    Nevertheless, despite Verdi's scrupulous intentions, from its very premiere the work has been staged in other than the originally intended setting. Censors, afraid of the work's topicality, caused the first productions to be set in the safe distance of the early 1700s:
    by Published on December 15th, 2011 03:10 AM     Number of Views: 4241 

    Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos floundered in the wake of the composer's greatest popularity. After ...
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