John Keats writes in his beautiful Ode to Autumn about “Seasons of mellow fruitfulness,” and composer Daniel Steven Crafts and I are excited to say that this fall has yielded not only a May 2017 performance date for choral excerpts from our opera Adonais in Santa Fe, but now also, (we hope as we try to firm up schedules), the opportunity to have two of today’s brightest young opera talents, tenor Brian Cheney and mezzo-soprano Deborah Dmanski, record arias and scenes from the work with piano accompaniment. The target date is late November or December 2016 in New York. So stay tuned and check out the details on the OTHER PROJECTS page.
Then, too, the first Theatre Miniature video featuring Curt Dale Clark appeared on October 22, 2016 in Broadway World and was received with much positive attention. I film the second next week: a profile of director Brian P. Allen.
And finally, Scene 4 published my colorful profile of Broadway singer and actor Nat Chandler! So, if you haven’t already check these out! It has been a productive fall!
Gearing up for the summer theatre season here in Maine, just as the 2015-206 has closed , and I thought I would share with you two recent articles that I had great fun writing. The first is a preview piece on what is sure to be a real treat this August-September – a co-production between Maine State Music Theatre and Portland Stage of Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way, directed by Marc Robin, sets by Anita Stewart, and starring Curt Dale Clark. Here is the link to read the Broadway World piece: https://stagescreensong.wordpress.com/we-are-all-irish/
With the snow gone and the arts flourishing, I have had a busy March. I had the pleasure of giving a talk at Tall Pines in Belfast about the shaping of memory in my new book, Carousel and Other Stories on March 31. For Scene 4 Magazine, I had the opportunity to catch up with clarinetist Seunghee Lee who has a beautiful new CD, Solace, just released. (Read the article here.) And I am excited to be collaborating with a wonderful team at Maine State Music Theatre to help produce a visual exhibition about the company to be on display at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick this summer. I will be writing the exhibition catalog and narrative, and am looking forward to it and the upcoming, busy summer theatre and music season!!
Writing has kept me busy this February, as winter hopefully winds down here in Maine. My new short story collection, Carousel, is out and available, and I have several book talks scheduled this spring. Even more exciting is that the concluding story from the collection, “The Promise of Saint Michel,” appears in the March issue of Scene 4 Magazine. Last month’s scene 4 carried my piece on the Maine poet Edwin Arlington Robinson and his connections to Gardiner. And in addition to the usual Fanfare reviews and Broadway World pieces, I had the opportunity to interview Anita Stewart (Portland Stage) and Curt Dale Clark (Maine State Music Theatre) about their exciting upcoming collaboration this August: a co-production of Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way. You can read the piece here!
January is always a little sleepy for journalism, but I was delighted to write several features on wonderful artists, among them: the pianist Julian Gargiulo and his “Getting to Carnegie” competition and new documentary film for Scene 4Magazine and a fascinating piece on a young Harpswell resident being mentored by Maine State Music Theatre. Check them out! The theatre season resumes now, and we are full steam ahead for a February 23rd launch of CAROUSEL. Meanwhile, I have been invited to present a workshop at the Ocean Park Chatauqua Conference on August 10, 2016. My topic tentatively will be “Shaping a Memory into fiction,” and I’ll post more details, as I know them. Finally, some exciting -though still in organizing stage -plans for Daniel Steven Crafts to record excerpts from his opera, Adonais, (my libretto) this spring with mezzo-soprano Debra Domanski and tenor Brian Cheney. Stay tuned!
Across a large, blood-scrawled banner inscribed with the infamous words of Robespierre: Même Platon a banni des poètes de sa République! (Even Plato banished poets from his republic) hung over the stage of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden for the new Sir David McVicar production of the opera, Andrea Chénier, which opened in January 2015, shortly after the tragedy in Paris at Charlie Hebdo, where terrorists massacred twelve members of the publication’s staff for airing their views in print. Suddenly, Giordano’s verismo opera seemed to take on a frighteningly contemporary relevance, with its hero, the 18th century French poet, André Chénier, condemned as much for his writings as his supposed politics, a powerful symbol for freedom of speech and a hymn to poetry as the voice of truth and beauty. Read entire article here. (originally published in Scene 4 Magazine, November 1, 2015)
July has been filled with writing and theatre-going! One of the highlights was Maine State Music Theatre’s incandescent production of Music Man, which ran from July 16 – August 1and for which I was able to review and interview. You can find the interview with stars Curt Dale Clark and Lauren Blackman here and the others on my Broadway World pages. For Fanfare I spoke with young classical crossover soprano, Alessandra Paonessa and interview with Israeli soprano Varda Kotler was published.. Meanwhile work on ongoing projects continues apace with the first draft for forthcoming short story collection, Carousel, com plate and Jonas Kaufmann book moving along nicely.