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 4 Magazine 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!
In December Scene 4 Magazine published my piece In Search of John Keats, which chronicled am long love-affair I have had with the English poet that began in college and continued to today, when I wrote the libretto for a new opera by Daniel Steven Crafts, Adonais. Revisiting all the places associated with the poet for the article, I recalled a comment my late husband had made to me in Rome at the house where Keats died on February 23, 1821. Greg had suggested it was “such an operatic life” I should write about it. And here we are some twenty years later! Musing on this serendipity I noted, too that Greg left this world on February 23, 2010 – perhaps just another of life’s curious circles?
October has seen the completion of my manuscript for a new collection of short stories entitled, CAROUSEL and Other Stories, due to be released by Weiala Press in February 2016. The manuscript is heading to the printers this November. (Read more here). I also am continuing to work on my Jonas Kaufmann critical history, now writing about the year 2013 – so we are slowly approaching the present day, and I am very excited to see where this goes! On the Maine scene, I covered the exciting exhibition at Bowdoin Museum called Night Vision and the world premiere of Rob Urbinati’s play, Mama’s Boy. You can read these pieces by clicking on their respective links.
September was devoted to closing out the summer theatre projects and moving ahead with personal writing for Weiala Press. In addition to my regular Fanfare contributions, I covered the wonderful opening at the Good Theater of No Biz Like Show Biz, and profiled the summer exhibition at the Bowdoin Museum, Night Vision. I also did a fascinating feature on the Maine State Ballet.
Perhaps most exciting, however, is that composer Daniel Steven Crafts has completed the score for our opera (I wrote libretto) about John Keats, Adonais, and together we are pursuing possibilities for performance of what we believe to be a very special piece! READ MORE.
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.
It was a wintry day in 1964 when I slipped into the family circle standing room section of the old Metropolitan Opera on 39th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. I had convinced my overprotective mother to allow me to go – unchaperoned! – to New York to hear La Bohème. I had been listening to it on my grandfather’s old 78s and vinyl recordings for years, along with all the other staples of the Italian repertoire, but I wanted to SEE a performance onstage. It was the theatre, as well as the music which gripped me, and in that last year of the glorious old house, I wanted to experience the magic. From the moment the curtain went up on the Paris garret to the heart rending cries of “Mimi!,” I was transported to another place, a realm that captivated me and has continued to hold me in thrall for over fifty years. READ MORE
Despite the blizzards here in Maine, theatre-going and classical music events continue to provide a solace in winter. This month you can find online profile in Fanfare of pianist Julian Gargiulo, soprano Ida Faella, hornist Steven Gross, jazz pianist Tobin Mueller, and mezzo-soprano Anna Bonitatibus, as well as my critic’s choices for 2014, which included the Met’s new Parsifal DVD and Sony’s Winterreise, both starring Jonas Kaufmann (and both of which went on to win numerous international prizes.) Last month’s Scene 4 carries my coverage of artist Edwin Austin Abbey‘s Shakespeare paintings and February’s issue will feature a retrospective on the unforgettable French actor Gérard Philipe. Broadway World features a number of reviews and a new interview with Maine State Music Theatre’s indefatigable artistic team, Curt Dale Clark and Stephanie Dupal. I also am happy to report I have begun two new independent writing projects, another collection of short stories and a critic’s diary about tenor Jonas Kaufmann, both of which which eventually be published by Weiala Press.