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!
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?
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)