Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review Repost and Das Rheingold (nochmal...)

Wow: two posts in two weeks? I must be losing my occasional touch...or at least am at risk of being a frequent blogger instead of an occasional one.

Shameless plug moment: Verismo Opera's Das Rheingold opens at the Mira Theater in Vallejo, where it will show for the next two weekends (Oct. 15/16, 22/23), after a first performance at the Mildred Owens Concert Hall in Pacifica on Oct. 8.

In Vallejo, I'm singing Freia on Oct. 16 only (due to my tricky singing/travel schedule--starting Oct. 17 I'll be in northern Italy and then briefly Bavaria). But I'll be back in town in time to be Freia again with Verismo at the Hillside in Berkeley on Nov. 6 at 2 p.m....more perhaps on a later post for that.

We have a wonderful group of singers:
Wotan: John Minagro
Donner: Anders Froehlich, Steve Zimmermann
Loge: Tom Clark
Froh: Mark Narins
Alberich: Joe Kinyon
Mime: Rick Bogart
Fasolt: Anders Froehlich, Roger Smith
Fafner: Tristan Robben
Fricka: Leslie Keenan, Vismaya Lhi
Freia: Nanette McGuinness, Jennifer Rogers
Erda: Marsha Sims, MaryAnne Stanislaw
Woglinde: Marissa Lenhardt, Jill Wagoner
Wellgunde: Carol Otsuki Hoover
Flosshilde: Kat Cornelius, Ellen Yeung
Nibelungen: Rick Bogart, Judy Bogart, Rick Hyde, John Rhoads Jr., Robert McIvor

Stage Director, Frederick Winthrop, Assist. Director, Eliza O'Malley
Conductor, Michael Shahani, leading a 12-piece chamber orchestra with brass and winds, plus Skye Atman at the keyboard.

We are (obviously) double cast...

On another note--or perhaps better, page--I occasionally write book reviews (note that adverb, folks), and it's been pointed out to me that I should repost them here. Here's my latest, which I wrote for Lynn Goodwin's Writer Advice , with her permission.


Written by Lish McBride and reviewed by YT (yours truly)

Ever since the Twiilight Saga (by Stephanie Meyer, for those few readers who've had a Rip-van-Winkle kind of decade), creatures of the night have been the latest craze. First it was vampires, next werewolves. Then werewolves became passé, and so now we've moved on to zombies. Had enough? Thinking it's past the time to return to reading about plain Jane human beings who somehow survive without any extraordinary occult powers or transformative skills?

Don't abandon the world of the undead quite yet, at least not until you've read Lish McBride's entry into the YA paranormal scene, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. As the title implies, it's clever, funny-punny, fast-paced, and witty. Yet, despite its horror, blood 'n guts, and the occasional moment of true gruesomeness, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is, at its heart, a wonderful coming of age tale--something that I'm a total sucker for. The story is a great read, with characters, plot, voice, innovation, and pacing that make it very hard to put down. Personally, I zoomed through it in one quick slurp.

The story begins with hapless, dropout Sam who works at a dead-end job at a burger joint. One fateful day, when Sam's enjoying a regular game of potato hockey, his life takes an abrupt turn...for the better? For the worse? You decide...

If you don't know what a necromancer is, I'm going to let you look it up. Or even better, you might go ahead and read the book. Just beware of the gore.

What I'm reading: The Penderwicks at Point Moulette, the third in Jeanne Birdsall's award-winning MG Penderwicks series; To Tell the Story: Poems of the Holocaust (by Yala Korwin); and After Every War: Twentieth Century Women Poets, Eavan Boland trans. and ed.

What I'm listening to/ studying: Handel's Giulio Cesare and Verdi's Otello. That's going to go on for a while. Revisiting some Puccini (Liu and Mimi), and my beloved Rusalka's Song to the Moon.
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