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Personal anthology: Thomas Hardy

I've been learning some very basic music theory lately (thank you, Open Yale Courses — it's so much easier to be an autodidact in the age of podcasts and Creative Commons educational materials). And one of the first things I realized was that I wish I'd known more about musical meter during all the years […]

Marie Therese, wie gut Sie ist!

It's hard to believe that yesterday's Met HD broadcast of Der Rosenkavalier was the first time I'd ever seen it performed (more or less) live. I've listened to it a bazillion times, watched at least one film version, and trawled YouTube for bits and pieces of it.* Accordingly, I'm going to go on at some […]

A few thoughts on Tosca at the Met

I went to my first Met HD broadcast of the season yesterday, and the first I've been to in two years. (They just added a venue I can actually get to: the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. I'm still hoping the broadcasts will make to the Garde here in New London, but […]

Random bullets of opera

It's so hot my brain is melting. Which means it's time for a link post… What if the universe were an opera? I love these music-meets-science kinds of stories. (Via Nicole Brockmann on Twitter.) Just added to the blogroll: Eye Bags and Se Vuoi Pace, two blogs about, among other things, queer opera fandom, cross-dressing […]


A few days ago, someone on Opera-L mentioned Gabriel Kahane's Craigslistlieder, a song cycle based on, you guessed it, personal ads from Craigslist. (One of them, the wildly funny "Neurotic and Lonely," can be heard on Gabriel Kahane's MySpace page; or you can listen to them all here). Tickled, I promptly tweeted about it. At […]

The convergence of film and opera, or, What I did on my summer vacation

I'm back from my Santa Fe trip, which was just about the ideal vacation. (I only wish I'd been there longer than a long weekend. Next time. And there'll definitely be a next time.) Two eminently enjoyable nights at the opera, in the open air with the mountains in the distance; two magnificent sopranos;* excitingly […]

Sound maps

Via Matthew Battles' Twitter feed comes Cinco Cidades, a "cross-disciplinary project documenting the cultures and sounds of five cities across Portugal." Each of the five cities has its own map showing where the various sound files—children playing, street noise, birdsong, local musicians, conversation, bells, subways, construction, residents talking to interviewers—were recorded. What makes the site […]

Knitted things for opera people

While searching for interesting sock patterns (I'm almost finished a pair of socks as a present for my grandmother, and I'm on a roll), I came across the Tsock Tsarina, who makes kits for clever themed socks: mythological socks, Egyptian socks, and even a fantastically geeky "Nine Tailors" sock that incorporates a colorwork panel to […]

Il tarocco dell’opera

At various points, I've had friends who did Tarot readings, and who could occasionally be prevailed upon to read my cards. I've always found the Tarot iconography interesting to think about, even though I'm a terribly amateurish reader myself. Last year I was amused to come across both a Knitting Tarot deck and an Edward […]

Department of unexpected operatic adaptations

There are some types of source material — Shakespeare plays, classical myths, lives of particularly colorful or notorious monarchs, and so on — that lend themselves readily to being adapted into operas. There are others that seem unlikely but turn out quite well; if Stravinsky could write an opera based on Hogarth engravings, nearly anything […]