Opera

Opera: Brett Dean / Hamlet

Today I spent the afternoon with The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Brett Dean’s Hamlet cued up on their streaming app. Three hours of big big big big opera based on the greatest of Shakespeare’s plays in a contemporary setting. 

This cultural excursion did not go well. I’ll try to tell you why with as much brevity as I can muster because I want to spend as little time as possible reliving it. Here are the lowlights…

Opera

Opera: Gaetano Donizetti / Lucia di Lammermoor

Going retro this afternoon with The Metropolitan Opera’s 1982 Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, a two-hour plus affair taken from Walter Scott’s novel of madness and tragedy among the Scottish nobility. I have it on good authority that this is one of the finest renditions of this opera documented on video, mostly because of a legendary performance by Joan Sutherland who was said to have made this role her own.

Music Friends

Night People: G. E. Stinson 

The final selection of my Night People series, Nocturne #5 (G.E.), attempts to channel the improvisatory talents of my pal from the LA music scene, G. E. Stinson, an avant-jazz guitarist.

The thing that has intrigued me about G. E. is his restless musical spirit, wide open mind, and the challenging musical trails he has blazed.

Music Friends

Night People: Michael Whitmore

Nocturne #4 (Michael) is inspired by Michael Whitmore, an avant-jazz guitarist, singer and songwriter.

I met Michael Whitmore in Los Angeles when he was working as sound engineer and occasional booker at the hottest club in town at that time, Spaceland. I liked the music acts he brought in, they were always a little off-beat from the more trendy acts that played there and his contributions helped to burnish the reputation of the place.

Music Friends

Night People: Marnie Weber

Nocturne #3 (Marnie), the third piece in my ‘Night People’ project, is inspired by Marnie Weber – a multimedia artist who specializes in synthesizer and electric bass.

Marnie is primarily a visual artist who has also on occasion taken her vision into the realm of music, with album releases that seem to emerge like magic mushrooms randomly popping from the soil of a surreal forest glade in one of her bucolic art exhibits.

Opera

Opera: Tosca / Prague State Opera

Last minute tickets for Tosca at the Prague State Opera. I’m so there. 

I loved my experience seeing Madama Butterfly in Budapest, so I couldn’t resist going to the box office when I heard there were a few good seats left. Didn’t get the catbird seat this time but got one on the main floor with good sight lines.

Music Friends

Night People: Gere Fennelly

Of the five musicians I tribute with Night People, I think Ms. Fennelly’s uniqueness as a musician is the hardest to define in words. So I offer this fact into evidence: Among the thousands of musicians that I have known in my life – many of whom have gotten a fair bit of fame and money out of the game – Gere is the only one out of all of them that has supported herself exclusively on music. Quelle devotion!