Monday, December 29, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo Group Think

Group think or lip think, you decide. The reverse engineer question: what did Sven-Eric Bechtolt give for direction, if anything? or is the expression spontaneous. Memoir writing and time alone may tell.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Annie Proulx Writing and Thoughts

Annie could certainly comment on my writing; that said, her novel The Shipping News won a Pulitzer Prize. Each chapter contains an illustration and quote about knot tying, fairly interesting. I compare her technique to Wool, where the middle chapters have fairly short quotes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The struggle for me is the characters are somewhat grotesque. Her metaphors are outstanding: she describes ice breaking up in a river looking like broken dinner plates. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to give The Shipping News another read.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

lldebrando D'Arcangelo in La Cenerentola 2003

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo = excellent. Talent. Voice. Choreography. You should watch. He plays Alidoro, the godfather. US-St. Nicholas, Santa, Kris Kringle, Cinderella, godmother. Europe-La Cerentola, godfather.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Brokeback Mountain Great Opening

If you're writing, you need to read the short story by Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain. One reviewer notes every sentence is a jewel. You need to read the ~10K word short story to understand the competition! Excerpt:

Ennis Del mar wakes before five, wind rocking the trailer, hissing in around the aluminum door and window frames.  The shirts hanging on a nail [important image at the end] shudder slightly in the draft. He gets up, scratching the grey wedge of belly and pubic hair, shuffles to the gas burner, pours leftover coffee in a chipped enamel pan, the flame swathes it in blue.  [swathes,brilliant word choice-jr] He turns on the tap and urinates in the sink, pulls on his shirt and jeans, his worn boots, stamping the heels against the floor to get them full on. The wind booms down the curved length of the trailer and under its roaring passage he can hear the scratching of the fine gravel and sand. It could be bad on the highway with the horse trailer.  He has to be packed and away from the place that morning.  Again the ranch is on the market and they’ve shipped out the last of the horses, paid everybody off the day before, the owner saying, “Give em to the real estate shark, I’m out a here,” dropping the keys in Ennis’s hand. He might have to stay with his married daughter until he picks up another job, yet he is suffused with a sense of pleasure because Jack Twist was in his dream.

The stale coffee is boiling up but he catches it before it goes over the side, pours it into a stained cup and blows on the black liquid, lets a panel of the dream slide forward.  If he does not force his attention on it, it might stoke the day, rewarm that old, cold time on the mountain when they owned the world and nothing seemed wrong. The wind strikes the trailer like a load of dirt coming off a dump truck, eases, dies, leaves a temporary silence. [wow, great simile for kinesthetic and auditory detail, appeal to all senses-jr]

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Austria's Highest Cultural Honor

Probably same as Kennedy Center Awards. Link to article

Wikipedia lists the people who've received the honor. Ildebrando definitely belongs on the list with Placido Domingo and Elina Garanca, great singers as well.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Attila

Congratulations to Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Ruggero Raimondi, and team. Four successful performances. The Youtube preview was bright and brilliant. Here's the link to ABOA-OLBE. Look for Opera Attila to enjoy the scenes:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Interviews and Look Closely for Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

The interviews are with Ruggero Raimondi and Francesco Ivan Ciampa. Look and listen to the Youtube clip. If Ildebrando is in it, you can bet several fans are willing to watch: list=UUedYObQcOnmzdUyOCsc9CFw

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Tristan Chord

Heard this several years ago on the radio. Wagner creates a musical overture, a chord that is missing the final note. It's his way of keeping the audience in their seat, waiting to hear the resolution of the chord.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and First Youtube Attila Trailer

Great entrance, would put the audience into willing suspension of disbelief. Copy and paste the link.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

Finnish television or cinema will broadcast Salzburg 2014 Don Giovanni. The Finns have good taste. Excellent singing from EVERYone. Ildebrando-magnificent. Stage design=stupendous. I keep trying to factor out Ildebrando, just for the intellectual exercise. Everything is excellent. Stage forms a triangle, symbol of many love triangles Don Giovanni hosts. Orchestra is great. Finns=lucky. Looking ahead Salzburg 2015: Alessio Arduini is already scheduled to appear Easter Salzburg 2015.

Sven-Eric Bechtolt, artistic director, has already written a Foreword. Program has interesting comments in English about the planned 2015 Salzburg production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Yannick Nezet-Seguin and Rolando Villazon scheduled to appear. Link here

The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry

Writing with the Masters. Study Chapters 6 and 9 for humor. In Chapter 6, both Native Americans have the word "Satan" for the root word of their names, Satanta and Satank. In Chapter 9, Larry McMurtry turns humor on and off like a switch, starting with a massacre had already happened or was about to happen. McMurtry calls this slim new work a ballad; you may want to look up the term.

Monday, November 10, 2014

From The Secrets of Paris by Michael Kerrigan. 

The Arab World Institute was opened in 1981 to foster understanding between the West and the Arab countries.  The prophet Muhammad discouraged his followers from flaunting their wealth with gold, silver, and jewels, so Arab craftsmen found ways (like marquetry, mosaic and the most delicate wood work and leather work) of making ordinary materials precious.  In Jean Nouvel's innovative building, these values become architectural, a basic modern glass-and-aluminum construction given an alabaster sheen.  What at first glance look to be blank office-block windows are ornamented with lattice-like motifs.  These adjust themselves automatically controlling light levels inside. (page 110).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Institut Du Monde Arabe

Today I was looking at a book on Paris and came across the Institut Du Monde Arabe.  The leader of the Arab people had warned them against adorning themselves with gold, silver, jewels. They instead turned to mosaic, leather, and metal worked with ornate designs. Simple materials. Intricate artwork.  Architect Jean Nouvel designed the building. While each panel does look life fretwork, the openings adjust to let natural light into the building itself.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Idomeneo Longer Review and Spotify Weblink

Martin Kusej directed. Some boos but you can't please everyone.

If you want to listen, here is a Spotify link:

Idomeneo Current Production and One Review

Martin Kusej Production. You may or may not remember his Don Giovanni Salzburg 2006.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo Macerata Fest Don Giovanni

Two different whites. The bed is dead white, static, matte, limited sculpture qualities.  Donna Anna's gown, white but beautiful, fluid, sculptural, flower petals. She's at her best. Don Giovanni is at his best. Opera should provide many contexts and subtexts and provoke thought.

Salzburg 2015 Schedule Announced

Salzburg 2015 Schedule Announced

Monday, November 3, 2014

Anna Netrebko Leaves an Opera Work-in-Progress

Although sometimes singers look like they're cooperating with directors, maybe the thought is there are many directors and many performances, sometimes that's not always the case. Anna Netrebko has one of the best voices of her generation, but here is an article in English about her leaving an opera that was sold out both in the opera house and in the cinema; best of luck to all involved from the audiences around the world:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo Leaps Salzburg 2006

Memoir or blog: who thought of the leap? Ildebrando D'Arcangelo himself? the Director, Charles Guth? Given Mozart and Da Ponte cannot be interviewed, the word will have to come from someone else.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Outlander 2014 Wedding Gown

“Dougal’s not back yet, either,” I observed as we came down the hill.  The large black gelding he customarily rode was not in the inn’s small paddock.  Several other beasts were missing as well; Ned Gowan’s for one.

“No, he shouldna come back for another day at least—maybe two.” Jamie offered me his arm and we descended to hill slowly, careful of the many rocks that poked through the short grass.

“Where on earth has he gone?”  Caught in the rush of recent events, I had not thought to question his absence—or even to notice it.

Jamie handed me over the stile at the back of the inn.

“To do his business wi the cottars nearby.  He’s got but a day or two before he’s supposed to produce you at the Fort, ye  ken.”  He squeezed my arm reassuringly.  “Catpain Randall willna be best pleased when Dougal tells him he’s not to have ye, and Dougal would as soon not linger in the area afterward.”

“Sensible of him,” I observed.  “Also kind of him to leave us here to, er, get acquainted with each other.”

Jamie snorted. “Not kindness. That was one of the conditions I set for takin ye.  I said I’d wed if I must, but damned if I’d consummate my marriage under a bush, wi twenty clansmen lookin on and offering advice.”

I stopped, staring at him.  So that was what the shouting had been about.

“One of the conditions?” I said, slowly.  And what were the others?”

It was growing too dark to see his face clearly, but I thought he seemed embarrassed.

“Only two others,” he said finally.

“Which were?”

“Well,” he said, kicking a pebble diffidently out of the way, “I said ye must wed me proper, in kirk, before a priest. Not just by contract.  As for the other—he must find ye a suitable gown to be wed in.” He looked away, avoiding my gaze, and his voice was so soft I could scarcely hear him.

“I-I knew ye didna wish to wed. I wanted to make it . . . as pleasant as might be for you.  I thought ye might feel a bit less . . . well, I wanted you to have a decent dress, is all.”

I opened my mouth to say something, but he turned away, toward the inn.

“Come along, Sassenach,” he said gruffly.  “I’m hungry.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Opening of the Novel: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

It is not what France gave you but what it did not take from you that was important. –Gertrude Stein

There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true. – Ernest Hemingway

Though I often looked for one, I finally had to admit that there could be no cure for Paris.  Part of it was the war.  The world had ended once already and could again at any moment.  The war had come and changed us by happening when everyone said it couldn’t.  No one knew how many had died, but when you heard the numbers—nine million or fourteen million--you thought, Impossible.  Paris was full of ghosts and the walking wounded.  Many came back to Rouen or Oak Park, Illinois, shot through and carrying little pieces of what they’d seen behind their kneecaps, full of an emptiness they could never dislodge.  They’d carried bodies on stretchers, stepping over other bodies to do it; they’d been on stretchers themselves, on slow-moving trains full of flies and the floating voice of someone saying he wanted to be remembered to his girl back home.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Figaro

Beaumarchais' play Le mariage de Figaro was rejected three times by censors, who represented the interests of Louis XVI. The play was being read at court with Marie Antoinette reading the part of Susanna. The royals wanted the play left in their circles only. However, Beaumarchais wanted the approval of the man and woman in the street, so he kept revising in order to please the censors. When the play finally debuted, it took five hours to perform, it was interrupted so many times by applause. Several composers were interested in setting it to music, including Mozart and Da Ponte. Here are Anna Netrebko and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

War Fisticuffs Black White Le Nozze di Figaro Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

Major point: black suit jackets and ready to fight. Underneath, however, white braces and brass clasp, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo dressed for the wedding and stops fighting the minute he hears the march.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo Don Giovanni Salzburg 2014

Remember the stage is the perfect love triangle. Lenneke Ruiten and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo run upstairs and downstairs. Don Giovanni pursues Donna Anna, who has run into the hotel lobby crying for help. Only a very short time has elapsed. In American terms, he still is trying to get to first base with her.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Outlander 2014

When Claire traveled through the stones at Craigh na Dun, she was wearing a plaid shawl, a thin belt, and a wristwatch. Ron D Moore and the production designers had Claire lose her wristwatch (not invented in 1743). When she arrived in 1743, Claire arose from her plaid shawl and left it on the grass.Claire also lost her thin belt. However, look who is using a borrowed belt as a sling.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Opera: Journey From Wilderness to Paradise

Good news: my ebook is uploaded to Amazon! my deep tribute to Mozart, Da Ponte, the two operas they wrote (Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni), the great singers Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Anna Netrebko, the conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin, and of course audiences from the past 250 years who have enjoyed these two works of art. Because of copyright law in the United States, I had to delete all the links to Youtube examples that should follow the appropriate sentences and paragraphs in the text. Maybe in another century that will be possible.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

The return of Don Giovanni to life as archetype. The textures make this screen capture. Ildebrando D'arcangelo portrays warmth, happiness, and just a touch of farewell, but he fully comes back to life chasing in the final Salzburg 2014.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Outlander 2014

By now, Outlander is an international phenomenon. Thanks to Starz, Outlander is finally an adaptation for cable and online viewing. Here is a brief excerpt of the best introduction ever for a major literary character:

“Sounds a bit rude, but not very ghostly,” I observed, draining my glass.  What did he look like?

“Big chap,” said Frank, frowning in recollection.  “And a Scot in complete Highland rig-out, complete to sporran and the most beautiful running stag brooch on his plaid.  I wanted to ask where he’d got it from, but he was off before I could.”

I went to the bureau and poured another drink.  “Well, not so unusual an appearance for these parts, surely? I’ve seen men dressed like that in the village now and then.”

“Nooo . . .” Frank sounded doubtful.  “No, it wasn’t his dress that was odd.  But when he pushed past me, I could swear he was close enough that I should have felt him brush my sleeve—but I didn’t.” 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Verdi Requiem Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

Successful performance Friday and Saturday 03 and 04 October 2014. Hope to see excerpts soon on Youtube, given the performance was a memorial tribute to the late conductor Claudio Abbado.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Outlander King and Queen of Hearts 21st Century

When they emerge from the stone cottage and are standing together for the first time, it looks like they've come from the womb of the earth, a great chapter title . The emergence is the wedding ceremony.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

The Verdi Requiem, successful performance 03Oct2014 at La Scala in Milan. Here is a link to 2013 Hollywood Bowl performance. Love the small crescendo at 2:18 and the large crescendo at 3:28.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Standing together for the first time. King and Queen of Hearts, 21st Century, Claire Beauchamp and Jamie Fraser.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Quote from Joyce Carol Oates

The writer is always writing, always sounding words, measuring cadences, hearing, feeling, attending to, taking the pulse of secret rhythms. Content yields to, or crystallizes around, form, form is subordinate to voice. we write by hear, we experiment with 'voice' without knowing what it is.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Writing and Music

The writer must be in love with language, with the words themselves, the sound of words on the page, the music they make in meaning. -Lynn Freed

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Clinical Trials Assistant Guide

My first ebook available here:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Drummer Wonderful

New ebook coming soon.Thanks for the feedback. Sketch of Drummer Wonderful. I never learned his name. At my alma mater, many sensational music students and faculty members performed in the university orchestra. Some graduates succeeded on Broadway or in Europe and sing professionally today. Summer cruises were another destination for performers. During fall semester, one student stood out. Drummer Wonderful was an engaging character. For most of the academic year, August to May, he was an undergraduate, perhaps Middle Eastern. Tall, shaggy dark hair, scraggly beard, cigarette dangling out of one corner of his mouth, hoodie, flannel shirt, nondescript pants, and basketball shoes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Favorite Barista Convo Today

Barista: "Did you see the movie Amadeus?"
Me: "Yes." (One word affirmative, eager for barista to continue. I didn't want to interrupt and was immediately interested to hear what was coming next. Mozart is so 360 degrees.)
Barista: "Remember the word "venti"? (Barista turned and pointed to overhead menu). Venti. Our venti." (Figaro is so 360 degrees).

Monday, August 25, 2014

First eBook on Amazon

Published 18Jul2014.Clinical Trials Assistant Guide

Commendatore Scene Salzburg 2014

The best this year.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014


3:06:01, after 2.5 hours of beauty, you think Mozart is finished convincing everyone he's a genius; All is peaceful sounds like Mozart is whispering "No, dear audience, I haven't finished writing beautiful music, not quite yet; listen to this." Plus 2:55:19 Susanna's aria=sublime; love the drifting petals.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Goal: New Short Story

One goal: to end a short story on one word.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Arrivederla New Short Story Excerpt

Inside newly renovated Ristorante Alte Amore, Christina clinked her wine glass with three friends. “Best farewell party, ever.” Leaving is not sweet sorrow, just sorrow. To Rome. To New York.” Christina drained her glass. “To the fountain covered with roses in the parking lot.”

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Short Story First Paragraph

Rain clouds chased the mid-August sun. Pothole and Hiram stood in the barn loft, watching young men pass hay bales hand to hand toward the barn tackle and pulley, waiting to be lifted skyward to an almost full loft.   The Crayton family barn, ecumenical gray against the sky, lorded the landscape.