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Not now. About Feedspot Feedspot is the content reader for reading all your favorite blogs and news websites in one place. Opera Ville. Vaughn on opera, classiacl music, theatre. Michael J. Opera Ville - 1w ago. Photos by Cory Weaver.
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The ascribing of credit for directorial work, especially when dealing with an influential force like Francesca Zambello, is a tricky business. At times, I have attributed some astute move to a stage director only to learn that a singer brought it to the company from a previous production. That said, I can guess two things about Zambello's Carmen. One is her absolute mastery at creating tableaux - that is, a stage scenario that would make an excellent painting. My inner eye goes immediately to the finish of the Toreador scene, the matador Escamillo rising on a table like a god on a cloud of his adoring followers.
It's a pretty spectacular vision. One could also guess that she made certain of the production's physical, rough edge. Rather than have the cigarette girls narrate the fight that had just happened, for instance, she brought Carmen and her rival out to throw each other around as the girls did a sort of play-by-play. The final confrontation between Jose and Carmen escalates into a wrestling match before an excellent stabbing. I get the feeling that this cast often went home nursing real bruises, and I applaud their commitment.
Kyle Ketelson as Escamillo. Theatrically, the cast is wonderful, with just a couple of vocal disappointments. J'Nai Bridges captures the Carmenesque blend of sexuality and attitude, but her vocal tone is unnecessarily covered - a seeming Carmen tradition that I don't buy into. Matthew Polenzani delivers the full range of Don Jose's psychological journey, from disinterested boy scout to impassioned lover to obsessed ex-boyfriend. His final scene is a vivid study of desperation strategies: tender forgiveness, pleading, begging, threatening, and finally violence.
Vocally, Polenzani's lyric tenor is a gift from the heavens, an absolute pleasure. His Flower Song may be the best I've ever heard, ending with heartbreaking high pianissimos. Matthew Polenzani as Don Jose. As Escamillo, Kyle Ketelson is sublime. He's got the alpha-male swag down, all smoothness and ego, and his baritone is rich and strong throughout. Here, one thinks, is the logical match for Carmen. As Micaela, Anita Hartig delivered a touching presence, but she missed a chance to convey her character's undercover strength and passion. Both her acting and singing lack a certain charisma, particularly in the aria "Je dis que rien me n'epouvante.
I also enjoyed tenor Christopher Oglesby, who lent the head smuggler, Dancairo, a sense of authority that altered my perception of him. Tanya McCallin's set, a series of artfully curving village walls, served well for the opening act, but I'm disappointed they used it for the smugglers' encampment. All the libretto's references to the freedom of the mountains seem hollow when it appears they're camping on an abandoned opera set.
Conductor Michelle Merrill led a spirited, punchy performance that brought out Bizet's radical percussion innovations. The Act 3 entr'acte gets more lovely each time I hear it, this time featuring Julie McKenzie on flute. This was the final performance. Vaughn is the author of 22 novels, including his most recent, A Painting Called Sylvia.
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Visit website. Show original. Add Tags. The Aria Comes to Life. Opera Ville - 2w ago. One of the more unique experiences of the opera aficionado is to fall in love with a particular aria, and then, perhaps years later, to finally see it in its theatrical context. Only now, thanks to SFO, did I get it to see it in its proper context.
This level of attachment is a perilous thing. Willis-Sorenson possesses just the right broadness of tone and low-to-high range to pull it off. The completeness of the experience was everything that I could have hoped for. Willis-Sorenson continued her inspired vocalizing throughout the evening except for the second act, when she was rudely required to be mute , and also captured the audience with her acting. Still, two days later he draws the picture in full fashion: shafts of sun piping the next door brickpile; longneck Buds, a shower of smoke, guitar case coffins; stage stack of Clapton drivers, one China rip and roll sax.
Mustang Sally holds up a strong pale hand, cantering the tempo. The band stays rutstuck lagging, but not me, me and my high hat frills. I follow her fingers all the way down with the cue of my sticks: twelve bars, twelve bars and home. A year after Maggie, my band fizzled out, and I took my drums back to Seattle.
She had dark, moony eyes and full lips drawn forever into a pout. She could use either to cut you off cold. She was, in short, the most beautiful hard-ass I ever met. She was sufficiently impressed by my playing to ask me into her band, a rock-funk quartet named Psychotrope. We rehearsed in a backyard cottage in Tukwila, and I enjoyed the chance to explore a new kind of music. Though our warrior-vocalist was superb in rehearsal, owner of a brassy, soaring alto, she prepared for gigs by dropping shots of tequila. This led her to 1 forget the lyrics that she herself had written, and 2 treat the audience to sudden streams of profanity.
The poem, however, had a life of its own. Then, a poetry newspaper in New York printed it without telling me they were going to. A few months later, the director of the Seattle Blues Festival asked if he could use it for his program. I even wrote my own third verse, a small morality play about drunk driving. After the breakup, Leah spent two years in France, then, inexplicably, ended up in New York. I was sitting on her bed, reading a collection of comics, trying to come down from one of my marathon walks around the island, when I heard the click of the lock.
Leah burst in with jet-black hair and a dozen silver tulips. How the fuck are you? Off-Broadway, man. Do you love this city, or do you love this city? I get these gorge-ass tulips — not one hundred feet from my building — for five bucks. Five fucking dollars! Is that great or what? Put on some clothes. Leah was a radical tide. All you could do was grab a flotation device and hang on. We went to a little French place on 95th and Broadway.
Leah kept flinging back strands of hair, eyes lit up with excitement. But what can I do? Because you were spoken for — and you still are.
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I had a great band going in France. After dinner, we took the subway to the Village just to go to a dive bar. I tagged along for a while, then found a table and nursed a Manhattan as I watched her work the room — rubbing up against a guy in a leather jacket, cracking jokes with a circle of women, bumming a cigarette from a guy with a cowboy hat and no teeth. I went to the bathroom and returned to find her gone. I spent the next three days making my usual circuit — Washington Square, a jazz club near Columbia U. I had interviewed Hirshfield for Jagged Mountain , and found her just as pleasant and engaging in person.
She was one of the few well-known poets who could discuss the subject without tossing around wanky twenty-dollar words. I saw Leah for a total of thirty minutes more — a mad bagel-dash before work, a midnight chat before she collapsed on her bed. Come Saturday, I left her some purple roses, a thank-you note and her key, then caught the subway to Penn Station. After another night in Centerport, Maggie and I got in my car and drove up the coast of Connecticut. He also had a trout dinner waiting for us.
He was clearly unsettled by the ambiguity of the situation. He and Maggie had hooked back up ten years previous, and built a cautious friendship. On the other end was the ambiguous boyfriend. We sat at one side of a long dining table. The other side was pressed up to a window that looked out on a big patch of darkness. They flood it with water and go around in little boats, scooping up the berries. Maybe we can walk around it tomorrow and look for birds.
Nomar Garciaparra played there. Barry Zito. Although I was big into Hank Aaron, too. We spent a half hour talking baseball, then drifted to poetry. Gary was a fan of Robert Frost appropriate to his geography. I told him about the new formalists, a group of poets who had re-embraced the traditional rhyme-and-meter forms. Maggie broke in to show me to my downstairs bedroom, which looked out onto the cranberry bog. And I honestly like your dad. I had just settled into the strangeness of the room when my half-doze was interrupted by Maggie, in T-shirt and panties, climbing in next to me.
Do you? I gave the matter some thought. She jumped up to straddle me. I was more tired than I thought. I love you, big bear. The next day, we rolled to the tip of the finger, Provincetown. You would think something that far into the Atlantic would feel isolated, but the narrow streets and crammed-in houses made it just the opposite. We paced along with a thin spring crowd, then checked into a cigar shop, where Gary and I furthered our male bonding. I was almost relieved when he took us to look at Asian furniture, which I knew absolutely nothing about.
We drove back to the elbow to see a herring run, which reminded me of the salmon runs in Washington. I adopted one herring as my own and tried to track his progress. He vaulted two steps just fine, but on the third he tangled with a fellow traveler, smacked his head into the step and fell sideways to a flat, dry stone.
He lay there a second, gathering strength, then flopped around till he landed back in the drink.
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I found Maggie at my shoulder, watching the same fish. We got adventurous on the way home, stopping in New London, Connecticut to take the ferry to Long Island. The sky was drizzly and gray, which intensified the brightly colored houses of the waterfront and turned the newleafing trees into puffs of green cotton. We went to the prow to watch the lonely line of Fishers Island drifting off to port. It reminded me of the ferry rides we used to take from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island. As we came back inside, firmly attached at shoulder and waist, I caught an elderly woman smiling at us. Our fellows are nothing if not social mirrors, and that was my final confirmation: Maggie and I were a couple.
A sweet couple. We settled into the forward-facing chairs, and Maggie fell asleep against my shoulder. After one more night in Centerport, I figured the motel staff had us pegged as adulterers. But my awakening was far from romantic. Jake, honey — get up, please. I forgot! I have to take Naomi to the airport. I flashed through the shower, threw our bags into the car, and we were off to Jamaica. We arrived a half-hour later in a non-descript suburban neighborhood, where a thin, elegant-looking black woman stood in the driveway, tapping a nervous foot.
I laughed. Maggie rushed up to take my hand, her nerves firmly in overdrive. But tell me one thing. Follow me. When we turn left toward La Guardia, you keep right to the Whitestone Bridge. I love you. Have a great drive. They say we will soon be using eye-patterns for identification — security, ATMs, credit transactions. Then I kissed her goodbye. A few hours later, I stood in a fast-food parking lot, a light rain spotting the asphalt in puddles of onyx.
The sign on the roadside said Delaware River 1 Mile. I was about to put a state between us. Two days later, I greeted the evening sun of North Dakota by lowering the ragtop and cruising a low downhill toward a far-off rainstorm. I pictured myself as a blip on a geo-satellite map, coursing slowly across the country. I had just enough for gas, so for the next day-and-a-half I existed on two boxes of oatmeal cream pies. I was regular, but I was certainly looking forward to seeing the Puget Sound.
No calls, no emails, no letters. After one date, Anne and I figured out the spark between us was the friendly kind — and lively, filled with mutual admiration and witty repartee. It was I, after all, who had introduced her to Carl, the gutless wonder who absconded with her heart. Carolyn sat behind us on a barstool, watching the menage a joie , perhaps feeling like she should have paid admission. I flashed on several images completely unsuited to the occasion.
Rob stood and put on his jacket. I turned to Carolyn. Iron Vlad referred to Lenin, a foot-tall leftover from the fall of the Soviet Union. Carolyn took my hand. I nodded toward the statue. It was very unexpected. Then came the awkward silence, and it was up to me to fill it. New York. But it reminded me You could see Carolyn gathering herself, nudging her spectacles up on her nose, bracing her shoulders. That stuff we spend all that ink trying to figure out. She let out one of those odd, sad half-chuckles. She looked down at her feet and took a breath, trying to hold some strength.
She raised her face, and I paid my debts. But my lips brought tears. I held her as she cried. A phrase appeared in my head:. After wire-brushing the joints, I painted flux over the pipes, pieced it all together and lit my torch. I drew the tip of the blue flame to the copper, waited thirty seconds, then touched a thread of solder to the surface. A silver ribbon flashed around the seam, melting to the space, trailing the flux. I shifted the flame to the elbow, to draw the flux in further. I checked the other side for gaps, then wheeled my legs around so I could get to the other end of the joint.
Once that was done, I painted flux over the seams, evening out the solder, then ran a damp rag over the whole with a laundry-press hiss. The pipe came out pink and shiny, the solder graying as it cooled. I use Angelbird SSD in the sata bay now and that's working great! Apr 20, I stopped using PLAY for that reason. I wouldn't mind waiting for load times if I'm going to record but way too many resources needed to justify for live work.
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Their 16bit versions load quick, but 24bit is an entirely different story. Chim, the current version of Play loads like a bat out of hell and is very efficient. It's totally different from what you're talking about, in fact I suspect it's a total rewrite. The Quantum Leap Bosendorfer loads in 8 seconds on my machine, for example. Nick Batzdorf , Apr 20, OleJoergensen , Apr 20, Phryq , Apr 20, Apr 21, Gerhard Westphalen , Apr 21, Ram is not slow.
In the past I tested my Orchestra PC. OleJoergensen , Apr 21,