Category Archives: Contest

Six days left to show me your DON JUAN!

Traveling anywhere festive before August 31, 2012? Or do you already live in a beautiful part of the world?

Take copy of my humorous backstage opera novel DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA along for fun! You might win big bucks for a few minutes of thinking, arranging, and posing a photograph.

Shoot a digital photo of DON JUAN at your favorite vacation spot this summer. Post it on your Facebook page or as a Twitpic by August 31! Make sure to tag me, Gale Martin, so that I see your photo, or add @Gale_Martin if using Twitter, which I will then post on this page. Or email it to

But you better hurry. You only have six days left!

That’s all you have to do to be registered to win a $100 gift card from!

Winner of DON JUAN GETS AROUND! will be announced September 1, 2012!

What should your photo look like? Take a look at some of these fantastic photos submitted by Barbara Bosha (Puerto Rico), Ann Lander (Stafford, England), and Linda Orlomoski (Salem, Massachusetts):

For more photos of DON AROUND TOWN, click here.

All photos submitted for DON JUAN GETS AROUND! will be added to this space after they appear on Facebook or Twitter. Don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account and don’t want one? Feel free to email them to me at But make sure you send it by August 31.

Where can I get a print copy, you might ask? From, Barnes & or at many independent booksellers. If you live in the States, I’ll gladly ship one to you. Email me for details.


Filed under 21st Century Opera, Audience participation, Contest, Contests, Opera and humor, Opera and social media

my favorite #operaplots: a 21-plot salute!

Last week, Twitter was more fun than a barrel of baritones because of the 2011 #Operaplot Contest organized by “The Omniscient Mussel.” Each day of the contest, I savored reading all the opera plots appearing in my Twitter feed, noting my favorites, promising to revisit them after Miss Mussel posted her first comprehensive list of plots.

When The List emerged yesterday evening, I trawled through the entire thing like a kid on Christmas morning tearing the wrapping off gifts, reliving some of my favorite plotting moments last week while experiencing new levels of merriment caused by plots I hadn’t yet seen.

Originally, I was just going to select 10 favorites and post them on this blog. Well, that proved impossible! Thankfully, I can select nearly as many plots as I like, which in this case turned out to be 21 (though I was trying to limit the list to 20, so when I liked more than plot from a single plotter, which often happened, I limited my selection to only one plot per user.)

Congratulations to these talented plotters and best of luck in the overall contest judged by Eric Owens. Winners are expected to be announced on Wednesday. And I’m sorry I couldn’t recognize everyone that I liked. I really enjoyed so many of them, and appreciated everyone’s contributions to #operaplot.

Acis and Galatea
Low on a plain sang lonely sheep-herd. Layee odl layee odl layee odl oh. Skull crushing rock his girlfriends giant heard. Layee…#operaplot — Tim Regan (@Dumbledad)

Now who’s that super foxy slave girl, gonna kill the King of the Huns with his own sword? ODABELLA! Your daaaaaamn right. #operaplot — Daniel John Kelley (@funwithiago)

Don Giovanni
Guess who’s coming to dinner… #operaplot — Adam Rothbarth (@foundsound)

Look, Wotan, the bottom line is it’s not the end of the world if you…oh, wait, scratch that. #operaplot — @SamNeuman (Sam Neuman)

Hansel und Gretel
Cannibalistic old lady lures welfare kids with promise of junkfood. Years of advice concerning strangers with candy confirmed. #Operaplot — Bryan DeSilva (@countertenorbry)

Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Count A. in Seville: unlocked the ‘Rosina’ badge. #operaplot — Matthew Guerrieri (@sohothedog)

Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria
Ten years, he doesn’t call, he doesn’t write, then this guy who shows up and kills all my boyfriends is him? I don’t believe it. #operaplot — @bachtrack

Il Tabarro
Is that a tenor under your tabarro, or are you just happy to see me? #operaplot — Claudia Friedlander (VoiceTeacherNYC)

La Bohème
Oooh, I’m such a sensitive, poetic, bohemian tortured soul…but I can’t see a dying girlfriend when she’s staring me in the face. #operaplot — Catrin Woodruff (@catrinwoodruff)

La Fanciulla del West
In a cabin in a canyon selling liquor for a dime sits a bible toting schoolma’am and her bandit quitting crime #operaplot — John Gilks (@johngilks)

L’Elisir d’Amore & Tristan und Isolde
Dear Tristan, You’re an idiot. My love potion worked just fine. – Nemorino #operaplot — Eleni Hagen (@EleniH83)

Madama Butterfly
Breaking News: Geisha girl, mother of one, stabs self after recording first episode of new radio show: His American Wife #operaplot —Patty Mitchell (@Pattyoboe)

Nixon in China
Crooked American goes to the Orient with his wife. No, this is at the beginning of the opera! #operaplot — London Opera Meetup (@LondonOperaMeet)

Her name was Norma. She was a priestess, with a secret Roman lover and two kids kept undercover. Don’t fall in love. #operaplot — Amanda Watson @amndw2)

Ring Cycle
Hello and welcome with Wagner’s Wonder Tour’s!! We’ll take you from Rhinemaidens to Utter destruction in just 15 hours… #operaplot — Rhian Hutchings (@rhchhutch)

Oh Susanna, don’t you cry for me, I’m a man of God who loves your bod, in New Hope Tennessee. #operaplot — Ralph Graves @RalphGraves

Tales of Hoffmann
Dude, you hooked me up with a robot, a hooker, and a hypochondriac?! That’s the last time you’re my wingman. #operaplot — Brendan (@indybrendan)

A hectic concert schedule and a dangerous police chief keep this diva on the go. She’s parapetetic. — Rachel Alex Antman (@Verbiagent)

“We had a jumper. No time to talk her down.” — Police captain following area woman’s suicide. “Can’t prosecute for murder now.” #operaplot — Marc Geelhoed (@marcgeelhoed)

The Turn of the Screw
Mix one part Mary Poppins and one part Sixth Sense. Turn until screwed. #operaplot — Brian M. Rosen (musicvstheater)

Keep yourself / Full of beans / And avoid / Bloody scenes / Give your captain / Burma-Shave #operaplot — Sarah Noble (@primalamusica)

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Filed under Contest, Opera and humor, Opera and social media

hunkering down for #operaplot 2011

I don’t know how I missed the Omniscient Mussel’s  Save-the-Date post regarding #Operaplot 2011. But I visited Miss Mussel’s website, and there it was.

Operaplot 2011 will take place between April 11 and 15 (the same days I’ve been called for jury duty–I don’t how I’m going to be affected just yet by that eventuality).

In case you’re not familiar with #Operaplot 2011, the basic premise is that you Tweet plots to an opera–any opera–between April 11 and 15 always finishing with a hashtag and the word operaplot (#operaplot). Describing the entire plot of an opera in 140 characters is the basic idea. Miss Mussel will be sharing more guidelines soon, which may differ slightly with last year’s official rules.

Last year, I didn’t enter. I was new to Twitter so I merely enjoyed the entries filling my Twitter feed. I’d like to enter this year–we’ll see what happens.  Anyway, to warm up your #operaplot chops, here’s a few opera headlines to decipher.


I’m not going to provide the answers this time. However, anyone who can answer all five correctly will be entered in a drawing to win this handsome (if I do say so myself) Operatoonity mug.

Please send all answers to rather than leave them in the comments.

Start thinking about your entries for #operaplot 2011. (And those of you with nearly inactive Twitter accounts need to rev them up to be ready for April 11).

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Filed under Audience participation, Contest

DC Opera running crackerjack event and contest

Two weeks ago, I learned about one of Washington National Opera’s outreach events called “Opera in the Outfield,” a free live simulcast of the Season Opening of Verdi’s A Masked Ball (Un Ballo in Maschera), featuring special events, kids activities, prizes and more, to be held on Sunday, September 19, 2010 at 2:00 PM, at Nationals Park. 

And if the Target FREE Opera in the Outfield at Nationals Park doesn’t sound super-fun enough, they’re holding a “Take Me Out to the Opera” songwriting contest for “a chance at untold glory (and great prizes). ” All you have to do, would-be songwriters, is: 

  • Write opera-inspired lyrics to the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
  • Send them to by midnight on Monday, August 30. In order to be considered, all submissions must include the entrant’s full name, mailing address, email address, and phone number.

First, second, and third-place winners will be selected by none other than WNO’s General Director Plácido Domingo. And get a load of these prizes: 

1st Place Prize
 A $500 Target Gift Card and premium Orchestra seats to Washington National Opera’s Spring 2011 production of Madama Butterfly.
2nd Place Prize
A Washington Nationals VIP Suite Package for 2011 Season
3rd Place Prize
A full season subscription of premium Orchestra seats for two (2) for Washington National Opera’s 2010-11 Main Stage Season 

According to contest organizers, winners will be announced during the “Seventh Aria Stretch” (the second intermission) at Opera in the Outfield on Sunday, September 19. The first place winner will then have his or her song performed live, by a crowd of thousands of opera-going fans. How cool is that! 

And you know how it is, sports fans. You can’t win if you don’t play. Here’s some resources to get you started: 

(I’d like to give a go myself.)

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Audience participation, Classic Opera, Contest, Opera Marketing