Tag Archives: opera blogs

eye-popping, jaw-dropping blog tour for new novel

A host of talented bloggers with varied gifts–authors, artists, writers and opera experts–are opening up their blogs as part of a thirteen-stop tour to launch my soon-to-be-released opera novel Don Juan in Hankey, PA.

David Karlin's blog at Bachtrack.com

The tour kicks off on November 22 with Bachtrack founder David Karlin’s blog and continues through January 17, 2012. You can expect to read revealing Q&A’s and get a glimpse of the cinematic world of small-town opera that fill the book’s pages.

The blog tour is also an opportunity to meet some of the characters who bring the pages of Don Juan in Hankey, PA to life: the Argentine baritone Leandro Vasquez singing the title role in Don Giovanni–unleashed, as you’ve never seen him before; Maestro Schantzenbach, aka the Teeny Tyrant, the resident conductor of the Hankey Opera Company; and Deanna Lundquist, guild chair–shrewd, Machiavellian–determined to see the Hankey Opera Company succeed.

Stop by one or two of these blogs over the next several weeks or take in every worthy whistlestop!

All the tour dates are also online here with thumbnails of each blog.

Nov. 22 – Scintillating Q&A with Bachtrack founder David Karlin at his blog.

Nov. 23 – Some author to author dishing with Margo Candela at her website.

Nov. 29 – Guest post at author Amye Archer’s blog— where we get up-close-and-personal with fictional barihunk Leandro Vasquez.

Nov. 30 – Poet Kim Loomis Bennett crashes Operatoonity.com right here.

Dec. 2 – Probing Q&A with UK author Gordon Darroch  at “Unreal Domain.”

Dec. 4 – Guest post at UK children’s author Martin King’s blog to discuss writing creatively.

Art Life & Stilettos - Diana Di Mauro's magazine

Dec.  7 – Interview with Diana Di Mauro, doyenne of  the online magazine Art Life and Stilettos.

Dec. 9 – Book review and giveaway at Kathy Sprinkle’s amazing, energizing blog, “Bliss Habits”.

Dec. 12 – Guest post at author and educator Ami Hendrikson’s blog “MuseInks.”

Dec. 13 – Guest post at The Wagnerian where we will meet  Maestro Jan Schantzenbach, resident conductor of the Hankey Opera Company.

The Wagnerian

Dec.15 – Q&A with writer Kirsty Stanley at “KIRSTYES”  who will also talk with Deanna Lundquist, the main character in Don Juan in Hankey, PA.

Jan 15 – Book review and mini Q&A with sparkling opera aficionado Lucy at “Opera Obsession”.

Jan 17 – Guest post at Maine native Sharon C. William’s blog, “The Musings of a New Englander”.


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Filed under opera blogs, Opera fiction

Cardiff ‘Hairman’ has a thing for hair and opera!

Editor’s Note: Opera Bloggers Month continues with this lively, well-written blog, “Hairman at the Opera.

Hairman at the Opera

He’s a man based in Cardiff, Wales, with hair who’s got a thing for opera.

Surprised that nobody had set up a blog dedicated to Welsh National Opera (WNO), Hairman ignored common sense and give it a try. Hence the name of his blog–Hairman at the Opera!

He’s created a delightful place to hang out with reviews, news you can use, and occasionally the talking teddy bear.  Hairman’s blog allows readers to feel like insiders at WNO–a world class touring opera company–even if they’ve never seen a show there.

Welcome to Operatoonity, Hairman!

O: When did you start blogging and why?

Hairman: I started blogging roughly two years ago, more by accident than by intent. I’d written a few Cardiff Singer posts for Intermezzo’s blog, and she suggested that I start a blog of my own.  Although I wasn’t a stranger to the ROH, and probably saw more performances there than anywhere else, I felt that it, and many other big name opera companies, had more than their fair share of blogs devoted to them, so I decided to take up blogging about my own nation’s company, Welsh National Opera (WNO). It wasn’t a hard decision to make, as it had irritated me for quite some time that WNO performances I saw rarely garnered the level of attention they deserved in comparison with ones I saw in London and beyond. Of course, WNO isn’t the only company to suffer in this way, there are plenty of other companies who endure a similar lack of genuine international recognition, which is a shame, because exhilarating, electric nights, are to be found in more than just the same old places.

O: What is your biggest challenge? Biggest thrill?

The Wales Millennium Centre, home of the WNO, photo by Ian Britton / Freefoto

Hairman: My biggest challenge has been in finding the right “voice” for my blog. Having no musical training I knew, from the beginning, that my blog would rely on how I wrote about opera, not what I wrote. I am never going to be able to expertly dissect a performance and comment if a soprano fails to hit F6, so I have tried to adopt as personable an approach as possible, appealing, I hope, to people a bit like myself, whose only exposure to opera has been through the usual channels – ads, films and music montages from football events. This hasn’t exactly been plain sailing, the blog has seen several “voices” – including a period where a monkey was the ghostwriter…I kid ye not.

My biggest thrill is more of a biggest pleasure – and that’s getting to know people from all over the world who I never would have come into contact with if it wasn’t for opera.

O: What is your favorite post and why?

Hairman: I haven’t got a specific favourite post – normally the one I care about most  will be the one I am working on at any given moment. However, there was a series of posts centred around WNO’s Meistersinger (April to July 2010) that have been invaluable to me in my appreciation of opera productions as a whole. As well as enabling me to get closer to the music, and the text, than of any other opera, the posts, thanks to the kind help of WNO staff (including ASM Katie Heath-Jones) gave me an insight into the amount of effort required to put on a production. I’d known, but frankly paid lip service, to the idea of the teamwork involved in productions, but it was only through following the preparations did I truly comprehend how much hard work, from a wide variety of skilled professionals, it takes to put on a show. In many ways it seems unfair to me (now) that though you get to applaud the singers and orchestra at the end of the evening, you don’t get to applaud all the other people who put in an almighty effort to give you a night at the opera.

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Do drop by Hairman’s blog or you can follow him on Twitter @HairmanWNO.

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Filed under 21st Century Opera, Interviews, Opera and humor, opera blogs

Marion’s blogs celebrate her devotion to opera greats

Marion Lignana Rosenberg / c. Maeghan Donohue

Editor’s Note: Opera Bloggers’ Month continues with a Q&A with the always gracious and utterly captivating blogger, the intrepid Marion Lignana Rosenberg.

Many cyber-savvy opera lovers identify Marion Lignana Rosenberg  with the striking profile of Maria Callas via her Twitter profile @revisioncallas.

Marion Lignana Rosenberg is the esteemed host of the blog of the same name–“Re-visioning Callas”  which blends history, anecdotes, and insightful commentary–an homage to opera’s greatest diva Maria Callas using a multi-media platform.

However, Marion also authors the blog “Verdi Duecento,” which she created to recognize Giuseppe Verdi in anticipation of the bicentennial of his birth in 2013.

Marion  is an award-winning writer, blogger, and translator. At WHRB in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she produced what likely remains the most comprehensive broadcast ever of Verdi’s music, including many then-unpublished compositions.

Marion has published extensively on opera and the performing arts including  her essay “Re-visioning Callas,” which won a Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page Award. She also wrote the entry on Maria Callas for Notable American Women: Completing the Twentieth Century (Harvard University Press).

An acclaimed broadcaster and journalist, Marion has contributed features, reviews, and essays about the arts to Newsday, Time Out New York, Salon.com, Forward, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Magazine, Opera News, and Playbill. Besides her programs for WHRB,  she has offered commentary on WNYC’s “Soundcheck.”

Marion’s writing has appeared in the programs and season books of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, and other companies in the United States and Europe.

So it is with great pride and distinct pleasure that I welcome Marion to Operatoonity.com.

Re-visioning Callas by Marion Lignana Rosenberg

"Re-visioning Callas" by Marion Lignana Rosenberg

O: When did you start blogging and why?

Marion: I started blogging back in 2002, first as a way to give vent to political rage, and then to get the word out about my freelance articles for Opera News, Time Out New York, and other publications.

O: What is your biggest challenge? Biggest thrill?

Marion: My biggest challenges are my tendencies to monomania and perfectionism. I curate blogs about Callas and Verdi and related Twitter feeds. In the past year, I have translated a non-fiction book (Carlo Rovelli’s The First Scientist: Anaximander and His Legacy) and a 150,000-word novel. I’m completing two book proposals. I’m always working on smaller translation projects (for example, English texts for Gianmaria Testa’s forthcoming CD, Vitamia). And I’m looking for a full-time position! I’m not complaining, but if I had my druthers, I would do one of these activities at a time with obsessive devotion. Instead, I breathe deeply, remind myself that “the best is the enemy of the good,” and carry on!

My biggest thrill is “meeting” so many deeply kind and intelligent people from all over the world. Thanks to my Callas blog alone, I correspond with lovely individuals in Greece, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Iran, Brazil, Venezuela, Australia, the United States, and elsewhere.

O: What is your favorite post and why?

Marion: From my Callas blog, I like Callas de cire, Callas de son because, well, who knew that the great Serge Gainsbourg had (unwittingly, I’m sure) shed light upon Maria Callas’s existential dilemmas?

From my Verdi blog, I’m proudest of Massimo Mila on Verdi I. While study of Verdi and his music has flourished in the past thirty years, there remains a great deal of enormously important work by Italian scholars and critics that is largely unknown in the English-speaking world.

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You can follow Marion on Twitter @revisioncallas. Please do stop in on her exquisite blogs Re-visioning Callas and Verdi Duecento. You can learn more about Marion here.

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Filed under 20th Century Opera, 21st Century Opera, Best of Operatoonity, Classic Opera, Interviews, opera blogs, profiles