I haven't posted much here lately -- sorry! Here's a brief sort of roundup.
Every year I try to catch a couple of shows at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, one of the best regional opera companies in the US, and within walking distance of my house. As I proved, by walking home after each show this year. (My wife dropped me off -- I didn't want to be dripping with sweat while attending.)
This year I saw two shows: Pelleas et Melisande
, by Claude Debussy; and The Daughter of the Regiment
, by Gaetano Donizetti. The Debussy opera is very much Debussy -- very impressionistic, I suppose. It's about a mysterious woman found in the woods by the Prince of a small country, who brings her home and marries her. She falls for the Prince's younger half-brother, leading inevitably to tragedy. I enjoyed the performance, especially for a Debussy's music, which was interesting throughout, not just concentrated in the arias, which indeed were not particularly showpieces (apparently by design). The Daughter of the Regiment is much more lighthearted, a bel canto piece about a young woman who was abandoned as a child near a battlefield, and brought up by the French regiment that discovered her. Now an adult, she is adopted by her true illegitimate mother, who tries to make her a lady, and to marry her off to a snooty Duchess's son. But she loves a Tyrolean peasant, and moreoever she is no lady ... This is as I said very lighthearted, with a highlight an aria by the Duchess called something like "Tone Deaf", illustrating why she (the Duchess) left the stage. There's also a famous tenor aria for the young lead ... very enjoyable stuff, with lovely singing.
Next year one of the show is going to be Sweeney Todd,
about which I confess I am already salivating.
My book is out, by the way, The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 201
1 (Prime). Everybody should buy a copy!
And I made it to my favorite convention, ConQuesT, in Kansas City, again this year. (I missed last year because my nephew was getting married.) I was for the first time a guest of the con this year, and I appeared on four panels. Alas, it's been a while, and I don't have strong memories of them ... Young Adult fiction was one subject ...
And I met some interesting new people -- Dora Furlong, Brent Bowen (of Adventures in SciFi Publishing
), Melissa Lytton, GOH Tamora Pierce (my daughter's favorite writer (tied with Charles de Lint, perhaps) -- anyway, got a book signed for my daughter plus a picture), as well as seeing old friends like Keith Stokes, Eric Reynolds, Chris McKitterick, and doubtless people I am shamefully forgetting.
Also, a cool thing -- my story in the "Story in a Bag" competition won for "Best Pro SF". Probably the main reason was that I was advised that I qualify as a pro, because even though I haven't published any fiction, I do get paid for writing I do in the field. That meant my story was only one of two -- instead of a dozen or so amateur entries. I thought my story was not bad, but I think the best amateur story was better than mine -- I'd have, in all honesty, put my story second or third in the amateur division.
Tags: conventions, opera