Last night we went to the first US production of Rossini’s fourth opera,Ciro in Babilonia, conducted by Festival Opera Director, Will Crutchfield with the Orchestra of St. Luke. It was truly a landmark production and I am so happy we were there. We saw Scott onstage, but Dorothy was scurrying everywhere taking care of her various responsibilities. We attended several lectures and chamber performances and had a delicious picnic dinner just prior to the show.
The opera featured legendary contralto Eva Podles in the title role. It was directed by Italian stage director Davidde Livermore. It is a shared production with the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, Italy and will be performed there later in the summer.
Martha Stewart’s estate is adjacent to the Festival grounds and I think she was having an Independence Day celebration during the opera, replete with fireworks. I’m not sure it did anything to enhance the opera! (It was over by intermission, thank God!)
It was really interesting to delve back into the world of opera seria, having spent so much time there while writing my book. Did I mention that it was 103?!!!
Nothing new to report on the publishing fronts. The Mozart book is circling the landing field. The choral compositions are complete for the season. Love Came Down at Christmas is ready to perform. I’m thinking of adding an older, somewhat jazzy arrangement of Watchman Tell Us of the Night as part of my free online offerings. It’s scored for Two Part Choir (w/m), keyboard, and oboe solo. It’s a companion with my first freebee, Adam Lay Ybounden. Let me know if you are interested.
Twin Killing …
At this point in the story, a new character arrives at the scene of the murder. And I do mean character! It’s the medical examiner, Dr. Jackson Kallen. Here’s the snippet of the week …
Laster took one last look at the corpse down in the aisle.
“Oh shit!” She yelled.
“How did I get so lucky to pull that idiot? I gotta get down there. Set up the interviews.” Laster rushed out grabbing Hulet on the way.
Newly appointed District Six Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Jackson Kallen was making his way down the aisle towards the corpse. To say Kallen was eccentric was an understatement. Today, he was a vision in khaki cargo shorts, a green tank top, dark sunglasses, a wide-brimmed straw hat, leather flip flops, and a large, overhanging, walrus mustache. He had just turned thirty and had been appointed by the Governor to the head the District Six Medical Examiner’s Office. He was appointed because all he ever wanted to do with his medical degree was become a medical examiner. He was obsessed with the job. It didn’t hurt that his father was a personal friend of the governor, but Kallen, even at his young age, had amassed an outstanding reputation for his efficiency, thoroughness, and expertise. He was just a little weird.
He reached the body of Rick Pilarski and knelt down for his examination. It had obviously been a head shot and the rest of the body seemed unaffected. Laster and Hulet came running down the steps to the scene.
“Hello Dr. Kallen,” said Laster, “what have you found?”
“He’s dead,” was Kallen’s droll reply. “I’d say TOD was about thirty-five minutes ago.”
Laster decided to engage him. “What astounding observations.”
“Here’s another one for you–cause of death: gun shot to the head. Did you find any brass up there?” he said, pointing to the upper level.
I‘ll be back in the poolside office on Tuesday morning trying for 1,000 words in between dips. Stay cool, be happy, read a thriller, and I’ll see you online! -JAS