• Why I’m Studying Librarianship

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    Why on earth, some people might ask, is a passionate opera lover with a BA in Music History studying librarianship? Why didn’t I try to become a Music History professor, or an author of books about opera?


    Because I wouldn’t be a passionate opera lover if not for libraries. I’ve written about that fact before (see “Opera at the Library: My Tribute”). Ever since I first discovered opera, libraries have been my main recourse for sound recordings, videos, DVDs, and books of all kinds that provide insight into the world of opera and classical music. Not to mention the educational Opera Talks that my local libraries present every year in tandem with the LA Opera’s season, culminating in an end-of-season concert featuring singers from their Young Artist program.


    I still don’t fully know what it’s like to be a librarian. I don’t know everything that studying librarianship will entail. I’m just getting started. But I’d love to spend my life helping library visitors find the wealth of passion-cultivating information that I have. If I can, I’d love to help a library expand its collection of opera- and classical music-related books, film and recordings, and to help promote that material. I’d love to be able to guide people with passions like mine to the exact types of books and information they’re looking for, both with the help of technology and with any knowledge of my own that goes beyond what computers know – this is why the idea of working for a school or university library appeals to me. I’d love to promote and take part in music education programs within the library, like the Opera Talks I’ve grown up with. I’d love to bring Opera Quest, the opera education program I’ve created for children, into at least one library, which I hope my degree will help me do. I’d love to eventually write books about opera music history, but not rely on them as an income source, and have them become part of the collection of the library where I work.


    In spite of all the music- and opera-history classes I took at Santa Monica College and UCLA, libraries have been the real source of my knowledge and passion, more than academia ever has been. By studying librarianship and hopefully finding a career in it, I hope I can help keep that source of knowledge and passion alive and strong for everyone. I hope I can play a part in helping people find their passion and identity through library resources just like I did.

  • Carlo Bergonzi (1924-2014)

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    I was 14 when I heard him for the first time. I was newly in love with opera and checked out a highlights CD of Madama Butterfly from a library – I had seen two videos of Butterfly at that point but had yet to hear a sound recording of it. The CD’s original case was lost, so I didn’t know the names of the singers, but I didn’t mind. The first track was Pinkerton’s aria “Dovunque al mondo,” and the moment he started to sing, this, more or less, was my reaction: “Oh wow! Oh my God! What a gorgeous voice!”

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  • “Don Giovanni” at the Mendocino Music Festival (July 18, 2014)

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    Don Giovanni: Eugene Brancoveanu

    Leporello: Dennis Rupp

    Donna Anna: Kelly Britt

    Donna Elvira: Youn Ryu Read the rest of this entry »

  • Character Study Corner: Lt. B.F. Pinkerton

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    In honor of the 4th of July, I’d like to discuss the most famous American character in opera, Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton from Madama Butterfly.

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  • CD Review: Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1962, Gui)

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    Il Barbiere di Siviglia

    1962, EMI

    (Sesto Bruscantini, Luigi Alva, Victoria de los Angeles, Ian Wallace, Carlo Cava, Laura Sarti; Glyndebourne Chorus; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Vittorio Gui)


    This classic recording is one of the first studio attempts to present an “authentic” Barbiere. Though it predates Alberto Zedda’s critical edition of the score and some of the orchestration is still slightly “off” (e.g. a harp instead of a guitar in “Ecco ridente”), it completely lacks the interpolations, transpositions, excess embellishments and Read the rest of this entry »

  • “Thaïs” at the Los Angeles Opera (May 25, 2014)

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    Thaïs: Nino Machaidze

    Athanaël: Plácido Domingo

    Nicias: Paul Groves Read the rest of this entry »

  • Character Study Corner: Don José

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    caruso27Jonas Don Joseimagescarmen-don-jose260jose1cropCarmenKnifeThroatA







    Hello! Just in case anyone was wondering, I’m still alive!


    The reason I haven’t posted here in a while is that I’ve been sucked into the gloriously addictive world of Tumblr. And while I was there I found a new love – amateur literary analysis. I’ve explored various different Tumblr blogs managed by English majors and other literature-lovers, who write long essays defending their favorite fictional characters Read the rest of this entry »