Saturday, January 24, 2009

A walk on the high side . . .

I enjoy many forms of music, but have a tendency to lean towards jazz and opera. In fact, one of my current projects is an animated version of Mozart's The Magic Flute with artist/writer Sarah Jumel.  We hope it will help expose young people to the pleasure of opera.

A Birthday Bravo! to Carlo Maria Broschi (January 24, 1705 – September 16, 1782), known by the stage name Farinelli. It has been noted by some opera fans that Farinelli was the most famous castrato of all castrati. I do love the drama of opera; however, I am glad that the dramatic, let's say traumatic, act of becoming a castrato no longer takes place and that women are permitted to hit the high notes now.

A birthday salute to Edith Wharton (January 24, 1862 – August 11, 1937), American novelist, famous for naturalistic novels that depicted New York high society. The saying "Keeping up with the Joneses" is said to refer to the paternal side of her family.

In 1921 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for literature for her novel The Age of Innocence, thus making her the first woman to win the award.

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." - Edith Wharton ("Vesalius in Zante (1564)", in North American Review (November 1902), p. 631)

If you are in Lennox, Massachusetts (USA) between May and November take the time to visit the Edith Wharton Estate and Gardens. Plan your trip when the weather is nice so you will have plenty of time for walking the gardens of the estate.

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