Performance Review: La Nozze de Figaro

La Nozze de Figaro performed by the Metropolitan Opera at the Metropolitan Opera House at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, April 16, 2022.

Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: James Gaffigan

My mother wanted to take my daughter to the opera.  I was uncertain about how well that would go, but on the night before Easter the three of us watched Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” from the Family Circle and we all made it through the three and a half hour performance with no complaints.  It was fun to used opera glasses to get a closer look at the fantastic costumes and stunning set design.  And the music is good too.  I personally think that soprano Ying Fang stole the show as Susanna.  The story doesn’t make a ton of sense but is basically a Twelfth Night style of comical pranks and revenge plots among a group of people who alternate between being horny and angry at other people for being horny.

Note: This trailer has the same set and costumes but a different cast than the production we saw.

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Book Review: Curious Wine by Katherine V. Forrest

Author: Katherine V. Forrest
Title: Curious Wine
Narrator: Jane Merrow
Publication Info:  Allure Audio (2009) [originally published in 1983]

Someday I need to start keeping track of where I find out about the books I put on my reading list, because this is definitely not the typical book for me to read.  Which is a good thing, so thank you random person who recommended it to me.

Curious Wine is the story of a women’s retreat at a cabin at a Lake Tahoe ski resort, and through encounter games and various intimate conversations share a lot about themselves.  Two of the women, Diane and Lane, form a bond that leads to a sexual relationship.  The problem is that up to that point they had considered themselves straight and have a lot of things to navigate in order to continue the relationship.

This was one of the first mainstream romance novels about a lesbian relationship by a lesbian author.  The novel goes to great lengths to add “respectability” to the relationship by having two white, professional women who’ve previously had relationships with men as the protagonists who then put a lot of effort into making sure no one can consider their love “just a phase.”  This was certainly necessary in the early 1980s but feels awkward now.  Nevertheless it is a sweet and honest story with well-developed characters.

Rating: ***