The poet Michael McClure, who died on May 4, 2020 in his home in Oakland, California, was one of five readers at the seminal Six Gallery poetry reading in San Francisco in 1955 that kicked off the Beat Generation. I always loved his simple and organic poetic style, at once … Read the rest
I took a walk through Prospect Park today. These hilly acres in the middle of Brooklyn were designed to get you lost, with swerving paths that make you think you’re walking in a definite direction as they subtly turn you back again until you pass the spot where you started … Read the rest
Beneath the Parthenon, on the southern side of the most famous hill in Athens, Greece, there stands today the Theater of Dionysus. Two millennia ago a Dionysian festival gathered here each year at harvest time for a series of remarkable dramatic performances. The great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides … Read the rest
The second episode of “Lost Music: Exploring Literary Opera” is out! This one tells the story of how I turned myself into an opera freak by forcing myself to listen to nothing but opera music — 100 selected arias in random order, eight hours a day every day while I … Read the rest
Vicki Zunitch joins Marc Eliot Stein for a fresh in-depth examination of Puccini’s great opera “La Boheme”. We talk about the existential choices the characters make, the original comic stories by
I’m in a reflective mood lately. Looking within, through a glass darkly and all that. That’s my excuse for the fact that it’s March 2018 and this is my first post of the year.
I also have another excuse: I’ve been working on a really good Litkicks article about opera. … Read the rest
The audiobook of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born To Run is narrated by Bruce himself. It kicks off with a bizarre, unexpected noise: a slow thundering torrent, familiar but eerily transformed. This is the opening of the great rock anthem “Born To Run” played at half speed: booming drum roll, snaky … Read the rest
I fell particularly in love with Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when I saw it performed in Central Park in New York City — a perfect setting, long ago, outdoors on a summer night, with William Hurt as a bemused but domineering Oberon.
I loved the play not for its … Read the rest