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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Operablogger Marks Return After One-Year Hiatus

Last November I grabbed my blog-toys and headed for home, metaphorically speaking. Personal and professional obstacles prevented me from devoting the sort of intellectual effort I felt this blog needed to remain a viable part of the opera commentary community, and so I quit cold turkey—even to the point of no longer reading the posts of my much-admired blogging colleagues. You know who you are!

Since then I’ve lost a full-time job, found a new (better!) one, lost a parent, gained two kitties—not that I’m trying to equate those two polarizing events—and pretty much given up on my dream to write the great operatic novel. My writing career did receive a boost when I was named to the post of Classical/Opera columnist for a monthly Denver-area music magazine, and I’ve contributed feature stories on the region’s opera, symphony and ballet organizations, plus concert and recital reviews. Once the magazine’s Web site is upgraded to where archived stories are placed online, I’ll post a link to that publication on this page.

Blogging can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, if one takes seriously the responsibility to write truthfully, accurately and interestingly. Because my entries are more essays than day-to-day observations, I tend to do a lot of research before publishing anything. I suppose my background in history is to blame for that, and my training as a copyeditor prevents me from posting material that has even the remotest chance for grammatical error. Is this a mild case of OCD, perhaps? OK, I’ll cop to that.

While I cannot promise weekly posts, I plan to pretty much continue along the same path I’d blazed at the beginning. My operatic interests remain firmly ensconced in the Italian and French repertoires—notably 19th century works—and I look forward to continuing my analysis of “The 88,” a group of Italian opera composers I’ve identified as important yet mostly forgotten. By paging back through my archives you will find essays on Abramo Basevi, Michele Carafa and Giuseppe Lillo. There are only 85 to go! I also look forward to beginning a discussion of Donizetti’s lesser-known operas, as well as reviewing the occasional production, recital or competition I happen to attend—making sure I don’t step on my publisher’s toes and write something here that steals the thunder from my magazine gig, of course.

At this point I’m not especially motivated to add much in the way of illustration—no photos or YouTube links or MP3 downloads—not because I don’t care to master the technology necessary to post them, but due to the fact that other sites do it so much better. I’m content to write, comment and invite discussion on the performance and character of opera, and to do so with thoughtful analysis and humor.

It feels good to be back, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading what I have to say.

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