A Diva Weekend: Barbra at Barclays, Betty Lynn at Feinstein’s

A Diva Weekend:  Barbra at Barclays, Betty Lynn at Feinstein’s
We didn’t plan it to be a mini-marathon of divas, but the pairing worked out nicely.  A couple of months back my boyfriend Doug scored tickets over the phone to see Barbra Streisand in her first concert at the Barclays Center (October 11), the massive new arena in Brooklyn.  We were joined by about 19,000 other fans. No tickets were pre-arranged for our second night in the city and I wasn’t keen on facing...
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Fort Worth Opera Festival: Adamo, Heggie, and Puccini (review)

Fort Worth Opera Festival: Adamo, Heggie, and Puccini (review)
Three operas in two days mean an ambitious festival in progress.  When the Fort Worth Opera reinvented itself in 2007 from the traditional format of fall and spring seasons into a concentrated annual festival, the idea was to focus attention and lure in audiences, not just North Texans but folks from far and wide. It certainly seems to have worked.  Some unscientific observation combined with occasional eavesdropping showed...
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An afternoon with artist Tom Tierney and his enchanting paper dolls

An afternoon with artist Tom Tierney and his enchanting paper dolls
I’ll never look at paper dolls the same again.  That’s because I recently befriended the greatest living creator of the art form, 83-year old Tom Tierney. Now I certainly didn’t go looking to chat up a paper doll artist, which made the whole experience all the more special.  Here’s the story… My boyfriend Doug and I were driving from Houston to Austin last Sunday, and stopped in the little town of Smithville, population...
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Opera review: Before Night Falls, Fort Worth Opera

Opera review: Before Night Falls, Fort Worth Opera
Within moments after the curtain rises on Jorge Martin’s “Before Night Falls,” the hero collapses into his deathbed.  It’s an obvious allusion to all those consumptive operatic heroines of the romantic era and reinforces why the memoir of Cuban writer Renaldo Arenas was such a good choice for a staged adaptation. The Fort Worth Opera premiered the work in two performances at Bass Hall, as part of an early summer...
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Queer Opera in Cowtown

Queer Opera in Cowtown
Fort Worth Texas might be the most conservative area of the country after Orange County California. Last June one of its few gay bars, the Rainbow Lounge, was raided by members of the Fort Worth Police Department and Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission. Seven people were arrested for drunkenness, though numerous reports say that the individuals were pulled from the crowd randomly and violently.  A 26-year old man was hospitalized...
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There she blows: Jake Heggie’s “Moby Dick”

There she blows: Jake Heggie’s “Moby Dick”
With its ever growing arts district, the City of Dallas continues to think big. The same can be said for the Dallas Opera and its new Winspear Opera House. For the second half of its first season in the new house, the company commissioned and premiered Jack Heggie’s “Moby-Dick.” I attended the performance on Saturday May 8. The massive scale and varied themes of Melville’s classic novel have flummoxed many who’ve...
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Darren K. Woods, Administrative star and “turn around master”

Darren K. Woods, Administrative star and “turn around master”
In 1980 Darren K. Woods was a tenor in the chorus of the Houston Grand Opera with visions of heading to Broadway before starring in his own television sitcom. Fate and the music world had other things in store. Following recommendations of friends, he spent that summer in the young artists program at the Seagle Music Colony outside the little Adirondack village of Schroon Lake in Essex County about 90 miles north of Albany. ...
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Talking dads and Texas with Betty Buckley

Betty Buckley and I bonded over our late fathers. This was a significant improvement over a half-hour earlier, when she said I had insulted her and insisted, twice, that we restart the interview.      Our fathers were common and safer ground. Both engineers, they were colleagues in Texas many years ago. They both also withheld praise and were indifferent to the artistic accomplishments of their children.      At the...
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