essence of steampunk:
vintage fashion homage with
modern, sassy twist
— mask, bouquet, high heels, and fan —
For the modern age?
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Dante’s Inferno: A Discussion Guide
THE TROJAN WAR
SHAKESPEARE: 38 PLAYS
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE’S COMPLETE PLAYS: RETELLINGS
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John Ford’s The Broken Heart: A Retelling, by David Bruce
in pursuit of more
I once was comfortable
in the everyday monotony of
but lately there’s a flame in me
to burn brighter than I’m used to
to fall asleep because of exhaustion
These dreams of becoming
all I can be
sometimes keep me up at night.
• Opera singer Geraldine Farrar ran into problems with society women requesting the loan of her costumes to be used in programs to benefit charity. Early in her career, she granted these requests, but after several expensive costumes were returned in poor condition, she declined all of these requests. When a buxom woman wanted to borrow her second act Toscacostume and became obnoxious when she declined, Ms. Farrar told the woman, “Dear lady, until you can lift your façade and restrain your posterior, you would need not one but several of my Toscadresses.”
• When soprano Beverly Sells was set to debut at La Scala, she had a problem with a wardrobe mistress. Ms. Sells had asked for a silver costume, but the costumer brought her a gold lamé costume at each rehearsal. At each rehearsal, the wardrobe mistress promised to have the silver costume ready at the next rehearsal, but she always brought the gold costume instead. Ms. Sells solved the problem by taking scissors and cutting the gold costume in half. The other opera singers cheered her, and she made her debut in a silver costume.
• Giacomo Puccini’s first big success was the opera Manon Lescaut, for which soprano Lucrezia Bori bought a beautiful dress in which to make her debut as Manon in a revival. Mr. Puccini visited her backstage, looked at the dress, and told her that it was too lovely — after all, her character was supposed to be penniless and starving. Then, to make the dress more suitable to her character, he splashed it with coffee. Ms. Bori was not pleased with Mr. Puccini’s attention to detail.
• When she was seven years old, Beverly Sills was fortunate enough to see and hear Lily Pons in Lakméat the New York Metropolitan Opera House. At her entrance, Ms. Pons made a major impression on the audience because her costume included a brief halter top, lots of skin, and a silken wrap around her hips. Young Beverly exclaimed, “Mama! Mama! Her belly button is showing!”
• African-American opera singer Grace Bumbry knew how to get publicity. In London, she promised the press that when she danced the Dance of the Seven Veils, she would end up wearing nothing but “jewels and perfume.” In fact, she ended up wearing a bikini covered with jewels — to the delight of the audience. Afterward, Ms. Bumbry laughed as she said, “They never sold so many binoculars.”
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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