17 January 2005

since this is my Benjamin Britten year...

...I flew to Miami to see "Paul Bunyan." some call this Britten's 1st opera. others lessen it by calling it an operetta. whatever it is it's a joy. with an exubuerant libretto by Auden it often soars. Florida Grand Opera put on the lively Mark Lamos staging. old-time Wagnerian baritone Thomas Stewart came out of retirement to give voice to Bunyan. it's a speaking part & he's not seen (till his bow during curtain call)but he brings the power requird. add to that the vocal talents of Brian Anderson & Chad Johnson (neither of whom hurt the eyes either) & I had a grand time.

which is good because it rains every time I go to Florida. I did manage to get to a couple of museums before the torrents. I was startld when I turnd a corner at "Paris Moderne" at the Bass & saw Romaine Brooks'"Elisabeth de Gramont."

I include this poor reproduction just to remind you which painting of Brooks it is but it doesn't even suggest how stunning it is. & of course it brought back Natalie Barney's salon & that wonderful group of Amazons.

& then not far away was a painting by another member of the Barney circle Marie Laurencin. her 1923 portrait of Jeannot Salmon doesn't reproduce well either. I found myself going back & forth between the two.

more on the trip manana.....

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