This was my week to perform rather than to review, and so I will leave it to the others to tell you about the performances they saw and reviewed. In the meantime, there are a group of messages, cancellations, and reschedulings that you might like to know about. No matter how nice the snow is or how beautiful, it still is a disruptor of carefully placed plans. For example, Lisamarie Charlesworth of the VYOA was on the line quickly to tell me that the Orchestrapalooza scheduled for December 16 had been canceled. The concert has been rescheduled for Sunday, January 13, 2008. All the tickets that were purchased for December 16 will be honored on January 13. For further information, visit them online at www.vyo.org or contact them by phone at 802-655-5030. And if you haven't bought tickets for the concert yet, make certain that you buy them for the January concert date, because it's one of the best values for your money that can be had in the Burlington area -- in fact in all of Vermont. Casting is on for La Traviata
I also received notification from Taras Kulish, Artistic Director for the Green Mountain Opera Festival (Central Vermont). In advance of their production of Verdi's La Traviata, they're looking to cast some of the comprimario roles as well as to develop new talent through an Emerging Artist Program, staffed by Phyllis Curtin (world-renowned soprano and teacher), Sanford Sylvan (baritone), Francis Graffeo (American conductor), Ron Luchsinger (American stage director) and Esther Gonthier (pianist/coach at Montr_ Opera). They will be daily coaching, master classes, eel differs singers, opera excerpt concerts and NO tuition, free accommodations, and some meals provided. For information about the program and how to apply go to: www.greenmountainoperafestival.com/emergingartists.htm . Application deadline is January 15, 2008. Auditions in New York City will be on February 22 and 23, 2008. Don't hesitate to get in touch with them. Amahl and the Night Visitors
The production of Amahl and the Night Visitors is scheduled to run in Vergennes on Friday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m. and the Charlotte Congregational Church on Saturday, December 22, 7:30 p.m. It is an endearing opera, and well worth the trip. Christmas in Vermont a great stocking stuffer
As for stocking stuffers or host/hostess gifts when you are going to a holiday function, let me recommend the album "Christmas in Vermont" that was produced by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. The recording features the VSO brass, the vocal ensemble Counterpoint, and includes UVM Professor David Neiweem, a noted organist. It can be ordered through the VSO office at 800-VSO-9293, extension 10, or you can visit online at www.vso.org or it can be ordered through Amazon.com. The cost is $15 through the VSO + three dollar shipping and handling charge another great stocking stuffer comes to us from Bella Voce, Vermont's resident womens chorus. The album, entitled Now Let Us Sing!, a compilation of 17 songs composed and arranged by Vermont composer Gwyneth Walker. The album is available at Barnes & Noble in South Burlington, Book Spieler in Montpelier, Borders and Hopkins Bookshop at St. Paul's Cathedral in Burlington, Cover to Cover Books, Randolph -- as well as at Amazon.com. They will also be you releasing a Christmas album in the Fall of 2008. Mark Estrin's books -- he now has four on the market -- are all available locally and are well worth the read for the provocative and serious commentary on our society -- and usually they are immensely funny . Archer Mayer has also just published his eighteenth mystery story, and he's currently self-publishing his entire eighteen novels that are all set in Vermont and its environs. They are all good reads, page turners really, and if you have a mystery fan in your family and their not aware of his work, this would be a splendid gift . for someone who has not enjoyed the pleasures of reading Edwardian literature, I cannot speak too highly of John Galsworthy's magnificent Forsyte Saga, as well as the subsequent six further novels that deal with the youngest members of the Forsyte family. It is an enormous achievement. Barnes & Noble have republished the first three novels in one book -- and if you don't mind and occasionally un-caught typographical error, they would make a splendid read through the winter that is still ahead of us. My personal best wishes to all of you.