Seattle Opera Confronts the Ugly Side of Madame Butterfly

Seattle Opera Panelists
“Asian Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly”

I was excited to hear that Seattle Opera was performing Madame Butterfly because I love Puccini’s music and Butterfly is one of the most famous operas ever written. I didn’t know the opera was controversial for its racist depiction of the Japanese – especially its promulgation of the stereotype that Japanese women are suicidal, subservient sex puppets – until I heard about Seattle Opera’s free community panel discussion “Asian Arts Leaders Respond to Madame Butterfly,” moderated by Frank Abe, co-founder of Seattle’s Asian American Journalists Association. Continue reading

Artistic Growth at Seattle Opera

 

Seattle Opera 2017 Katya Kabanova Philip Newton photo

Seattle Opera 2017 Katya Kabanova Philip Newton photo c/o Seattle Opera

Interview any artist, whether it’s a rock star promoting a new album or a symphony director discussing his orchestra, and you will hear about “artistic growth.” But we don’t often talk about audiences’ artistic growth. Continue reading

The Most Beautiful Music – La Traviata at Seattle Opera

Seattle Opera 2017 La Traviata McCaw Hall

Corinne Winters (Violetta). Seattle Opera 2017 La Traviata Philip Newton photo c/o Seattle Opera

People are getting pretty worked up about the unusual production of La Traviata currently playing at Seattle Opera. But really, the production isn’t very important. What really matters about La Traviata is the music, that exquisite, heavenly music.  Continue reading

New Releases

gorillatypes

I didn’t have any government work in October, so it felt like a slow month. But when it comes to content marketing and features writing, I’ve been working like a beast.

Here are my published stories from the last month. I hope you find something you enjoy.

 

I spilled my cheap travel secrets in How I became an airfare ninja for ParentMap. If I missed any tricks, I’d love for you to let me know so I can afford to travel more.

I blog about opera fairly often, so I was thrilled when ParentMap let me review Hansel and Gretel this fall and make the case for Why you should take your kids to the opera.

And of course, I used my obsessive love of research to bone up on a bunch of everyday legal issues for AvvoStories (formerly more colorfully known as NakedLaw).

How to help a teen get emancipated

The right to protest our national anthem

What police need to learn about mental illness

Do immigrants really have an easy time getting into the U.S.?

What’s so bad about a starter marriage?

Reefer Madness

I don’t look at my page stats much anymore. I’m just too busy with paying work and can barely justify the little amount of time I still spend blogging, without noticing how much traffic has dropped since I wrote long, wordy posts on the regular. But I took a peek and thought I’d share what activity I did find.

In October, besides my home page and the About Me page, the most popular posts were:

Graveyards Well, of course if you post about graveyards on Halloween weekend, someone is going to look.

Opportunity  How positive. I will try not to imagine that people were actually looking for inspirational office posters.

Desiree’s Dolls One of the first posts I ever wrote on the blog. When I first started, I thought that I might make an I Heart Reykjavik sort of blog about Seattle. I know I don’t have the time to do it right, but the perennial popularity of this post about a local artisan who makes rag dolls by hand is proof that it’s a good idea.

Referrals to the blog have shifted. Once it was mostly Facebook and Google searches. Now it’s Twitter and AvvoStories. Perhaps that is evidence that I should start focusing more on my professional side?

Finally, the search terms that led people here. I might not be writing much on this blog, but I think searches like these prove I’m doing something interesting.

eistnaflug nearest airport

Skalmold Airwaves

brakarsund iceland

himalayan yogi cave

 

 

 

 

 

Wickedly Funny Count Ory

Barry Banks as Count Ory in his hermit disguise Jacob Lucas photo c/o Seattle Opera

Barry Banks as Count Ory in his hermit disguise
Jacob Lucas photo c/o Seattle Opera

I don’t know where to start. During the pre-performance lecture and during the performance itself, there were so many things I wanted to sayBut now it’s the next day and I only have a couple of hours before I have to move on to the next thing, and I don’t know where to start.

Well, if I have to provide a TLDR for Count Ory, I guess I would just use this video, below the fold. Continue reading

Wagner Ladles Crazysauce in The Flying Dutchman

Seattle Opera Dress Rehearsal Flying Dutchman 2016 McCaw Hall

Alfred Walker (The Dutchman) photo by Philip Newton c/o Seattle Opera

Opera is about so much more than the story – it’s the entire theatrical experience: sets, costumes, voices, music, emotion. But me, I’m about the story. And the story of The Flying Dutchman is pure Smart Bitches F+ crazysauce. In other words, delightful.

If you are, as I was before attending Seattle Opera’s production of The Flying Dutchman, unfamiliar with the story, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Continue reading