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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Puzzling Out "Headgames"--- and other subjects

"Headgames"  is the newest novel published by Erika Rummel, Author of "Playing Naomi"(reviewed in artandhockey 12/17/2011) and other publications

And it IS a puzzler with pieces, at times, neatly slotted together, a times splintered.
Gossamer threats are spun with impeccable and literate prose;
drawing into their web a multitude of psychological, even supernatural issues.

Yes, I could go on and give my chers readers a synopsis of the story. 
And that IS the problem. 
A plot so multifaceted while covering that many different aspects may just take almost as much time to explain as reading the novel itself. 

SO go ahead, dive into it. 
You will not be disappointed. 
Although the connecting knots are not so easily unraveled on a first read through.
This slim volume with its ambitious goals truly asks for a second,
maybe even a third read.

The author touches on familiar, and less so, social, psychological, even economic issues.
How they are related only become clearer as the novel approaches the end of this almost surreal description of a young 'modern' woman's search of ...what exactly?

Definitely NOT light summer reading.

While I have you spellbound (tee hee) let me tell you about Le Grand Macabre
Yes, THAT opera by Gyoergy Ligeti (1923-2006) which Better Half and I saw, nay, experienced at the Komische Opera Berlin last month.
Komische Oper Facade

And - believe me - that is the right word -experienced!
It delivered visceral punch after visceral punch... manically, visually, musically, 
and ah, well, even disgustingly. 
Did I really have to see an overflowing toilet? 
Just one example of ...what?? 
The dissolution and degradation of the world?  
Well, ok, most of us think  the world IS going down the drain .... in an overflowing toilet?
So, ok, the director went wayyyy over the top with an, oh, so apropos "interpretation" :-), right!
Right?  Ok, I think I got it. 
Ligeti wanted to critique rotten politics, wanted to protest against the shallowness of modern life? Maybe even the trend to 'modern life' operas... did he anticipate: "Anna Nicole" and "Jerry Springer", 
or twitter operas?
Ligeti was born in Transylvania (yes, that Transylvania - home to Vlad ,The Impaler- did this influence his sense of death and the macabre ;-)?), later moved to Hungary to end in Austria, that imperial melting pot of  old).
Well, whatever he wanted, this piece most certainly delivered. 
Final scene a stunning end to a 2hrs-without-intermission opera:
I found it rather interesting, albeit a bit hard on ears more attuned to Mozart and Verdi and Puccini and Rossini :-). But certainly worth the visit.. at least ONE visit. 
Now I truly never need nor want to  again.  

On the other hand the early Verdi Opera "Oberto",
seen at la Scala before that, was more to my taste.
The plot has its limitations, but then what opera plot doesn't?
The voices were quiet impressive, staging a mix of sumptuous (sets) and contemporary (costumes), which IMO did not work that well. 
 BUT  La Scala's
acoustics deserve all the kudos heaped on it. 
The cast inlcuded :Ganassi (very good), Sartori (good), Pertusi as Oberto (excellent), Lo Monaco (not too impressed), with Frizza conducting.
And a last bit about Hockey for the season. 
.As most know the Chicago Blackhawks triumphed over the Boston Bruins with a 3-2 score within the last 17 seconds of game 6. And so carried off the venerated Stanley Cup
Better Half and I kinda rooted for Bruins. But sadly it was not to be. The series in the fight for the cup was overall rather nail biting. 
So many wins in overtime, so many injuries we only NOW hear about in detail. So many players battling through game after game with injuries. Props to Bergeron - more here. Until fall... playing hockey is "on ice" LOL

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