Monday, April 28, 2014

Adamantine Letters

Went to look up Bellini in MILTON CROSS' ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE GREAT COMPOSERS AND THEIR MUSIC and he didn't even have a section! Then I accidentally ran across an aside on him in the Donizetti section and got sad because they casually gave his birth and death dates and poor Bellini died at 34! I think. Anyway, something like that. So today at Square Books I looked him up in a history of opera which I did not buy - which is just like stealing! I even asked for a scrap of paper from Carla behind the coffee counter (more stealing!) so I could write down this thing Bellini said in a letter to his librettist: "Carve into your head in adamantine letters: OPERA MUST MAKE PEOPLE WEEP, FEEL HORRIFIED, DIE THROUGH SINGING." Megan was there, followed by her friends Karen and Dennis in town for a visit and one of the things we talked about was the TV show JUSTIFIED and I said it looked like they were setting up Mary Steenburgen to be the bad guy next season and Megan reminded me of something she had told me before (which I am probably getting as wrong as the Shirley Temple martini pitcher story): that Mary Steenburgen just woke up one morning magically able to play the accordion, having never done it before, can that possibly be what Megan said? I am not even going to research this nor, if I am wrong, correct it.