Reflective Journaling

It’s Monday, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for a new reflective journaling sheet! This week’s sheet is a fun dewey decimal system word search! You can enjoy this week’s journaling sheet here: Happy journaling! -Jessica, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Books & More for Opera Lovers and Newbies

Opera was a creation of the Baroque period, “invented” around the year 1600 and developed rapidly into one of the world’s most popular theatrical forms.  The combination of words, music, and drama became immensely popular and spread around the world as opera houses were built and new works created.  Many theater and music elements taken for granted were first developed in opera.  Today, opera is everywhere, from the historic houses of major opera companies to movie theaters and public parks to offbeat performance spaces and our earbuds.  It  remains a popular, expensive, and inspiring theatrical form, and yet there are few artforms that are as daunting for newcomers. The Livingston Public Library is excited to announce a 3 part series entitled The Story of Opera, presented  by composer, conductor and educator Dr. Robert W. Butts, that will include a combination of a lecture and musical excerpts.  Dr. Butts is New Jersey’s most wide-ranging conductor, exploring the operatic as well as the orchestral worlds. He has conducted premieres of over a dozen works for large and small ensembles by living composers and is the only American conductor to premiere works by Monsignor Marco Frisina, acclaimed opera, film, and sacred music composer in Rome, Italy. He has lectured and taught at The Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, Montclair  State University, and The College of Saint Elizabeth as well as for The New Jersey Council for the Humanities and  has presented talks and courses for community programs throughout New Jersey.  As a  conductor, he has led the award-winning Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey for over 25 years and has  conducted The New Jersey Symphony, The Plainfield Symphony, Opera at Florham, New Jersey Concert Opera, Eastern Opera, and Opera Theater of Montclair. In addition, he has conducted orchestra  and opera performances in Russia, Romania, Germany, and Italy. His compositions have been performed in the United States, Europe, and Asia.   Here are the  3 programs in the series along with the registration links: May 24, 7pm, The Story of Opera Part 1: Early Opera 1600-1800  June 21, 7pm,  The Story of Opera Part 2: Romantic Opera 1800-1890 July 19, 7pm,  The Story of Opera Part 3: Verismo and Modern Opera 1890-2000  Whether you are a  fan of opera and would like to delve deeper into it, a beginner just getting your exposure to the artform or if you are just looking to enjoy some operatic performances, the following opera themed resources are accessible with your Livingston Library card. The Birth of an Opera : Fifteen Masterpieces From Poppea to Wozzeck by Michael Rose Through a deft compilation of primary sources–letters, memoirs, and personal accounts from composers, librettists, and performers– Rose re-creates for his readers the circumstances that gave rise to fifteen operatic milestones. From Monteverdi and Mozart to Puccini and Berg, each chapter focuses on a well-known opera and tells the story that lies behind its creation.  Bravo! : A Guide to Opera For The Perplexed by Barrymore Laurence Sherer   The book is chock full of opera facts, history, and lore. Scherer’s discussions of the various styles of opera (Italian, German, French, Russian, English, and American) are concise yet well connected to the overall picture. Operetta is not excluded, nor is opera etiquette or even famous foods named after opera singers. Decoding Wagner : An Invitation To His World of Music Drama by Thomas May This guide aims to unlock the world of Richard Wagner and his works, his monumental achievements, and, ultimately, the great emotional power inherent in his art. Evenings At The Opera : An Exploration of the Basic Repertoire by Jeffrey Langford A collection of essays based on Langford’s lectures at the Manhattan School of Music and inspired by his pre-performance talks at the Metropolitan Opera Guild. It presents a unique view of the stylistic development of nearly 200 years of opera history (from Mozart to Britten), with special attention to the question of how the genre’s competing components of action, music, and text combine to make effective music drama.  Handel in London : A Genius And His Craft by Jane Glover A rich and evocative account of the life and work of one of the world’s favorite composers.  In 1712, a young German composer followed his princely master to London and would remain there for the rest of his life. That master would become King George II and the composer was George Freidrich Handel. It is a story of music-making and musicianship, but also of courts and cabals of theatrical rivalries and of eighteenth-century society. It is also, of course the story of some of the most remarkable music ever written, music that has been played and sung, and loved, in this country–and throughout the world–for three hundred years.  How to Listen to and Understand Opera by Robert Greenberg (Audiobook) Part of The Great Courses, this is a spellbinding series of 32 lectures that will introduce you to the transcendentally beautiful performing art that has enthralled audiences for more than 400 years. Beginning with opera’s origins in the early 17th century and continuing into the 20th, you’ll trace the art’s evolution and its ability to convey every shade of human emotion, whether sorrow or joy, drama or buffoonery. The Life and Operas of Verdi DVD Giuseppe Verdi is still the most popular composer in the 400-year history of opera. What were the sources of his unbridled creativity? And why have his operas left such a lasting impression on the history of classical music? This fascinating 36-lecture course taught by award-winning composer and Professor Robert Greenberg, tours Verdi’s life and music, and traces his artistic development from a more conventional composer to a master of dramatic innovation.  A Mad Love An Introduction to Opera by Vivien Schweitzer A lively introduction to opera, from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. It offers a spirited and indispensable tour of opera’s eclectic past and present, beginning with Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in 1607, generally considered the first successful opera, through classics like Carmen and La Boheme,